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Postsecondary Education Outcome Measures: ED, DOD, and VA

Postsecondary Education Outcome Measures: ED, DOD, and VA

Consistent with Executive Order 13607: Establishing Principles of Excellence and Public Law 112-249: Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans, the United States Departments of Education, Veterans Affairs, and Defense have worked together to identify outcome measures that will provide information on available educational programs to support informed decision making about educational choices, especially as they relate to Veterans and service members. This effort was guided by the following set of questions:

A set of outcome measures are proposed to capture important information on students’ experiences during school, upon completion of a degree or certificate, and post-graduation using existing administrative data. An additional set of outcome measures that require additional analysis and in some cases data from additional data systems have been identified for further exploration. The following chart lists each measure, with a brief definition of the measure, the cohort or population the measure describes, and an indication of the ability to report the measure. Click on the response for NCES under Departments reporting to see an example of existing data reported at the national level. Following the chart, there is a brief discussion of several overarching measurement issues that will help you understand some of the differences in available information from each of the three Departments.

Click the plus and minus (/) symbols below to expand/collapse the table sections.


Outcome Measure

Definition

Cohort/Population

Reporting Subpopulations

Departments Reporting

During School

Retention rates within institutions

The percentage of first-time degree or certificate seeking students/beneficiaries who complete their educational program or return to the same institution to continue their studies the following year.

Cohort consists of any first time students/ beneficiaries enrolled in the institution in a given year.

* 4-year institutions:
full-time Bachelor’s degree seeking, part-time Bachelor’s degree seeking;
* Less than 4- year institutions:
full-time degree or certificate seeking students, part-time degree or certificate seeking students.

ED = Yes (year one to year two)
VA = Yes (potentially multi-years)
DOD = Yes (potentially multi-years)

Persistence rates of students

The percentage of the cohort who completed a program or enrolled for credit at any institution in two consecutive years.

Cohort consists of any first time students/beneficiaries enrolled in an institution in a given year.

* 4-year institutions:
full-time Bachelor’s degree seeking, part-time Bachelor’s degree seeking;
* Less than 4- year institutions:
full-time degree or certificate seeking students, part-time degree or certificate seeking students.

ED = Yes (every 8 years, multiple years for a single nationally representative cohort)
VA = Yes (annually, year to year, multiple years for a single cohort)
DOD = Yes (annually, year to year, multiple years for a single cohort)

Course Completion rates within institutions

The percent of courses attempted for credit that were successfully completed (received a passing grade) in a given year.

Population includes any student/beneficiary who enrolled in a course for credit in the current year.

TBD

ED = Yes (every eight years at the national level)
VA = No
DOD = Yes

Transfer-out rate from institutions

The percentage of the full-time, first-time students/beneficiaries who transferred to another institution. within 150% of normal time (e.g., 6 years for 4 year institutions, 3 years for 2 year institutions and below).

Cohort consists of any first time, full-time students/beneficiaries enrolled in the institution in a given year.

TBD

ED = Yes (when reported)
VA = Yes
DOD = will develop an alternative measure that includes part-time student

Graduation / Completion

Graduation / Program Completion rates from institutions

a.) GR 150 - The percentage of first time degree or certificate-seeking students/beneficiaries who complete a degree or certificate within 150% or of normal time.
b.) GR 200 - The percentage of first time students/beneficiaries who complete a degree or certificate within 200% of normal time.

Cohort for GR 150 and GR 200 consists of first time degree or certificate seeking students/beneficiaries enrolled in an institution in a given year followed for 150 percent and 200 percent of the time for normal completion.

* 4-year institutions:
full-time Bachelor’s degree seeking,full-time Associate’s degree seeking,full-time undergraduate certificate seeking students;
* Less than 4- year institutions:
full-time degree seeking, full-time undergraduate certificate seeking students.

ED = Yes (annually)
VA = Yes (annually, but subject to under-reporting associated with voluntary reporting)
DOD = will develop an alternative measure that includes part-time students

Number of Degrees / Certificate Completions from institutions

The number of degree or certificates completed by all students/ beneficiaries within a given year.

