HOW TO FIND OUT WHAT
THE CURRENT POSTSECONDARY OUTCOMES ARE

All states and districts track high school graduation rates, and many also track how many students enroll in college, enter the military, or enter the workforce.

However, far fewer follow student outcomes to determine how many students persist in college to attain bachelors or associate degrees, or complete other viable career training such as apprenticeships.

Data systems and mechanisms to monitor these outcomes systematically are mostly limited to college enrollment and, in some cases, first-year outcomes.

Without reliable information on the current situation, it is impossible to identify areas needing attention or improvement.

For example, if a high percentage of students enrolling in two-year or four-year colleges drop out without attaining a credential, there is reason for concern.

Also, if current enrollment and workforce data are not disaggregated by demographic groupings, seemingly positive outcomes can mask serious inequities.

(Click the above image for a PDF version of the resources on this page)

HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN

  • As this is an emerging need, large districts or state educational agencies will probably need to take the lead in developing and providing tools for data collection and assessment.
  • Develop partnerships and data-sharing agreements with higher education and workforce-focused agencies.
  • Use the Fifty-state comparison website, listed below, to find out what is being done around the country and how your state or district can learn from the experience of others.
  • The National Student Clearinghouse provides data on student enrollment and persistence in most two-year and four-year colleges for an annual fee.

EXEMPLARS IN PRACTICE

The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, “High School Graduate Outcomes.”
Data available by school or county on post-graduation employment as well as private and public college enrollment (in-state and out-of-state), with 2-year progression analysis. https://hsgrad.gosa.ga.gov/
Kentucky Stats
State-wide repository (sortable by county and individual school) showing detailed data on postsecondary enrollment and 1st year credits earned. Also gives employment data (state and county levels) but this does not appear to be linked to specific schools.

The “High school feedback on college-going and success” reports offer demographically disaggregated data for each school.

RESOURCES

  • Fifty-state comparison High school feedback reports
    Education Commission of the States
    State-by-state information on which states track postsecondary outcomes (mainly college attendance and first-year persistence) and which outcomes and data they monitor, with links to all publicly available state reporting sites. A good place to start to find out what your state is currently doing.