Clearinghouse Data Helps Brigham Young University’s Salt Lake Center Understand Non-Traditional Students
In a recent interview with The Evolllution, an online education outlet, Brigham Young University’s (BYU) Scott L. Howell, director of the Salt Lake Center, and Julie Swallow, undergraduate program administrator at the Salt Lake Center, discussed how they leveraged Clearinghouse data to analyze, understand, and connect with non-traditional students while helping administrators discover the changing realities of higher education.
Howell and Swallow reflect on their initial findings from data gathered from StudentTracker® for Colleges and Universities, a tool that tracks college enrollment and degree data for more than 3,600 colleges and universities. Data findings provided insight regarding the BYU Salt Lake Center and students’ educational journey.
“Our data revealed that, for one-third of the 4,000 students that had come through our doors in ten years, we were the first institution they chose,” Howell said in the article. “For 39 percent, we were the second institution they attended. For 21 percent we were the third, and for 7 percent we were the fourth.”
Those numbers also showed that millennial students are more mobile than their predecessors and shed light how they access education. “They’re not loyal to one institution,” he said. “They’re willing to go elsewhere if they feel it will better serve them.
The recent Research Center’s Transfer and Mobility: A National View of Student Movement in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2011 Cohort report affirms the BYU Salt Lake Center’s perspective. “The national transfer statistics show that student mobility is diverse and complex,” said Doug Shapiro, Executive Director of the Research Center. “This report helps institutions go beyond first-time, full-time cohorts to understand non-traditional students, part-time and full-time, who transfer in and out of multiple institutions.”
“The data helped us better understand where students were interested in going once they left us,” Swallow said. “We also learned that most of our students go on to graduate at other institutions. That was positive – we were pleased to know that our student’s educational journeys don’t end with us. Many go on to successfully finish their degrees.”
The data raised all kinds of answers to questions that previously, Howell and Swallow could not address. “We have the answers, and it’s a rich pool of data. I was really pleased when the deans saw the value of these kinds of data queries to help solve other management issues throughout college,” Howell said.
To learn how StudentTracker® for Colleges and Universities can help your institution, contact your regional director today.
“We have the answers, and it’s a rich pool of data. I was really pleased when the deans saw the value of these kinds of data queries to help solve other management issues throughout college.”
Director of Brigham Young University’s Salt Lake Center