Data Dictionary

This data dictionary and the terms contained within are intended to provide the institutional researcher with a general knowledge of institutional effectiveness terminology. This list is not comprehensive, nor is it intended to be authoritative. This data dictionary is intended to provide general information to the reader concerning commonly used words that individuals will use, hear, or read about while working in the Institutional Research field.

When dealing with data and terms, the user must have an awareness of what the end user is seeking and knowledge of where the information can be accessed. Various organizations have different measuring standards. For example, at many post-secondary institutions a person is normally considered full-time if enrolled with 12 or more credit hours. However, when calculating full-time equivalent (FTE) students, many national and state agencies calculate FTE based on a student who is enrolled for 15 credit hours. In the same manner, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) considers a Certificate I completer as the person who received a credential based on the completion of 29 credit hours or less. For the state of Texas, a Certificate I completer is a person who received a credential based on the completion of 46 credit hours or less. Similar differences can be experienced in the use of other terms, such as “first time in college” and “first generation in college.”

The intent of this disclaimer is not to confuse the reader, but rather to build awareness. Commonly used words and terms within the educational field can have broader meanings than those definitions contained within this dictionary.

Term Definition Level
Academic Year The 12-month period of time generally extending from September to August. National
Academic Program Instructional program leading toward an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctor’s, or first-professional degree or resulting in credits that can be applied to one of these degrees. National
Academically Disadvantaged Students who have demonstrated (either by low performance on pre-entrance tests, or by attending class and struggling with the material) an inability to succeed academically without specific counseling, tutorial support, or academic remediation. National
Accreditation A process signifying that an institution has a purpose appropriate to higher education, and resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish its purpose on a continuing basis. National
Accuplacer An approved assessment instrument that will allow a student to satisfy one section or all sections of the Texas Success Initiative upon passage of the section. State
Administrative Unit/Division A unit charged with responsibilities, relating to either administration (student or campus support and operations) or learning (curriculum and development). National
Admissions Applicants granted an official offer to enroll in a college or university. National
Admission Category Indicator of whether student is a first-time freshman, new undergraduate transfer, new post-baccalaureate, new master’s, new special professional, new doctoral student, or a continuing/former student. National
African American (or Black) A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. National
Association for Institutional Research (AIR) The national-level organization focusing on the roles of the institutional research and institutional effectiveness. The mission of the Association for Institutional Research is to support members in their efforts to continuously improve the practice of institutional research for postsecondary planning, management and operations and to further develop and promote the institutional research profession. National
Alumni Surveys Questionnaires administered to undergraduate alumni to determine their satisfaction with programs and services, as well as their current educational and employment status. National
American Indian or Alaska Native A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community attachment. National
Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) A statistical test of whether or not the means of several groups are all equal, and therefore generalizes t-test to more than two groups. National
Annual Data Profile (ADP) A report (data profile) prepared by the Coordinating Board staff from college-generated data and program information to be used by the colleges to conduct institutional effectiveness self-assessments and institutional plans for new program review and program revisions. The ADP summarizes annual progress by each college toward meeting state-level goals and contains data required in institutions’ Perkins Annual Application and data for federal reporting. State
Annual Expenses The total expenditures associated with tuition, required fees, room, and board for a typical undergraduate student. National
Annual Review Informational guide containing activities from one academic year. Contents include planning initiatives, institutional effectiveness reports, data compiled from the federal IPEDS, state accountability, legislative budget board data, and various internal survey items. National
ASALFS (Automated Student and Adult Learner Follow-Up System) An automated process that uses employment and education databases to track community, technical, and state college program completers (both degree and certificate recipients), verifying their status of employment or further education. The follow-up system is used for program evaluation and state/federal reporting.
