Student Outcomes Data & IPEDS

NPC maintains and reports student outcomes data not only to monitor and improve institutional efficiencies and effectiveness but also to meet various external reporting requirements. Examples of student outcomes data include:

  • Graduation and Transfers,
  • Retention and Persistence,
  • Certification and Degree Completion, and
  • Post-graduation Employment.

As mandated by federal law, NPC is required to complete the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) survey annually for the National Center for Education Statistics. The NPC IPEDS report contains general college information as well as data such as financial aid, enrollment, retention and graduation rates and completions by programs or majors.

At the state level, NPC also participates in the Arizona Community College Strategic Vision for 2030, an ongoing effort for Arizona's 10 community college districts to improve and align post-secondary education and training in the state. NPC reports student progress and outcomes data on a minimum of 30 key indicators of progress toward three areas (access, retention, and completion).

Despite the benefits of using standardized definitions and calculation methodologies, externally reported student outcomes data oftentimes overlook the unique and diverse characteristics of a student population in terms of education goals, needs, and trajectories. While these data are often considered useful when comparing institutional performance against state or national benchmarks, NPC usually relies on other student outcomes statistics to improve instructional and institutional effectiveness.


Graduation & Transfers

Table 1 displays two sets of externally reported graduation and transfer data. Primarily due to differences in cohort definitions and external reporting specifications, these rates reflect performance from different student subpopulations. In general, the cohorts defined under Strategic Vision reporting contain a slightly larger student group than those in the IPEDS reports. Nonetheless, across all reporting years, the fall cohorts defined by either IPEDS or Strategic Vision external reporting requirements were not representative of all the students enrolled in NPC in the target cohort. The IPEDS and Strategic Vision rates shown in the table accounted for no more than 3.5% and 8%, respectively, of the entire NPC credit-bearing student populations.

TABLE 1
 
Reporting
Year
IPEDS*   Strategic Vision**
Fall
Cohort
Year
150%
Graduation
Rate
150%
Transfer
Rate
Fall
Cohort
Year
6-Year
Graduation
Rate
6-Year
Transfer
Rate
2012 2009 6% 24% 2005 17.8% 16.3%
2013 2010 11% 27% 2006 13.7% 17.6%
2014 2011 5% 25% 2007 14.9% 16.5%
2015 2012 8% 10% 2008 22.5% 18.9%
2016 2013 9% 9% 2009 21.9% 19.6%

 *IPEDS cohorts are defined as full-time, first-time degree- or certificate-seeking students identified in the target Fall Cohort Year who completed a degree or a certificate within 150% of the “normal time” for completing the program in which they are enrolled.

**Strategic Vision cohorts are defined as full-time and part-time students with a high school diploma or equivalent who entered college for the first-time in the target Fall Cohort Year, taking credit or developmental education courses. For details on how cohorts are defined for Strategic Vision's graduation and transfer indicators, see the Technical Guide. (PDF)


Retention & Persistence

Table 2 presents the retention and persistence outcomes data based on IPEDS and Strategic Vision reporting specifications. Similar to the graduation and transfer data, Strategic Vision full-time student cohorts are slightly greater than the IPEDS cohorts. Rate fluctuation across the years for both external reportings may also be due to relatively small denominators defined based on cohort definitions.

TABLE 2
 
Reporting
Year
IPEDS Fall-to-Fall Retention Rates
by Student Part-Time/Full-Time Status*
  Strategic Vision Full-Time Students'
Retention and Persistence Rates**
Fall
Cohort
Year
 
 
Part-Time
 
 
Full-Time
Fall
Cohort
Year
 
Fall-to-Fall
Retention
Fall-to-Next
Term
Persistence
2012 2011 22% 36% 2009 42.9% 79.6%
2013 2012 28% 26% 2010 65.7% 89.2%
2014 2013 28% 43% 2011 51.5% 72.0%
2015 2014 28% 38% 2012 41.6% 72.6%
2016 2015 21% 44% 2013 58.8% 71.4%

*IPEDS cohorts are defined as full-time, first-time degree- or certificate-seeking students identified in the target Fall Cohort Year who returned in next fall semester.

**Strategic Vision cohorts are defined as full-time and part-time students with a high school diploma or equivalent who entered college for the first-time in the target Fall Cohort Year and returned the next term or fall semester. For details on how cohorts are defined for Strategic Vision's retention and persistence indicators, see the Technical Guide (PDF).


Certification & Degree Completion

This graph shows the number of certificates and degrees awarded by NPC since 2012. It also displays the number of unduplicated student headcounts in the same period.

2017 Outcomes Chart 1


Industry-Specific External Certifications

Individual NPC departments keep track of the number of industry-specific external certifications for their students. Table 3 shows the number of external certifications per 100 unduplicated student headcount enrolled in a particular academic year for select departments. It is important to note that for industries such as automotive or welding, it is possible for students to receive multiple levels of certifications, each representing distinct level of competence in the field. Additionally, due to time and resource constraints, each department maintains its own data collection, tracking methodology and schedule. Consequently, the results reported here may represent the accomplishments of a majority but not all of the departments' students.

TABLE 3
Industry-Specific External Certifications per 100
Unduplicated Student Headcount Enrolled
Academic Year
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Automotive Technology 213.4
Cosmetology 27.9 21.7 27.0 18.9 19.4
Emergency Medical Technology 9.6 8.0 10.2 8.6 10.3
Fire Science 37.3 60.4 79.7 55.2 73.5
Industrial Maintenance & Operations 18.9 28.3 41.4 22.2 22.8
Nursing 66.3 61.1 43.5 69.1 57.8
Nursing Assistant Training 48.9 51.0 55.1 55.2 58.4
Welding 108.5 93.9 77.7 63.0 68.2

Notes: These NPC departments used a variety of methods to collect external certification information from industry recognized credential entities or via student phone interviews and surveys, Facebook research, and student contacts with instructors. Completeness of data is subject to time and resource constraints, as well as the ability to obtain up-to-date student contact information, especially those who have already graduated from NPC.


Post-Graduation Employment

Similar to the external certification outcomes data, individual departments also keep track of their graduates' employment status. The table below displays the post-graduation employment rates for select NPC departments. For all but the Nursing department, the rates calculated are based on the number of unduplicated student headcount graduated in a particular academic year. The rates for Nursing are calculated for specific nursing student cohorts according to external reporting requirements. It is important to note that a rate may exceed 100 as some students may report employment to their respective departments in the same academic year in which they graduated. The rates presented below may also under-report our students' post-graduation employment status as each department maintains its own data collection, tracking methodology and schedule as subject to time and resources as well as the ability to obtain up-to-date contact information for their graduates.

TABLE 4
Post-Graduation Employment per 100
Unduplicated Student Headcount Graduated
Academic Year
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Automotive Technology 117.6 58.8 30.0 66.7
Business 2.6 10.8 11.1
Cosmetology 83.3 68.6 55.6 88.0 4.3
Fire Science 78.9 104.0 144.4 116.7 113.3
Industrial Maintenance & Operations 66.7 41.5 75.0 58.3 78.8
Nursing* 75 95 100**
Welding 23.1 19.4 18.2 27.9 16.7

Notes: All departments used a variety of methods to define and collect post-graduation employment information (e.g., student phone interviews and surveys, Facebook research, and student contacts with instructors). The Nursing Department follows specific accreditation guidelines and requirements to calculate the report NCLEX-RN Pass Rate, On-Time Graduation Rate, and Job Placement Rate. The figures presented here for Nursing are the job placement rates within 6 months of graduation based on May graduates of each academic year. The 100% employment rate was based on a response rate of 81% from student interviews and surveys.