News: Data, Research & Evaluation

Report Roundup: IPEDS, College Admissions Data, Growth Mindset, and Even a Cartoon

Monday, December 9, 2019  
Posted by: Bill DeBaun, Director of Data and Evaluation
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NCAN members are well aware that staying up-to-date on all of the latest reports, briefs, white papers, and more can be a heavy lift. Every day it seems there’s something new in our inboxes demanding our attention. Recognizing this, here’s a quick round-up of a few reports that caught NCAN’s attention recently and the key takeaways you should know about them.

New IPEDS Data Consider Completion Rates

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is a wealth of knowledge on postsecondary institutions inputs, activities, and outcomes. A recent data release had the following statistics of interest to NCAN members:

  • “About 19% of first-time full-time students who enrolled in 2-year institutions in 2013 graduated within two years (100% of normal time), according to new postsecondary data. However, that rate jumped to 38% when the time for graduation was extended to four years (200% of normal time).”
  • “Approximately 62% of full-time, first-time students enrolled in 2012 at 4-year institutions who were seeking a bachelor’s or equivalent degree completed a bachelor’s or equivalent degree within 6 years at the institution where they began their studies."
  • “Among full-time, first-time students who enrolled in 2014 at less-than 2-year institutions, 46 percent graduated within 100 percent of the normal time. When that time span was extended to within 200 percent, the graduation rate rose to 70 percent.”
    Other new stats just released by IPEDS cover graduation rates for 2010-15 cohorts; Outcome Measures (includes transfer students and non-first-time students) for cohort year 2010-11; 2017-18 institutional financial aid information, and fall 2018 admissions data.

Other new stats just released by IPEDS cover graduation rates for 2010-15 cohorts; Outcome Measures (includes transfer students and non-first-time students) for cohort year 2010-11; 2017-18 institutional financial aid information, and fall 2018 admissions data.

MDRC: 25-Minute Intervention Increased Growth Mindset

MDRC is out with an independent evaluation of the National Study of Learning Mindsets. This examined the effects of a low-cost growth mindset intervention aimed at 9th grade students in a nationally representative sample from the 2015-2016 academic year. The intervention included “two 25-minute, self-administered online modules designed to communicate the message that the brain can grow ‘stronger’ in response to efforts such as trying new strategies and seeking help from experts. This stronger brain can help students achieve meaningful goals. Students were also asked to internalize the message by teaching it to a future struggling ninth-grader.”

Key findings included:

  • “The intervention changed students’ self-reported mindset beliefs, their attitudes toward efforts and failure, and their views on academic challenges.
  • Immediately after the intervention, students were more likely to take on challenging academic tasks.
  • The intervention produced statistically significant impacts on students’ average academic performance, improving their average grade point average (GPA) as well as their math GPA, and reducing the proportion of students with failing grades.
  • Certain groups of students and schools might benefit more from the intervention than others. These groups include students with relatively low academic achievement before the intervention, schools in the midrange of the academic performance spectrum, and schools where students are more inclined to take on challenging tasks.”

'How Many College Dropouts Go Back to School?'

The headline says it all. In Forbes, Preston Cooper digs deeper into the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s “Some College, No Degree” report. The report found that of 29 million Americans who were “some college, no degree” in 2014, 3.8 million (13%) re-enrolled in postsecondary education in the next five years. Of those students, 69% were last enrolled in a community college before re-enrolling, and 57% went back to community college upon re-enrolling. The biggest shift for re-enrollers was toward online college; just 4% of stopouts from 2014 were last enrolled in an online program, but 12% of re-enrollers headed to that sector by 2019.

Tracking 2018 Admissions Data

Jon Boecknstedt is the Vice Provost of Enrollment at Oregon State University, and he writes at the blog Higher Ed Data Stories. In his most recent post he examines the 2018 IPEDS admissions data mentioned above and puts it into a really useful Tableau dashboard. This lets users sort by institution and filter by selectivity, region, or control. The dashboard looks at metrics like:

  • “Admit rate (percentage of applicants offered admission)
  • Yield rate (percentage of those offered who enrolled)
  • Applications per seat (applicants/enrolling)”

Additionally, for each college or university it provides:

  • “Applications, admits, and enrolls
  • Undergraduate enrollment by ethnicity
  • Admit rate for men and women and overall, and the difference between men and women, expressed as men's advantage. Positive numbers favor men; negative numbers favor women.
  • SAT and ACT scores at the 25th and 75th percentile.”

The dashboard may be a useful tool looking to get a clean look at the institutions to which their students are matriculating.

KPI Overload

Acknowledging that was a lot, let me leave you with this excellent cartoon about key performance indicator overload in program dashboards. Don’t let this be you!

Join us next time for another edition of the report roundup.