The mission of Agnes Scott College is to educate “women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times.” The college carries out this mission by offering a liberal arts curriculum enhanced by SUMMIT, Agnes Scott’s approach to education immersing students in global education and leadership development. SUMMIT provides students with the tools to think deeply and critically and to lead lives of purpose and consequence informed by that thinking. This liberal arts education provides graduates with greater flexibility with career options and enjoyment of lifelong learning.

In evaluating student success with respect to this mission, Agnes Scott considers persistence and graduation rates, experiential learning participation rates and post-graduation activities of its alumnae.

PERSISTENCE AND GRADUATION

Agnes Scott’s goal is for all students to persist in their studies and graduate in a timely manner. In evaluating student success, Agnes Scott looks carefully at student retention and graduation rates. The college expects to outperform national averages for four-year colleges and strives to do as well as its peer institutions.

First-to-Second-Year Retention

The rate at which first-year students return for their sophomore year fluctuates from year to year but has averaged 84 percent over the past five years, above the national average for both four-year private and public institutions.

First-to-Second-Year Retention Rate

Full-time, first-time students entering in:

5-Year Average

 

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Agnes Scott College

84%

87%

79%

85%

83%

84%

Private NonProfit Four-Year Institutions 77% 77% 77% 77%

77%

Public Four-Year Institutions 75% 75% 75% 76% 75%

 

Graduates Completing in Four Years

Although there are good and valid reasons for a student to take an extra semester or year to graduate (for example, enrolling in one of Agnes Scott’s 3-2 dual-degree programs), Agnes Scott undergraduates can expect to be able to enroll in all the courses they need to graduate within four years.

The percentage of graduates who completed their degree program in four years or less has averaged 93 percent over the past five years, well above the national average for private nonprofit colleges of 65.1 percent.

% of graduating students completing in four years or less:

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

5-Year Average

93%

95%

92%

93%

92%

93%

 

Six-year Graduation Rate

The six-year graduation rate (percent of full-time, first-time students graduating within six years of entry) over the past five years averages 70 percent, also above the national average of 67 and 60 percent for private and public four-year institutions, respectively.

Six-year graduation rate

Full-time, first-time students entering in:

5-Year Average

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Agnes Scott College

70%

67%

69%

73%

72%

70%

Private Nonprofit Four-Year Institutions 66% 67% 67% 67%
Public Fout-Year Institutions 59% 60% 61% 60%

 

HIGH-IMPACT LEARNING EXPERIENCES

Agnes Scott wants every student to participate in high-impact learning experiences, such as  study abroad, internships and mentored research, immersive experiences that link the classroom to a wider world.

Global Learning & Study Abroad

Agnes Scott fosters leaders with cross-cultural sensitivity and knowledge about world cultures. In addition to all first-year students traveling during their spring semester as part of SUMMIT Global Journeys, subsequent study abroad experiences range from a few weeks to an academic year. The experiences include our own faculty-led programs as well as exchange programs and those sponsored by other organizations and cover a breadth of disciplines and career possibilities. Almost all recent graduating students have at least one global experience via Global Journeys or subsequent travel, and nearly half later study abroad for academic credit.

Study Abroad Experiences

Students graduating in:

2- or 5-Year Average

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Global Experiences (includes domestic and international Global Journeys)

 

89%

91%

90%

International Experiences (excludes domestic Global Journeys)

74%

83%

79%
Study Abroad (excludes Global Journeys) 54% 46% 45% 37% 41% 45%
Iinternships

Internships provide a valuable adjunct to classroom learning and serve as a vehicle for professional exploration. Internships are real world applications of both a student’s major discipline as well as the broader liberal arts experience, allowing a student to extend and expand her area of study from the classroom to the outside world. More than two-thirds of Agnes Scott graduates participate in an internship prior to graduation.

 

Internships

 

Students graduating in:

5-Year Average

 

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

69% 67% 77% 69% 70%
70%

 

Mentored Research

Mentored research experiences are activities involving collaboration between a faculty mentor and a student. Complex, open-ended questions and problems are presented, requiring analytic, creative, systematic inquiry and cultivating an appreciation  of how to create new knowledge. Our goal is for students to take advantage of these focused and individualized experiences that will produce the generation of new ideas within the framework of traditional faculty-led scholarly or creative activity.

Between 2016 and 2020, over one-third of all graduating students earned academic credit for participation in an independent research project.
 
Credit-Bearing Mentored Research/Creative Projects  

Students graduating in:

5-Year Average

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

34%

36%

35%

33%

44%

36%

 

Using a broader definition of undergraduate research, which includes credit-bearing research experience as well as supervised undergraduate research or creative projects external to Agnes Scott and/or not attached to academic credit, nearly two-thirds of graduates participate.

 

All Mentored Research/ Creative Projects Students graduating in: 5-Year Average:
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
71% 71% 68% 61% 52%
65%

Another measure of student achievement is the number of students who receive prestigious competitive national and international awards. In past 15 years, the college has had 32 Fulbrights, six Goldwater scholars, three Marshall scholars (only six liberal arts colleges in the country had three Marshall winners in the same period), two Truman scholars and a Rhodes finalist. 


POST-GRADUATION ACTIVITIES

A part of the college’s mission is to foster “an environment in which women can develop high expectations for themselves as individuals, scholars, professionals and citizens of the world.” By the time of graduation, students should be well prepared for further study in graduate or professional school or to enter the world of work.

Over the past five years, results from the “Ringing the Bell” senior survey administered at the time of graduation have shown that around 20 percent typically enter graduate or professional school immediately following graduation. Nearly half of graduating students indicate they are seeking employment; of these, about half report having at least one job offer by graduation. Other students are undecided about their immediate plans or plan to continue their education at the undergraduate level or volunteer or travel or join the military.

 

Student graduating in: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Average
Primary Activity at Graduation: Employment % 45% 48% 54% 47% 52% 49%
% with offer 39% 50% 56% 68% 45% 52%
Primary Activity at Graduation: % 20% 26% 19% 18% 17%
20%
Professional/ Graduate School % with acceptance 90% 94% 93% 94% 91%
92%

More detail regarding Agnes Scott graduating seniors and their immediate post-graduation plans, including common employers and graduate schools, can be found at can be found at the Office of Internship and Career Development.

 Agnes Scott also tracks student post-graduation activities in the longer term. A recent survey of alumnae shows increasing levels of employment as years past graduation increase.

 

Primary Activity After One Year After Five Years After Ten Years
Employed 65% 73% 88%
Graduate or professional school 26% 21% 7%
Volunteer or national service 2% 0% 0%
Military service 0% 0% 0%
Not employed 7% 6% 5%

Additionally, Agnes Scott queries alumnae regarding how well the college prepares them for their professional success and compares their responses to peer institutions. At five years post-graduation, alumnae report that their undergraduate experience “very much” prepared them for the following activities: 

asc-alumnae-preparation-.png

Alumnae perceptions or preparation exceed those of peer institutions, and are reflected in other external data. For example, according to the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics Survey of Earned Doctorates, Agnes Scott is the top 5% of institutions who students go on to earn PhDs.