Learn how to use the Postsecondary Data Partnership Credit Accumulation Rate dashboard to measure the difference in credit accumulation between male and female students.
In this tutorial, we demonstrate how to use the PDP Credit Accumulation Rate dashboard to measure the difference in credit accumulation between male and female students.
As a quick reminder, the Credit Accumulation Rate Institution-Level dashboard reports the number of students who have successfully completed enough credits for satisfactory academic progress. It also helps clarify which students are (or are not) gaining academic momentum in their college career. Understanding which students are lagging in momentum will help determine which students need additional support.
Let’s use this dashboard to answer this research question: Do a higher percentage of female students meet the credit threshold compared to male students?
Before we continue, please remember that the results and trends shown in this tutorial can not be applied to your institution. This data is only for demonstration purposes only. Please review your institution’s data before drawing conclusions.
On the Home Page for the Postsecondary Data Partnership dashboards, one of the early momentum metrics is the Credit Accumulation Rate Institution-Level dashboard. Clicking this icon takes us to the dashboard.
First, let’s find the Credit Accumulation Rate for all students. Hovering over the 2018-19 data point in the line chart, we find that 22.1% of students successfully met the 15/30 credit threshold.
Looking at the previous cohorts, we find that the credit accumulation rate increased for 2016-17, but before and after this year, it has remained relatively stable.
Let’s change the credit threshold to 12/24. Now we find that 42.5% of students met that threshold. Looking at the previous cohorts, we find that this rate has stayed fairly constant.
Now, let’s determine if the credit accumulation rate is different between male and female students. Applying a dimension makes it easy to compare across different groups of students.
If we click on the Dimension dropdown and select “Gender,” we notice that our line chart now has three lines – one for female students, one for male students, and one for students whose gender is unknown. Also notice that the bar chart in the lower left quadrant now has three sections – one for each gender category.
To make our charts easier to read, let’s remove the unknown gender data from our dashboard. To do that, click Gender and deselect “Unknown,” then click Apply.
Looking at our line chart, we see a separation between the lines representing female and male students. This tells us that there is an achievement gap between these student populations. Hovering over the 2018-19 data point, we find that 45.5% of female students met the 12/24 credit threshold while 40.9% of male students met that threshold.
What happens to our achievement gap if we set the credit threshold to 15 credits for part-time students and 30 credits for full-time students?
We find that our achievement gap narrows considerably. Hovering over the 2018-19 data points, we see that 23.3% of female students and 21.4% of male students met that higher credit threshold.
This exploration told us two things:
• First, fewer students achieve a credit threshold when it is set to the higher 15/30 value.
• Second, while a higher percentage of female students meet the credit threshold compared to male students, the achievement gap narrows when we have a higher threshold.
We encourage you to explore your institution’s PDP dashboards to better understand your students who meet, or don’t meet, accepted credit thresholds.
Thank you for joining us.