February Articles of Interest for Higher Education Professionals

The Association for Institutional Research shared the following publications of interest for higher education professionals. Click on each of the titles to access full articles. The synopsis of each article is credited to the Electronic AIR Newsletter (January edition).

Leveraging Data for College Completion
Leveraging Data for College Completion by the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) documents the importance of longitudinal data systems for identifying issues, making decisions, and measuring results. The brief emphasizes the significance of linking higher education data systems to workforce data and K-12 data systems and provides effective strategies for addressing some of the challenges related to data collection and management, as well as data analysis and capacity at the state level. In highlighting the strategies, the report also incorporates several successful state efforts. 
 
Completing College: Assessing Graduation Rates at Four-Year Colleges
The Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at UCLA report, Completing College: Assessing Graduation Rates at Four-Year Colleges, introduces a new method for predicting an institution’s graduation rate using data from the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Freshman Survey. Many institutions use basic student information such as gender, race/ethnicity, and test scores to project an expected graduation rate. By using the more detailed data from the CIRP Freshman Survey, HERI reports institutions can increase the precision of their predicted graduation rates. HERI also provides online degree completion calculators allowing institutions to evaluate how their own graduation rates can be improved using alternative scenarios.
 
National Student Clearinghouse Snapshot Reports
The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center has published three Snapshot Reports highlighting national enrollment trends in two-year and four-year institutions based on their database, which includes 93% of the student enrollments in the United States. The Persistence Snapshot shows that students tended to stay enrolled (i.e., persist) and notes students are often misclassified as dropouts when they may have just transferred to another institution. There were notable differences in fall-to-fall persistence rates of full-time (92.5%) and part-time (71.2%) students. The Mobility Snapshot addresses students who attend more than one institution and the Concurrent Snapshot addresses overlapping student enrollment. In 2010-11, 7.7% of students enrolled in more than one institution and 3.2% enrolled concurrently at more than one institution.
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