Institution-Set Standards

In spring 2014, the Strategic Planning Committee developed a set of six Institution-Set Standards that was approved by the Governance Council. This set was subsequently revised to four indicators because it was felt by members of the Strategic Planning Committee that the school should focus on shorter term “leading” indicators; this set was approved by the Governance Council. A “leading” indicator is one that predicts and influences a longer term “lagging” indicator. For example, course success rates can be considered “leading” indicators of student persistence rates: If one student has higher course success rates in one semester compared to another student, then the student with higher course success rates is more likely to have higher across-term persistence rates. Likewise, student persistence rates can be considered an leading indicator of longer term program completion rates: students who persist in their first three terms are more likely to complete their programs than are students who do not persist for their first three terms. By focusing on the short term leading indicators, the longer term “lagging” indicators such as program completion would naturally increase because they are influenced by the shorter term “leading” indicators.

Taft College’s current Institution-Set Standards include:

  1. Within-Term Retention: the percent of students enrolled by the end of their first term (leading indicator of course success, student persistence, and program completion);
  2. Successful Course Completion: the percent of students who successfully complete their courses (leading indicator of persistence and program completion);
  3. Three-Term Persistence: the percent of first-time students who enroll in their first three semesters (leading indicator of program completion); and
  4. Completion: the percent of students who complete a degree or certificate or other transfer related outcome within three years (mandated lagging indicator).

All of the identified Institution-Set Standards are disaggregated by (1) gender, (2) race, (3) age, (4) disability status, (5) college-prepared vs. unprepared where appropriate, and (6) other variables as appropriate. Disproportionate impact is identified using the “80% Rule,” which states that any subpopulation within the disaggregated variables that falls below 80 percent of the highest performing subpopulation triggers further investigation and intervention, if appropriate. As a general rule, only subpopulations of size 25 or larger are used in the disproportionate impact calculations.

It should be noted that these four measures are similar to the Scorecard measures. The primary difference is that Taft College’s Institution-Set Standard metrics use a shorter three-year follow up as opposed to the Scorecard’s six year follow-up. Additionally, Taft College’s metrics, with the exception of persistence, apply to ALL students as opposed to the Scorecard that applies only to first-time students who take an English and math course and who accumulate so many units within three years.

Taft College will systematically review student performance on all of these measures and, using the 80% rule defined above, identify relatively poorer performing subpopulations, investigate and take action as deemed necessary. Performance on the Institution-Set Standards will be monitored via the “Dashboard” website maintained by the College’s Institutional Research Office.