Asian A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam. National
Assessment 1. Determining the evaluation or level of accomplishment for a pre-determined activity or objective. 2. An on-going systematic collection and review of evidence used to shape and support program and individual development. National
ASSET An academic skills assessment instrument approved by the Board and offered by American College Test (ACT). National
Associate’s Degree An award earned by taking a minimum of 60 credits of prescribed and elective credit courses which promote both breadth and depth of knowledge. Associate degrees may be completed over a two-year period of full-time study. National
Attitudinal Learning A process through which the student’s feelings or attitudes effect their learning environment and enhances or prohibits their ability to concentrate, motivate and learn. National
Bachelor’s Degree An award earned by taking a minimum of 120 credits of prescribed and elective credit courses which promote both breadth and depth of knowledge. Bachelor degrees may be completed over a four-year period of full-time study. National
Balanced Scorecard A strategic performance management tool used by managers to keep track of various activities of the staff within their control and to monitor the consequences arising from those actions. National
Benchmark A point of reference or established data point upon which measurements can be made. National
Biennium The two-year budget period used by Texas state government. A biennium begins on September 1 of an odd-numbered year and ends on August 31 of the next odd-numbered year. Each biennium contains two state fiscal years. State
Black (or African American), Non-Hispanic A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. National
Calendar Year January 1 to December 31 National
Capstone Course A course designed and normally offered in the final semester of a student’s major. This course should tie together the key learning objectives that faculty expect the student to have learned while completing the program or major field of study. National
CBM Acronym for Coordinating Board Management Report. State
CBM001 This report reflects all students enrolled in credit courses at the reporting institution as of the official census date, which is the 12th class day for the Fall and Spring semesters (16-week session) and the 4th class day for each of the summer terms (6-week session). State
Carnegie Unit Time-based references for measuring educational attainment used by American universities and colleges. National
Census Date The official day of record that public higher education institutions must determine the enrollments that qualify to be reported to the Coordinating Board for state reimbursement. Also referred to as Official Reporting Date (ORD). For fall and spring semesters, it is the 12th class day. For summer semesters, it is the 4th class day. State
Certificate A formal award certifying the satisfactory completion of a postsecondary education program. National
Certificate Level 2 An award conferred by a postsecondary institution to recognize the successful completion of a program of studies having 30 or more but less than 60 student credit hours (SCH). National
Certificate Level 2 A workforce education program of study that consists of at least 43 and no more than 59 semester credit hours (64-89 quarter hours). Level 2 Certificates are subject to the requirements of the Texas Success Initiative. State
Certificate Level 1 An award conferred by a postsecondary institution to recognize the successful completion of a program of studies having 29 student credit hours (SCH) or less. National
Certificate Level 1 A workforce education program of study that consists of at least 15 and no more than 42 semester credit hours (23-63 quarter hours). Level I certificate programs are exempt from the requirements of the Texas Success Initiative, although all certificate programs must provide for local assessment and remediation of students. State
Certificate Program A technical program designed for entry-level employment or for upgrading skills and knowledge within an occupation. Certificate programs serve as building blocks and exit points for AAS degree programs. State
CIP Code A six digit code in the format of 00.0000 that identifies instructional program specialties within educational institutions. A CIP code is assigned to each program at the time it is established. Federal
CIP Code THECB adds an additional two digits on to the state level codes making the state level CIP an eight digit code, however the first six digits are maintained in conformity with the federal level CIP coded system. State
Classification Eight groupings based upon semester credit hours successfully completed and degree pursued [e.g., Freshman (0-29 hours); Sophomore (30-59 hours); Junior (60-89 hours); Senior (90+ hours); Master’s (pursing a master’s degree); Doctoral (pursuing a doctoral degree)] National
Cognition The process of acquiring, creating, and disseminating knowledge. National
Cognitive Learning The process of gaining knowledge through thought or perception. A technique that enables students to learn by using their sense of reasoning, their intuition and their own sense of perception. National
Cohort A grouping of students who share a statistical factor (age, ethnicity, academic standing, class membership) in common in a demographic study National
College Navigator Information source designed to help students, parents, advisors/counselors, and others get information about post-secondary institutions. Part of the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES). National
Common Data Set A detailed report covering institution-wide information. Data are presented in the same “common” format used by most institutions of Higher Education to facilitate comparisons among institutions. National
College Ready (1) The student who has enrolled into a college and has no requirement to enroll in any developmental courses prior to enrolling in college-level math or English courses. (2) The student who has completed all developmental courses. National
COMPASS An academic skills assessment instrument approved by the Board and offered by American College Test (ACT). National
Completer A student who receives a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award. In order to be considered a completer, the degree/award must actually be conferred. National
Completers within 150% (OF NORMAL TIME) Students (within a cohort or subcohort) who completed their program within 150% of the normal time to completion. For example, a student enrolled in an Associate program would complete the program within 3 years to meet the 150% rule. National
Contact Hour A unit of measure that represents an hour of scheduled instruction given to students. State
