In our previous blog post, we introduced the relatively new Outcome Measures (OM) calculated by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) as a means for comparing institutions across a combination of three variables: Pell grant status, prior college experience (first-time or transfer), and attendance level (full-time or part-time in first semester of enrollment). This multifaceted way of reporting means that students who were previously not included in larger data systems are now being systematically tracked at multiple time-points (4, 6, and 8 years) related to the completion of an award (e.g., degree, diploma, certificate, or other recognized credential conferred by the institution). The OM cohorts and subcohorts now allow for the evaluation of how institutions of higher education, including both 2-year and 4-year institutions, are doing in terms of promoting student success for all undergraduates enrolled on their campuses.
Whereas the previous blog post introduced the various OM components by reviewing nation-wide data, the following analysis compares Texas public universities to national averages within Carnegie Classification levels. As shown in the visualization under “Carnegie Class,” there are three levels of doctoral institutions (Very High Research Activity, High Research Activity, and Doctoral/Professional Universities), three levels of Master’s colleges and universities (Larger Programs, Medium Programs, Small Programs), and two levels of bachelor’s colleges (Arts & Sciences Focus and Diverse Fields) within the Carnegie Classification system. Across Texas public universities, there are no institutions classified at the bachelor’s college or the Master’s Small Program levels.
To promote exploration of these data, we have included a series of filters on the right of the chart that will allow you to select different combinations of variables to view Outcome Measures data in a variety of ways. By default, the visualization is set up to show 6-year graduation rates for first-time-in-college (FTIC) students who were full-time upon entering their institution in the 2011-2012 academic year. This subcohort is similar to the traditionally-defined first-time, full-time, degree-seeking fall enrollment cohort which is most often discussed within higher education. For each subgroup, the nation-wide average is marked with “USA” and is shaded in blue. This allows for comparison of the Texas schools to the national average within each of the Carnegie Classifications. For the Texas public institutions, the colors of the bars correspond to membership within one of the six public university systems, as the four public independent institutions are also grouped together for convenience. As we have seen in previous posts related to student outcomes, gaps remain between Not Pell and Pell students when viewing institution-level data that are contextualized against the national averages.
FIRST-TIME-IN-COLLEGE (FTIC) STUDENTS: Full-Time
Doctoral Universities: When comparing the 20 doctoral institutions in Texas, we see that most institutions are trailing the national average within their respective Carnegie Classifications. This is true for both Not Pell and Pell student groups. In the Doctoral: Very High Research Activity category, UT Austin and Texas A&M University are above the national average of 75.2% for Not Pell and 62.7% for Pell who were first-time, full-time degree-seeking students, with UT Dallas slightly above the national average in the Pell-eligible category. In the Doctoral: High Research Activity group, Texas State University exceeds the national average for Not Pell students, while Texas State and UTRGV are above the national average with Pell-eligible students. For the institutions in the Doctoral/Professional Universities category, Sam Houston State University is above the national average for Not Pell students, while Texas A&M University-Commerce, UT Tyler, Sam Houston State, and Stephen F. Austin State University are above the national average for Pell-eligible students.
Master’s Universities: By selecting the “Masters” Carnegie Group category on the filter to the right, we can review data for the 15 public universities categorized as Master’s Universities. For the FTIC students, three universities (Texas A&M University-Central Texas, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, and University of Houston-Clear Lake) do not have data, due to those institutions being upper-division and graduate institutions only in 2012. In looking at the all of the Master’s universities, none of the Texas public institutions are above the national average for the first-time, full-time students who were Not Pell eligible. For those students who were Pell eligible, Tarleton State University is the only Texas institution to exceed the national average for this Carnegie Classification.
TRANSFER STUDENTS: Full-Time
One of the interesting aspects to the IPEDS OM data is that institutions are now required to track transfer student success through graduating with a bachelor’s degree. For this first analysis, we will look at transfer students who initially enrolled full-time during AY2012 at their respective institutions.
Doctoral Universities: In the Doctoral: Very High Research Activity category, Texas A&M University is the only Texas public institution that exceeds the national average for Not Pell-eligible students, while Texas A&M, UT Austin, and UT Dallas are all higher than the national average in the Pell-eligible category. In the Doctoral: High Research Activity, Texas State University, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and UT San Antonio are higher than the national average for Not Pell students, while TAMUK, UTRGV, Texas State, and UT San Antonio are above the national average with Pell-eligible, full-time transfer students. For the institutions in the Doctoral/Professional Universities category, Sam Houston State and Texas Women’s University are above the national average for Not Pell-eligible, full-time transfer students, while TWU, Sam Houston State, UT Tyler, and TAMU-Commerce are above the national average for Pell-eligible students in this category.
Master’s Universities: For full-time transfer students at Master’s: Larger Program institutions, UH Clear Lake and Prairie View A&M University are higher than the national average for Not Pell-eligible students, while UH Clear Lake, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, UT Permian Basin, Texas A&M International University, Tarleton State, and PVAMU are all above the national average for Pell-eligible transfer students who were full-time. In the Master’s: Medium Program universities, Texas A&M University-Central Texas exceeds the national average for both Not Pell and Pell full-time transfer students, with Texas A&M University-Texarkana joining TAMUCT above the USA average for Pell-eligible students.
NOTES: If you are unable to read all of the labels in the visualization below, we recommend clicking the “Full Screen” button on the lower right of the visualization window to enlarge the information. Hovering over each bar will provide a tooltip with additional information, including the number of students included in the combination of categories for that particular institution. Some institutions do not appear in some of the visualizations due to having fewer than 10 entering students in a specific combination of variables in the IPEDS OM data.
One of the challenges regarding the number of variable combinations available through the IPEDS Outcome Measures data is being able to understand broader trends within the state of Texas when compared to the national averages across Carnegie Classifications. In general, Texas public universities trail the national average in just over 50% of the combinations of grouping variables in the data. To give a sense of the extremes, only one of the Master’s public universities in Texas had a graduation rate higher than the national average for the combination of First-Time, Full-Time, Not Pell-eligible students who graduated within four years, while 12 of the 15 Master’s public universities had a graduation rate above the national average for 8-year graduation rates for students who were Transfer, Part-Time, and Pell eligible.
Texas public universities tend to have higher graduation rates than the national averages with Transfer students, regardless of whether they are Full-Time or Part-Time, and whether they are Pell eligible. For example, 9 of the 15 Master’s universities, and 11 of the 20 Doctoral universities in Texas had higher 4-year graduation rates than the national average for Full-Time Transfer students who were Pell eligible in AY2012. This ratio (11 of 20) remains the same for Doctoral universities at both 6-year and 8-year graduation rates, while Master’s universities drops to 8 out of 15 for the 6-year and 8-year graduation rates.
With only three full cycles of IPEDS OM data currently available, longitudinal trend analyses are not possible at this point. However, as the data mature, it will be interesting to see how public universities in Texas, as well as in the United States, progress along the new graduation metrics in the years to come.