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Completions (C) Glossary

American Indian or Alaska Native
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community attachment.
Asian
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Associate's degree
An award that normally requires at least 2 but less than 4 years of full-time equivalent college work.
Bachelor's degree
An award (baccalaureate or equivalent degree, as determined by the Secretary, U.S. Department of Education) that normally requires at least 4 but not more than 5 years of full-time equivalent college-level work. This includes all bachelor's degrees conferred in a 5-year cooperative (work-study) program. A cooperative plan provides for alternate class attendance and employment in business, industry, or government; thus, it allows students to combine actual work experience with their college studies. Also includes bachelor's degrees in which the normal 4 years of work are completed in 3 years.
Black or African American
A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
Certificate
A formal award certifying the satisfactory completion of a postsecondary education program.
CIP code
A six-digit code in the form xx.xxxx that identifies instructional program specialties within educational institutions.
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP)
A taxonomic coding scheme for secondary and postsecondary instructional programs. It is intended to facilitate the organization, collection, and reporting of program data using classifications that capture the majority of reportable data. The CIP is the accepted federal government statistical standard on instructional program classifications and is used in a variety of education information surveys and databases.
Clock hour
A unit of measure that represents an hour of scheduled instruction given to students. Also referred to as contact hour.
Contact hour
A unit of measure that represents an hour of scheduled instruction given to students. Also referred to as clock hour.
Credit hour
A unit of measure representing the equivalent of an hour (50 minutes) of instruction per week over the entire term. It is applied toward the total number of credit hours needed for completing the requirements of a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award.
Diploma
A formal document certifying the successful completion of a prescribed program of studies.
Distance education

Education that uses one or more technologies to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor synchronously or asynchronously.

Technologies used for instruction may include the following: Internet; one-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcasts, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite or wireless communication devices; audio conferencing; and video cassette, DVDs, and CD-ROMs, if the cassette, DVDs, and CD-ROMs are used in a course in conjunction with the technologies listed above.

Distance education course
A course in which the instructional content is delivered exclusively via distance education.  Requirements for coming to campus for orientation, testing, or academic support services do not exclude a course from being classified as distance education.
Distance education program
A program for which all the required coursework for program completion is able to be completed via distance education courses.
Doctor's degree-other
A doctor's degree that does not meet the definition of a doctor's degree - research/scholarship or a doctor's degree - professional practice.
Doctor's degree-professional practice
A doctor's degree that is conferred upon completion of a program providing the knowledge and skills for the recognition, credential, or license required for professional practice. The degree is awarded after a period of study such that the total time to the degree, including both pre-professional and professional preparation, equals at least six full-time equivalent academic years. Some of these degrees were formerly classified as first-professional and may include: Chiropractic (D.C. or D.C.M.); Dentistry (D.D.S. or D.M.D.); Law (J.D.); Medicine (M.D.); Optometry (O.D.); Osteopathic Medicine (D.O); Pharmacy (Pharm.D.); Podiatry (D.P.M., Pod.D., D.P.); or, Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.), and others, as designated by the awarding institution.
Doctor's degree-research/scholarship
A Ph.D. or other doctor's degree that requires advanced work beyond the master's level, including the preparation and defense of a dissertation based on original research, or the planning and execution of an original project demonstrating substantial artistic or scholarly achievement. Some examples of this type of degree may include Ed.D., D.M.A., D.B.A., D.Sc., D.A., or D.M, and others, as designated by the awarding institution.
Hispanic/Latino
A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), conducted by the NCES, began in 1986 and involves annual institution-level data collections. All postsecondary institutions that have a Program Participation Agreement with the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE), U.S. Department of Education (throughout IPEDS referred to as "Title IV") are required to report data using a web-based data collection system. IPEDS currently consists of the following components: Institutional Characteristics (IC); 12-month Enrollment (E12);Completions (C); Admissions (ADM); Student Financial Aid (SFA); Human Resources (HR) composed of Employees by Assigned Position, Fall Staff, and Salaries; Fall Enrollment (EF); Graduation Rates (GR); Outcome Measures (OM); Finance (F); and Academic Libraries (AL).
Master's degree
An award that requires the successful completion of a program of study of at least the full-time equivalent of 1 but not more than 2 academic years of work beyond the bachelor's degree.
Some of these degrees, such as those in Theology (M.Div., M.H.L./Rav) that were formerly classified as "first-professional", may require more than two full-time equivalent academic years of work.
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
Nonresident alien
A person who is not a citizen or national of the United States and who is in this country on a visa or temporary basis and does not have the right to remain indefinitely.
Post-master's certificate
An award that requires completion of an organized program beyond the master's degree, but does not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctor's level.
Postbaccalaureate certificate