Consortium An association of two or more individuals, companies, or organizations (or any combination of thereof) with the objective of participating in a common activity or pooling their resources for achieving a common goal. National
Continuing Education (1) A course or activity having no credit applicable toward a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award. (2) A Coordinating Board approved higher education technical course offered for continuing education units and conducted in a competency‑based format. National
Core Curriculum The common part of every undergraduate curriculum that introduces students to a broad range of knowledge areas beyond their major and helps students develop basic intellectual competencies in reading, writing, speaking, listening, critical thinking, and computer literacy. National
Course Completers Individuals who are enrolled in credit awarding course on the day of census and remain continuously enrolled until the course completion date. National
Course Credit Course credit is a measure of the content (skills and/or knowledge) in a course. The expert authority with regard to course content and proposing credit value is the department responsible for designing the course. National
Course-based Assessment Techniques or methods used to measure student learning within the classroom environment. National
Credit Hour A unit of measure representing an hour (50 minutes) of instruction over a 15-week period in a semester system or a 10-week period in a quarter system. It is applied toward the total number of hours needed for completing the requirements of a degree, diploma, certificate or other formal award. National
Current Funds Expenditures (and Transfers) The costs incurred for goods and services used in the conduct of the institution’s operations. Includes the acquisition cost of capital assets, such as equipment and library books, to the extent current funds are budgeted for and used by operating departments for such purposes. National
Current Funds Revenues Unrestricted gifts, grants, and other resources earned during the reporting period and restricted resources received in non-exchange transactions for which any time restrictions have been met, or which have been earned in exchange transactions. National
Curriculum map The alignment of course materials with the student learning outcomes. National
Dashboard Shows what the institution considers to be important indicators of how the college, administration, and programs are operating and gauging progress or the results of expended resources. National
Data mining A process that attempts to discover patterns in large data sets. National
Degree An award conferred by a postsecondary institution to recognize the successful completion of a program of studies. National
Degree Program A degree program is any grouping of subject matter courses which, when satisfactorily completed by a student, shall entitle the student to a degree from an institution of higher education. A degree program is characterized by a disciplinary major which is the primary focus of course work. National
Degree Seeking Students Students enrolled in courses for credit that are recognized by the institution as seeking a degree or formal award. At the undergraduate level, this is intended to include students enrolled in vocational or occupational programs. National
Department (1) Transfer and Career/Technology Education: A division of the college or school giving instruction or training in a particular subject. (2) Non-academic: An administrative division of the college that provides student and/or academic support. National
Developmental (1) Designed to assist growth or bring about improvement (as in a skill). (2) Pre-college level course work designed to bring improvement or enhance a skill or skill set. National
Direct Measures Methods of gathering information that require students/advisors to demonstrate their knowledge and skills (e.g. portfolio, presentation, test results). Direct measures are more observable than indirect measures. National
Distance Learning Any for-credit instruction where delivery of instruction may utilize any or all of the following: print material, e-mail, telephone, audio tape, television/VCR, satellite, or computer for access to CD ROM, interactive video, Internet, or the web. The instructor may be physically separated from the students or may meet with students intermittently throughout the term. A distance-learning course is reported as either on- or off-campus based on where the majority of the students enrolled in the course is located. National
Drop-Out A student who left the institution and did not return. National
Dual Credit A college-level course taken by a high school student through which the student will receive high school and college credit at the same time. National
Duplicated Headcount The sum of courses enrolled for credit during the reporting period. National
Economically Disadvantaged Students who qualify for financial aid, federal grants, or other public assistance. National
Effectiveness A comparison of the results achieved to the goals intended. National
Efficiency A comparison of the resources used to produce the output. National
End of Course Enrollment The number of students who have not withdrawn or dropped and who were enrolled on the final day of the class if the Course-end Date occurred within the reporting quarter. National
End of Course Evaluations A questionnaire administered to students at the end of each course to assess their degree of satisfaction with the course and its instructor. National
Enrollments The total number of students properly registered and/or attending classes at an educational institution. National
Enrollment Statistics The number of students attending the college, sorted according to the student characteristics such as age, gender, full-time/part-time status, and residence. National
Ethnicity Student’s ethnic group assignment. If a student is visiting from a foreign country with a temporary visa, “international” is assigned. National
Evaluation A process of examining or reviewing individuals or programs to measure performance. National
Evidence Outcomes that make it easy to see (clear) or establish proof of behavior, attitude, or external attribute. National
External motivation Outside factors that influence individual or programmatic actions. National
Fact Book A compendium of selected facts concerning the academic activities occurring annually on campus. Data may include admissions, enrollment, and degrees conferred, faculty information, grant and contract awards, various expenditures, student demographics, and other items of interest. National
Faculty Evaluations A questionnaire administered to students at the end of each course to assess their degree of satisfaction with the course and its instructor. National
Faculty Workload Refers to all faculty activities that contribute to the accomplishment of unit related activities and responsibilities.
