About The Arch
OverviewThe Completion Arch draws on the data results of national initiatives and published research presented as common measures that track community college student progress and success at national, state and initiative levels, making it a comprehensive resource.
What You Can Do with This DataYou can use the research data on this site to aggregate data in two ways:
- Browse the site and select the indicators to add to your Indicator List as you go.
- If you already know which indicators you want, go directly to Build an Indicator List in the top navigation and choose only the indicators you are interested in, such as all indicators for a particular state.
EnrollmentHistorically, enrollment has represented a way to measure access to postsecondary education. It includes indicators of fall enrollment and unduplicated annual enrollment and breaks down enrollment statistics by gender, race/ethnicity, enrollment status and Pell Grant status.
Developmental Education PlacementThis area consists of many indicators because a majority of community college students enroll in developmental courses. Some indicators depict the precollege placement level of courses to which students are referred and whether or not they enroll at that level. Others are participation rates in developmental courses.
Transfer and CompletionThis area consists of more traditional outcomes, such as institutional graduation rates reported by colleges to the U.S. Department of Education and degree completion rates based on student-level data.
Workforce Preparation and Employment OutcomesData on community college students' workforce outcomes are scarce. Currently, there are only three measures that make up this area: licensure exam pass rates, job placement rates, and wages and wage growth.
About the Indicators
The Completion Arch was conceived to consolidate a set of common community college metrics and summarize the statistics in the form of state- and initiative-level indicators of student progress and success.
Download The Completion Arch: Measuring Community College Student Success 2012 for a summary of The Completion Arch initiative, its purpose and sample measures and indicators.
What is an Area?
The Completion Arch groups indicators into five topical areas representing the progression of students into and through community college and eventually into the workplace. The five areas are as follows: Enrollment; Developmental Education Placement; Progress; Transfer and Completion; and Workforce Preparation and Employment Outcomes.
What is a Measure?
Each area encompasses multiple measures. As used here, a measure is a conceptual definition of student progress within the general topical area. For example, Enrollment consists of two measures: fall enrollment and unduplicated annual enrollment. Progress, however, is a much larger area, including precollege and college milestones and indicators signaling momentum.
What is an Indicator?
Each measure further consists of one or more indicators. An indicator is a specific operational definition of a measure and its results. For example, one of the measures in the Progress area is "specified number of credits earned in the first year." Each indicator may have a slightly different outcome, population, or time frame. Some indicators are more useful depictions of student success than others, even when they correspond to the same measure.
One of the most important functions of The Completion Arch is to explain the data underlying each indicator so that users of this resource will understand how indicators differ.