Student Achievement

 

Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Ponce Campus, is committed to guiding their students in achieving their academic goals. Preparing successful professionals is a commitment and part of our mission and vision. The following section provides important information about the effectiveness of our academic programs and students’ achievement. It includes evidence of the number of students that continued studies in the Campus and completed their baccalaureate and master’s degree in the expected time. The data is represented by retention, persistence and graduation rates as illustrated in the following tables and graphics. This site also presents licensure pass rates of academic programs requiring examination by a state or federal agency, as an assessment tool for student decision-making.  Additional helpful information for academic planning is available as well.

LICENSURE PASS RATES

Licensure board exams are cumulative assessment measures with the goal of determining student acquisition and retention of knowledge that is based on a defined set of professional practice standards. Our campus utilizes pass rates to ensure standards of excellence in the development, implementation and promotion of programs. Within any particular field, they are indicative of safe and competent practices, leading to employment opportunities.  Faculty and program coordinators monitor students’ performance in the licensure exams as a way to assess the curriculum effectiveness. Our curricular assessment process considers the changing roles, responsibilities and the dynamic nature of the professions through several mechanisms. For instance, stakeholders’ surveys provide important feedback.  Students also complete individual course evaluations and assess how the curriculum prepared them for the job market.  Data gathered from all these documents support the need for curricular changes including course content review, sequencing of courses, evaluation criteria, among others.

Passing Rates

The Ponce Campus has striven for excellence in graduates’ performance in the licensure exams. In cases were pass rates fall below expectations, multiple action plans are implemented.  Some examples may include revision of the admission, retention and graduation requirements, mandatory review courses, test item analysis, test blueprinting, test construction, effective teaching strategies and the use of technology in the classroom.

Radiological Technology

This Program was created to prepare radiological technologists that make up the health professionals responsible for performing radiographic procedures using radiological diagnostic equipment (General Catalog 2015-2017). To take the certification exam, applicants must submit a request to the Board of Examiners of Radiologic Technologists in Diagnostic Imaging and Treatment of Puerto Rico in accordance with the parameters established by Law 76 of April 12, 2006. Radiological Technology program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology Program (JRCERT).

Passing Rate Puerto Rico (PR) Examination Board of Radiologic Technology

PR Licensing Exam Data

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Ponce Campus Passing Rate (First Attempt)

67% (2 of 3)

67% (10 of 15)

0% (0 of 3)

N/A

100%  (2 of 2)

Source: Board of Examiners of Radiologic Technologists in Diagnosis and Treatment of Puerto Rico

In order to improve the program pass rates, since 2015 compulsory review courses were carefully designed and offered to all program graduates. Data show that there is a reduction in graduates taking the local board exam. Our program is nationally accredited by JRCERT (Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology), providing our graduates the opportunity to take the ARRT exam (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists). Data gathering is in process. Other students continue advanced studies in the radiologic field.

Occupational Therapy Assistant

The program aims to prepare a health paraprofessional to provide specialized treatment under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist properly qualified by the pertinent agencies. The Program aims to promote independence, productivity, quality of life and rehabilitation in the occupation areas to facilitate a state of health and general wellbeing in the clients (General Catalog 2015-2017). To take the certification exam, applicants must submit a request to the Puerto Rico Occupational Therapy Examining Board in accordance with the parameters established by Law 137 of June 26, 1968. Some students have chosen to take the NBCOT (National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy) exam in the United States.  Occupational Therapist program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).

