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Increase student access (Atlanta Metropolitan State College-2023)

Strategy/Project Name: 
Increase student access
Momentum Area: 
Strategy/Project Description: 

This project focuses on increasing student admission (access), increasing semester-to-semester persistence, reducing time to graduation, increasing course pass rates, and ultimately increasing the number of completions.

Activity Status: 
Evaluation/Assessment plan: 

AMSC will utilize new and continuing student headcount data for persistence and retention data; 2. Applications-to-Accepted Applications and Acceptances-to-Enrolled Students will be utilized to determine admissions acceptance and yield rates.

KPIs: Persistence Rate, Retention Rate, Earned/Attempted Hours; Acceptance and Yield Rates

  • Baseline measure (for each KPI):
  • Persistence Rate – 60.0% (Fall 2021 to Spring 2022); 43.6% (Spring 2022 to Fall 2022)
  • Retention Rate -     33.3% (Fall 2021 to Fall 2022)
  • Earned/Attempted – 79.6% (Continuing/Returning Students, Fall 2021); 63.8% (New Freshman, Fall 2021)
  • Acceptance Rate -      68.6%, (Dual Enrolment, Fall 2021); 74.0% (Re-admits, Fall 2021)
  • Yield – 68.1% (Dual Enrollment Fall 2021); 57.8% (Re-admits, Fall 2021)

Current/most recent data (for each KPI)

  • Persistence Rate - 61.9% (Fall 2022 to Spring 2023); 44.9% (Spring 2023 to Fall 2023)
  • Retention Rate -     35.2% Fall 2022 to Fall 2023)
  • Earned/Attempted - 79.4% (Continuing/Returning, Fall 2022); 60.5% (New Freshman, Fall 2022)
  • Acceptance Rate –     42.6%, (Dual Enrollment, Fall 2022); 74.0% (Re-admits, Fall 2021)
  • Yield - 78.3% (Dual Enrollment, Fall 2022); 63.8% (Re-admits, Fall 2022); 

Goal or targets (for each KPI)

  • Persistence Rate – 2% Increase over Baseline
  • Retention Rate – 2% Increase over Baseline
  • Earned/Attempted – 1% over Baseline
  • Acceptance Rate – 6% over Baseline
  • Yield – 3% over baseline

Time period/duration

  • Semester-to-semester for persistence, acceptance, and yield rates; Year-to-Year for retention rates.
Progress and Adjustments: 

Nearly 2% gains were made with persistence rates and retention rates, when comparing the Fall 2022 cohort results to the Fall 2021 baseline values. The targets were achieved with fall-to-spring persistence and fall-to-fall retention rates, though the overall retention values are quite lower than pre-covid values, of 45-48% for the first-time, full-time Cohorts.  The Spring 2023 cohort persistence rates showed slight gains over Spring 2022, though the targets were not met.  The spring-to-fall persistence rates are significantly lower than fall-to-spring, therefore priority will be placed on increasing the spring cohort persistence, particularly addressing summer melt and other barriers that prohibit spring students from returning the following fall semester.

Earned/Attempted is an important metric, as it provides course efficiency. If a student is successful in all courses, he/she will have 100% earned/attempted ratio.  The earned/attempted credit hours were flat for Fall 2022 continuing/returning student when compared to those a year prior.  Fall 2022 new freshman showed a 3.3% decline, when compared to students in the prior year. The disparity in earned/attempted hours for new freshman requires increased focus on additional support for the new freshman cohort in FY24.

Fall 2022 Dual enrollment students had a decline in acceptance rates over the previous year, but the same group had an increase in yields over the same period. Re-admits showed a 6% increase in yield for Fall 2022, and were flat with acceptance rates, when comparing Fall 2022 and Fall 2021 cohorts. The increase in yields for re-admits indicates the strategy is working and that the institution will maintain current efforts.

Plan for the Year Ahead: 

Based on the results, the focus will be placed on (1) building on the strategies that produced successes for Fall 2022 when compared to Fall 2021, (2) focusing improving results for cohorts with lagging KPIs, including increasing course pass rates for new Freshman, and increasing persistence rates for retaining student for the spring-to -fall semesters.

Challenges and Support: 

The biggest challenge is identifying and addressing the barriers that prohibit students from returning in the fall semester. Often it is difficult to contact students after they have left the institution to determine why they are not returning. Often students do not respond to text messages and phone calls. Once the barriers are identified, specific strategies can be developed to improve persistence and retention rates.

Primary Contact: 
Dr. Harry Akoh
Dr. Vincent Mangum
Ms. Sharon Duhart