Currently, graduation rates are measured by the U.S. government by the proportion of students who earn a degree within 150 percent of the expected time (six years for a bachelor’s degree and three years for an associate degree). The U.S. government only counts first-time, full-time students.
The University of Alaska at Anchorage has decided to create its own measure of success and include all types of students and extending to ten years, asking whether the student met their goal or at least made progress on a goal.
Questions to consider:
1. Which measure do you prefer?
2. Do you feel you’ve been successful in pursuing your educational goals?
3. If not, have you made progress?
Copyright 2008 Inside Higher Ed
firstname.lastname@example.org Scott Jaschik
Get any group of college presidents, assessment experts or education researchers together, and it’s not hard to get a consensus that the federal graduation rate is seriously if not fatally flawed.
According to the U.S. government, graduation rates are measured by the proportion of students who earn a degree within 150 percent of the expected time six years for a bachelor’s degree and three years for an associate degree. The formula counts only one group of students: first-time, full-time students. Not surprisingly, elite, residential colleges that serve well-prepared students do amazingly well by this methodology, routinely having rates in the 90s. But for many other colleges, the graduation rate is both irrelevant (they may have very few first-time, full-time students) and infuriating (the institution that takes full-time, first-time students that other institutions pass over may well be working harder and more effectively, but looks lousy by comparison to the wealthy institution that serves the wealthy.)
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