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Institutional Research


The Department of Institutional Research is responsible for the collection and analysis of data, and presentation of information for use in planning, decision-making and policy formulation at the University. The Department ensures the accuracy of vital University data and reports them to internal and external constituencies. The Department supports institutional effectiveness and accreditation activities and is a repository of vital information on the University.

Clark Atlanta University's Benchmark Institutions
Data/Survey/Information Request Form
Policy on Data Report Completion
Procedures for Obtaining Data


Enrollment Reports


Trend Books

Trend Book 2012-2016
Trend Book 2011-2015
Trend Book 2010-2014
Trend Book 2009-2013
Trend Book 2008-2012
Trend Book 2007-2011
Trend Book 2005-2010


Clark Atlanta University's Benchmark Institutions

Peer Institutions (DRU)  

    • Adelphi University (Garden City, NY)
    • Barry University (Miami, FL)
    • Hampton University (Hampton, Va)* 
    • Seton Hall University (South Orange, NJ)
    • University of Tulsa (Tulsa, OK)

*Master's / M: Fewer than 20 Research Doctorates

Aspiration Institutions (RUH) 

    • Catholic University of America (Washington, DC)
    • Duquesne University (Pittsburg, PA)
    • Howard University (Washington, DC)
    • Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX)
    • Wake Forest University (Winston Salem, NC)

Competitor Institutions

    • Alabama A&M University (Huntsville, AL)
    • Florida A&M University (Talllahassee, FL)
    • Jackson State University (Jackson, MS)
    • North Carolina A&T State University (Greensboro, NC)
    • South Carolina State University (Orangeburg, SC)
    • Tennessee State University (Nashville, TN)
    • Texas Southern University (Houston, TX)
    • Xavier University of Louisiana (New Orleans, LA)

Atlanta University Center Institutions

    • Morehouse College
    • Spelman College



Student Achievement of Success 

Student achievement is at the core of Clark Atlanta University’s evaluation of its academic and co-curricular effectiveness. The University regularly evaluates success with respect to student achievement aligned with its mission, “to transform the lives of students and their communities by preparing citizen leaders to be problem-solvers,”  and supported by the University’s priority goal one, “to attract an increased number and diversity of students who graduate at higher rates and are equipped to succeed in their careers.”

Clark Atlanta University provides a comprehensive array of instructional programs and student support services to meet various educational and career goals and needs of its diverse student population as well as uses numerous assessment strategies for evaluating the success of their achievement. The University sets student achievement goals and measures the success of student achieving those goals based on the following student success criteria. Benchmarks for criteria, along with student performance on each benchmark are part of the University’s Strategic Plan.

Student Success Measures

  1. Retention & Graduation Rates
  2. Course Completions Based on Grade Distribution
  3. Student Placement Rates


  1. RETENTION RATES - Undergraduate
  2. GRADUATION RATES - Undergraduate
  4. TIME-TO-DEGREE – Graduate


Undergraduate retention and graduation rates are built through a series of year-to-year retention rates to graduation rates by cohorts matriculating at CAU each fall.

SOURCE: Banner by Ellucian

RETENTION RATES - Undergraduate

First-time Freshmen Retention: This measure provides the retention rates for first year freshmen returning for second year at CAU.

Benchmark: 61%

Goal 1: Increase retention rate of freshmen student returning for 2nd year to 65% by 2019.

SOURCE: CAU 2009-2013 Trend Book

Retention Rate of Continuing Students: This measure provides term-to-term and year-to-year student retention rate for all continuing students matriculated at CAU.

Benchmark: Avg. Fall to Fall 64%; Avg. Fall to Spring 90%

Goal 2: Increase retention of all students to 70% Fall to Fall and to 95% Fall to Spring by 2019.

SOURCE: Banner by Ellucian

GRADUATION RATES - Undergraduate

6-Year graduation: This measure provides 6-year graduation rates of first-time freshmen by fall cohorts.

Benchmark: 41%

Goal: Increase 6-yr graduation rate for first-time freshmen cohort to 45% by 2019.

SOURCE: Banner by Ellucian


Annual Degree Completions Rate: This measure provides annual success rates for undergraduate students completing program of study and graduating from CAU each year.

Benchmark: 18%

Goal: Increase percent of annual undergraduate graduation to 20% by 2019.

SOURCE: Banner by Ellucian


Rate of Earned Master’s and Doctorate Degrees: This measure is specific to desired outcomes determined by individual programs in terms of time to earn postsecondary master’s or doctorate degrees. Degree completions are tracked by year of matriculation through student time and credit hours toward earning a degree (Graduate Program Length).


  • 5-YR Graduate Master’s Time To Degree – 75%
  • 8 YR- Doctorate Time to Degree – 42%

Goal: Increase time to degree completion GM to 78%; GD to 50% by 2019.

SOURCE: Banner by Ellucian

SOURCE: Banner by Ellucian



Course completion rates are closely linked to other degree progression indicators such as, efficient use of resources, student time, faculty productivity, classes available, etc. University resources are underutilized if they do not yield course credit leading to learning and degree completion.

  1. Course Completion Rates
  2. Capstone Course Passing Rates

Course Completion Rates: This measure provides the overall success rate of students enrolled at CAU based on their performance as indicated by the passing grades they received (i.e. attempted versus passed credits with grades A, B, C, P, S).

Benchmark: Course completions for credit - UG 85%; GD 90%

Goal: Increase course completion rates UG to 90%; GD to 95% by 2019.

SOURCE: Banner by Ellucian

Capstone Course Passing Rates: This measure provides the overall success rate of students in out-of-class performance as indicated by the completion of their thesis, dissertation, internship, portfolio projects.

Benchmark: Capstone course completions for credit - UG 95%; GD 98%

Goal: Increase capstone course passing rates UG to 100%; GD to 100% by 2019.

SOURCE: Banner by Ellucian



  1. Undergraduate Initial Annual Career Placement
  2. Graduate or Professional School Attendance

Undergraduate Initial Annual Career Placement: This measure provides career placement rates of program completers (graduates) and categories of job by industry.

Benchmark: Average Career Services Placement Rate 24%

Goal: Improve programs and services to increase student placement rates by career services to 30% by 2019.

*Based on follow-up survey conducted one year after each undergraduate graduating class.
SOURCE: Career Planning and Placement Center and OPAR

Graduate or Professional School Attendance: This measure provides the overall success rate of CAU graduates preparation in pursuing further education. The rate is measure by 5-year cohort average of graduating classes.

Benchmark: Average graduate school attendance 25%

Goal: Improve programs and services to increase student placement rates for further education to 30% by 2019.

SOURCE: National Student Clearinghouse/OPAR