Population includes all students completing a degree or certificate in a given year.

Level or type of degree/ completion, from less than 2-year certificates through graduate degrees and postgraduate certificates by field.

ED = Yes (annually)
VA = Yes (as allowed with voluntary reporting)
DOD = Yes (annually)

Median Federal Student Loan Borrowing

 

The median amount of Federal student loans borrowed for students’/beneficiaries’ undergraduate study at the institution. All Federal loans for undergraduate study, including Parent PLUS loans, are included for this population of borrowers.

 

 

Population includes all students/beneficiaries who borrowed for students’/beneficiaries’ undergraduate study at the institution and who graduated or withdrew from the institution in the given year.

 

TBD

ED = Yes
VA = possibly, VA is exploring the possibility of utilizing ED’s NSLDS system.
DOD = possibly, DOD is exploring the possibility of utilizing ED’s NSLDS system.

Post Graduation

Loan Default or Repayment rates

Loan default rate, also known as Cohort Default Rate (CDR), is the percentage of an institution’s students/ beneficiaries who took out Federal student loans and defaulted on their Federal student loans within 3 years of entering repayment.

Population includes all borrowers who entered repayment three years earlier.

TBD

ED = Yes
VA = possibly, VA is exploring the possibility of utilizing ED’s NSLDS system
DOD = possibly, DOD is exploring the possibility of utilizing ED’s NSLDS system

Future Exploration

Average number of years to complete degree/certificate

The average time to complete is the average number of years that it takes a student/beneficiary to complete a degree or certificate. For students who graduate/complete in a given year, the total number of years students/ beneficiaries were enrolled (or used the GI Bill/TA) to complete a degree or certificate divided by the number of completers.

Population includes all students/beneficiaries who complete a degree or certificate within a given year.

TBD

ED = Yes (every 8 years)
VA = TBD
DOD = TBD

Average number of institutions attended prior to completing degree

The average number of institutions attended by a student/beneficiary prior to degree or certificate completion. For students who graduate/complete in a given year, the total number of institutions in which students/ beneficiaries were enrolled (or used the GI Bill/TA) divided by the number of graduates/completers

Population includes all students/beneficiaries who complete a degree or certificate within a given year.

TBD

ED = Yes (every 8 years)
VA = TBD
DOD = TBD

Employment rates in field of study

Employment rate in the field of study is the percent of students who completed a specific number of years prior and are now working in an occupation related to their field of study (as defined by BLS).

Population includes all students/beneficiaries who completed a specified number of years prior.

TBD

ED = Yes, every 8 years for a nationally representative population


VA = TBD
DOD = TBD

Unemployment rates

The unemployment rate is the percent of students/beneficiaries who completed or withdrew from a specific institution a specified number of years prior, who are not currently enrolled in any postsecondary institution, and are looking for work, but not employed.

All students who graduated or withdrew from the institution a specified number of years prior who are not currently enrolled, not employed, but looking for work.

TBD

ED = Yes, every 8 years for a nationally representative population
VA = TBD
DOD = TBD

Average salary for graduates

The salary is the average annual earnings for students/beneficiaries (not currently enrolled in school/or in active duty) two years after they complete their degree or certificate.

All students/beneficiaries who completed two years prior.

TBD

ED = Yes, every 8 years for a nationally representative population.
VA =TBD
DOD = TBD

Beneficiaries: VA = All recipients of GI Bill benefits; DOD = All recipients of TA/MYCAA

Time Frame: ED = Fall or Oct 15; VA = Aug 1-July 31; DOD = Oct 1-Sep 30



Developing Comparable Outcome Measures across ED, VA, and DOD:
Overarching Measurement Issues

Postsecondary education programs include a wide array of fields with different programs offering undergraduate and graduate certificate programs of varying lengths of time, as well as 2-year, 4-year, and graduate degrees. Key differences in student populations served; the focus of the education benefits programs; and program administration practices across VA, DOD, and ED result in several measurement issues.