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College releases dashboard of data to start new academic year

September  10, 2013

View The Augustana Story document and watch an explanatory video.

For the second consecutive academic year, Augustana College is releasing the “Augustana Story,” a dashboard of data and information about inputs, outputs and outcomes designed to help parents, guidance counselors, prospective students and others understand the value of an Augustana education.

“All too rarely colleges talk about the outcomes,” said Augustana’s Executive Vice President and Vice President, Enrollment, Communication and Planning Kent Barnds. “More often, colleges, government leaders and other organizations choose to spend their time reviewing inputs.

“At Augustana, we’re extremely proud of what happens to students during four transformative years on campus,” Barnds said.

Highlights from the second annual the “Augustana Story” include:

- Intellectual growth statistics: Augustana’s statistics blasted the national average in student learning with a 28-point increase in intellectual growth from 2005 to 2009.

- Significant increase in the number of faculty members working with students on a research project: Going from 57 percent to 81 percent in one year’s time, student research projects prepare students for graduate school and for careers.

- The increasing number of student participating in Augie Choice, a program that gives each student $2,000 to pursue a high-impact learning experience: faculty-led research, an internship or study abroad. Since 2010, 1,433 students have participated – up 631 students in the one-year span.

- An increase in the amount of revenue set aside for financial aid, going from $38 million to $42 million: Making an Augustana education affordable to students from all socio-economic backgrounds continues to be a priority for the college.

- The average level of student indebtedness: In 2010, the national average indebtedness of college graduates was $25,250. The average indebtedness of Augustana graduates was $22,230 in 2010, and $22,900 in 2011.

“We realize how important it is for people to understand what a residential liberal arts experience can mean. Unfortunately, mounds of information, internal jargon and undecipherable data can make communication extremely difficult. The ‘Augustana Story’ aims to eliminate the jargon and serve as a straightforward, simple and succinct tool for students and their families,” Barnds explained.

“Not all of the information in the ‘Augustana Story’ is positive,” Barnds is careful to add. “The document is designed to reflect accurately and transparently the experiences of our student body.

“While we certainly enjoy sharing the positive numbers, we realize it’s important to share the complete picture. We look at those areas that need our attention as opportunities for growth and improvement,” Barnds said.

Sam Schlouch
Senior Communication Director
(309) 794-7833