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Thursday Churn: Easy college stats

What’s churning:

There are lots of studies that track college completion rates; two new ones are out this week, as reported by InsideHigherEd.com.

But such studies often are based on data that’s a year or two old, and they can be just plain hard to read. Using stale stats also can be a handicap for policymakers as they try to craft solutions to the completion problem.

But the InsideHigherEd story spotlights a new graphic tool created by independent researcher Nate Johnson that provides much timelier stats, is visually pleasing and easy to use.

See the dashboard for Johnson’s tool here. You can sort by state, types of degrees and certificates and by types of institutions (public, private, etc.).

Here are some highlights of what he found:

  • U.S. colleges and universities awarded 6.5 percent more degrees and certificates in 2010-11 than the year before.
  • Most of that growth was in associate’s degrees and occupational certificates, with associate’s up 11 percent and certificates up 9.1 percent.
  • For-profit colleges saw12 percent growth – and 160 percent in the last decade.

We’d tell you the Colorado stats, but you really should try this tool yourself.

Good reads from elsewhere:

Social promotion: Retaining third graders who can’t read well is a hot topic in several state legislatures, not just in Colorado. Our partners at EdWeek have the story.

Can I see your ID?: Embarrassing revelations about “ringers” taking SAT tests for college-bound students have pushed the College Board and the ACT folks to ramp up test-site security, according to this story in USA Today.

The EdNews’ Churn is a daily roundup of briefs, notes and meetings in the world of Colorado education. To submit an item for consideration in this listing, please email us at EdNews@EdNewsColorado.org.

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