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Keeping track of things

by Tod Massa 28. March 2014 22:58

Did you know, that among the public institutions and the private non-profits participating in the Tuition Assistance Grant, there at some 4,726 programs across the combination of institutions, degree, and program.

·         1,489 are at the public four-years

·         1,446 are at the VCCS and RBC

·         1,791 are at the private, nonprofits

The E16: Fall Headcount Enrollment by Race/Ethnicity, Gender and Program Detail provides enrollment detail.

The C01A2: Completion, Program Detail rovides the degree awards by level and gender and the C06: Completions, Race/Ethnicity, Program Detail adds the race/ethnicity component.

The EOM P02: Program-level Detail, Student Debt of Graduates report allows you to view the student debt for specific programs, as long as disclosure rules are met.  The EOM P03: Program-level Detail, PLUS Loan Debt of Graduates (Parent and PLUS-G) takes the focus to the PLUS loans and EOM P04: Program-level Detail, Total Debt (Student and Parent PLUS) of Graduates provides the total debt overview.

The WG03: Institution and Program-specific Data provides the wage outcomes for graduates of these programs, as long as disclosure rules are met.

At some point, we will probably create a single view of these data for each program to simplify things and provide adequate context.

Context is important. In fact, many years ago, I used to argue that context was everything, especially in the world of data. It seems especially relevant today. I’ve written before about the implications of Gainful Employment in the context of the upcoming reauthorization of the higher education act. Tonight I expand on that a bit. I hope you have seen the excellent graphic produced by the Chronicle of Higher Education about triggering penalties under the proposed rule. It really is quite good at explaining the two triggers: a 30% or greater cohort default rate, and half of graduates exceed two debt standards.

Note the bottom of the graphic. Under “Estimating overall impact” we learn that this is based on 7,934 programs measured by the New America Foundation. The analysis provided by USED for the negotiated rulemaking session three indicates a total of 11,735 programs covered by the 2013 draft regulation. Regardless of the number used, placed in the context of nearly 5,000 programs at public and nonprofit institutions in Virginia, those 8,000-12,000 seem a tiny sliver of total programs likely nationally.

In fact, the number seems like an appropriate size for a pilot study. (Probably just overactive imagination.)

Returning to CHE’s graphic, note that it portrays three tiers of performance – Pass, In the Zone, and Fail with clear examples of how that is determined. It looks an awful lot like I imagine the Postsecondary Institution Ratings System (PIRS) to wind up looking, but with only three tiers instead of four or five.

I know that PIRS is planned at the institution level, and GE is at the program level, but I just can’t share the feeling that these two things are related. GE is a way to shutdown programs and PIRS is a way to shut down institutions by ending their Title IV eligibility. Perhaps they are intentionally different because, “If we can’t get them one way, we’ll get them another way.”

Or perhaps they are different to cause Congress to say,  “Let’s just use a single system.”


I really have no idea, but the wind is blowing from Scandinavia, and it seems kind of ripe.



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