Fast Facts A smaller condensed version of a fact book. A short synopsis of student demographics normally occurring during a particular semester. National
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Federal law which protects privacy interests of parents and students in their educational records. National
Financial Aid Grants, loans, assistantships, scholarships, fellowships, tuition waivers, tuition discounts, veteran’s benefits, employer aid (tuition reimbursement) and other monies (other than from relatives/friends) provided to students to meet expenses. This includes Title IV subsidized and unsubsidized loans made directly to students. National
First Generation College Student First-generation college students are those students whose parent(s) have not attained a college degree at the Bachelor level or above. National
First-Time in College (FTIC) A student attending any institution for the first time at the undergraduate level. Includes students enrolled in the fall term who attended college for the first time in the prior summer term. Also includes students who entered with college credits earned before graduation from high school. The term applies even to students who earned more than 30 credits in high school. National
First-Time Transfer Student A certificate-, diploma-, or degree-seeking student entering the reporting institution for the first time but known to have previously attended a postsecondary institution at the same level (e.g., technical, undergraduate, graduate), or a student who has participated in postsecondary instruction at a technical institution, and for whom this activity is recognized by the receiving institution. National
First-Time Undergraduate Student An undergraduate student who has not previously attended any postsecondary institution or who attended postsecondary level courses as a high school student and is currently enrolled for the first time since high school graduation. Does not include students who are currently in high school taking postsecondary level courses. Includes first-year certificate or diploma seeking students, first-time freshman, undergraduate non-degree, and audit students. National
First-Time, First-Year Student A student attending any institution for the first time at the undergraduate level. Includes students enrolled in the fall term who attended college for the first time in the prior summer term. Also includes students who entered with college credits earned before graduation from high school. The term applies even to students who earned more than 30 credits in high school. National
Fiscal Year Twelve-month period from September 1st through August 31st, corresponding to the State of Texas’ financial or budget year. National
Focus groups Small, informal gathering of often homogenous groups through which in-person interviews are conducted. National
Formative The process of assessment that occurs between advisors and students at regular intervals to foster and enhance the students’ learning experience. It is more focused on process. National
Full-time Equivalent Enrollment (FTE) An enrollment measure that takes into account the number of credits and courses each student is taking. Thus, two half-time students make for one FTE student. FTE enrollment is typically reported over the entire 12 months of the fiscal year. 1 FTE generally requires 30 credits but could change depending upon the program. National
Full-Time Student At the Undergraduate level, a student enrolled in 60% or more of the standard course load; or a student with a documented permanent disability, which affects his/her ability to participate in full-time studies, which is enrolled in 40% or more of a standard course load. National
Gatekeeper Course (1) Pre-requisite course that must be successfully completed before enrolling in a credit course. Gatekeeper courses are normally associated with developmental math and English courses. (2) When following a prescribed series of courses to achieve a degree, the gatekeeper is the course in the series that most students find particularly challenging and they tend to fail the course and not continue with the series. One such course that fits this gatekeeper model is Anatomy and Physiology in the Nursing program. National
Gender Male or female National
Goal A projected state of affairs that a person, department, or institutions plans or intends to achieve National
Graduation Rate The percentage of students in a cohort who graduate within 150% of normal time. The cohort of first-time, baccalaureate students who enter the institution during the Fall Semester is tracked for six years. Students also are included in the cohort if they start their college careers at a given institution during the summer and then enroll in a different college or university in the fall semester. National
Graduation Survey Conducted on an annual at many institutions–targeted audiences are normally those students who are receiving an academic credential. National
Headcount Enrollment Each student is counted as one enrollment, regardless of the number of courses they are taking. Generally a “snapshot” as of a specified day. National
Hispanic or Latino A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race. National
Indirect Measures Methods of gathering information that ask students/advisors to reflect on what has been learned rather than to demonstrate it (e.g. questionnaires, interviews, focus groups). Indirect measures are more inferential than direct measures. National
In-state Tuition The tuition charged by institutions to those students who meet the state’s or institution’s residency requirements. National
Institutional Effectiveness The process of providing accurate, relevant, and timely information for use by college leadership and external constituencies. National
