The Student Achievement Measure

SAM.jpgShouldn’t your institution receive full credit for all student success? Traditional measures of student success—limited to full-time, first-time students—severely underreport student success at many colleges and universities. The Student Achievement Measure (SAM) Project is the talk of the town; if your institution isn’t already taking part, you will surely be asked about this program in the future.  

SAM is designed to enhance transparency and provide a more comprehensive measure of college student progress and completion. It tracks student movement across postsecondary institutions and includes two models: one for bachelor’s degree-seeking students and one for associate/certificate-seeking students. 

SAM is an alternative to the federal graduation rate, which does not account for an increasingly mobile student population. SAM allows colleges and universities to deliver more complete pictures of student progress along the paths to earning degrees or certificates. A key source of data for SAM is the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit organization whose data collection covers 95% of student enrollments in postsecondary education. 

To date, more than 270 institutions participate in this project sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the American Council on Education (ACE), the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). 

This program is free and voluntary; visit the SAM website to learn more.  

Join the conversation. How is your institution tracking student achievement? 



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Total Comments: 1
Indira posted on 12/12/2013 2:55 PM
We have been tracking our leavers beyond our institution for a while using NSC and we do know how many of our leavers graduate elsewhere. However, from institutional perspective, it is not clear how we should read this data. Clearly, it is not something we can use in our marketing publications.