The Office of Institutional Effectiveness is responsible for providing important internal and external oversight of Holy Apostles’s institutional accreditation requirements, assessment procedures, as well as the work of Holy Apostles’s Offices of Institutional Research and Advancement.
Statement of Educational Effectiveness
All degree programs, undergraduate and graduate, at Holy Apostles College and Seminary are accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Comission of Higher Education (NECHE) and approved and accredited by the State of Connecticut Office of Higher Education (CTOHE). All graduate degree programs are accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools.
Since 1998, the Master of Arts in Philosophy and Master of Arts in Theology programs have been approved by CTOHE and NECHE for 100% online delivery. In the summer of 2014, CTOHE approved all undergraduate programs for 100% online delivery. Also in the summer of 2014, Holy Apostles College and Seminary was granted Associate Membership in the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). In March of 2016, the school was granted reaffirmation of accreditation for a ten-year period by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (now the New England Commission of Higher Education, NECHE). In June of 2017, the school was granted initial accreditation for a five-year period by ATS.
In AY14, both the undergraduate and graduate programs underwent a comprehensive curriculum review process. This review process, finally completed on November 8, 2014, provided the structure for a more intentional educational effectiveness plan because it aligned both the oncampus and online modes of delivery and also, through a process of curriculum mapping, the course activities with the course level learning outcomes, which were themselves aligned with the program outcomes. For the graduate programs, an additional layer of mapping was included in the concentration outcomes. The next scheduled curriculum and course review will be held in AY21 and will examine the program, concentration, and course goals in light of the institutional goals that were approved by the Board of Trustees in the March, 2020, Strategic Plan.
Because the program outcomes are scheduled for a comprehensive review in AY21, the Assessment Committee will take the occasion to examine the course structures within the online mode of delivery for the purpose of updating them for delivery in our new decade of the 2020s. The specific areas to be addressed will filter down beginning with a review of the program-level outcomes and concluding with a review of course-level outcomes. The kinds of activities that have for the past decade produced artifacts capable to demonstrating the course-level outcomes are being met will also be reviewed in light of current exemplary practices.
Using an assessment grid to aggregate the data we’re receiving across the program, we will ask two things:
What do we make of these data?
What changes does our interpretation of these data prompt?
Once we identify that change is required, we will determine, based on the nature of the change, whether it should happen at the course level, the concentration level, or the program level. Given the nature of the activity, we expect most changes to occur at the course level.
In addition to our using an outcomes alignment indicator to monitor the effectiveness of our programs, we are also developing for that purpose “a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods and direct and indirect measures to understand the experiences and learning outcomes of its students, employing external perspectives including, as appropriate, benchmarks and peer comparisons” (NECHE Standard 8, Section 8.5) in order to ensure that we are meeting our student learning outcomes while providing for student achievement and success.
Some measures readily available to us are as follows:
entering and graduating student surveys;
a departing student survey;
deacon homily survey;
supervised ministry and pastors surveys;
keystone assessments in core courses;
peer syllabi reviews based on standardized syllabi;
NECHE and ATS annual report data;
ATS Institutional Peer Profile Report
ATS Strategic Information Report
financial aid data
Undergraduate Retention Rates Prior Three Years
FY 2018: 63%
FY 2019: 86%
FY 2020: 89%
Undergraduate Graduation Rates Prior Three Years*
FY 2018: 20%
FY 2019: 60%
FY 2020: 60%
First-time, full-time students awarded a degree within six years
FY 2018: 20%
FY 2019: 33%
FY 2020: 38%
Non-first-time, full-time students awarded a degree within six years
FY 2018: 63%
FY 2019: 89%
FY 2020: 100%
* The online undergraduate program was approved by CTOHE for 100% online delivery in the summer of 2014, so the summer of 2020 marks its first complete cycle at 1.5 times the normative completion rate of a 4-year undergraduate program.
Cohort Default Rate
FY 2015: 3.1
FY 2016: 5.8
FY 2017: 6.4
The Office of Institutional Advancement participates in an ongoing needs assessment of the institution for the purpose of understanding which grants should be pursued in support of the mission of Holy Apostles College & Seminary.
Specifically, the Office of Institutional Advancement researches and identifies the granting organizations that match the immediate needs and long-term goals of Holy Apostles.