Community College Success: Reexamining Metrics of Success through a Cohort Cluster Analysis of Student Stakeholders
Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Loretta G. Quigley, EdD, RN, CNE
Elizabeth Keida, EdD
Community college success is measured by graduation rates. This metric of success does not account for the diverse types of students attending community colleges and all the outcomes that result. The purpose of this quantitative cohort cluster analysis is to analyze course taking behavior, and outcomes of various student stakeholders, to better understand the students and how successful community colleges are. Using archival student enrollment data, the study focused on a relatively recent cohort of students enrolled at community colleges in New York State for the first time in fall 2014. The five clusters were identified as: minimally committed, high achievers, successful transfer-in, dreamers, and long haulers. High achievers, successful transfer-in, and long haulers were all high on 6-year outcomes and part-time with more than 24 credits. Long haulers were lower on full-time with more than 42 credits but highest on part-time with more than 24 credits. In the fall 2014 cohort, 62.5% of students were not included in the full-time first- time-in-college metric. Success profiles were also created for each participating institution. Each of the three institutions varied greatly in success metrics except for transfer rates. College C had the highest success rates for both 2-year progress measures and 6-year outcomes. College B had the lowest success rates overall. Based on the findings from this research, it is recommended that Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data System adopt additional metrics such as the comprehensive data produced in the Voluntary Framework of Accountability and display 2-year institution data separately from 4-year institution data.
Baird, Abigail D., "Community College Success: Reexamining Metrics of Success through a Cohort Cluster Analysis of Student Stakeholders" (2022). Education Doctoral. Paper 541.
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