Changing How We Measure College Completion

June 24, 2013

Today six higher ed associations have announced their endorsement of a system called the Student Achievement Measure (SAM), which is meant to track completion rates more precisely. The current federal methodology doesn’t work for a significant portion of higher-education – working adults. SAM will  include graduation rates for transfer students, two-year colleges and those attending part-time at associate and certificate programs.

Capella supports the idea of measuring completion rates to reflect the reality of today’s college students – which is not currently supported by the federal methodology. While this is a great step in the right direction, it is vital to have bachelor’s students attending part-time considered in this methodology. As more working adults are heading back to school to advance their careers, this is a population that needs to be served to truly assess the performance of a university. We put forward a set of policy proposals around outcomes in a policy paper last year.

Take a look at the piece by Scott Jaschik in Inside Higher Ed which provides a great breakdown of the new system.

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