News Updates

January, 2018

The Office of Financial Management, Forecasting and Research Division has released a newly designed Statewide Public Four-Year Dashboard. OFM worked with the six public universities and colleges to create this centralized dashboard, which provides the public a view of public, four-year institution information, including the types of students enrolled and completing, in addition to the types of degrees awarded.

In 2011, the Legislature passed E2SHB 1795, related to higher education. In an effort to streamline the numerous accountability measures collected by different agencies, the Legislature requested that the public four-year institutions report on many of the Complete to Compete metrics identified by the National Governors Association. Since then, OFM has published the Statewide Public Four-Year Dashboard in response to this legislation, to make this information available to the public. OFM prioritizes student privacy and has developed suppression rules that meet the law and intent of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). These suppression rules are applied to the data before it is released for display.

This newest version of the dashboard makes use of the data visualization capacities of Tableau, and has been user-tested to ensure that visualizations are useful and easy to understand. The hope is that these new and improved visualizations will better equip Washington educators, institutions, and residents in making informed policy decisions that affect Washington institutions of higher education.

The dashboard has a Frequently Asked Questions page (located under the About this Dashboard tab) that addresses common questions and concerns related to the dashboard and its data. If you have any further questions about the dashboard, or need any assistance viewing or navigating the dashboard, please contact Melissa Beard, higher education analyst for the Office of Financial Management.


December, 2017

ERDC has recently published a new Earnings for Graduates report, which explores theearnings of students who have received certificates or degrees from public colleges, universities, and apprenticeship programs in Washington. The report allows users to explore how much graduates from various degree programs in Washington have earned during the seven years after graduation, and how this varies by institution and industry. For example, users can see how much graduates from a degree program have earned in multiple industries.

The 2014 Legislature, via a budget proviso, requested that ERDC “create a report of employment and earnings outcomes for degrees, apprenticeships and certificates earned at institutions of higher education” (ESSB 6002, Sec 129). In addition, institutions have relied on graduate surveys to get important feedback information for accreditation and program improvement purposes. While wage outcomes are not the only way to evaluate a program, linking completion and employment data and providing this to institutions can assist them in decision-making.

Some important caveats: Earnings information is provided only for completers matched with Unemployment Insurance (UI) wage records collected by the Washington State Employment Security Department. Therefore, this analysis does NOT include self-employed individuals, federal employees, and those employed exclusively outside Washington. Data are not displayed for groups of fewer than 30 individuals. Many students continue their education after completion of a program and do not reach their full earning power until completing their education. Wage rates vary widely across the state and the mix of programs offered by a college often reflects the regional economy. Earnings variations across colleges are expected. Many factors in addition to earnings are required to measure the true value of a degree.

May, 2017

ERDC's High School Feedbck Report has been updated to include college-going rates through 2015. The High School Feedback Report is a yearly-updated P20 report that presents college attendance data for high school graduates. The report includes student enrollment, demographics of graduates by postsecondary status, pre-graduation indicators by postsecondary status, and postsecondary participation characteristics for students enrolled in Washington publicly-funded institutions. 

February, 2017

ERDC has published a dashboard that explores the time it takes to earn a degree across various degree programs at Washington four-year institutions. The dashboard presents data for seven graduating cohorts, from 2007-08 to 2013-14, and includes information from the University of Washington, Washington State University, Western Washington University, Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, and the Evergreen State College. The data can be disaggregated by race, gender, student need, and also by majors that are STEM related or in high demand. The dashboard can be used to see how time to degree changes across time for different demographic groups, and for different degree programs. To view the dashboard, visit here. For a tutorial video on how to use the dashboard, visit here.

February, 2017

The Education Research and Data Center has just published a longitudinal study that examined the educational progress and degree completion of students who received State Need Grants (SNG). This study was conducted upon request by the legislature. The cohort included those who received SNGs for first time during the 2007–08 academic year, and tracked their academic progress and degree completion in Washington public institutions across eight years. The summary of the findings and a PDF of the research brief can be found here, and an interactive dashboard of the data can be found here.

Among other things, the study found that most SNG recipients in the cohort were enrolled in community or technical colleges (CTCs), with a small minority who attended four-year institutions. In addition, the majority of SNG recipients who attended four-year institutions earned a bachelor’s degree within five years, and the vast majority of those who earned a bachelor’s degree earned it within five years. In addition, of SNG recipients who attended CTCs (who represent the majority of SNG recipients), forty percent did not persist past the first year (this may be comparable to the persistence rates of CTC enrollees generally). Those who did earn a degree earned it within four years.


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