Institutional outcomes are regularly assessed using multiple strategies that include both direct and indirect measures of student learning. The assessment program indicates that CDU’s degree programs produce their intended outcomes, are educationally effective, and produce satisfied students who are well-equipped to teach the Faith. The results of the latest assessment are a testament to our mission to communicate the mind and heart of the Church in a digital world using distance education.
MA (Theology) students who graduated in 2020 achieved an average GPA of 3.90 over an average of 4.9 years. Eighty-nine percent of those who graduated from 2014–2020 are currently in Church-related ministries. For the 2019–2020 terms, students successfully achieved each MA program outcome, and the retention rate was 93.3% for the MA (Theology) degree program and 100% for the MA in Theology and Educational Ministry degree program.
The 2020 graduates of the BA in Theology degree completion program fulfilled program requirements with an average GPA of 3.61 over an average of 3.8 years. Most students who enroll in the program either are seeking a Church-related ministry or desire to study the Faith more deeply to participate in volunteer ministries in their parishes in the future. Of the 2016–2020 alumni, 80% of undergraduate alumni are working or volunteering in Church-related ministries. For the 2019–2020 academic terms, students successfully achieved each BA program outcome, and the retention rate was 87.2%.
In 2020, those who received the Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Catholic Studies were awarded the degree with an average GPA of 3.76 over an average of 3.8 years. For the 2019–2020 terms, students successfully achieved each AA program outcome, and the retention rate was 84.4%.
One-hundred percent of students completing end of program surveys in 2020 stated that they had achieved their learning goals, would recommend CDU to another, expressed satisfaction with their studies, and indicated that they are equipped to teach the Faith.
From fall 2019 to December 2020, the number of program students increased 11.2%. Beyond the numbers, outcome must ultimately be measured in the way that alumni use their gifts and talents in service to the Church — whether that be formally or informally. Perhaps the most significant effectiveness statement is that CDU has been an accredited distance education institution for more than 37 years, being the first to offer online Catholic education in the United States, and is committed to educating students in Catholic theology, catechetics, and evangelization for years to come.