Essential Steps for States                                      UNIFORMLY MEASURE                                     PROG...
UNIFORMLY MEASURE                                              Essential Steps for States      PROGRESS AND SUCCESS     an...
UNIFORMLY MEASURE                                            Essential Steps for States      PROGRESS AND SUCCESS     and ...
UNIFORMLY MEASURE                                            Essential Steps for States                                   ...
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Cca essential steps common measures of progress


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Cca essential steps common measures of progress

  1. 1. Essential Steps for States UNIFORMLY MEASURE PROGRESS AND SUCCESS Measure progress and success: Collect and publicly report data on students, colleges, and the state using key metrics that can help drive improvement in college completion.COMPLETECOLLEGE WHY MEASURE PROGRESS n The public — including students andAMERICA’S GOAL: AND SUCCESS? their families — needs consistent,By 2020, six out of What we measure signals what we value. straightforward information about10 young adults When it comes to college completion, common how well colleges are serving students metrics empower leaders to use data to like them so they can make informedin our country diagnose the obstacles students face and decisions about where to invest theirwill have a identify opportunities for improvement. And valuable time and tuition degree or they reveal progress as soon as it’s made, encouraging students and schools to stay n States and colleges need data that enablecredential of value. on track or make adjustments quickly. Most them to establish a fair baseline, show important, good metrics help hold everyone progress over time, make meaningful involved — students, institutions, systems, comparisons, and provide accountability and the state — accountable for success. that helps push all stakeholders to share in the responsibility of wisely spending Effective information on college completion the tax dollars invested in education. must be publicly reported, comparable College graduation and retention information across campuses and states, and consistently currently collected and reported by the measured and collected from year to year. Integrated Postsecondary Data System Common metrics — uniformly designed and (IPEDS) falls short of what policymakers applied — help us frame our data collection toU.S. students don’t just need to have a comprehensive picture of be most useful for driving change. Moreover,need to go to college; college completion in their state and on theirthey need to complete adopting and reporting these common metrics campuses. While all institutions report datacollege. Access has unifies us in a shared goal and communicates to IPEDS, critical data are missing, and thisimproved — we are our commitment to doing the hard work inhibits meaningful understanding, diagnosis,sending more students necessary to bring about improvement. Now and higher education more than ever, the collective success of our— but success has country depends on the mutual pledge to help IPEDS does not collect and report thedeclined. more students make it to graduation day. following data for all states and campuses:In just 10 years, six of n Policymakers need information about n Graduation rates for part-time10 new jobs will require how well the state is educating its students. Even though they make upa college education, future workforce and how the state’s more than a third of all college studentsbut fewer than half ofstudents who enter investment in higher education is paying and more than 60 percent of those atcollege today finish with off. public two-year schools, the federala degree or credential. n Campus leaders need the tools to analyze government doesn’t count them.Those who do complete patterns in the success of their students, n Graduation rates for transfercollege are taking diagnose problems, and develop students. It is impossible to recognizelonger, paying more, appropriate interventions. the valuable role of community collegesand graduating withmore debt. and branch campuses as effective WWW.COMPLETECOLLEGE.ORG
  2. 2. UNIFORMLY MEASURE Essential Steps for States PROGRESS AND SUCCESS and affordable entry points to higher Progress metrics. To complete college, education if we fail to track the success of students must successfully pass through those who transfer. a series of key milestones. Research has identified a number of interim achievements n Graduation rates for low-income that are strongly linked to student success, students. Billions are invested each year and progress metrics measure these indicators. to improve access to college for low- Measuring and understanding these factors income students without ever knowing if is an essential part of designing interventions these students are ultimately successful. that will improve college completion. n Graduation rates for remedial students. With about 40 percent of Key progress metrics are: all students requiring some type of n Remediation entry and success: 41 special assistance to address academic percent of all students enter college shortcomings — and billions spent needing remedial education, at an annual each year to deliver it — it is vital that national cost of $2.5 to $3 billion. Yet we know if the extra help is producing evidence is mixed on the effectiveness graduates. If it isn’t, we must fix it. of remedial education, and mostAs important, IPEDS does not capture data states don’t have the data they need toon critical milestones of students’ progress diagnose and monitor the tremendousthrough college: entry and success in remedial investment states, colleges, and studentseducation, success in first-year courses, credit are making in remediation. Statesaccumulation, and the amount of time and should collect data on the number andcredits it takes to earn a degree or certificate. percentage of entering students who place into remedial education, as wellWAYS TO MEASURE PROGRESS AND as their success in completing first-yearSUCCESS classes.States should measure and report outcomes n Success in first-year college courses:as well as progress toward those outcomes. Whether students begin in remediationStates and colleges should disaggregate these or in regular credit-bearing