Lesson
Materials

Learn how to use the Postsecondary Data Partnership Retention and Persistence Institution-Level dashboard to explore the retention rates of our institution’s high-academically performing female students.

Transcript
In this tutorial, we demonstrate how to use the PDP Retention and Persistence Institution-Level dashboard to explore the retention rates of our institution’s high-academically performing female students.​

As a quick reminder, the Retention and Persistence Institution-Level dashboard reports the first- to second-year retention and persistence rates for students who attended your institution. There are three possible outcomes. In their second year after enrolling at your institution, the student could have remained at your institution or completed a credential, they could have transferred to another institution, or they could have left college before completing a credential at any institution.​

A student’s first and second years are determined based on when they enrolled in college for the first time or transferred to your institution.​

What is the difference between retention and persistence?  ​

Retention describes how many students are still enrolled at or have earned a credential from your institution before the end of their second academic year. This is a measure of how well your institution retains students.​

Persistence describes how many students are enrolled in their second academic year or have completed a credential at another institution. This definition may differ from how your institution defines persistence. Check with your institution’s PDP administrator if you have questions about how your institution defines persistence. ​

Let’s use this dashboard to answer this research question: What percentage of our high-achieving female students are retained at our institution for their second year of college?  ​

Before we continue, please remember that the results and trends shown in this tutorial cannot 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 Retention and Persistence Institution-Level dashboard. Clicking this icon takes us to the dashboard.​

To answer this question, we need to set two filters.  ​

First, let’s click the Gender global filter, deselect “All”,  select “Female”, and click “Apply”.  ​

Second, let’s click the GPA Range filter, deselect “All” and select GPAs 3.0 to 3.5, 3.5 to 4.0, and 4.0 to 4.5, then click “Apply”.  ​

Now, the students represented in this dashboard are high-achieving female students.​

Let’s focus on the chart in the lower right, which is a stacked bar chart. Here, we find the percentages of this cohort who retained at our institution for their second academic year, transferred to another institution and persisted for their second academic year, or did not enroll in college for a second academic year.​

Now, let’s look at the 2017-18 cohort.  ​

Here, we find that 80.5% of our high-achieving female students retained at our institution for their second academic year. We also see that 9.4% of this cohort transferred to another institution and persisted into their second academic year, while 10.1% of this cohort left college before completing a credential.​

Looking across the previous cohorts, these values are fairly consistent.​

What else can we learn about this population of high-achieving female students?  Are there any large gaps in achievement? Let’s do a little exploring.​

Before we begin, let’s change the retention/persistence filter in the line chart to “Retention,” since we are interested in those high-achieving female students who retained. Remember that retained includes both students who are still enrolled and students who have completed a credential at our institution.  ​

Next, to understand achievement gaps, we need to apply a dimension. First, let’s look to see if there is an achievement gap between first-time and transfer-in female students who are high achieving. To do that, click “Select Dimension” and select “Enrollment Type”.   ​

Now, we see two lines in our line chart. ​

Hovering over the 2017-18 blue line data point, which represents the retention rate of first-time high-achieving female students, we find that 86% of that population retained into their second year at our institution.  ​

Hovering over the orange line data point shows us that 72% of high-achieving female students who transferred into our institution retained for their second academic year. That’s a 14-percentage point difference. ​

Let’s explore if age has an impact. Are younger or older high-achieving female students more likely to be retained at our institution for their second academic year?​

Click “Select Dimension” and select “Age Group”. Now, we see three lines appear in our line chart, one for each category in the Age Group variable.​

Hovering over the 2017-18 blue line data point, we find that 83% of high-achieving female students who are 20 years old or younger retained at our institution for their second academic year.  ​

Hovering over the red-line data point, we find that 78% of high-achieving female students who are over 24 years old retained, and we also see that 77% of high-achieving female students who are between 20 to 24 years old retained.​​

Let’s summarize what we learned through this exploration. Among our high-achieving female student cohort, we found that:​

80.5% retained at our institution for their second academic year​.

The retention rate for transfer-in students in that cohort was lower than that for first-time students​.

And older students in that cohort retained at a lower rate than younger students.​

Sharing this data with our institution’s transfer student coordinator might help them understand student achievement gaps. This can help them develop effective student outreach strategies.​

We encourage you to take the time to explore your institution’s PDP dashboards to identify retention and persistence rates of your students. This will help in your institution’s retention efforts. Thank you for joining us.​

X