The goal of any type of data is to help someone make a better decision. It may not be perfect, but it is an improvement. That is our goal with this data.
The data we submit may differ depending on the source and time period. The number of degrees might be different depending on if the report used the exact date or something less precise like a session. For example, many state reports use the state fiscal year, and a range of dates instead of the previously mentioned session, such as summer, fall, and spring. Things don’t always line up.
Another issue with our data is that we have a lot of students that seek different levels of degrees. Some colleges only offer two-year or four-year degrees to undergraduates, we offer both. While it is tremendous for student choice, it makes reporting complicated. Some reports just want to know how four-year degree-seeking students do, even though we have very successful students that change their majors. We need to look at all of our students, at every level and with every intention in our decision making processes. Therefore, some of the data you might see from another source may not precisely match a source that does not incorporate all the different student groups.
Our primary enrollment file is the 15th day file for official census purposes, a grade file, and a graduate file. Together, they provide most of the student information we report. We also work with other departments to complete our data requests.
The good news is that reports that use different numbers for different audiences all help tell a story, one that is consistent enough to tell our story and make the decisions that our students deserve.
The best things are peer reviewed. Ratings, word of mouth, good business, all rely on input from others. In the academic world, that is certainly the case. In the spirit of cooperation and trying to improve, please contact us if something appears incorrect, or if there is an opportunity to look at things differently.
We look forward to working with you!