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SCO monitors how each student progresses through its four-year professional program. As shown in our data, SCO has excellent retention and graduation rates that exceed our goals of 95% for both metrics.
The retention rate is the percentage of SCO’s first-time, first-year professional students who continue at SCO the next year. For example, a student who is full-time in the fall semester and stays in the program at the beginning of the next academic year is counted in this rate. The goal of SCO for retention is that 95% or more of all students who enter the program will return through year four.
*Retention numbers only include students who remain continuously enrolled with their cohorts. These students may graduate with a different cohort.
The graduation rate is the percentage of SCO’s first-time, first year professional students who complete their program within 150% of the published time for the program. Students enter the professional program at the Southern College of Optometry in cohorts and normally complete the program in four years. SCO has the goal that an average of 95% or more of all entering students will graduate in 6 years. As seen in the chart below, SCO has met its goals for cohorts entering from 2011-2015 (green shading). The cohort entering in 2016 has incomplete data (pink shading).