courses,data — by gender, race/ethnicity, Pell Grant first-year gateway courses in math andrecipients, age group, and full- or part-time English are often barriers to success.enrollment status — to learn how critical Research shows that the sooner studentssubgroups of students are performing. get through first-year courses in coreStates and institutions should focus on subjects, the more likely they are tomeasuring improvement over time as well as complete college.transparently and publicly reporting progress n Credit accumulation: The numberand success. And they should use the data to of credits students accumulate eachidentify both barriers to student achievement year strongly predicts their ultimateand actions that can lead to improved student success in completing a degree orsuccess. certificate. It’s common sense, and it’s been substantiated by research showingCritical metrics that drive improvement in that the intensity with which studentscollege completion fall into two categories: enroll in college courses and accumulateprogress metrics and outcome metrics. credits correlates with success. States 2
  3. 3. UNIFORMLY MEASURE Essential Steps for States PROGRESS AND SUCCESS and colleges should know how many completion goals, state and campus leaders students are moving through courses and need to know their success rates, whether programs at a rate that ensures they will outcomes are improving over time, and if so, be able to complete — and to complete whether they are improving quickly enough. on time without wasted courses and years. Key outcome metrics are: n Retention rates: If colleges can identify n Degrees awarded annually: Is the state the students who are least likely to return making adequate progress toward its for a second year, they can actively goal of producing more college graduates work to better engage those students each year? States need to look at the during their first year. Retention rates number of degrees and certificates every disaggregated by key demographics campus is awarding each year, by sector can be a powerful diagnostic tool for and among critical student groups, so colleges and systems and can give states that all levels of the higher education an annual look at how successful colleges system move in the right direction. The are at keeping the students they enroll. focus should be on improvement from year to year. n Time and credits to degree: Excess courses — and often, the unnecessary n Graduation rates: The graduation extra years of college that result from rate is the percentage of students who them — waste resources for students, entered a college or university seeking institutions, and the state. For students, a certificate or degree and attained the delays mean forgone income and that goal. Both states and campuses wasted tuition dollars. For campuses, need graduation rate data that reflect students’ taking courses in excess of all students — including full-time and what students need to graduate results in part-time and those who transfer — and lost resources, cramped classrooms, and the data must be disaggregated to show limited capacity for incoming students. which populations within the state are For states, credit hours taken in excess of underrepresented on graduation day. graduation requirements cost taxpayers Policymakers should focus on whether millions of dollars each year. To help their state’s graduation rate is high advance policies and practices that enough for the state to meet its overall accelerate student success, colleges and education attainment goals. states need data that show how many n Transfer rates: A state’s economic credits students are accumulating along future depends on having more students the way to earning a degree, which of complete college and earn credentials those credits are necessary, and which are of value in the workforce. To make sure superfluous. state policy is supporting this goal, statesOutcome metrics. Ultimately, states and and systems must know how manycolleges are accountable for the successful students successfully transfer each yearoutcomes of students enrolled on their from two-year to four-year campusescampuses. To make meaningful annual — and if some student groups have lessprogress toward statewide and campus success transferring than others. 3
  4. 4. UNIFORMLY MEASURE Essential Steps for States PROGRESS AND SUCCESS Disaggregation. Most states are facing a Meeting targeted goals for producing simple economic and demographic reality: additional graduates with degrees or They cannot meet future workforce needs certificates in specific fields, such as more without graduating more students from STEM graduates or graduates with certificates communities and populations who have been in high-demand health fields, requires that historically underrepresented among college states also can disaggregate annual degree graduates. States and campuses must have production and graduation rate data by the ability to analyze all of these metrics for discipline and degree type. specific targeted populations to effectively close achievement gaps and ensure the Available data. Don’t make perfect the economic growth that will benefit everyone in enemy of the good: Most of the measures the state. Data should be disaggregated by: outlined above can be collected from available data. While many states have extensive data n Gender systems already in place and can collect these data immediately, others will need to piece n Race/Ethnicity together the data from their institutions and n Income (using Pell Grant eligibility as a use the National Student Clearinghouse to proxy for income) supplement data collection where necessary.Complete College n Age groups Complete College America can provideAmerica is a national technical assistance to help states find andnonprofit organization n Full-time, part-time, and transfer collect data to report on these critical metrics.working with states to studentssignificantly increase thenumber of Americanswith a college degreeor credential of valueand to close attainmentgaps for traditionallyunderrepresentedpopulations.Five national foundationsare providing multiyearsupport to CompleteCollege America: theCarnegie Corporationof New York, the Bill& Melinda GatesFoundation, the FordFoundation, the W.K.Kellogg Foundation, andLumina Foundation forEducation.Additional information anddata sources are available 4