The third line from the top in Figure 3 show the percentage of schools and colleges that have other accreditation in addition to that from ACCSCT. This percentage has changed very little in the five years. The bottom line in Figure 3 indicates the percentage of schools and colleges that had complaints under review by ACCSCT or some other accrediting body or government agency during each of the school years. This percentage has always been quite low and stable. Prior education of students is the topic of Figure 4. Over the past five years there has been a marked drop in the percentage of Ability-to-Benefit (ATB) students. In 1994, only 9 percent of full-time enrollees were ATB, about half the percentage that enrolled in 1990. General Educational Development (GED) enrollments have been steady while the percentages of high school graduates and students with prior postsecondary education have increased. The trends among part-time students have been the same as those for full-time. Figure 4. Highest level of prior education of full-time students ACCSCT schools and colleges offer over 4,000 programs in more than 100 different occupational areas. The programs cover a wide variety of fields, but a relatively few types of programs account for a large percentage of all graduates. In 1994, Commission accredited schools and colleges graduated 144,575 full-time students and 11,652 part-time students. Figure 5 presents the five program categories with the largest number of graduates. (Different scales are used in Figure 5 for the number of graduates and number of programs.) Medical assistant programs, by a large margin, produced the most graduates (21,019). The number was almost double that of the next program area, electronics specialist (11,388). There were far fewer programs in the third area, truck driver, but they produced almost as many graduates as the electronic specialist area. The shorter length of the truck driver programs allows for more graduates within a school year compared to the longer length of medical assisting programs. The five program categories shown in Figure 5 accounted for 53,982 full-time graduates, over one-third of all the students graduates in 1994. Figure 5. Five program areas with the largest number of graduates in the 1994 school year Outcomes The performance of the accredited schools and colleges has been very consistent over the five years examined. Figure 6 presents, from top to bottom, the trends for the four outcome measures: trainingrelated placement, graduation, default and withdrawal rates for full-time students. All of these have been very constant. The slight increase for training-related placement (TRP) in 1994 may be attributed to the longer follow-up period, since annual reports were due three months later in 1994 than they had been in previous years. In the annual total data, graduation rates indicate the number graduating as a percentage of the total number leaving their schools, either through graduation or withdrawal. For each of the five years, slightly less than two-thirds of the full-time students graduated. Among part-time students, the rates were slightly more than one-half. Results from the cohort data, presented later (Figure 11), indicate that in 1994, 70 percent of the students who started their programs completed them within one and one-half times the scheduled lengths of the programs. The measures used with the annual total data were developed for crosssectional data which present pictures of the schools for each school year. The measures used with the cohort data are longitudinal. The cohort data track the same students from enrollment to completion or withdrawal, during the defined time periods. The comparison of the two rates for 1994 suggests that the annual total measure somewhat underestimates actual graduation rates. The measure of withdrawal used with the annual total data also appear to underestimate the actual rate. In the annual total data, withdrawal is the number withdrawing as a percentage of the total number enrolled. In the cohort data, withdrawals are those who do not complete their programs or withdraw because they obtain related employment within one and one-half times the scheduled lengths of the programs. In 1994, the annual total definition yielded a withdrawal rate of 20 percent. The cohort data (Figure 11) yielded a rate of 30 percent. We think the higher percentage in the cohort data reflects a more accurate tracking of withdrawals. This greater accuracy is most likely to occur with students who enroll in one academic year but do not complete their program that year. They plan to return the following year but do not do so. As a result, they may not be counted as withdrawing in the annual totals reported for either year. The cohort definition tracks such students across years and is more likely to include them. Training-related placement (TRP) indicates the number of graduates who obtained jobs that were related to the fields they had studied as a percentage of all graduates who sought employment. Each of the five years, three-quarters or more of the full-time graduates obtained related employment. The corresponding rates for part-time graduates were 10 to 13 percentage points lower. The definitions of TRP used with the annual total and cohort data are almost identical. The one difference is that students who withdrew because they obtained related employment are included in the cohort definition. This is at least part of the reason that in 1994 TRP for the cohort data was 82 percent (Figure 11), four points higher than the rate for the annual total data. 43-818 97 - 7 Default rates are based on the students who left their schools and colleges two years prior to the years being analyzed. Default rates have been fairly consistent across the five years we have examined. They have varied within a range of 3 percentage points from a low of 23 to a high of 26 percent. Schools that have high rates in one year tend to have high rates in other years. Those that have low rates in one year tend to have low rates in other years. In the next section, we examine school characteristics that have been found to have a statistically significant relationship with the four outcomes (graduation, withdrawal, TRP, and default). Multiple regression yields estimates of the independent effect on the outcomes of each school characteristic for which we have a measure while controlling for the effects of all other measured characteristics. As an introduction to the multiple regression results, we present a two-way cross-tabulation of the relationship of full-time enrollment to the four school outcomes. The results in Figures 7 through 10 show how the outcomes differed among schools in four different size categories in school years 1993 and 1994. The results for the two school years are nearly identical. Figures 7 and 8 show that as enrollment increased graduation rates decreased and withdrawal rates increased. The differences in these rates across the enrollment categories were very similar in 1993 and 1994. The schools in the lowest enrollment category, 300 or less, had higher TRP rates in both years (Figure 9), but there was little difference among the three other size categories. Default rates tended to be slightly lower in schools in the largest and smallest enrollment categories than those in the middle two categories (Figure 10). The cross-tabulations in Figures 7-10 control for only one school characteristic. The multiple regression results in the next section can be thought of as very complex cross-tabulations that control for the effect of 36 characteristics while indicating the independent effect of one. Figure 7. Graduation by school enrollment in 1993 and 1994 school years |