An award that requires completion of an organized program of study beyond the bachelor's.  It is designed for persons who have completed a baccalaureate degree, but does not meet the requirements of a master's degree. 

 

NOTE: Even though Teacher Preparation certificate programs may require a bachelor's degree for admission, they are considered sub-bacalaureate undergraduate programs, and students in these programs are undergraduate students.

Postsecondary award, certificate, or diploma (at least 1 but less than 2 academic years)
An award that requires completion of an organized program of study at the postsecondary level (below the baccalaureate degree) in at least 1 but less than 2 full-time equivalent academic years , or designed for completion in at least 30 but less than 60 semester or trimester credit hours, or in at least 45 but less than 90 quarter credit hours, or in at least 900 but less than 1,800 contact or clock hours.
Postsecondary award, certificate, or diploma (at least 2 but less than 4 academic years)
An award that requires completion of an organized program of study at the postsecondary level (below the baccalaureate degree) in at least 2 but less than 4 full-time equivalent academic years , or designed for completion in at least 60 but less than 120 semester or trimester credit hours, or in at least 90 but less than 180 quarter credit hours, or in at least 1,800 but less than 3,600 contact or clock hours.
Postsecondary award, certificate, or diploma (less than 1 academic year)
An award that requires completion of an organized program of study at the postsecondary level (below the baccalaureate degree) in less than 1 academic year (2 semesters or 3 quarters), or designed for completion in less than 30 semester or trimester credit hours, or in less than 45 quarter credit hours, or in less than 900 contact or clock hours.
Race and ethnicity unknown
The category used to report students or employees whose race and ethnicity are not known.
Race/ethnicity
Categories developed in 1997 by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that are used to describe groups to which individuals belong, identify with, or belong in the eyes of the community. The categories do not denote scientific definitions of anthropological origins. The designations are used to categorize U.S. citizens, resident aliens, and other eligible non-citizens.

Individuals are asked to first designate ethnicity as:
   - Hispanic or Latino or
   - Not Hispanic or Latino

Second, individuals are asked to indicate all races that apply among the following:
   - American Indian or Alaska Native
   - Asian
   - Black or African American
   - Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
   - White
Title IV institution
An institution that has a written agreement with the Secretary of Education that allows the institution to participate in any of the Title IV federal student financial assistance programs (other than the State Student Incentive Grant (SSIG) and the National Early Intervention Scholarship and Partnership (NEISP) programs).
White
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
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Current Survey Changes

Table 6. Proposed Minor Changes to Completions (C) Form

Changed instruction/FAQ/screen (where applicable; additions in red, deletions with strikethrough, rewording in blue)

INSTRUCTION AND FAQ CHANGE: Postsecondary award, certificate, or diploma of less than 1 academic year: Less than 900 contact or clock hours, or less than 30 semester or trimester credit hours, or less than 45 quarter credit hours)

INSTRUCTION AND FAQ CHANGE: Postsecondary award, certificate, or diploma of at least 1 but less than 4 academic years: Less than 900 contact or clock hours, or less than 30 semester or trimester credit hours, or less than 45 quarter credit hours

IPEDS collects data on the number of students who complete a postsecondary education program (completers) and the number of postsecondary awards earned (completions). Business and industry, the military, and other groups that need to recruit individuals with particular skills use these data extensively.

Data collected include:

  • Completions by field of study, award level, recipient race/ethnicity and gender;
  • Completers by race/ethnicity, gender, and age (collected at the total as well as by award level); and
  • Whether programs are offered via distance education

Field of study is categorized according to the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP), a detailed coding system for postsecondary instructional programs.

Contact: Audrey Peek, Survey Director
Completions