Additional Information on Report Card Metrics
Diversity Counts in a Competitive SUNY
The educational and social benefits of diversity within higher education are clear. The concept is vital to American and international business efforts to hire and maintain a diverse workforce. Major American businesses, the U.S. military, and other entities have clearly expressed the skills needed in today's increasingly global marketplace, which can only be developed through exposure to widely diverse people, cultures, ideas, and viewpoints. The U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged this need, and the supporting social science, in its seminal examination of, and justification for, diversity in higher education in the case of Grutter v. Bollinger (2003).
The modern SUNY System was created more than fifty years ago through Governor Nelson D. Rockefeller's vision to greatly expand New York's educated citizenry. His goal was to provide opportunities where none existed for the racial and religious groups that were targets of discrimination and the economically disadvantaged who could not afford private colleges. Today, New York is the third most populous state in the nation and one of the most culturally diverse. SUNY reflects and values that diversity, which is truly one of our greatest strengths.
In A Competitive SUNY, we looked at a number of measurements typically associated with responsible 21st-century higher education. In the Diversity Counts section, we seek to look at the same elements, but using disaggregated data to highlight opportunities for us to better serve underrepresented populations.
SUNY's diverse educational environments create an intellectual climate that fosters respect for differences, stimulates innovation, encourages collaboration, and prepares students to live and work productively in a multiracial and multiethnic society. Ethnicity statistics are broken down as follows: White Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American/Alaskan, Non-Resident Alien, and Unknown. For the purposes of data integrity, we have used federal Department of Education classifications.
SUNY Success Rates
This is metric is a holistic measure of student success that considers the mobility behaviors exhibited by many college students today, e.g., starting college at one institution and graduating from another. The measure factors in graduation from any SUNY college or university or continuing to enroll or transferring outside of SUNY within 150% of the “normal” time to complete a college degree (associate = 3 years; baccalaureate = 6 years).
This metric reports the percentage of undergraduate students enrolling full-time at a SUNY college that completes their academic program of study and receive a degree or certificate within 150% of the “normal” time required to earn a college degree (associate = 3 years; baccalaureate = 6 years). It is a standard measure of academic success in higher education.
This metric reports the percentage of undergraduate students enrolling full-time at a SUNY college that continue to enroll a year later. It is a standard measure of student academic progress and success in higher education. Since the highest rates of attrition occur during the first year of enrollment, this metric is an indicator of how well the college retains its students; also, higher retention rates are indicators of higher graduation rates in future years.
Average Time to Degree
This measures the mean period of time undergraduate degree recipients (who entered the institution as first-time) required to complete their degree. It is a general indicator of how quickly students are able to advance through the curriculum to graduation.
Recruitment of Students From Historically Underrepresented Populations and Enrollment
These indicators help SUNY determine progress in creating a diverse student body, using metrics that detail the actual recruitment and enrollment of historically underrepresented populations (African American, Pacific Islanders, Hispanics or Chicanos/Latinos, and Native Americans), while key federal criteria on socioeconomic level allow SUNY to evaluate its record in creating access to higher education for those who are identified as economically disadvantaged.
For a definition of this metric and more information about the methodology SUNY used, please see the SUNY Report Card Metrics Definitions document.