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James Madison University evaluates success with respect to student achievement consistent with its mission to include educational attainment as reflected in retention, progression and graduation rates, active student engagement related to enlightened citizenship, and student achievement in professional and further educational pursuits [Mission].  

Degree Programs

View the list of degree programs offered at the university with the associated CIP code [Degree Programs].

Retention, Course Completion and Graduation 

JMU has an average six-year graduation rate of 80% or more. The target for this performance measure is 80%. JMU ranks very high when compared with other Carnegie Master's Institutions and Doctoral/Research Universities with more than 2,000 first-time freshmen. To maintain an average graduation rate of 80%, targets for retention of students after 1, 2 and 3 years are 91%, 85% and 83%, respectively. 

The following tables present the return rates for fall entering first year students from 2010 to the present and the graduation rates for fall entering first year students from 2010-14. 

Table 1: Return Rates for Fall Entering Freshman Class
Cohort Year Enrolled Percent of Cohort Enrolled After
(Retention Target)
1 Year
(90%)
2 Years
(85%)
3 Years
(83%)

2010

4,001

91.3%

86.7%

83.5%

2011

4,029

91.4%

87.2%

84.4%

2012

4,325

92.3%

88.1%

85.4%

2013

4,202

92.4%

87.6%

84.8%

2014

4,364

91.0%

85.6%

83.0%

2015

4,408

91.2%

86.2%

82.9%

2016

4,505

90.2%

84.9%

81.8%

2017

4,668

90.4%

84.8%
2018

4,541

89.1%
2019 4,455

 

Table 2: Graduation Rates for Fall Entering Freshman Class

Cohort Year

Enrolled

Percent Graduated

4 Year

5 Years

6 Years

2010

4,001

65%

80%

82%

2011

4,029

66%

81%

83%

2012

4,325

67%

82% 84%
2013 4,202 68% 83%
2014 4,364 67%

These data indicate that JMU is meeting its targets for retention and graduation rates, consistently retaining and graduating 80% or more of each entering first year cohort within a six-year period. 

Licensure and Certification

Certain professional programs require graduates to take licensure or certification exams upon program completion. Information on pass rates and performance of JMU graduates of the athletic training, audiology, nursing, occupational therapy, physician assistant, speech language pathology and teacher education programs follows in the descriptions by program. Consistently across all program areas, graduates have strong, high performance indicative of academic success.

Accounting

Graduates of the Accounting program take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam, one of the most challenging professional examinations at the national level. JMU's minimum target for the CPA exam is the national pass rate average, which compares our graduates to national peers. The aspirational target for the pass rate is 75% and was selected because JMU ranks among the 20 best programs nationally in first time pass rates for programs with 20 or more students registering for the CPA exam. Table 3 depicts the test results by accounting graduates of JMU’s Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredited College of Business. The results are reported by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and are published on a calendar year basis. NASBA reporting does not correlate with specific graduation cohorts; students complete all four sections of the exam within an 18-month period.

Table 3: Accounting CPA Exam Pass Rates

Year

Number Sitting for the Exam

Pass Rate

National Pass Rate

2014

165

72.7%

49.5%

2015

150

74.7%

48.4%

2016

182

70.6%

48.7%

2017

179

75.4%

48.3%

2018

173

80.6%

N/A

 

Athletic Training Program

Graduates of the athletic training program are not required to take the national examination administered by the Board of Certification as part of the JMU program; however, most do. JMU's minimum target is 70%, which is the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Trainin (CAATE) first time pass rate standard. The aspirational target for the pass rate is 100% and was selected because our program has routinely met that target. The reported pass rates, as shown in Table 4, indicate that graduates of the program are well prepared.

