Year-by-Year Progress Rates, Benchmark Data Released

Snapshot 25: Success and Progress Rates Provide National and State-Level Benchmarks for Institutions Participating in Student Achievement Measure

by | Mar 13, 2017 | Research Reports, Research Services, Snapshot Reports |

Year-by-Year Persistence, Stop-out, and Completion Rates Released

The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center released today Snapshot 25: National Success and Progress Rates, which goes beyond typical measures of postsecondary attainment by tracking the fall 2010 entering cohort over time, and showing persistence, stop-out, and completion rates at the end of each subsequent academic year.

The report, which is based on the model used in the Student Achievement Measure (SAM), also includes yearly outcomes for both full-time and part-time starters, and takes into account the often neglected winter, spring, and summer terms. Participation in SAM is a simple way for public and private universities to publicly show a more complete and accurate picture of the progress and success of all their students.

Key observations include:

  • For the first time in this report series, an interactive state-level dashboard makes it possible for users to navigate year-by-year success and progress data for most combinations of state and sector.
  • Across all sectors, including two-year and four-year institutions, 41 percent of first-time, full-time students had completed a credential by the end of year four and 35 percent were still enrolled. By the end of year six, 61 percent of these students had graduated and 11 percent were still enrolled.
  • In the fifth and sixth years, the percentage of students graduating from a transfer institution grew at a faster rate than the percentage of students graduating from the starting institution. This was the case for every combination of sector and enrollment intensity, underscoring the importance of having accurate data on transfer outcomes.
  • Part-time students at four-year institutions were especially mobile, graduating from transfer institutions and starting institutions in almost equal numbers. By the end of year six, 20 percent of part-time starters at four-year public institutions had graduated from a transfer institution, compared to 22 percent who had graduated from their starting institution.
  • Tracking year-by-year progress can help institutions identify when their students are most at risk of leaving college. For example, at for-profit institutions, 70 percent of all stop-outs (among full-time starters) occurred in the second year, compared to about 41 percent at four-year public and four-year private institutions.

The results are based on a Clearinghouse dataset covering 97 percent of college enrollments across all degree-granting postsecondary institutions, and provide both national and state-level benchmarks for institutions participating in SAM.

The data and outcomes included in Snapshot 25 match those reported by institutions who participate in the national SAM initiative. The SAM Bachelor’s model is created using data from the Clearinghouse’s StudentTracker Cohort Query, which provides a summary of the retention and completion rates of a cohort group by academic year and institutional category.

With the Snapshot 25 release, SAM participants can now better understand how their institution’s outcomes compare to national and state-level data.  Any accredited 2-year or 4-year institution is eligible to be a part of SAM and gain access to these key metrics.  Signing up takes only a few minutes, and is free.

SAM is a joint initiative of six national higher education presidential associations: 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).

Participation in SAM is a simple way for public and private universities to publicly show a more complete and accurate picture of the progress and success of all their students.

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