 

PR Licensing Exam Data

2014

2015

2016

2017

Ponce Campus Passing Rate (First Attempt)

59% (10 of 17)

50% (11 of 22)

50% (9 of 18)

56% (10 of 18)

Source: Puerto Rico Occupational Therapy Board

 

NBCOT Licensing Exam Data

2014

2015

2016

2017

Ponce Campus  Passing Rate (First Attempt)

N/A

N/A

100% (1 of 1)

100% (2 of 2)

Source: National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy

The information provided is based on first attempts in the local board exam. Graduates in Puerto Rico do not necessarily take the board during the 12-month period following graduation.  Puerto Rico OT law allows students to work with provisional license within a six-year time frame.  However, graduate surveys show 100% employment rate and 82% ultimate exam pass rate. The following strategies have been implemented since 2014 to increase the rates:

  • Comprehensive final examinations. All OCTH have a comprehensive final examination with a 75% minimum pass rate.
  • Focus group analysis
  • Exit exam (Computerized) as a requirement to pass the Integration Seminar Course

Nursing

The Nursing Program provide care with autonomy and with interdisciplinary collaboration and sensitivity to ethical-legal and cultural values and directed to the achievement of the best results for the client. Coordinate care by applying leadership and management skills that lead to the highest quality care with the minimum of cost. Assume a commitment as a member of the discipline in harmony with the standards of the practice (General Catalog 2015-2017). Therefore, to practice as an associate or general nurse in Puerto Rico, it is required, under the Law 9 of October 11, 1987, that the candidate take the licensure examination offered by the Puerto Rico Board of Nursing. The purpose of the licensure exam is to measure if the candidates have the minimum competences necessary to practice the profession.

Passing Rate Puerto Rico Board of Nursing

Reporting Period

2014

2015

2016

2017

Ponce Campus Passing Rate (First Attempt)

79% (52 of 66)

83% (39 of 47)

89% (39 of 44)

77% (17 of 22)

Source: Puerto Rico Board of Nursing

To maintain and improve the target pass rates and to address the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) outcomes standards, multiple policies were developed and implemented at the nursing program. Strategies used for curriculum evaluation addressed test item writing, test blueprinting, and the use of item analysis data to evaluate and improve faculty-designed exams.  These strategies were formalized with the development of policies in the Program Handbook that described the procedures used to implement curriculum evaluation. On September 4, 2018, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) approved the application for initial accreditation of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program at Inter American University of PR-Ponce. The program will be hosting the accreditation visit on Fall 2019.

Physical Therapist Assistant

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program provides scientific knowledge based on concepts and principles from the natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities, as well as their applications to the field of the physical therapy. It is designed to prepare physical therapist assistants that offer treatment to individuals whose functional capacity is limited or in risk of being limited due to some disease or injury (General Catalog 2015-2017). In order to practice, graduates must pass the local board exam and obtain a physical therapy assistant license. Physical Therapist Assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

Physical Therapist Assistant, Data Passing Rate Puerto Rico Examination

PR Licensing Exam Data

2014

2015

2016

2017

Ponce Campus Passing Rate (First Attempt)

84%  (21 of 25)

89% (8 of 9)

0%

83% (10 of 12)

Source: Puerto Rico Physical Therapy Board

In the Physical Therapy Assistant program, faculty has implemented the use of student performance data to constantly monitor the significance of their teaching or guidance. Constant evaluation of students and academic counseling played an important role in achieving target pass rates through the years.  Some of the strategies implemented because of assessment data are:

  1. Monitoring and improving individual student performance.
  2. Promoting classroom interactions and critical thinking skills.
  3. Comprehensive final examinations.
  4. Computerized exit exam simulating the NPTE.
  5. Licensed PTA as a tutor during open lab hours.

Teacher Education Program

The Program is directed to the formation of teachers within a curriculum that provides an accumulation of articulated experiences which, at the same time, provides space for the construction of the pedagogical knowledge and content that will develop the future teacher. The Teacher Education Program (TEP) constitutes an answer to the needs and aspirations of a society in constant change and to the requirements of the Certification of Teachers Regulations of the Department of Education of Puerto Rico (General Catalog 2015-2017).  The program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Teacher Preparation Program: Summary Pass-Rates (PCMAS)

Academic Year

Number taking test

Number passing tests

Pass rate (%)

State average pass rate (%)

2014-2015

31

23

74

81

2015-2016

20

14

70

87

2016-2017

19

15

79

93

Source: College Board Administration

Our Teacher Certification Test (PCMAS) has demonstrated a tendency to increase the passing rate the last years.  Faculty have enforced several strategies to comply with this change. They include review of the fundamentals of the general education program, assessment of the professional competencies in the area of education, workshops in diverse academic materials and periodic evaluations in the Practicum course, among others. Faculty also asserts that the grades in the different courses evidence many of the qualities required as part of the teaching standards that are tested on the PCMAS, thus providing multiple sources of evidence as to the quality of the program.

