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The Clearinghouse Helps Colleges and Universities Find the Missing Puzzle Piece for Student Achievement, Enrollment and Admissions Insights

by NSC Blog | Dec 19, 2018 | Clearinghouse Academy, StudentTracker, Testimonials, Tips & Tricks |

The Clearinghouse finds the missing puzzle piece to help colleges and universities gain education insights, according to campus leaders who spoke at the recent Baltimore Clearinghouse Academy, “Using Data Campus-wide to Produce Successful Graduates.”

Panelists shared stories with numerous universities, community colleges, and technical colleges on how they leveraged the Clearinghouse’s StudentTracker data to discover insights on student enrollment and completion outcomes and to influence better policies, processes and daily operations.

Tom Porch, manager of strategic retention and planning initiatives at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) said it best: there’s always one piece of the puzzle missing. StudentTracker data helped him discover one key missing puzzle piece: students were not leaving UMUC and going to other institutions – they were graduating faster. Porch presented on a panel with fellow college and university administrators from across Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

“We primarily use StudentTracker data to re-engage with students who were near degree completion to help them to the finish line,” Porch said. “When I think about StudentTracker, I can’t help but think about it as .1 percent value added to your existing story. It seems like such a small percentage, but for us that made all the difference in the world.”

Cheryl M. Ackerman, director of evaluation, Delaware Environmental Institute at the University of Delaware, described how her funding agency wanted a report on who was pursuing biomedical degrees. Ackerman said, “The data from the National Student Clearinghouse allowed us to categorize the different areas that the students were studying so that we could provide it to them.” The data was also used to evaluate the long-term impact and effectiveness of STEM summer internships.

Craig A. Claggett, vice president of planning, marketing, and assessment at Carroll Community College shared how Clearinghouse data was essential for community colleges for accurate transfer outcomes, accountability, program reviews, recruiting strategies, and marketing campaigns.

“Many people assumed that we were a feeder school to the nearest university on campus,” Claggett said. “You’d ask people on campus what percentage of our students transferred to Towson, people would say half, two-thirds, a fourth at least. Turned out that the data showed that even though Towson was a popular destination, only 14 percent of our students went there, which was a real eye opener.”

Clearinghouse data revealed that Carroll Community College students were transferring to nearly 650 different colleges and universities. This revelation sparked a marketing campaign showcasing that students who attend Carroll Community College transfer and obtain their bachelor’s degree from almost any school in the country.

Jonathan Akman, associate director/business analyst from American University, discussed how detailed, multi-year reports from StudentTracker allowed senior administrators to see where different segments of their applicant pool chose to enroll.

“National Student Clearinghouse data on our campus is comparable to candy for our senior administrators,” said Akman. “Clearinghouse data is very rich in terms of offering unique insights about where our students are going. We’re able to find out if students are leaving and going to two-year colleges, four-year colleges, etc. and what that information might suggest about how we’re servicing our students on our campus.”

To discover how the Clearinghouse can help your institution use data to aid student achievement and success, contact your regional director.

“Clearinghouse data is very rich in terms of offering unique insights about where our students are going. We’re able to find out if students are leaving and going to two-year colleges, four-year colleges, etc. and what that information might suggest about how we’re servicing our students on our campus.”

Jonathan Akman
Associate Director/Business Analyst, American University

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