ERIC Number: ED462985
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Standardization of Rates To Adjust for Differences in Enrollment Composition.
Community colleges must often analyze and report rates for outcomes, such as transfer to four-year colleges. A single, summary rate may be an invalid measure of its achievement in the transfer goal if the summary rate ignores the real difference in enrollment composition at different institutions. California's community colleges embody a very diverse set of local environments. This diversity presents a challenge to the analyst who must compare a specific institution to others in the system. If the analyst does not control for "confounding" variables in the environment, an analysis may draw invalid conclusions about a specific, hypothesized cause-and-effect relationship of concern. This paper presents a method for adjusting a college's outcome rate to compensate for differences in enrollment composition. This method, known as standardization of rates, has two methods of calculation, the direct method and the indirect method. A college will benefit from standardization if: (A) it has an enrollment composition that diverges from the statewide composition; and (B) the college's outcome rates vary meaningfully between the strata of the adjustment variable. Both A and B should exist to make standardization worthwhile. However, even with A and B in effect, standardization will probably give only a partial remedy to the problem of invalid summary outcome measures. (NB)
Descriptors: Age, Causal Models, College Outcomes Assessment, Community Colleges, Educational Assessment, Educational Objectives, Enrollment, Enrollment Influences, Influences, Statistical Analysis, Statistical Data, Transfer Rates (College)
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Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A