In a recent practice guide titled Learning from High-Performing and Fast-Gaining Institutions, the Education Trust identifies 10 analyses institutions might make – essentially, 10 questions to answer – that will prompt action to increase college completion among low-income and students of color:

  1. How many students do we lose along the way? A look at year-to-year retention rates.
  2. But are those returning students actually sophomores? Tracking the rate of second-year students who achieve sophomore standing.
  3. Why aren’t our students accumulating the credits they need to be on track? Analyzing the impact of course withdrawals.
  4. What are some of the other reasons our students aren’t accumulating the credits they need? Analyzing success rates in the 25-35 courses with the largest annual enrollment.
  5. Who’s struggling with math: only developmental students? Analyzing success rates in the first credit-bearing math course.
  6. How many students who need remediation succeed at our institution? Digging into the data on developmental courses, especially in math.
  7. What is the role of the major, or a lack thereof, in student success? Analyzing the data on success for students indifferent fields.
  8. How efficient are we in getting students to a degree without excess credits? Analyzing the data on units completed.
  9. What pathways do our students take on their journey to a degree? An analysis of transcripts.
  10. How do the pieces of student success, or failure, fit together? Conducting a fuller analysis of student pathways.

View the full practice guide