Web Policy  |  Intranet  |  Contact SCHEV    
SCHEV Research Data Blog

The official blog of @SCHEVResearch at the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Discussions about our work, national higher education data policy, and highlights about the data we publish.


Recent Posts Blog Archives Subscribe Feed All Blogs

Proposed Changes to the Data Collections Regarding Transfer

by Tod Massa 19. October 2018 23:54


Final Draft of Proposed Data Collection Changes to Comply with Reporting and Analysis Requirements for SB 631 (2018)

After consultation with a group of institutional representatives, we have settled on a handful of changes to the data collections that will enable the type of reporting described in the reporting. The additional data elements are relatively modest, but we have decided another collection is necessary, specifically, a Spring Cohort file. This would be identical to the Fall Cohort file, save that reflects new students enrolling during the spring semester.

Excerpt from SB631 (http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?181+ful+SB631ER):

D. 1. The Council shall develop guidelines for associate-degree-granting and baccalaureate public institutions of higher education to use in mapping pathways for the completion of credits in particular programs of study, including the courses recommended to be taken in a dual enrollment, community college, and four-year public institution setting in order to pursue a specific degree or career. Such guidelines shall define the elements of a pathway map and identify the pathway maps to be developed. Initial guidelines adopted for mapping such pathways shall establish a multiyear schedule for the development and implementation of pathway maps for all fields of study.

2. Each baccalaureate public institution of higher education, in cooperation and consultation with the System, shall develop pathway maps consistent with the guidelines established pursuant to subdivision 1. Such pathways maps shall clearly set forth the classes that a student at a comprehensive community college is encouraged to complete prior to transferring to the baccalaureate institution. The goal of the career education pathway maps shall be to assist students in achieving optimal efficiencies in the time and cost of completing a degree program. Such program map shall also clearly state which, if any, courses the baccalaureate institution has received a waiver from transfer in completing a specific pathway or degree.

E.  The Council shall prepare an a comprehensive annual report on the pertinent aspects of the pipeline effectiveness of studentstransferring from comprehensive community colleges to baccalaureate public institutions of higher education, including a review of the effectiveness of the use of pathway maps in achieving efficiencies and cost savings in the completion of a degree program. The report shall include the following elements: completion rates, average time to degree, credit accumulation, post-transfer student academic performance, and comparative efficiency. The Council shall adopt guidelines for data submission from public institutions of higher education necessary for such report, and all institutions shall report such data in accordance with the guidelines. The report shall be made publicly available on the Council website and on the online portal maintained pursuant to § 23.1-908.


To meet the reporting requirements of this law and respond to continued questions around dual enrollment and advanced placement credit, we are considering the following changes to collections, beginning with the 2019-20 (1920) collection year:


Modify Course Enrollment file:

CE Part 1 add new fields:

  • Term GPA
  • Cum GPA


CE Part 2 add new field:

  • Course Title

Eliminate ‘MIS’ as an option for more than one percent of grades per institution per term. Far too many missing grades are being reported on the files. We need to trim this down.


To the Fall Cohort file we will add the following new fields and replicate the entire file into a Spring Cohort file:

  • Credits applied to degree for CLEP tests
  • Credits applied to degree for Cambridge
  • Did student present a Uniform Certificate of General Studies ? (Y/N)
    • This is under development and will appear as such on the VCCS transcript or via some other communication from the VCCS.
  • Did the student present a completed Passport Program? (Y/N)
    • This is under development and will appear as such on the VCCS transcript or via some other communication from the VCCS.
  • Had student earned an associate degree prior to entry? (Y/N)
  • Expected Number of Credits Required to Graduate (ENCRG)
    • Applied to each new student on the Fall & Spring Cohort file(s)
    • Considers the number of credits/tests presented, and those accepted towards the degree.
  • The Spring Cohort collection will probably be due in mid- to late March.


When SCHEV assesses time and credits to degree with each new completion file, SCHEV will join the Fall Cohort files to the Degrees Conferred files and compare the total credits earned and divide this by the Expected Number of Credits to Required Graduate (ENCRG). This shall comprise a Transfer Efficiency Index for each student and the average results will be reported across the institution and relevant programs.

Thus, a first-time in college student that presents 12 credits of dual enrollment that are accepted by a public four-year institution, would have an ENCRG of 108. If that student graduates four years later with 122 credits, the index would be 1.13.

Likewise, a community college transfer student with 68 credits and an ENCRG of 66 that completes 78 credits at the four-year institution would have an index of 1.18.

I think these changes are minimum we can make and meet the letter and spirit of the law. Hopefully the burden won't be too great. The Transfer Efficiency Index probably is not perfect because students have latitude in when they present credit for transfer consideration. There is also the issue about which courses ultimately will fit into a given major. It's all kind of messy and doesn't fit into a nice clean algorithm. However, we need some kind of measure of relative efficiency to compare native student and transfer students and without such a measure, we are left with total credits attempted or earned towards a degree. We already know what those look like and they tell us we have work to do. They are also, in part through their use in the JLARC report on the VCCS, the reason for this legislation. This will be an attempt for a little more precision.

Feel free to let me know your thoughts.





blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow SCHEV Research on Twitter