ERIC Number: ED424804
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-May-19
Reference Count: N/A
Simulating the Effect of Student Profile Changes on Retention and Graduation Rates: A Markov Chain Analysis. AIR 1998 Annual Forum Paper.
Borden, Victor M. H.; Dalphin, John F.
This study used Markov chain matrices to simulate the effect of varying degrees of change in student characteristics on retention and graduation rates. Data were applied to a 1-year enrollment transition matrix that tracks how students of each class level progress into the same or higher class levels, to a completed degree, or to non-returning status. The results indicated that there are large, initial differences in graduation rates according to grade-point average (GPA) and course credit-load differences among students. Despite the strong association between grades and retention, this analysis indicated that even a 25 percent upward shift in grade distribution increased the total graduation rate by only 2.4 percent. A shift in 25 percent of students toward higher credit-load categories resulted in a total increase in the graduation rate of less than 1 percent. The simulation demonstrates that even significant changes in the distribution of students by GPA and course credit-load do not yield significant changes in graduation rates. (MDM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A