Table 4: Athletic Training Exam Pass Rates

Year

Number of Program Graduates

Number of Graduates Sitting for Exam

First Time Takers

Pass

Repeat Takers

Pass

Total Number of Cohort Certified

National First Time Pass Rates 

2015-16

17

17

17 (100%)

0

17 (100%)

82.7%

2016-17

14

14

14 (100%)

0

14 (100%)

NA

2017-18

18

18

16

0

89%

89.3%/69.3%

2018-19

17

17 16 1 100% 77.8%
2019-20

16

15 13 1 93% N/A

 

Audiology Program

Graduates of the Audiology program are not required to complete a national exam. Graduates who plan to pursue employment in the K-12 sector typically take the Praxis. Pass rates and a comparison of JMU average scores to the national average, the identified target, are shown in Table 5 for graduates completing the Praxis.

Table 5: Audiology Praxis Exam Pass Rates

Year

Number Sitting for Exam

Number Passing/
Pass Rate

2015-16

6 6 (100%)

2016-17

6 6 (100%)

2017-18

6 6 (100%)

2018-19

5 5 (100%)

2019-20

6 6 (100%)

 

Nursing

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) program and the Nurse Practitioner (N.P.) concentration of the Masters of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) program require certification and licensure for practice. B.S.N. graduates take the National Council Licensure EXamination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN), and M.S.N.-N.P. graduates take the appropriate specialty exam through the American Association of Nurse Practitioners of the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) sets the expected pass rates for all certificate and/or licensure tests at 80%. JMU's minimum target is the national pass rate average (80%), which compares our graduates to national peers. The aspirational target for the pass rate is 90% and was selected to reflect our commitment to exceed the national norms. The first-time takers pass rates for the B.S.N. and M.S.N.-N.P. programs are reported in Table 6. The results indicate strong and consistently high performance and success of graduates from the university’s CCNE accredited programs.

Table 6: Nursing NCLEX Exam Pass Rates

Year

B.S.N

M.S.N.-N.P.

Pass Rate 

Pass Rate 

2013

88% 119 93% 20

2014

94% 117 91% 12

2015

93% 171 82% 11

2016

84.4% 167 100% 16

2017

94.7% 171 95% 21

2018

97.2% 179 90% 20

2019

96.4% 168 95% 21

 

Occupational Therapy

Graduates of the Occupational Therapy program take the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification exam. JMU's minimum target is the national pass rate average, which compares our graduates to national peers. The aspirational target for the pass rate is 83 and was selected because the national pass rate ranges from 81 to 82% over the last 4 years. Table 7 shows these students are well prepared. Note: Testing delays due to the pandemic may have reduced first time pass rate for the cohort who graduated in December 2019. Some students tested as late as summer and fall 2020. 

Table 7: Occupational Therapy Exam Pass Rates

Year

Number of Cohort

Graduates

First Time Takers Pass

(N; %)

Repeat Takers Pass (N;%)

Total Number of Cohort Certified

2015-16

25 22 (88%) 3 (12%) 25 (100%)

2016-17

24 21 (87.5%) 3 (12.5%) 24 (100%)

2017-18

20 N/A N/A 20 (100%)

2018-19

22 18 (82%) 4 (18%) 22 (100%)

2019-20

25 19 (76%) 6 (24%) 25 (100%)

 

Public Health Education Concentration

The curriculum included in the Public Health Education concentration is designed to help students develop the knowledge and skills included in the seven areas of professional responsibilities as outlined by the National Commission on Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC).  NCHEC's voluntary professional certification program establishes a national standard for individual health education practitioners.  Students in the Public Health Education concentration are well prepared and fully qualified to take the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam in the spring of their senior year or any time after they graduate.  The CHES exam is not a required certification for completion of the concentration.

Table 8: Certified Health Education Specialist Exam Pass Rates

Year

Number of Program Graduates (n)

Number of Graduates Sitting for Exam (n)

First Time Takers Pass 
n (%)

Total Number of Cohort Certified
n (%)

2013-14

48

26

25 (96.15%)

1,586 (68.84%)

2014-15

43

42

31 (73.80%)

1,722 (67.29%)

2015-16

55

28

26 (92.86%)

1,716 (63.55%)

2016-17

58

32

27 (84.38%)

1,640 (65.75%)

2017-18

33

16

15 (93.75%)

1,535 (61.60%)

 

Physician Assistant Program

Graduates of the physician assistant program take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. JMU's minimum target is >90% pass rate for first-time test takers annually. The aspirational target for the pass rate is 100% and was selected because it compares our graduates to national peers. Graduates of the program are well prepared, as demonstrated in Table 9 by meeting or exceeding the target national pass rates.

Table 9: Physician Assistant Exam Pass Rates

Year

Number of Graduates

First Time Takers Pass

(N; %)

National Pass Rate 1st Time Takers

Repeat Takers

Pass (N; %)

Total Number of Cohort Certified

2015

24 24 (100%) 96% 0 24 (100%)

2016

30 29 (97%) 96% 1 (100%) 30 (100%)

2017

30 30 (100%) 97% 0 30 (100%)

2018

30 28 (93%) 98% 2 (100%) 30 (100%)

2019

27 27 (100%) 93% 0 27 (100%)

 

Speech Language Pathology Program

Graduates of the Speech-Language Pathology program must take and pass the appropriate Praxis examination to successfully complete the graduate program. The pass rates for these graduates and comparisons of average JMU scores to national averages, which are the identified targets, are presented in Table 10. The results indicate that the graduates of this program are well prepared.

Table 10: Speech Language Pathology Praxis Exam Pass Rates

Year

Number Sitting for Exam

Number Passing/

Pass Rate

2015-16
Residential/
Distance

30
24
30 (100%)
24 (100%)

2016-17
Residential/
Distance

32
n/a
32 (100%)

2017-18
Residential/
Distance

34
18
34 (100%)
18 (100%)

2018-19
Residential/
Distance

25 25 (100%)

2019-20
Residential/
Distance

28
15
28 (100%)
15 (100%)

 

Teacher Education

Successful completion of all approved and accredited teacher education programs at JMU and in the Commonwealth of Virginia (except Special Education and English as Second Language) require passing the appropriate Praxis 2 exam. Table 11 depicts Praxis 2 data for 2016-17 by licensure program as reported on the annual Title II report required by the Higher Education Act.  The target pass rate is 100%. 

Table 11: Teacher Education Preparation Exam Results

2016-17

 

 

 

 

Teacher Preparation Program(s)

Praxis Subject Assessment

N completing licensure program

Takers

JMU % Pass

Art

Art: Content Knowledge (5134)

10

10

100%

Biology

Biology: Content Knowledge (5235)

5

5

 

Chemistry

Chemistry: Content Knowledge (5245)

2

2

 

Earth and Space Science

Earth and Space Science: Content Knowledge (5571)

1

1

 

Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education and Inclusive Early Childhood Education

Elementary Education: Mathematics (5003)

142

142

100%

Elementary Education: Science (5005)

142

142

100%

Elementary Education: Social Studies (5004)

142

142

100%

Elementary Education: Reading/Language Arts (5002)

142

142

100%

English

English Language: Content Knowledge (5038)

23

23

100%

French

French World Language (5174)

2

2

 

History and Social Science

Social Studies: Content Knowledge (5081)

9

9

 

Math

Mathematics: Content Knowledge (5161)

12

11

92%*

Middle Education

Middle School English Language Arts (5047)

3

3

Middle School Mathematics (5169)

6

6

Middle School Social Studies (5089)

7

7

Middle School Science (0439)

4

4

Physical Health Education

Health and Physical Education: Content Knowledge (5856)

10

10

100%

Music Instrumental and Music Vocal

Music Content Knowledge (5113)

36

36

100%

Physics

Physics: Content Knowledge (5265)

1

1

 

Spanish

Spanish: World Language (5195)

4

4

Completers without Praxis Subject Assessment Requirements

N completing licensure program

English as Second Language

 4

Special Education: Early Childhood

 1

Special Education: General Curriculum K12

15

Special Education: Adapted Curriculum K12

 8

 

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