Demystifying Our Most Popular StudentTracker For High Schools Reports
Report 2 Decoder: Persistence in Postsecondary Education Graph
The National Student Clearinghouse’s StudentTracker® for High Schools service generates lots of helpful data on the long-term postsecondary education outcomes of your high school’s graduates. We package that information into a report that presents the aggregate data in a series of charts and graphs.
To turn this data into insights that drive action and improve outcomes, you need to know how to interpret each chart. In this series, we decode StudentTracker for High Schools’ most important charts and graphs – so you can use the data with confidence.
Report 2: Persistence in Postsecondary Education
This second report in our series shows what percentage of your high school’s graduates stayed enrolled at any postsecondary institution from the first year to the second year (called “persistence”). This data is only available once a cohort has completed the first two years after high school graduation. You can customize the reports with specific institutional characteristics such as college type (public/private), level (2yr/4yr), and location (in-state/out-of-state).
For instance, this graph shows how many of your school’s graduates came back to college for their sophomore year. Here are some details:
- Each of the years listed along the bottom of the graph corresponds to one graduating class. In this example, we have data starting with the Class of 2008 (on the left) and ending with the Class of 2014 (on the right)
- For this report, we need to have two years of data (i.e., both the freshman and sophomore years of college for a given graduating class)
- It doesn’t matter if the student switched to a different school – as long as they enrolled in any college for their second year, they count as persisting
- The purple line (which in this case ranges between 88 and 94 percent) is the overall percentage of students who stayed enrolled in college for their second year
- The straight, red line is the average persistence percentage across all seven graduating classes (in this example, it’s 90 percent)
- The green line and orange line on the graph show the persistence percentages for students at two-year and four-year institutions
Let’s look at some examples.
- For this school’s 2014 graduating class:
- 89 percent of the 2014 graduates of this high school returned to college for their second year
- 95 percent of students enrolled in a four-year institution came back for their sophomore year
- 70 percent of two-year college enrollees returned for their second year
- For the Class of 2009:
- 88 percent of the 2009 graduates of this high school came back to college for their second year
- 96 percent of students enrolled in a four-year institution returned for their sophomore year
- 72 percent of two-year college enrollees returned for their second year
To turn this data into insights that drive action and improve outcomes, you need to know how to interpret each chart.