University wins national award for success in preparing graduates

At a time when many college grads are found lacking in workforce skills‚ Kennesaw State University…

Georgia (Jan 10, 2008) — University wins national award for success in preparing graduates

Jennifer Hafer


Director of University Relations
Frances Weyand Harrison

Contact/Writer: Jennifer Hafer‚ 770−423−6711 or

KENNESAW‚ Ga. (Jan. 10‚ 2008) — At a time when many college grads are found lacking in workforce skills‚ Kennesaw State University received national accolades recently for producing competent college graduates.

Kennesaw State was one of only three institutions of higher learning nationally to receive the “2008 CHEA Award for Institutional Progress in Student Learning Outcomes.” Bestowed by the Washington−based Council for Higher Education Accreditation‚ the award recognizes success in developing‚ applying and maintaining evidence of student learning outcomes.

CHEA recognized KSU’s accomplishments in preparing students for the 21st century workforce. These accomplishments include:

  • For the last five years‚ more than 90 percent of nursing graduates have passed their licensing exams – a passing rate higher than the national average;
  • From 2001 through 2004‚ nearly 98 percent of 2‚268 teaching candidates passed exams for their degree programs;
  • Nearly all graduates were employed – 96 percent of bachelor degree recipients‚ 92 percent of master of business administration candidates and 92 percent of all other graduates;
  • Median salaries were close to $80‚000 for MBA graduates; and
  • Nearly three−fourths of bachelor degree holders and MBA graduates were employed in a field related to their majors. An equally high percentage of all other graduates reported that their education at KSU was beneficial in their current careers.

“This award demonstrates that Kennesaw State is among the leaders nationally to demonstrate our students know and are able to do what we expect them to do before they graduate‚” said Thomas P. Pusateri‚ associate director of Kennesaw State’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

A national concern about accountability in higher education stems from a highly critical 2006 commission appointed by Education Secretary Margaret Spellings. Its report‚ “A Test of Leadership‚” concludes U.S. higher education was resting on its laurels and needs “to improve in dramatic ways.”

“Over the past decade‚ literacy among college graduates has actually declined‚” the report said. “Unacceptable numbers of college graduates enter the workforce without the skills employers say they need in an economy where‚ as the truism holds correctly‚ knowledge matters more than ever.”

In 2003‚ KSU established its Assurance of Learning Initiative to enhance assessment of both general education and discipline−specific student learning outcomes within each degree program. The AOL initiative is strategically integrated with other university initiatives‚ including Comprehensive Program Review‚ faculty development in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and the university’s Quality Enhancement Plan‚ called “Global Learning for Engaged Citizenship.”

“During my first year at KSU‚ we began the Assurance of Learning program as a way to develop a meaningful process to assess student learning outcomes‚” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Lendley C. Black said. “I am very pleased that the Council for Higher Education Accreditation selected KSU for this prestigious award.”

Kennesaw State’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning was chosen from a pool of 31 applications. CETL provides leadership‚ support and advocacy of initiatives designed to enhance learning through teaching and scholarship. Other 2008 winners include the academic affairs department at Hocking College in Ohio and Seton Hall’s Stillman School of Business in New Jersey.

Moving forward‚ a key measurement of student success will be global learning‚ according to CETL’s Pusateri.

“Within five years‚ we want global learning for all ideally‚ but practically‚ we want to show we have a large number of students who have the knowledge‚ skills and attitudes to succeed in a global environment.”

For further information‚ please contact Jennifer Hafer‚ 770−423−6711 or


A member of the 35−unit University System of Georgia‚ Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population of more than 20‚000 from 132 countries. The third−largest university in Georgia‚ Kennesaw State offers more than 60 graduate and undergraduate degrees‚ including a new doctorate in education.



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit