Loyola University New Orleans First Year Experience

Student Achievement

Loyola University New Orleans welcomes students of diverse backgrounds and prepares them to lead meaningful lives with and for others, to pursue wisdom and virtue, and to work for a more just world. Loyola takes seriously the realization of its mission as it works towards student achievement and institutional effectiveness. Consistent with this assertion, the university is committed to assessment and accountability related to student achievement. Student achievement is systematically assessed through a variety of means including course completion indicators such as year-to-year persistence rates and graduation rates, student performance on ETS examinations and state licensing examinations, as well as job placement rates. In accordance with the standards of the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and SACSCOC that institutions disclose their goals for student achievement and the success of students in achieving those goals, the university provides updated information each year after the official census date on the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness website. Loyola focuses on several criteria to demonstrate student achievement, including (but not limited to) retention rates, graduation rates, and job placement rates.

To establish benchmark data for student achievement, Loyola has used the applied statistics method called Statistical Process Control. The methodology followed is that of individual and moving range control charts, visual representation of short and long-term variability. The individual control charts are centered at the average with upper and lower three sigma control limits.

The following control charts have been produced for six-year graduation rates and retention rates at Loyola University New Orleans. 

In all charts, the blue line plots the series of values for Loyola University New Orleans. Generally, while the series of values fall within the control limits, the process is said to be in a state of statistical control. This means that the observed variability in the data is due to random variability. As soon as a value falls outside of the control limits, there is a signal that some assignable source may be causing the process to be out-of-control. The University should immediately investigate the signal to try to remove negative sources of variation. An out-of-control signal can also indicate that a newly instituted policy or intervention has resulted in process improvement. For example, if we see a signal above the upper control limit in either the graduation rate or the retention rate, the University would be very happy as this may indicate that retention and graduation rates have improved beyond the three-sigma random variability limit—a good thing. Certain patterns in the running record can also signal an out-of-control processes that should be investigated, for example several points in a row in the same side of the average in an individual chart.


Lower Limit = 67.51%

Mean = 78%

Upper Limit = 88.09%


Lower Limit = 47.97%

Mean = 62%

Upper Limit = 75.37%


Loyola’s most recent retention data is encouraging, and efforts continue to focus on ways to creatively rethink and reconceptualize program curricula and support services across campus to help keep retention rates high and increase student success.

You can find all official data about Loyola in the University Fact Book.