Get a general overview of the Postsecondary Data Partnership Retention/Persistence dashboard. Learn the difference between retention and persistence and how the Clearinghouse defines retention and persistence.
This is the introduction and basic functionality tutorial for the National Student Clearinghouse’s Postsecondary Data Partnership Retention and Persistence Institution-Level dashboard. Thank you for joining us.
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 the student’s second year after enrolling at your institution, the student could have remained or completed a credential at your institution, transferred to another institution, or left college before completing a credential at any institution.
Why is this dashboard needed? A student’s second year is an important transition point, particularly for first-time college students. Understanding their retention and persistence helps to inform initiatives to increase student success rates.
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.
How does the Postsecondary Data Partnership determine retention and persistence? Let’s look at this through a decision tree.
The first question in our decision tree is did the student complete their credential during the first year of enrollment at our institution?
If yes, the student is considered “retained”.
If No, then we continue to follow our decision tree.
The next question in our decision tree is did the student enroll in college in their second academic year after entering our institution?
There are three possible answers. If the student enrolled at our institution, the student is classified as “retained”.
If another institution submits an enrollment record for the student to the Clearinghouse, the student is classified as “persisted”.
The third option is that the student is no longer enrolled in college.
If a student transfers out in the middle of their second academic year, they will still be classified as “retained” since they started their second academic year at our institution.
The ability to leverage the unique nationwide data coverage of the Clearinghouse and incorporate enrollment information reported by other institutions is one of the strengths of the PDP dashboards.
To help you better understand the first- to-second year outcomes of students, this dashboard has a unique filter that allows you to filter one of the charts by students who have retained at your institution, persisted at another institution, or both.
Now, let’s explore the Retention and Persistence Institution-level dashboard.
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.
This is the Home Page for the Postsecondary Data Partnership dashboards. The Retention and Persistence Institution-Level dashboard is one of the Outcomes-Over-Time metrics. Clicking this icon takes us to the dashboard.
Above the data charts are the global filters. These include metrics like enrollment type, race/ethnicity, and First-Generation. Applying one or more filters allows us to focus on a specific student population like first-generation Asian students.
In the top left, we find the framing questions for this dashboard. Here, we learn that this dashboard measures the proportion of our students who are enrolled in or have completed a credential in their second academic year at either our institution or another institution.
Also, in this section, we find the dimensions for this dashboard, which are the same as the global filters.
The chart in the upper right is a line chart that measures the overall retention and/or persistence rate of our student cohorts. If we hover over the 2017-18 data point, we see that 70% of that cohort retained or persisted into their second year of college.
In this section, we find the retention/persistence filter that we discussed earlier. This filter only affects this line chart. “Retention/Persistence” is selected by default.
Let’s change the filter to “Retention” to see how it affects this chart. Hovering over the 2017-18 data point, we see that 61% of the 2017-18 cohort retained into their second year of college at our institution.
If we change the filter to “Persistence”, we see that 9% of the 2017-18 student cohort transferred out and persisted at another institution.
So, 70% of our 2017-18 cohort either retained at our institution or persisted at another institution. What happened to the other 30% of that cohort?
To answer that question, let’s look at the bar chart in the lower left. This chart reports the number of students who either did not complete a credential in their first year of college at our institution or did not enroll in their second academic year. If we hover over the 2017-18 bar, we find that 30% of that cohort did not re-enroll for their second academic year.
To help us better understand this information, there is a color overlay. A lighter color indicates fewer students who did not re-enroll for their second year, and a darker color indicates more students who did not re-enroll for their second year. If we look over time, we see that more and more of our student cohorts did not re-enroll in their second academic year and did not complete a credential.
The final chart in the lower right reports the percentage of the student cohort who either retained at our institution, transferred out and persisted at another institution, or left college before completing a credential. Each cohort stacked bar chart adds up to 100%.
For 2017-18, we see that 30.3% of that cohort did not re-enroll in their second year and left school before earning a credential, 9% of that cohort transferred out and enrolled at another institution for their second academic year, and 60.7% of that cohort retained at our institution for their second academic year. This mirrors the data we saw in the charts in the upper right and lower left.
We explored the basic functionality of the Retention/Persistence Institution-Level dashboard.
This dashboard contains a wealth of information about first- to-second year enrollment patterns. Understanding enrollment patterns helps inform initiatives to increase retention, persistence, and completion rates.
Thank you for joining us.