Test Drive: Six States Pilot Better Ways to Measure and Compare Community College Performance

Across higher education, there is growing interest in strengthening state data and performance measurement systems that track and make visible student progress and success. The goal is to improve student results, particularly at community colleges and non-selective four-year institutions. The strategy is to identify at-risk students early and provide them with supports that can help them stay in school and graduate.

This policy brief grew out of the work of the Cross-State Data Work Group, a collaboration among seven states that are participants in Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count. The work group is developing a set of indicators that states can use to more effectively track student performance, evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, and learn from the strengths of other community college systems. This guide is intended to help states design and implement performance measurement and data systems to maximize improvement, particularly for students who traditionally have not fared well in college.

A short self-assessment tool to help guide states through this design and implementation process is included in the appendix of the report.

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