Friday April 21, 8:30 am – 9:30 am
Track 5: The Impact of Accreditation & Regulation
WSCUC Led Session: WSCUC Graduation Rate Dashboard 101: Understanding, Using, and Reporting the Data

2017 will mark the third collection of Graduation Rate Dashboard (GRD) elements for all undergraduate institutions in the WSCUC Annual Report. Additionally, beginning in spring 2018, visiting teams will engage institutional leaders on how they are using the GRD and other measures to better understand and improve student success. Whether you are new or experienced to the GRD, this session will provide key information that will help improve understanding, reporting, and use of GRD elements. Participants in this session will be exposed to: 1) a background of the GRD and definitions, 2) common questions and challenges from institutions; 3) examples for how and when they might use the Graduation Rate Dashboard at their institutions, as well as, how to interpret the trends represented by the data; and 4) comparison data from the prior collection (with their own laptop). Institutions are encouraged to bring their general as well as institution specific questions to the workshop to talk with WSCUC staff for answers.

Background: With 50% of U.S. citizens having no more than a high school diploma, college degree completion has become a focus of national discussion about higher education. For the WSCUC, student success includes not only strong retention and graduation rates, but also high-quality learning. It means that students are prepared for success in their personal, civic, and professional lives, and that they embody the values and behaviors that make their institutions distinctive. Institutions’ definitions of success will therefore differ, given their unique missions, traditions, programs, and the characteristics of the student they serve. WSCUC thus emphasizes the need to address and measure student success in a variety of ways, including student learning outcomes, student retention, progress towards a degree, and graduation rates. Toward this end, the Graduation Rate Dashboard was developed by WSCUC as an inclusive method to identify the enrollment, retention, and graduation of all undergraduate students. The primary benefit of this methodology is that it accounts for all students regardless of how they matriculate (first-time or transfer, lower or upper division) or enroll (part-time, full-time, swirling), or what programs they pursue. WSCUC institutions serving undergraduate students are required to submit Graduation Rate Dashboard data for their undergraduate programs each year during Annual Reporting; the Commission will be using it in accreditation processes beginning spring 2018.

This session is intended for: 1)  individuals who report the GRD data on the Annual Report and want to better understand the definitions and improve their reporting, and 2) institutional leaders, such as the ALO, Institutional Research, Assessment, and Student Success/Affairs personnel, or other the key individuals involved in student success, retention, and graduation.

Please bring a laptop or tablet to access the online comparative tool and other workshop materials.

Henry Hernandez
WASC Senior College and University Commission
Kristina Powers
Research Fellow on Student Achievement
WASC Senior College and University Commission