Data Definitions

Academic year

In some cases, the academic year is defined as beginning with the Summer term and ending with the Spring term; closely following the fiscal year.  In other cases, typically when looking at graduation metrics, the academic year is defined as beginning in the Fall term and ending with the Summer term.

Age group

Age was calculated as of the beginning of the term.

Continuation rate

The percentage of entering students enrolling in subsequent terms. The number of students enrolling in subsequent terms divided by the number of students enrolled in Fall 2007.

Degrees

A count of Undergraduate and Graduate degrees awarded in an academic year. All degrees awarded are included in this count, even if one student earned more than one degree.

Direct from high school student

A student who enters a public four-year institution without any undergraduate credits. These students may enter direct after graduating from high school or may enter after a period of time between high school graduation and entering higher education.

Enrollment

The unduplicated count of students enrolled during the academic year. If a student is enrolled in more than one institution, the student is counted only once at the statewide level. These numbers will vary slightly from sources that report annual average where the total number of students enrolled each term is divided by the number of terms in an academic year.

Graduation rate

The number of students who complete an undergraduate degree in any term from Fall in a particular year through Summer of the ending year divided by the number of students who began in Summer or Fall of the particular year.  For example, the four-year graduation rate is calculated by taking the number of students who complete an undergraduate degree between Fall 2007 through Summer 2011 divided by the number of students who began in Summer or Fall 2007.

Public Centralized Higher Education Enrollment System (PCHEES)

A system managed by OFM since 1998 to collect public, four-year higher education data at the student level. PCHEES went through a major change from 2008-10 to begin collecting completion data and is currently expanding, with funds from a 2009 ARRA Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems grant, to include the functionality needed to create dashboard of higher education data.

Pell/State Need Grant recipient

For the enrollment metric, a student was categorized as a Pell/State Need Grant recipient if they received a grant in any term during the year being displayed.

When calculating graduation or retention rate, a student was categorized as a Pell/State Need Grant recipient if they received a grant in any term during their first year at the institution.

For degree recipients, a student was categorized as a Pell/State Need Grant recipient if they received a grant in any term prior to receiving the degree.

Pre-college course taker

For the enrollment metric, a student was categorized as a Pre-College course taker if they enrolled in a pre-college math or English course in any term during the year being displayed.

When calculating graduation or retention rate, a student was categorized as a Pre-College course taker if they enrolled in a pre-college math or English course in any term during their first year at the institution.

For degree recipients, a student was categorized as a Pre-College course taker if they enrolled in a pre-college math or English course in any term prior to receiving the degree.

Race or ethnicity

Hispanic Origin and Race/Ethnicity is asked of students separately. A student can identify any Hispanic Origin and then identify a race or ethnicity (Black, White, Asian-American and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaska Native).  International students do not indicate a Hispanic Origin or race/ethnicity. 

STEM/High employer demand

Defined by the Classification of Program (CIP) code. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programs are identified by national groups, such as the National Science Foundation. High employer demand programs are identified by the institutions, in consultation with the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board and the Washington Student Achievement Council, based on the needs of the state.

Transfer student

A student who enters a public four-year institution with undergraduate credits from another higher education institution, either two-year or four-year, not including credits earned through dual credit programs such as Running Start or Advanced Placement.

Transfer with DTA/AST student

A student who enters a public four-year institution with an Associate’s Degree classified as a Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) or Associate in Science Transfer (AST) from another higher education institution.