How NCAN Uses StudentTracker® to Measure Student Success
Read About One of the Many Educational Programs Nationwide Leveraging Clearinghouse Data
Who is involved?
For the last four years, the National Student Clearinghouse has teamed up with the National College Access Network (NCAN) to create the annual NCAN Benchmarking Report. NCAN is a nonprofit organization whose stated mission is to build, strengthen, and empower communities committed to college access and success so that all students, especially those underrepresented in postsecondary education, can achieve their educational dreams. It consists of member programs and organizations such as community-based nonprofits, public school districts, mentoring programs, scholarship providers, and more. This year, 67 of NCAN’s members are participating in the NCAN Benchmarking project.
How does it work?
Each NCAN member program submits multiple years of student data to the Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse then combines all of its StudentTracker postsecondary enrollment and degree data and breaks it down to show first-year enrollment, second-year enrollment, students who stop out, students who earn a credential, etc.
NCAN receives two reports from the Clearinghouse:
- Up to six years’ worth of aggregate enrollment and degree data, by cohort, for all students submitted
- A de-identified student/program-level dataset which allows NCAN to slice the data as desired and publish reports
Each NCAN member program receives two reports from the Clearinghouse:
- The StudentTracker report for their students
- Aggregate enrollment and completion data, tracked for up to six years
“The National Student Clearinghouse, particularly the StudentTracker team, and the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center have been tremendous partners in this effort, and without their support the Benchmarking Project could not have come as far as it has.”
Director of Data and Evaluation, National College Access Network
What is the purpose?
The NCAN Benchmarking Report helps programs determine many things. They can see which students are entering college, persisting, and graduating, including year-by-year trends in enrollment, graduation, and retention rates. NCAN and its members are able to see how they’re performing against national benchmarks and can compare their completion rates to those of students in other states. As of this year, they’re also able to compare their results to the Clearinghouse’s annual High School Benchmarks Report, which provides student outcomes data based on school income level, minority level, and location. NCAN member programs can also analyze their data by the additional data elements they submit, such as race, first-generation status, etc. The ability to see if certain cohorts of students perform better or worse than others allows them to identify which populations need additional resources and support.
As Bill DeBaun, Director of Data and Evaluation at NCAN, explains: “NCAN’s Benchmarking Project, now in its fourth round, is a critical effort in demonstrating the effectiveness of the college access and success field in closing enrollment and completion gaps for low-income and first-generation students, many of them students of color … The National Student Clearinghouse, particularly the StudentTracker team, and the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center have been tremendous partners in this effort, and without their support the Benchmarking Project could not have come as far as it has.”
How does this relate to you?
The NCAN Benchmarking Report reflects just one of the many ways Clearinghouse data can be used to support educational programs nationwide. StudentTracker reports allow programs to determine if their systems are working or if they need to change their approach to better assist their students. Clearinghouse data can help with grants, accountability reporting, accreditation, graduation rates, program evaluation, and school and curriculum improvement.
To learn more about StudentTracker, contact STservices@studentclearinghouse.org.