Who’s measuring the part-time students?

October 3, 2011 at 8:52 am 2 comments

At the ACM Education Council meeting two weeks ago in Denver, we had a discussion about the for-profits.  We often use IPEDS data to track US schools. Does that include for-profits?  According to DeVry, not really.  IPEDS only counts full-time and first-time students.

So who is tracking part-time, non-traditional students? How do we know that they are being well-served? This is particularly important as we think about re-training, and women re-entering the workforce (which is a huge issue for NCWIT).  The answer may be: Nobody.

More than 250,000 students have graduated from DeVry University. We are proud of the determination it takes for many of our students to graduate, and we work to improve the rates at which they graduate. The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which collects data for all institutions that receive Title IV federal financial aid, measures only those entering students who are full-time and first-time to college. New part-time students and those entering as transfers are excluded. Additionally, the standard IPEDS graduation rate tracks the cohort for only 150 percent of normal time to completion – three years for associate-seekers and six years for bachelor-seekers. Students who take a little longer to graduate are not counted.

Among undergraduates entering DeVry in Fall 2009, only 48 percent were first-time students. When the number of part-time students is also taken into consideration, the IPEDS-defined cohort accounts for only a fraction of our entering students.

via DeVry University | Student Experience | DeVry Facts.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bri Morrison  |  October 4, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Also realize that this isn’t only a “for-profit” issue. Many “traditional” schools (SPSU being one) also service a large non-traditional base of students. These non-traditionals are also usually part-time students. One of the big issues we have with the BoR (Board of Regents) is that they only want first-time, full-time freshman data, while the majority of our students don’t meet that requirement giving a somewhat distorted view of our actual retention and graduation data.

  • 2. Steve Freeman  |  October 5, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Have you been following http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com ?

    Time after time, the depressing stories highlight the burden of student (and medical) debt. Are the universities really helping their students?


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