Learn how to use the Postsecondary Data Partnership Outcomes Institution-Level dashboard to measure the relationship between preparedness and six-year completion rates.

In this tutorial, we demonstrate how to use the PDP Outcomes institution level dashboard to measure the relationship between preparedness and six-year completion rates.​

As a quick reminder, the Outcomes Institution-Level dashboard reports the completion rates and other outcomes for students by the cohort year in which they first enrolled Outcomes include students who earned either a certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree or are still enrolled in college.​

Let’s use this dashboard to answer this research question: What is the achievement gap in the 6-year completion rates between students who were ready for college-level courses and those who weren’t?​

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 Outcomes-Over-Time metrics is the Outcomes Institution-Level dashboard. Clicking that icon takes us to the dashboard.​

Since we are interested in six-year outcomes, let’s change our Outcomes timeframe to six years. Then click the “2013-14” cohort in the lower left section, which was the student cohort six years ago.  ​

Now, because we want to compare students based on their preparedness for college-level coursework, there are two metrics that we should study.​

Let’s first look at math preparedness. In order to understand the differences in completion rates between students prepared to take college-level math compared to those who were not, we need to add a dimension. Click “Select Dimension” and select “Math Prep”.​

Notice that the upper right line chart has three lines – one for students who were ready for college-level math, one for students who were not ready for college-level math, and one for students whose status was unknown. Let’s remove the data for those whose status is unknown since it won’t help us understand the impact of preparedness. Click the “Math Prep” global filter, deselect “Unknown”, and click “Apply”. This removes some of the complexity in our charts.​

Now, let’s hover over the 2013-14 data points in the trend-line chart. We find that 49.8% of students in 2013-14 who enrolled in our institution prepared to take college-level math have completed credentials in six years compared with 31.2% who enrolled in our institution not prepared for college-level math. This is a nearly 19-percentage point difference, which is substantive.     ​

​Now, we see that the achievement gap has narrowed significantly. Hovering over the 2013-14 data points, we find that 39.2% of the 2013-14 cohort who enrolled in our institution prepared for college-level English have completed credentials within the six-year timeframe. That’s in comparison to 31.6% of that cohort who were not prepared for college-level English.​

What did we learn in this exploration?​

First, students who enter college prepared for college-level work are more likely to complete a credential within six years compared to students who are not ready for college-level work.​

And second, the achievement gap for Math preparedness is much greater than the achievement gap for English preparedness.​

This information is useful as we continue to develop support systems for students who are underprepared for college level work.​

We hope you will use your institution’s dashboards to better understand your most vulnerable student populations. Thank you for joining us.​