Student Achievement

Trevecca students stand at graduation ceremony.

Trevecca Nazarene University’s mission is to provide education for leadership and service within the context of a Christian community. Student achievement objectives link directly to this mission, as well as the strategic plan, statement of purpose and educational goals of the University. As part of our strategic plan, Trevecca has established goals for student achievement measures through the year 2025. The following tables provide data regarding the statuses of student achievement objectives for traditional and non-traditional students (as noted) as well as the three-year average and trend. As deemed critical measures and indicators of student success by the University Leadership, Trevecca uses first-year retention rate, six-year (150%) graduation rate, licensure pass rates and placement rate as measures of student achievement. Contact the Office of Institutional Effectiveness ( for prior years’ data.

First-Year Retention Rate

Trevecca deems retention rate to be a primary measure of our students’ success. Over the past five years, Trevecca maintained a retention rate in the mid-70% range.

  Threshold 2021 Goal (2025) Three Year Average Three Year Trend
First Year Retention Rate 70% 73% 81% 74%


Six-Year Graduation Rate

Trevecca views the 6-year graduation rate is a critical measure of our students’ achievement. Over the past five years, Trevecca has seen tremendous growth our 6-year graduation rate, from 49% in 2016 to 56% in 2020 and 2021, moving closer to our 61% goal for 2025.

  Threshold 2021 Goal (2025) Three-Year Average Three-Year Trend
Six-Year Graduation Rate 49% 56% 61% 56%


Per compliance with the Guidance on 8.1 from SACSCOC, Trevecca disaggregates graduation rate data using the Traditional IPEDS Graduation Rate (150%; 6-year graduation rate) as our Key Student Completion Indicator (KSCI). This data is tracked, analyzed and evaluated internally so decisions can be made to target student success initiatives to particular demographics.

Placement Rate

Trevecca has historically tracked job placement excluding alumni enrolled full-time in a graduate program. Job placement is calculated based on individuals who are (1) employed with an organization, (2) self-employed/freelance/contract, (3) serving in the military or (4)serving as a missionary or in another form of volunteer service.

Beginning in 2020^, Trevecca began calculating placement rate to include traditional and non-traditional alumni who have a placement (either employment or full-time graduate school) within one year of graduation. In an effort to increase the knowledge rate, 2020 was the first year using LinkedIn as a source for job placement data. The knowledge rate for placement data in 2021 was 55%.

  Threshold 2021 Goal (2025) Two-Year Average Two-Year Trend
Placement Rate 97% 99% 98% 98%


Licensure Pass Rates

Trevecca offers five programs that prepare students for careers requiring licensure tests. Trevecca’s licensure pass rates for the clinical mental health counseling program (MA), the marriage and family counseling/therapy program (MMFT/C), the nursing program (BSN; partnered with Belmont University), the teacher education programs (BS, MAT) and the graduate physician assistant program (MSM) are listed in the following table. With the exception of edTPA, all licensure pass rates are reported as first-time pass rate. As the Tennessee Department of Education requires first- and second-attempt pass rates to be reported, that is how the Education Department at Trevecca reports edTPA pass rates for Student Achievement.

Trevecca's Administration felt it was important and necessary to track licensure pass rates as part of a student achievement outcome, but that the program faculty and leadership should be the drivers of setting criteria for success. Thus, the respective programs set thresholds, goals, and aspirational goals for licensure pass rates, as the program leadership and faculty would best know what was appropriate and would comply with minimum testing requirements.

Trevecca students and alumni typically do very well on licensure tests, often passing at rates above the state or national average, depending on the exam. In recent years, the Physician Assistant program has passed at very high rates, including a 100% pass rate in 2021.

  Threshold 2021 Goal (2025) Three-Year Average Three-Year Trend
Clinical Mental Health Counseling (GSA-NCE) 85% 86% 95% 94%


Marriage and Family Counseling / Therapy (AMFTRB) 85% 100% 95% 95%


Nursing (NCLEX)* 85% 83% 90% 88%


Teacher Education (edTPA) 90% 100% 95% 100%


Physician Assistant (PANCE) 86% 100% At or above the Nat. Avg. FTT pass rate 99%


*Per the Board of Nursing, Trevecca’s pass rate is included as a part of Belmont University’s overall pass rate.

Data sources: Retention and Graduation Rate data are provided from the Office of Institutional Research, as reported to IPEDS. Job Placement and Graduate School Enrollment data are provided from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, as sourced by the annual Trevecca Alumni Survey, LinkedIn profiles, and National Student Clearinghouse data. Licensure Pass Rates data are provided by the respective academic departments.


As deemed appropriate and consistent by its administration, Trevecca uses the lowest point in the last five years as our threshold of any given metric, except (1) licensure pass rates (which are set by the respective programs/departments); (2) retention rate; and (3) non-white male graduation rates. Apart from these exceptions, thresholds change annually with new data.

Goals and Aspirational Goals

Trevecca’s goals to reach by 2025 are determined by percentile placement as evaluated against our comparison institutions. A 2-percentile increase was determined to be a reasonable goal for 2025. An aspirational goal is to increase 3 percentiles. For licensure pass rates, goals and aspirational goals are set by the respective programs.