Core Theme Two: Demonstrate Academic Excellence
The College's second objective for CT2 is to facilitate transfer.
The average percentage of our transfer students who achieved good academic standing (2.0 or better GPA) after their first semester at a four-year college or university in the Montana University System. Our goal for this indicator is 80%, which we have exceeded in two of the past three years. Over the last three years, these students have attained an average 2.9 cumulative GPA in their first semester after transfer. The range of the average first semester GPA after transfer over the past six years is 2.75 to 3.10. The academic success of our transfer students provides a good indicator of the quality and rigor of instruction in the College's general education program. Put another way, our transfer students and their instructors are awesome!
The average percentage of our full-time students who transfer within three years of starting at Helena College meeting our target for this indicator. Considering that general education students are the largest segment of our population (37%) and transfer is a key aspect of our mission as a two-year college, we'd like to do better. For perspective, our transfer rates are comparable to
other two-year institutions in the state
(20% was the average for students entering in the fall of 2012), and better than the
national average transfer rate of 16%
for public two-year colleges (fall 2011).
The average percentage of general education/transfer students enrolled each year that complete Associate of Art or Associate of Science degrees meeting the target for this indicator. You wouldn't be wrong to think this number seems small and the target somewhat anemic. It is important to remember that the overwhelming majority of our gen ed students, on average about 500 each semester, transfer or complete their educational goals at Helena College without earning an AA/AS degree. In other words, clearly our students need some real incentive to complete gen ed degrees. Recently, our faculty and academic administrators have been aggressively pursuing articulation and direct-transfer agreements with partner four-year colleges and universities across the state to facilitate transfer based on completion of AA/AS degrees. You can now find 12 of these exciting opportunities outlined in the 2016-17 academic catalog and more are one the way. Early indications are that these opportunities are having a positive impact on AA/AS degree completion rates.
As of fall 2016, Helena College achieved the minimum threshold for demonstrating mission fulfillment for this objective, with both indicators meeting or exceeding their targets. (Current score= 2; minimum threshold score= 1.8)