Institutional Research A broad category of work done at colleges and universities to assist decision-making and planning in areas such as admissions, financial aid, curriculum, enrollment management, staffing, student life, finance, facilities, athletics, and alumni relations. National
Institutional Review Board (IRB) Process used within the educational field to ensure that any conducted research will protect and pose no threat to the rights and welfare of human participants. National
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics. IPEDS began in 1986 and involves annual data collections. All postsecondary institutions that have a Program Participation Agreement with the Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, are required to report data using a web-based data collection system. IPEDS surveys approximately 3,000 other schools that offer postsecondary education programs. National
Internal Motivation Incentive and rewards build from within an individual and may be based on inherent or intrinsic wants or needs without any influence form external reinforcement. National
Key Point Indicators Indicators used by institutions to understand performance in relation to strategic goals and objectives. Important performance information that enables the institution and/or stakeholders to understand whether or not the college or university is performing within acceptable standards. National
Legislative Budget Board (LBB) A permanent joint committee of the Texas Legislature that develops budget and policy recommendations for legislative appropriations for all agencies of state government, as well as completes fiscal analyses for proposed legislation. State
Level (Student) Student’s educational level based upon whether he/she has obtained a Bachelor’s degree. Those without a Bachelor’s degree are classified as undergraduate. Students who have obtained a Bachelor’s degree and have or are pursuing a higher degree are graduate. National
Mapping The process of determining when, where and through what experiences the outcomes for advising will be accomplished over the student’s academic career. National
Master Plan Annual plan that identifies short-term activities, generally on a one-year timeframe, based upon broader goals established in the strategic plan. National
Metacognition An awareness of personal knowledge and ability to understand, control, and manipulate the ‘thinking’ process itself. National
Mission Statement A specific charge given to a group to perform or accomplish, often self-imposed or pre-established. National
Multiple Measures Several measures of the same construct. National
Multi-racial People or groups of people whose ancestries come from multiple races. National
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands. National
Non-Credit Courses Courses that result in the award of continuing education units (CEUs), as specified by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ criteria, or institutional credit rather than credit toward a degree or certificate. National
Non-degree Seeking Student A student enrolled in courses for credit that is not recognized by the institution as seeking a degree. National
Nonresident Alien A person who is not a citizen or national of the United States and who is in this country on a visa or temporary basis and does not have the right to remain indefinitely. National
Nonresident Student A student who is not a legal resident of the state in which he or she is attending college. Also known as an OUT-OF-STATE Student. National
Normal Time of Completion The amount of time necessary for students to complete all requirements for a degree or certificate according to the institution’s catalog. This is typically 2 years (4 semesters, excluding summer term) for as associate’s degree in a standard term-based institution; and the various scheduled times for certificate programs. National
Objective Something toward which efforts are directed such as a target, goal, or end of action. National
Operational Planning Planning that deals with short-term activities, generally on a one-year timeframe, which effectively operationalize (implement) the strategic plan. National
Opinionnaire An instrument designed to elicit views on matters of opinion from which generalizations may be abstracted. National
Outcomes (1) College administrators use this term to describe student success such as course completions, student persistence, and graduation rates. (2) Many state and legislative boards use this term as a judgmental concept – allocating resources where student outcomes (e.g., activities) are perceived as being successful. National
Out-of-state Student A student who is not a legal resident of the state in which he/she attends school. National
Outputs The types, levels or targets of a service such as the number student graduates, total visitors to the library, or number of people who were served. This type of data may include the level of satisfaction determined through the use instruments as Likert or Semantic Differential Rating scales. National
Paraprofessional Staff Persons whose assignments require specialized knowledge or skills which may be acquired through experience, apprenticeship, on-the-job-training, or academic work in occupationally specific programs that result in a 2-year degree or other certificate or diploma. National
Part-Time Student – Undergraduate A student enrolled in courses but who does not meet full-time requirements. National
Passive Compliance Performing an action or activity to meet a requirement, with little or no intention of follow up or follow through on the subject area. National
Persistence Continuing or inclined to continue in a course or degree program. A student is considered persistent if enrolled in two consecutive fall semesters. National
