ERIC Number: ED475730
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Following the Mobile Student: Can We Develop the Capacity for a Comprehensive Database To Assess Student Progression? Research Report.
Ewell, Peter T.; Schild, Paula R.; Paulson, Karen
A major problem in measuring student success in postsecondary education is the difficulty in tracking students' progress as they transfer from one institution to another. National studies have shown that more than half of students attend more than one institution in their pursuit of a bachelor's degree. This study examined existing state-level databases to study the feasibility of creating a method to track students across state lines. Data from a number of sources show that 39 states currently maintain a total of 46 databases, which contain information on enrollments for 69% of the U.S. full-time enrollment and 73% of the head count enrollment. Seven states maintain such information through more than one such unit-record (UR) database. Most UR databases contain information only on public institutions within the state, but 12 of the 46 contain information on at least some private institutions. Most state-level UR databases allow long-term enrollment tracking, as most have been in use for at least 6 years. The overall features of current UR databases are similar enough to allow consistent snapshots of persistence and program completion, and virtually all use the student's Social Security number to link records and complete statistics across institutions. About half of these databases currently link with other state-level databases,such as high school or wage records. Findings show relatively few design obstacles to using state-level UR databases to track students more comprehensively, but there are challenges involved. Three appendixes contain supplemental information, including descriptions of current state-level databases. (Contains 4 tables and 12 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Persistence, College Students, Databases, Enrollment, Higher Education, Student Mobility, Student Records, Transfer Students
For full text: http://www.luminafoundation.org/publications/researchreports/NCHEMS.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Lumina Foundation for Education, Indianapolis, IN.