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ERIC Number: ED507988
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Update on Graduation Rate Reporting: Issues and Opportunities. Policy Matters: A Higher Education Policy Brief
Russell, Alene
American Association of State Colleges and Universities
Since the passage of the federal Student Right-to-Know Act of 1990 (SRTK), graduation rates have been a subject of much debate and controversy. Why all the fuss? The simple truth is that graduation from college does matter, and it matters more than ever. From the societal perspective, the United States is falling behind other nations in the production of college graduates, and we need many more workers with postsecondary credentials to remain competitive in the global marketplace. From the individual perspective, attaining a postsecondary credential is increasingly a requirement for a middle class lifestyle. A final issue is that of equity--the fact that there is a substantial gap in graduation rates between whites and students of color, between high- and low-income students. Thus, the need to improve the nation's college graduation rates is evident. Just as evident is the role data must play in this effort. In order to improve institutional accountability, consumer information and institutional performance, data on student progress--properly conceived and presented--can and should be used. But it must be done correctly. With the recent passage of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), this is an excellent time to take stock of where we are with respect to graduation rate reporting and where we should go from here. This paper explores the federal role in shaping where we are today, problems with current definitions, and progress that has been made on several fronts. (Contains 2 footnotes and 11 resources.)
American Association of State Colleges and Universities. 1307 New York Avenue NW Fifth Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-293-7070; Fax: 202-296-5819; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Association of State Colleges and Universities
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Higher Education Act Amendments 1998; Higher Education Opportunity Act 1970