Educational Technology

July 31, 2018

Why We Need To Rethink Conventional Graduation Rates As A Measure Of Colleges’ Success

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:33 am

by Marvin Krislov, Forbes

In the academic world, we have run into a statistical dead end in assessing how our students are performing. I want to propose a way of breaking through the issue so that our colleges and universities are able to keep pace with, and measure, the deep changes impacting our economy and society and the role higher education must play. The main storehouse of data on college performance is the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, called IPEDS. IPEDS produces an “overall graduation rate” for every college in the country, and that statistic is a key factor in college rankings, from U.S. News & World Report to the College Scorecard to the newly prominent Google college search results.   Under the IPEDS definition, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama, both of whom transferred colleges, and Mitt Romney, who both transferred and took time off for his Mormon mission, would be considered nongraduates. An alternative metric to the federal graduation rate is the Student Achievement Measure, or SAM. Developed by a consortium of higher-education associations with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation, SAM is designed to provide a more accurate picture of student progress and success. It includes transfer students and part-time students alongside full-time students, and it tracks progress at public and private colleges and universities and two- and four-year institutions.

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