Up-to-date data enable the Office of Enrollment to respond to trends that govern student enrollment. Data show continued strength in the performance of the office. During 1994-2005 the number of applications grew, our selectivity steadily increased, the fraction of accepted students who matriculate (declining nationally) remained close to the 30% strategic plan target, and our entering classes became steadily stronger, as measured by ACT composite scores. Over the past five years, attrition varied without trend (13-16% between 1st and 2nd year, 11-13% overall fall-to-fall). Retention is weakest for students with modest high school achievements. 1st- to 2nd year retention rates of Asian, Black, Hispanic students are significantly higher (90-92%) than that of White students (84%). Our graduation rates are double the national average for all institutions. Comparison schools have overall six-year degree completion rates comparable to Augustana's 74.6%. The most recent 3-year averages of 6-year graduation rates indicate our success in graduating minorities. A strategic plan goal is to increase our overall graduation rate by approximately 3%.
Appointment of a new Director of Facilities Services in 1998 and the subsequent assessment of all sub-unit functions has increased the efficiency of the department. All employees, including the director, are evaluated in regular internal performance reviews. While flexibility of schedules, pay levels and high supervisor expectations are concerns for the college, the strategic plan intends to address these issues. Surveys indicate that 85-99% of clients rated the services as “good” or “excellent” on nearly every measure.
I n 2002 the library created a new system for collecting, analyzing and using information concerning information literacy. More than 5,000 students have participated in more than 280 library instructional sessions which help to integrate information literacy skills into the fabric of general education. Faculty and other library users are surveyed frequently and comparative data are sought from external sources such as the Oberlin Group of Libraries.
Augustana's ITS department has established a responsive user support system through the Helpdesk, the TrackIt work order database system, monitoring of hourly computer lab usage, tracking equipment usage, and ITS training programs, etc. Student satisfaction, dipping the mid-1990s, shot up by the end of the decade and has remained strong. High ratings reflect Augustana's investment in improved computer technology and services. Since the Olin Center opened in 1998, the ITS budget ($800,000 currently) has grown substantially.
A new director of the Office of Safety with legal training, experience in compliance consulting and training, and professional certification, has instituted aggressive risk-management. Accident claims have fallen substantially in the first ten months of this new program. The Office of Security takes a proactive approach in reducing crime on campus. In March 2004, Security/Risk Management Consultants completed a “Security Assessment” to be implemented over time. The Dean of Students conducts evaluation of alcohol and date rape awareness programs campus-wide every three years.