Data Notes: Sept/Oct 2011

What is in a Name? Are they Really Credential-Seeking Students?

Research indicates graduation rates among credential-seeking community college students who are more committed to their academics—those attending more than half-time, or who stated that earning a credential or transferring was their intention— are higher than for all credential-seeking students. This analysis explores students’ first-term academic achievement, and those who returned for a second academic term. Students from all Achieving the Dream cohorts and colleges were included in this analysis, and the data was disaggregated by race/ethnicity, Pell receipt, gender, age, major field of student, attendance and developmental referral status. The analysis indicates that age and first-term attendance status are significantly related to both first-term achievement and second-term persistence. Older students and those attending less than half-time were more likely to be first-term achievers, but they were also less likely to persist to the second term. These results emphasize the need to disaggregate student data to refine what seems like an obvious relationship between achievement, measured here by grades, first-term completion, and second-term persistence.

 

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