Clearinghouse Data Supports Virginia Beach City Public Schools’ Postsecondary Enrollment, Persistence, and Degree Attainment Research and Goals
By Phil Smith, Director, Clearinghouse Secondary Education Business Development
According to the Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS), of all graduates between 2007 and 2018, 56 to 61 percent enrolled in a postsecondary institution immediately after high school. Once enrolled, 82 to 87 percent remained for their sophomore year. Of 2012 VBCPS graduates, approximately 39 percent completed a postsecondary degree within six years.
With regard to institutional level, a consistently higher percentage of graduates enrolled in four-year institutions immediately after graduation compared to the two-year institutions. Enrollment in a four-year postsecondary institution has ranged from 33 to 40 percent, with a trend of increasing four-year enrollment since the Class of 2012.
“The data from the National Student Clearinghouse enables our school division to track our graduates as they continue through the educational pipeline,” says Heidi L. Janicki, Ph.D., Director of Research and Evaluation, Virginia Beach City Public Schools. “The school division began subscribing to the Clearinghouse service in 2004, and over the years, the college enrollment data has been used for various purposes including work with high school principals, program evaluations, and monitoring progress on our division’s strategic plan.”
Using the Clearinghouse’s StudentTracker for High Schools’ service, VBCPS developed a research brief reporting postsecondary enrollment, persistence, and degree attainment. Each fall VBCPS provides the Clearinghouse with a list of all combined term graduates. This list contains graduates’ first name, last name, date of birth, graduation date, diploma type, high school attended, and demographic information. Using this information, the Clearinghouse utilizes a proprietary algorithm to match these student records with data provided by each participating postsecondary institution. The results are detailed reports that illustrate college enrollment trends for VBCPS alumni.
The Clearinghouse data allow districts, schools, and their divisions to observe the progress of their students and answer questions about postsecondary enrollment, persistence, and degree attainment. Clearinghouse data represents approximately 98 percent of all students enrolled in a postsecondary institution from more than 3,600 colleges and universities that participate in Clearinghouse services.
The data also permits for the examination of enrollment choices that students make based on institutional level (i.e., 2-year and 4-year schools). Additionally, the data provide a picture of the postsecondary enrollment rates based on demographic data, which helps to highlight the effectiveness and impact of college readiness efforts by the VBCPS.
Other schools and districts around the nation are also benefiting from the Clearinghouse’s StudentTracker for High Schools’ service. Read our other case studies to learn about those examples.
“The data from the National Student Clearinghouse enables our school division to track our graduates as they continue through the educational pipeline.”
Heidi L. Janicki, Ph.D.
Director of Research and Evaluation, Virginia Beach City Public Schools