• IR In The Know
  • 02.20.19

Completing College: A National View of Student Completion Rates

  • by eAIR

IR in the Know keeps you up to date on current and emerging issues related to higher education data collection, analyses, and reporting with a brief summary of topics and links to more detailed information. IR in the Know is presented in three categories: (1) Reports and Tools offers summaries of resources and research useful to IR professionals; (2) Emerging Topics presents information on developing ideas and discussions from the field; and (3) Policy Watch alerts readers to national policy news and topics that may warrant attention. We welcome your feedback and suggestions. If you discover a resource or article you think might be useful to other IR professionals, please send an email to irintheknow@airweb.org

Reports & Tools

Completing College: A National View of Student Completion Rates - Fall 2012 Cohort (Casey Kerins)

Findings from the seventh annual Signature report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center show more students than ever are successfully completing college in the U.S. Major findings also include slow but steady progress in closing the completion gap for Black and Hispanic students.
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Report on Persistence (Eric Atchison)
This report examines the trend of community college students transferring to selective four-year institutions, and studies their persistence post-transfer. Patterns and outcomes are analyzed of students transferring from two-year colleges versus those transferring between four-year institutions. Notably, at the 100 most selective colleges, 14 percent of students transfer in, but only 5 percent have transferred from a community college.
The Institute for College Access & Success - Of Metrics and Markets: Measuring Post-College Employment Success (Angela Henderson)
This report details existing requirements that govern the calculation and provision of employment metrics for each of the three entities tasked with oversight of the U. S. higher education system: accrediting agencies, state governments, and the federal government. The report documents challenges to comparability, accuracy, and accessibility where employment metrics are currently provided, and recommends federal and state level policy changes that must be made for job placement and threshold earnings metrics to live up to their potential to provide students with useful information.
National Student Clearinghouse Research Center - Completing College: A National View of Student Completion Rates (Angela Henderson)
This seventh annual report on national college completion rates offers a look at the six-year outcomes for students who began postsecondary education in fall 2012. It looks at the various pathways students took toward degree completion, as well as the completion rates through spring 2018 for the different groups of students who followed each pathway.

Emerging Trends

Hanover Research - Trends in Higher Education: 2019 (Angela Henderson)

This report examines current issues challenging higher education institutions in areas such as enrollment management, academic college-career skill gap, diversity and inclusivity, financial stability, targeted donor giving, and virtual admissions marketing. Strategies for how institutions can respond to these challenges are also provided.

Letter from the Director: Responding to Research Findings on Developmental Education (Casey Kerins)

Higher education institutions, especially community colleges, have long struggled with “the poor outcomes and high costs associated with developmental education.” The director of the Community College Research Center’s letter discusses the most recent data and how to promote change that will lead to increased student success. Transition courses, multiple measures assessment, corequisite courses, and math pathways are discussed as viable alternatives to traditional remedial education.

Liberal Arts Students Most Likely to Feel Supported by Faculty, Mentors (Kristina Powers)

Higher education has long known engagement is important. In a news article, the author highlights five recent studies and efforts that center around mentoring, digging deeper into groups of students that benefit most from mentoring. The running theme is, “having a strong relationship with either a mentor or faculty member during college can be critical to a student's career success and long-term well-being.” As an institutional researcher, what data exist about mentoring programs at your organization? How do the results from these studies compare and contrast to your institution’s data?

Policy Watch 

Rethinking State Authorization, Again (Casey Kerins)

The department of Education’s latest proposals include taking a third look in the last ten years at state authorization rules. In line with the department’s goal of deregulation, the proposals include removing state authorization regulations completely – although it is unclear if this will actually take effect, and if it will have any impact on higher education institutions who participate in NC-SARA.

EDUCAUSE - Looking Back and Looking Ahead: EDUCAUSE Policy Issues, 2018–2019 (Angela Henderson)

EDUCAUSE examines three key data policy issues likely to continue impacting institutions in 2019 - information security and breach notification, net neutrality, and web accessibility.

AASCU's Top 10 Higher Education State Policy Issues for 2019 (Eric Atchison)

This report explores the most prominent state higher education policy issues for 2019. Now in its 12th year, this analysis includes a mix of new issues, such as the growth of state free college programs, and longstanding issues, such as college affordability and immigration.

NCES Updates

Proposed 2020 Update to the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP)

The Secretary of Education has announced proposed updates to the CIP for 2020. The comment period for members of the public to review and comment on the changes closes February 25.

2017 Digest of Education Statistics (Eric Atchison)

The 53rd in a series of publications initiated in 1962, the Digest's purpose is to provide a compilation of statistical information covering the broad field of education from prekindergarten through graduate school. The Digest contains data on a variety of topics, including the number of schools and colleges, teachers, enrollments, and graduates, in addition to educational attainment, finances, and federal funds for education, libraries, and international comparisons.

IPEDS Net Price Brochure Released (Angela Henderson) 

NCES is pleased to announce the release of a new IPEDS brochure, which discusses the subject of net price. By using graphics and plain language to explain how net price is calculated for various groups of students, readers will understand the underlying data used in the calculations by institution type as well as the limitations of the metric. The brochure is available for download.

Dual Enrollment: Participation and Characteristics Data Released (Casey Kerins)

NCES has released the report of dual enrollment students based on the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09). The report states that about one-third of students in this cohort took courses for college credit while still in high school, and the majority (80%) took the courses at their own school, rather than travelling to campus, another high school, or taking courses online. The report includes additional data broken down by race/ethnicity, parents’ education level, and the school’s location type (e.g., city, suburb, etc.)