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Institutional Research

Benchmarking

Bench-marking is a process where college performance is measured and compared using many indicators in order to assess effectiveness and promote student success.

The U.S. Department of Education-National Center for Education Statistics maintains IPEDS (Integrated Post-Secondary Data Collection System), which collects data from colleges through a series of surveys each academic year and this data is then used in a variety of ways. The primary way the data is used is by providing interested parties the ability to make more informed choices about college by comparing data in areas like cost, size, location and demographics.

Another way this data can be used is for bench-marking which allows colleges to create a comparison group of similar colleges in order to benchmark in several achievement areas including retention and graduation.

The comparison group for Northeastern is made up of 13 community colleges throughout Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming. This group was selected by the college president and institutional research based on demographics that were similar between the colleges.

The first three tables show the overall demographic comparisons between Northeastern and the comparison group for all students. The remaining tables show comparisons for degrees awarded and retention and graduation rates.

Source:  U.S. Department of Education National Center of Education Statistics

NOTE:  The totals do not always add up to 100% in the comparison group due to the methodologies used to calculate the median range.

Race/Ethnicity (All Students)
  2017   2018   2019  
  Northeastern Comparison Grp Northeastern Comparison Grp Northeastern Comparison Grp
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 1% 0% 1% 0% 1%
Asian 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1%
Black or African American 3% 3% 3% 2% 3% 3%
Hispanic 13% 9% 14% 9% 18% 10%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
White Non-Hispanic 70% 64% 71% 65% 68% 63%
Two or More Races 3% 2% 2% 2% 3% 2%
Unknown Race/ Ethnicity 5% 3% 5% 3% 3% 4%
Non-Resident Alien (International) 4% 2% 3% 2% 3% 3%

Northeastern has a higher percentage of Hispanic and White Non-Hispanic students  than the comparison group.

Percentage of Females (All Students)
  2017   2018   2019  
  Northeastern Comparison Grp Northeastern Comparison Grp Northeastern Comparison Grp
Female 55% 59% 57% 59% 55% 60%

The comparison group has a higher percentage of females than Northeastern.

Unduplicated 12 Month Headcount, FTE, and Full-Time/Part-Time Enrollment
  2017   2018   2019  
  Northeastern Comparison Grp Northeastern Comparison Grp Northeastern Comparison Grp
Unduplicated Headcount 2,285 2,413 2,220 2,463 2,227 2,459
FTE (full-time equivalent) 1,250 1,169 1,150 1,180 1,104 1,092
Full-Time Enrollment 896 723 851 725 790 716
Part-Time Enrollment 651 977 641 921 600 982

Northeastern's headcount over the 12 month period is smaller than the comparison group.  This is most likely due to the larger number of part-time enrollments of the comparison group.  Northeastern has a higher number of full-time enrollments; therefore Northeastern's FTE is higher than the comparison group for two of the three years. 

Unduplicated headcount and FTE is measured for the academic year (summer, fall, and spring semesters combined), while full and part time enrollment is measured for the fall semester.

Degrees and Certificates Awarded
  2017   2018   2019  
  Northeastern Comparison Grp Northeastern Comparison Grp Northeastern Comparison Grp
Associate's 273 259 328 238 293 229
Certificates (at least 1 yr but less than 2) 54 65 59 69 68 64
Certificates (less than 1 yr) 347 75 307 48 319 68

Northeastern awards more Associate degrees than the comparison group and also awards far more certificates of less than one year.  The large difference in certificates of less than one year may be due to what are known as stackable certificates that are awarded along with Associate of Applied Science degrees for Career and Technical programs at Northeastern.

Retention Rate
  2017-Fall 2016 Cohort   2018-Fall 2017 Cohort   2019-Fall 2018 Cohort  
  Northeastern Comparison Grp Northeastern Comparison Grp Northeastern Comparison Grp
Full-Time, First-Time Degree Seeking 59% 57% 63% 61% 65% 57%
Part-Time, First-Time Degree Seeking 27% 33% 21% 37% 46% 42%

Northeastern has a higher retention percentage than the comparison group.  Retention rates are measured from the first fall enrollment to the following fall enrollment. 

Cohort is defined as:  All students that are new first time enrolled for the fall semester.  Full and part time cohorts are tracked separately and only degree seeking students are counted.

Graduation and Transfer Out Rates
  2017-Fall 2014 Cohort   2018-Fall 2015 Cohort   2019-Fall 2016 Cohort  
  Northeastern Comparison Grp Northeastern Comparison Grp Northeastern Comparison Grp
Graduation Rate 38% 35% 46% 39% 48% 38%
Transfer Out Rate 17% 20% 12% 19% 13% 16%

Northeastern has higher graduation rates and lower transfer out rates than the comparison group.  Graduation rates are measured by tracking the cohort of full-time, first-time degree seeking students during the three year period beginning with the first fall enrollment to completion of program.  This three year period is also known as 150% time to completion and is the standard used by the U.S. Department of Education.

Graduation Rates by Race/Ethnicity
  2017-Fall 2014 Cohort   2018-Fall 2015 Cohort   2019-Fall 2016 Cohort  
  Northeastern Comparison Grp Northeastern Comparison Grp Northeastern Comparison Grp
American Indian/Alaska Native 33% 40% 33% 12% 20% 17%
Asian 100% 29% 100% 25% 80% 33%
Black or African American 6% 22% 17% 30% 19% 24%
Hispanic 29% 35% 31% 29% 26% 34%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0% 50% 0% 17% 50% 0%
White Non-Hispanic 47% 38% 53% 41% 58% 42%
Two or More Races 38% 30% 13% 28% 28% 21%
Unknown Race/ Ethnicity 43% 37% 54% 33% 67% 47%
Non-Resident Alien (International) 50% 37% 50% 45% 38% 43%

Northeastern has lower graduation rates for Black and Hispanic students than the comparison group.

Graduation Rates by Type of Financial Aid
  2017-Fall 2014 Cohort   2018-Fall 2015 Cohort   2019-Fall 2016 Cohort  
  Northeastern Comparison Grp Northeastern Comparison Grp Northeastern Comparison Grp
PELL Grant Recipients 34% 29% 32% 33% 41% 32%
Subsidized Stafford Loan (did not receive PELL) 51% 33% 48% 38% 47% 36%
Neither PELL nor Stafford 40% 41% 60% 42% 55% 46%

Northeastern has higher graduation rates for PELL grant recipients than the comparison group for two of the three years.  Northeastern has higher graduation rates for Stafford loan recipients than for the comparison group.