Compliance Certification Report

4.1
The institution evaluates success with respect to student achievement including, as appropriate, consideration of course completion, state licensing examinations, and job placement rates. (Student Achievement)
√ Compliant
Partially Compliant
Non-Compliant
Narrative:
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) has developed and implemented methods to gather, track, analyze, and assess data that measure the success of our educational processes and our graduates.

All components of the University of Texas System (UT) are required to participate in a statewide Master Plan for Higher Education, Closing the Gaps (1), developed by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). This plan provides clear and ambitious goals to improve students’ participation and success and enhance the research and overall excellence of institutions. Student-related accountability data associated with the Master Plan are collected in four areas: 1) student participation, 2) student success, 3) institutional excellence, and 4) research. These data are published annually in the Higher Education Accountability System Report (2) published by the THECB. All levels of UTMB, from the Council of Deans through each individual school and program, make use of this data to revise curricula and methods and to improve the educational experience.

Evaluation Data Gathering and Feedback
Each academic program at the university documents program objectives that reflect the mission of the degree program and how it is related to the mission of UTMB in a centered database. Additionally, each academic program annually enters information about how they use results obtained from their assessment of student learning outcomes to strengthen their academic program. Program changes include modification of specific courses, revision of curricula, addition of internship requirements, additional proficiency examinations, implementation of improved tracking, and enhanced advisement. The effectiveness of these new procedures is addressed in the next planning, implementation, and assessment cycle.

Course completion
The primary measures for assessing course completion are graduation rates (3). Rate tracking is required under the provisions of the UTMB Strategic Plan. UTMB’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) is the primary institutional repository on enrollment and graduation related information. In addition, each of the four offices of Student Affairs and Admissions prepares reports and evaluative inquiries in response to internal needs and requests. Findings are reported to the Council of Deans.

Graduation rates in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS), which offers all graduate academic degrees at UTMB, are shown in Table 4.1.a. The GSBS has recovered from a period of declining enrollments and is currently enjoying a student enrollment consistent with its capabilities.

Table 4.1.a. Master’s and Doctorate Graduation First Time Entering Cohort

Graduation Rates 1

Fall 2004

Fall 2005

Fall 2006

Master’s 1 st Time Entering Cohort

34

27

29

Graduation Rate (%) Masters or Above*

77%

89%

83%

Doctoral 1 st Time Entering Cohort

46

45

50

% Ph.D. Received**

59%

51%

62%

* Excludes students who transferred from other institutions or students who matriculated in semesters other than Fall; methodology underrepresents this in cohorts.
** Percent earning a master's certificate in five or less years
*** Percent earning a doctoral certificate in ten or less years; does not include students who received a master's level award

Source: Student Access, Success and Outcomes section, 2006-07 Accountability & Performance Report , Table I-70 (4)

Licensing Examinations
Students in the School of Nursing are required to demonstrate their acquisition of essential knowledge and skills through completing the Board of Nurse Examination. UTMB candidates with nursing degrees have ranked in the top tier nationally on such examinations for nine of the past ten years. The culmination of the baccalaureate program in nursing is the successful completion of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become licensed as a registered professional nurse. NCLEX pass rates for UTMB SON graduates have been above the national pass rate for the last five years. The accreditation visit by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) in 2004 resulted in the maximum length of accreditation (10 years) without any recommendations (5).

Students in the School of Medicine are required to demonstrate their acquisition of essential knowledge and skills through completing the United States Medical License Exam (USMLE) administered through the National Board of Medical Examiners. UTMB medical students have consistently met or exceeded national performance benchmarks (means scores, passing rates) in recent years.

Students in the School of Allied Health Sciences are required to demonstrate their acquisition of essential knowledge and skills through completing the numerous discipline-specific exams: the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) Credentialing Examination, the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE), and the Texas Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Examiners Licensing Examination. UTMB candidates with these degrees have ranked in the top tier nationally on such examinations for the past six years. Licensure/certification examination pass rates for first-time test takers are shown in Table 4.1.b.

Table 4.1.b. UTMB Average Licensure/Certification Examination Rate

School

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Medicine USMLE Step 1

80%

85%

96%

93%

96%

99%

Medicine USMLE Step 2 – Clinical Knowledge

94%

91%

93%

96%

95%

99%

Medicine USMLE Step 2 – Skills

n/a

n/a

n/a

97%

98%

96%

Nursing BSN

90%

87%

89%

95%

94%

97%

Nursing Advance Practice*

86%

76%

84%

90%

91%

97%

Allied Health Sciences

93%

91%

79%

88%

85%

87%

* Not all Advanced Practice graduates are required to take this certification examination
Source: 2006-07 Accountability & Performance Report, Table I-62 (6).


Students seeking entry to professional programs use licensure rates as one of their criteria when selecting a school for application. Thus, programs look seriously at these rates and work diligently to keep the rates high to remain competitive. UTMB currently has high application rates and full classes. The School of Medicine (SOM) has recently increased its class size from 200 to 230. Class size was determined through careful analysis of available facilities, faculty, clinical resources (space, patient volumes), student services, and the quality and depth of the applicant pool. The increased class size has received the assent of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). The School of Allied Health Sciences (SAHS) has five programs and all programs are above 90% of maximum. The School of Nursing (SON) is also at full capacity for all programs.

Job Placement
Job placement rates are not available by school. However, information about employment for baccalaureate graduates from the Schools of Nursing and Allied Health is tabulated in the UT System 2005-06 Accountability & Performance Report (7). This table shows the percentages of baccalaureate graduates who were either employed or in graduate school within a year of graduation. For UTMB students, the percentages were 93% (2001), 96% (2002), 94% (2003), 94% (2004), and 97% (2005).

The primary mechanism for obtaining data for graduate medical education positions is the National Residency Match Program (NRMP).
  • 2004: 88% matched successfully; 99% of students eligible for residency started residency
  • 2005: 92% matched successfully; 98% of students eligible for residency started residency
  • 2006: 96% matched successfully; 98% of students eligible for residency started residency
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    Source
    1
    Closing the Gaps
    http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/ClosingTheGaps/
    2
    Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: Higher Education Accountability System
    http://www.txhighereddata.org/Interactive/Accountability/
    3
    UTMB Key Measures, 2000-2006
    Hard copy located in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness
    4
    UT System 2006-2007 Accountability & Performance Report: Student Access, Success and Outcomes, Table I-70
    http://www.utsystem.edu/osm/accountability/2006/studentaccess.pdf, Table I-70
    5
    Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) Accreditation Report, November 2004
    http://www.aacn.nche.edu/CCNE/reports/rptAccreditedPrograms.asp?state=TX&sFullName=Texas
    6
    UT System 2006-2007 Accountability & Performance Report: Student Access, Success and Outcomes, Table I-62
    http://www.utsystem.edu/osm/accountability/2006/studentaccess.pdf, Table I-62
    7
    UT System 2006-2007 Accountability & Performance Report: Student Access, Success and Outcomes, Table I-72
    http://www.utsystem.edu/osm/accountability/2006/studentaccess.pdf, Table I-72