Data at Shawnee State University


Data at Shawnee State University is very important to the planning process. We have been data informed but we want to do a better job systematically of sharing that information with you. Internally, we will share information using our SharePoint sites, password protected webpages, Tableau Server, and Microsoft PowerBI.

We will publish some information on this page but it is not everything. To make use of some of the data we would provide information that is protected by privacy laws, usually FERPA. If you are a staff member at Shawnee State University and need more information please contact us for further information.

We have been operating less than optimally when it comes to sharing our information on websites. We send it out, but it is not the same. This website is the first of what we imagine will be many iterations. Like a good peer reviewed paper, feedback is important so do not hesitate to give us your throughts.


Primary Data Files


15th Day Census File

Our “Official” Numbers.

The 15th day of the term is the official fall census date for the campus. The fall census date is the date universities and other postsecondary higher education institutions use to determine their reportable enrollment. The number of students prior to that date and after that date change. This report is generated by a using our institutional databases (such as CARS and the CX platform) on that date to see how many students were/are currently enrolled in classes. That number is recorded and saved at the student ID level and then added to other data sources each term. Shawnee State University utilizes three academic, fall, spring, and summer. Prior to semester conversion, SSU used the quarter system to keep track of enrollment information. Our current academic year starts in the fall and ends in the summer. This allows us to incorporate summer graduation data in a way that matches the curricular output of the campus. In previous years, we utilized a summer term as the leading term and spring as the final term for an academic year. Based on the graduation date of the summer term and other external reporting requirements such as IPEDs it was important for us to make this change. The only significant issue to account for is that some first-time freshmen in the summer can be counted in the fall first-time freshmen in Romans if the summer term was there leading term.


Grade File

Data that makes a difference.

The grade file is constructed by retroactively and actively on the 15th day of the term all the students enrolled in courses. Each student identification number has as many lines in the database as courses they took that term. The basic grade file shows student demographic information and data related to their total act academic activity at Shawnee State University. Anything connected to a course such as faculty member name and grade earned is in this file. It also contains information about the student, such as their major and age.

Because this information is pulled retroactively, it differs from the 15th they file. For example, to create the 15th day of the term registration is froze on the 15th day so the census can be taken. For the grade file, the information is downloaded on the 15th day of the term but also incorporates past academic terms. If something changed during a historical term such as students signed up for a course mid-semester, students dropped out, etc. that information is recorded. In that sense, it is more accurate than the actual census file because it captures the total output of our academic courses, faculty teaching loads, and student grades. This file is also helpful because it allows a deeper investigation into what happened during a semester. For example, if a student has a much lower GPA their junior year, it is possible to drill down into the information related to their course performance. This is not possible in the 15th they term file because each student has one record or line of data per term. The grade file can also be modified or joined with other data sources that help us as a campus community better understand what is going on in terms of our most important processes. Other files natively connected to this information include school and highest exam score information. The school information lists any educational institution the student attended prior to enrollment at Shawnee State University. This includes community colleges, private and public universities, or multiple high schools. By incorporating this information into the grade file, it allows us to review which majors are popular at which local high schools, or is there a large number of students transferring in from a particular college or university interested in a particular program.

 The highest exam file shows us the highest exam student recorded in each of the major exam areas. These typically include standardized test scores in the subsections contained within. It is possible to review the total exam scores submitted by a student to see how many times they took a test to see if they improve are not etc. but this is not that file incorporating this file into the grade file into the primary grade file gives us an ability to see if underprepared or college ready students succeed or fail in particular courses. As a campus community, there is much work to be done using these files.


Common Data Set

Though it is not a file per se, there will be other numbers related to enrollment that may differ from either the 15th they file or the grade file enrollment information. Across America, many offices of institutional research became overwhelmed with the number of opportunities to submit data to ranking organizations and other compliance-based activities. An effort was formed to create a common data set, standards used  by all reporting institutions based on the same parameters. The date of the common data set is typically different from the 15th day of the term information and may or may not be the same information as we report in our grade file. The idea of the common data set is that an office institutional research could submit the common data to answer more than one survey.The data can be used in a survey like the U.S. News & World Report data rankings without significant altercation. Again, these dates may differ from other submission sources.