Transfers to Public Colleges by Degree Level

By Sam Michalowski
Director of Institutional Research
College of Staten Island
 
This bubble graph, created in Tableau, portrays the public colleges to which College of Staten Island freshmen enrolling between 2001 and 2014 transferred before earning a degree. Students’ administrative data records were matched to the National Student Clearinghouse and CUNY University data systems. This graph is used to better understand where CSI students are transferring with an aim of improving student retention. Bubbles add color and size visual dimensions to variable values (in this case, transfer college names) which assists in comparing differences across explicit categories, identifying and explaining outliers and generally facilitating colleagues’ interest in and discussion about a topic.
 
The colored bubbles represent every particular public college to which students in this unit of analysis transferred. They are grouped by two explicit dimensions in this graph, each with two categories. The first dimension is students’ Degree Level before Transfer. CSI is a comprehensive college which offers both associate’s and baccalaureate degree programs at the undergraduate level (as well as specific programs at all graduate levels). The second dimension is the College Sector to which they transferred—either 2- or 4-year—a data point provided by the Clearinghouse. Therefore, students can transfer from CSI at either the associate’s or baccalaureate levels, and, enroll in either 2-year or 4-year colleges. A third dimension implicit to this presentation is the institutional control of the college—in this case, public. (Public or private control is also supplied by the Clearinghouse.) The size of the bubble is weighted by the raw number of students attending each college relative to the chart’s “cell.” Bubble mark labels (transfer college name and total count of transfers) are set manually to reduce label overlap.
 
Note: Tableau is not entirely consistent about displaying the counts of students.

VDD StudentsTransferring.JPG

CSI students transferred to 250 public, 2-year colleges. Most of these are concentrated among a handful of local CUNY community colleges. However, hundreds of students have transferred to a few community colleges in New Jersey which is notable considering that very few CSI students live in that state. Another finding is that baccalaureate students are transferring to 2-year colleges. While that cell has the smallest concentration of students, this reverse transferring behavior may warrant some further exploration.

CSI students also transferred to 196 pubic, 4-year colleges with about equal numbers transferring as associate or baccalaureate degree students. Again, the receiving colleges were predominantly in the CUNY system, but some colleges in the SUNY system stand out (most of which are far outside of the New York City area). SUNY Empire State does have a location on Staten Island and has been receiving larger numbers of CSI students each year as transfers.

Other variations of this bubble graph using the same data resource are planned. They include distribution of transferring to private colleges, state of transfer college, program of transfer, transferring after earning a degree at CSI, and graduation at other colleges including degree level and program.

 View larger version of bubble graph images (PDF opens in new tab). 

 

 

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