Facebook Pixel Student Achievement | Western Kentucky University Skip to main content

Student Achievement

WKU is committed to ensuring student achievement as a critical element of its mission to prepare "students of all backgrounds to be productive, engaged, and socially responsible citizen-leaders of a global society."  To that end, the university strategic plan, Challenging the Spirit, incorporates a number of institutional goals related to student achievement and supported by a set of key institutional metrics that monitor progress and drive improvement.  The following table summarizes strategic goals, objectives, and key metrics that bear on student achievement:

Strategic Goal

1. Foster Academic Excellence

1.5. Prepare student for lifelong learning and success.

1.5.1. Total Degrees

2. Promote a Dynamic and Diverse University Community

2.2. Increase student retention, persistence, and timely graduation.


2.3. Make a college education more economically affordable for students from diverse groups.

2.2.1. First-Year Retention Rate (%)

2.2.2. First-Time, Full-Time, Baccalaureate Degree-Seeking Graduation Rate (%)

2.3.3. Average Time to Degree (years)

 Challenging the Spirit establishes 2017-18 attainment targets for each of these student achievement metrics.  WKU annually tracks and reports on progress towards meeting these targets.  The following table summarizes the results of these assessments.

2010-11 Baseline
2017-18 Target  

1.5.1. Total Degrees

3885 4129 4045 4100 4004 4109  4213 4530

2.2.1. First-Year Retention
Rate (%)

73.2 71.3 71.7 73.1  72.4 72.8 70.8 77.0

2.2.2. First-Time, Full-Time, Baccalaureate Degree-Seeking Graduation Rate (%)

49.7 49.7 50.3 50.1  50.0  51.9  50.7 54.0

2.3.3. Average Time to Degree

4.24 4.16 4.19 4.18  4.10  4.07 4.10 4.10

 WKU has also established criteria and thresholds of student achievement related to federal financial aid.  WKU was re-certified for Title IV Student Aid Programs in 2012 based our compliance with regulations described in the Federal Student Aid Handbook, Volume 2 Chapter 3.  Attached is the Program Participation Agreement effective through June 30, 2018. 

Other Indicators of student achievement:

  • The percentage of students that earned A, B, C, or P grades in WKU courses is 84.0%.
  • In the last eight years, WKU's 4-year graduation rate has increased 38%, from 20.7% to 28.5%.
  • The average pass rates of WKU students on Praxis Licensure Content Exams for teacher certification is greater than 96%; the pass rate on the nursing NCLEX-RN exam is 91%.
  • The number of WKU students earning prestigious national scholarships - including Goldwater, Truman, Rhodes, and Marshall scholarships - has increased from 9 in 2010-11 to 43 in 2016-17.
  • The most recent national Survey of Earned Doctorates report ranked WKU in the top 4% of the 736 institutions in its Carnegie peer group in the number of graduates who have gone on to earn research doctorates.

Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 1/19/18