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Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

The PDP’s interactive dashboards provide the following KPIs:

  • Credit Accumulation Rate by Year: Provides a view of how successful students are at completing enough credits starting from their first year of enrollment until the end of their fourth academic year. It is designed to help measure the extent to which students are progressing toward on-time completion. The disaggregates clarify which students are (or are not) gaining academic momentum early to help determine interventions to help students succeed.
  • Credit Completion Ratio: Offers a view of how successful students are at completing the credits they attempt in their first academic year. As higher first-year credit completion rates are linked with higher credential completion rates, this metric can help identify student populations needing early intervention.A student’s individual credit completion ratio is derived by dividing the total number of credits earned in the first academic year by the total number of credits attempted. The average of all student ratios across an academic year yields the institution’s credit completion ratio for that academic year.
  • Gateway Course Completion by Grade: Shows how many first-year students successfully complete their Math or English gateway courses. First-year gateway course completion is a critical leading indicator of students’ likelihood for credential completion, which can help alert institutions about how to better support gateway course-taking and completion among new students.
  • Retention/Persistence: First-to-second-year retention and persistence rates are presented for six consecutive student cohorts. Retention describes how many students are still enrolled or who have earned a degree from the cohort institution before the end of the student’s second academic year. Persistence reflects how many students are still enrolled in their second year or completed a credential at another institution. These data are first derived by checking whether a student has attempted credits at the cohort institution in his or her second academic year. If the student’s second year data is not submitted in an institution’s course file, the PDP leverages data supplied through the Clearinghouse’s nationwide enrollment and degree reporting services.
  • Retention/Persistence Term-to-Term: Provides a view of retention and persistence rates for students who attended as a first-time or transfer-in student over time, giving a term-to-term view of the student population within their first two academic years.
  • Transfer: Provides information on students who earned a certificate an associate, a bachelor’s, or did not earn a credential before or after transfer. It also includes information on an institution’s overall transfer rate. Outcomes will be provided for up to 6 cohorts of students and are available for up to 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8 years after a student’s first enrollment when possible. Note that only data for cohorts in which the full time frame has elapsed will be displayed. This dashboard includes three new filters; “earned credit milestones” which displays the number of credits a student earned prior to transfer, bucketed in 6 credit increments, “transferred within” with options including 2,3,4,6 and 8 years, and “institution type” which allows a user to select 2 year institutions, 4 year institutions or both.
  • Outcomes Measures: Provides a view of completion rates and other outcomes for students who attended the cohort institution by three categories: 1) those who earned a certificate or an associate, 2) those who earned a bachelor’s, and 3) those who are still enrolled at either the cohort or another institution. This information identifies groups of students for whom early intervention might boost completion and retention rates at the institution.
  • Credentials Conferred & Time to Credential: Credentials conferred reflects the academic year in which each credential was awarded, not the cohort year. Because the credentials reflected in this measurement are not restricted to the students submitted in the cohort file, a single student can have multiple credentials reflected. Credentials earned by students who stopped out for more than five years after first enrolling are excluded from this measure. Each credential type offered by the institution is available and disaggregated.

Time to credential demonstrates the length of time in years elapsed from first enrollment until the student earned an undergraduate credential. The full range of credential levels offered by the cohort institution are available across the six most recent academic years.


Participating PDP institutions also receive:

  • KPI Executive Summary: Available for institutions to use for executive-level administrators
  • Analysis-Ready File: Contains one row per student with the outcomes presented in dashboards as well as additional data elements and derived outcomes