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Institution Set Standards

ACCJC Accreditation Standard I.B.3 states that:

"the institution establishes institution-set standards for student achievement, appropriate to its mission, assesses how well it is achieving them in pursuit of continuous improvement, and publishes this information"

In 2016, American River College adopted a consistent College-wide methodology for computing Institution-Set Standards. Institution-Set Standards are computed by first taking the average of the preceding 3 years (not including the current year). Then a 95% Confidence Interval is constructed around this preceding 3-year average. The lower limit of this 95% Confidence Interval is formally recognized as the Institution-Set Standard (the minimum standard below which actions should be taken). In 2017, American River College formally recognized the upper limit of the 95% Confidence Interval as the Stretch Goal (an aspirational goal).

As the Institution-Set Standard and Stretch Goal depend on the preceding 3 years for their computation (i.e., a rolling 3-year period), the standard and stretch goal vary from year to year. Each spring, the Institution-Set Standard and Stretch Goal are computed and then compared to the most recent year to assess institutional effectiveness in student achievement (e.g., Successful course completion rates, number of certificates, number of degrees, number of transfers, job placement rates, & licensure rates*).

Over the last 5 years, ARC has consistently met or exceeded the Institution-Set Standard for successful course completion rates and number of degrees. ARC exceeded the Institution-Set Standard for certificates in every year except 2018-19, and for transfers in every year except 2018-2019. ARC once exceeded the stretch goal for successful course completion in 2016-17 (2016-17 actual: 74% vs 2016-17 stretch goal: 73%).

The ARC Institution-Set Standards Annual Report provides comprehensive results for the 2020-2021 academic year (adopted by the Institutional Effectiveness Council, April 18th, 2022). 

The institution-set standards reporting form summary provides an overview of actions that programs have or will be taking to improve outcomes as well as a listing of external factors that may have affected these outcomes. The institutional implications of these actions were also taken into account by college governance councils and teams.

*Programs where students are required to pass national, state, or other licensure exams to qualify for employment in their chosen field annually report their licensure exam pass rates and compare them to Institution-Set Standards and Stretch Goals. Department chairs for each program are responsible for providing licensure exam data. These Institution-Set Standards and Stretch Goals are set by the individual programs.