Postsecondary Data Partnership Insights

January 16, 2024

The Postsecondary Data Partnership (PDP) is a service of the National Student Clearinghouse established in 2017 to empower institutions with more comprehensive data, easier analysis, centralized reporting functions, and interactive visualizations with benchmarking functionality. Data provided by participating PDP institutions are unique among existing national public and private sources and capture rich information such as student placement, course enrollment, grades, and credits attempted and earned.

The Research Center first reported on two key early momentum metrics — first-year credit accumulation and course completion — for a single cohort year (2019-20) in the 2022 PDP Insights report. Given the sudden shift to online education in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the new report tracks change in freshmen first-year credit accumulation and course completion over time among cohorts who entered before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. This enables additional insight into the impact of the pandemic on students’ first-year momentum towards degree completion.

Dashboards feature changes in first-year credits attempted, completed, and accumulated for the four entering cohorts (2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22) enrolled at one of the PDP institutions included in the panel. The report presents disaggregations by student demographics, enrollment intensity, field of major, and institutional characteristics.

This report focused on first-time in college, degree-seeking students who first enrolled in the fall semester of 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22. Three key metrics were analyzed:

  • Credit completion ratio (CCR) — the ratio of credits earned to credits attempted in a student’s first year of enrollment and measures the efficiency of a student’s progress towards earning a credential.
  • Credit accumulation rate (CAR) — an aggregate metric that identifies what share of students surpassed credit-hour thresholds within their first year. Percentages are provided for 12 and 15 credit hour thresholds for part-time students and 24 and 30 credit hour thresholds for full-time students. An expected credit accumulation for full-time students is 30 credits per year to complete a typical bachelor’s degree in four years or an associate degree within two.
  • Credit hours attempted — the total credit hours a student enrolled in during their first year which provides more context to the CCR and CAR outcome metrics.

Navigate details for student progress and completion metrics by enrollment intensity, student demographics and major field using the dashboard tabs below.

Previous Reports

Upcoming Reports

Late 2024

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