Graduation and Retention Rates

In accordance with the Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act, approved by the Congress of the United States on November 9, 1990, the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico reports the annual retention and graduation rates to the Federal Department of Education through the Institutional Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The report presents rates of retention, persistence, and graduation of students of bachelor and master levels.

Graduation Rates

Students who are part of the cohort of bachelor level must comply with the following criteria:

  • Be first year or freshmen students.
  • Have no prior college experience (First Timers).
  • Be enrolled in baccalaureate programs.
  • Be full-time students (Full Timers).

Students who are part of the cohort of master level must comply with the following criteria:

  • Be first year students.
  • Be enrolled in master programs.
  • Be full-time students (Full Timers) during their first academic term.

To calculate the IPEDS graduation rate, the follow-up cohort is selected from six prior years. For example, the 2010 cohort graduation rate is reported in 2016. Once the base (number of students) of the cohort is selected for one year of admission, it is followed up over the next six academic years to determine how many of these graduated from the Institution. Then, the number of students who graduated is divided between the base of the cohort and, multiplied by 100 to calculate the cumulative graduation rate.

The cumulative four-year graduation rate reflects the percentage of students in the cohort who graduated in four years or less. The cumulative graduation rate at five and six years reflects the percentage of students who graduated in five years or less and six years or less, respectively. Because it is accumulated, the five-year graduation rate also contains four years graduates; and the six-year graduation rate contains graduates of five and four years. The graduation rate for the fourth, fifth and sixth year, represent 100%, 125% and 150%, respectively of the estimated time of graduation for the baccalaureate programs.

Table1: Cumulative graduation rate of the cohorts 2009 to 2011 at the baccalaureate level

Years of study: 4th, 5th y 6th year

Cohort Base Graduates in 4 years or less Graduates in 5 years or less Graduates in 6 years or less
2009 515 42 94 128
100% 8% 18% 25%
2010 671 84 159 201
100% 13% 24% 30%
2011 678 86 189 236
100% 13% 28% 35%

Table 2: Cumulative graduation rate of the cohorts 2011 al 2013 at the master level

Years of study: 4th

Cohort Base Graduates Graduation
2011 56 23 41%
2012 88 31 35%
2013 76 34 45%

 

Retention Rates

To calculate the retention rates, the follow-up cohort is selected. The retention rate is reported one year after having established the follow-up cohort. The selection criteria are the same as those used for graduation rates.

Once the base (number of students) of the cohort for a year of admission is selected, we wait until the enrollment of the following academic year (first term of FALL), to determine how many of the students of the cohort returned and enrolled in the Institution. Then, the number of students held is divided between the base of the cohort and the result is multiplied by a hundred to calculate the retention rate.

Table 1: Cumulative graduation rate of the cohorts 2014 al 2016 at the baccalaureate level

Years of study: 1st al 2nd

Cohort Base Retained Retention
2014 680 514 76%
2015 638 485 76%
2016 622 470 76%

Table 2: Cumulative graduation rate of the cohorts 2014 al 2016 at the master’s level

Years of study: 1st al 2nd

Cohort Base Retained Retention
2014 59 43 73%
2015 71 42 59%
2016 53 39 74%

Source: IPEDS questionnaire of registration 2015-16 (cohort 2014), 2016-17 (cohort 2015) and 2017-18 (cohort 2016) and Office of Research, Assessment and Planning of UIPR