Student Achievement

The particular mission of Christendom College, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels, is to “‘restore all things in Christ,’ by forming men and women to contribute to the Christian renovation of the temporal order.”  This mission heavily informs the decision making behind the goals, outcomes, and measurements used to gauge student success.


Undergraduate program

Christendom College has identified three primary measures of achievement for its undergraduate students: First-Year Retention Rate, Four-Year 150% Graduation Rate, and Six-Month Employment Statistics. These measures quantify the success of the College in carrying out its particular mission.

Student Retention Rates

Table 1: Freshman Retention Rates

The College considers such a measure appropriate because it indicates that the College has met the freshman students’ expectations, so the College’s representation of itself in recruitment and advertising material is a good representation of reality.

  • Threshold: Based on historical data (2015-2017), Christendom College has determined a baseline threshold of 87% per year.
  • Goal: Christendom College has committed to matching or exceeding the average of Virginia public colleges and universities. Virginia public colleges and universities are chosen, instead of private, because in Virginia the former tend to have more selective admissions standards than do the latter and so in the aggregate are more similar to Christendom than are the private, less selective colleges.
Cohort Entered:Fall 2016Fall 2017Fall 2018Fall 2019 Fall 2020 Fall 2021 Fall 2022
Christendom College 1st year Retention
Virginia Public Colleges and Universities Average
1st  year Retention

n/a = not yet available from our data sources
Data sources: State Council for Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV)


Table 2: Christendom College Student 6-Year Graduation Rates

Christendom College reports the “Baccalaureate/4 Yr – Number Completed within 6 years” to SACSCOC, its accrediting agency; these numbers translate into the “Baccalaureate/ 4 Yr 150% Graduation rate” and are used nationally as a measure of graduation rate.

  • Threshold: Based on the College’s historical data (2002-2017), Christendom has determined a baseline threshold of 67% overall.
  • Goal:  Christendom College has committed to matching or exceeding the average of Virginia public colleges and the national average for non-profit institutions.
Cohort First Entered:Fall 2012Fall 2013Fall 2014Fall 2015Fall 2016Fall 2017
Christendom College 150% Graduation Rate

VA 150% Graduation Rate –  Public Institutions


National 150% Graduation Rate – Non-Profit Institutions


n/a = not yet available from our data sources
Data sources: State Council for Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV); National Center for Education Statistics NCES).


Employment Statistics for Graduates

Table 3: 6-month Employment Statistics

Data gathered from the 6-month out survey. This is a survey sent to the graduating class every November, six months after they have graduated.

Year Graduated:201720182019202020212022
Response Rate: 94% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
% Employed or in Graduate Schools: 89% 96.2% 98.4% 98.8% 97.5% 98.9%
% Employed in Positions Needing B.A.: 37% 75.5% 65.6% 68.5% 84%70.1%
% in Graduate School: 11% 16.1% 8% 11.2% 10% 9.5%

As noted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities in 2014, the unemployment rate for recent liberal arts graduates was 5.2%.


graduate program

The Graduate School of Christendom College has identified three primary measures of student achievement: success rate on the comprehensive exam, graduation rate, and student satisfaction statistics. These measures help to quantify the success of the Graduate School in carrying out its particular mission.

Success Rate on Comprehensive Exam

Success rates on the comprehensive exam reflect students’ achievement relative to the mission because performance on the comprehensive exam is one important indicator of intellectual preparedness, which is necessary for a life spent in pursuit of truth and wisdom. Performance on the exam also indicates students’ aptitude at expressing knowledge orally and in writing, which is necessary for them to be informed and articulate members of Christ’s Church and society.

The success threshold regarding the first criterion is a pass rate of 95% with at least 10% earning a P+ and not more than 10% earning a P-.

Table 1: Comprehensive Exam Results 2014–2021


Marginal Pass


2014–2015: 0% 10%80% 10%
2015–2016: 0% 0% 88% 12%
2016–2017: 5% 16%63% 16%
2017–2018:0% 11%65% 24%
2018–2019:0% 7% 73% 20%
2019–2020:0%11% 68% 21%
2020-20217%14%58% 21%
2021-20220%23%71% 6%

Graduation Rate

Individualized graduation rate is determined by dividing the number of students admitted in a given year who graduate by the total number of students admitted in that year. For example, 22 of the 53 students admitted in the 2013-14 academic year had graduated as of the Summer of 2022, yielding a graduation rate of 42%. This is exactly on target with our benchmark for assessing graduation rate, which is 42% and comparable with peer institutions. We postulate a dip in graduation rate for students admitted during the 2016-17 academic year due to the disruptive COVID-19 pandemic, which occurred right as most of these students were entering the final phase of their studies. Due to the particular demographic we serve (mainly part-time students balancing their studies against full-time employment), the average completion time for the master of arts degree is 5 years. Therefore, the table below presents admissions data through 2018, since most students admitted since that time are still working on their master’s degrees.

Table 2: Graduation Rate

Admission YearNumber of AdmissionsNumber of Graduates (as of Summer 2022)Graduation Rate

student satisfaction metrics

“Student Satisfaction Metrics” refers to the results of an exit survey which the Graduate School asks graduating students to complete in order to measure student satisfaction.   On the exit survey, students are asked a battery of questions on areas pertaining to their experience within the MA program.

The success threshold for the third criterion, concerning the exit survey, is an aggregate score of 4 out of 5 across the relevant question batteries which treat the Catholic identity of the program, the academic quality of the program, and students’ development and research competency.

Table 3: Student Satisfaction, The 2018-2021 Survey Results

Question batteryScore
Catholic Identity4.87
Academic Quality4.68
Student Development and Research Competency4.12