Plan A blueprint specifying the resource allocations, schedules, and other actions necessary for attaining goals. National
Planning The act of determining the college’s goals and the means of achieving those goals. National
Predictive Modeling The process by which a model is created or chosen to try to best predict the probability of an outcome. National
Program A set of courses constituting an area of specialization. National
Program of Study The post-secondary educational courses and academic requirements that a student must complete to earn a credential from a particular post-secondary institution. National
Program-based Assessment The process used to determine whether students have acquired the skills, knowledge, and competencies associated with the program of study. National
Programmatic Objective Statements of what the program wants students and/or advisors to be able to do and to know or what the program will do to ensure what students and/or advisors will be able to do or to know. Objectives tend to be more specific than goals. National
Psychomotor The acquisition of skills involving both mental and motor activities. National
Qualitative Assessment methods that provide a narration or description of learning (e.g. logs, journals, participant observations, open-ended questions on interviews and surveys). National
Quantitative Assessment methods that rely on numerical scores or ratings (e.g. standardized tests, surveys). National
Questionnaire A research instrument consisting of a series of questions and other prompts for the purpose of gathering information from respondents.
Race/ethnicity Categories used to describe groups to which individuals belong, identify with, or belong in the eyes of the community. The categories do not denote scientific definitions of anthropological origins. A person may be counted in only one group. State
Registrar A college official concerned with keeping academic records, approving course selections, and sometimes, counseling. The registrar’s office is responsible for student admissions, records and the college timetable. National
Remedial Services Instructional activities designed for students deficient in the general competencies necessary for a regular postsecondary curriculum and educational setting. State
Residence A person’s permanent address determined by such evidence as a driver’s license or voter registration. For entering first-time first-year students, residence may be the legal residence of a parent or guardian. National
Retention Rate Percent of students entering each fall semester as first-time, degree-seeking students who return as second-year students. National
Revenues The collective amounts of income (increase in net assets) of the institution from all sources for public and private, not-for-profit institutions. For private and for-profit institutions it is their increase in equity. In either case, the increase is a result of the provision of an education service or selling education product. National
Rubric A scoring scale used to evaluate student work. National
Semester Credit Hour (SCH) A unit of measure representing an hour (50 minutes) of instruction over a 15-week period in a semester or trimester system or a 10-week period in a quarter system. State
Semester A Fall or Spring semester shall normally include at least 15 weeks for instruction and one week for final examination or a total of 16 weeks of instruction and examination combined. Each of the two summer terms shall include no less than 5½ calendar weeks including registration, instruction and final examinations. State
Service Area The geographical area, or target market, for educational delivery by community/junior colleges as defined in the Texas Education Code, Chapter 130, Subchapter J. State
Shewart Cycle An iterative four-step management method used for the control and continuous improvement of processes and programs. National
Skilled Crafts Staff Persons whose assignments typically require special manual skills and a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of the processes involved in the work, acquired through on-the-job-training and experience or through apprenticeship or other formal training programs. National
Source of Data Primary source of information from which data was obtained concerning the topic. National
SPSS Statistical Package for the Social Sciences National
Stakeholders Individuals or departments who have a shared interest in academic advising. National
Statement of Purpose Identifies who the organization is (mission), what the organization stands for (values), and what the organization intends to accomplish (goals). National
Stop Out A student who left the institution and returned at a later date. National
Strategic Plan Contains the vision, mission and goals of the college, and provides guidance for decision-making based on resource allocations, including the organization’s capital and people. National
Strategic Planning Process The act of defining objectives and assessment methods through which the organization can gauge performance and make adjustments as necessary to obtain pre-determined goals. Strategic planning normally addresses pre-determined goals for a three-year or five-year period. National
Student Learning Outcomes Statements of what students are expected to know and be able to do by the time they complete the course, major, or degree program. National
Student Report This report reflects all students enrolled in credit courses at the reporting institution as of the official census date, which is the 12th class day for the Fall and Spring semesters (16-week session) and the 4th class day for each of the summer terms (6-week session). State
Student-To-Faculty Ratio An index of the average size (enrollment) of classes in relation to faculty resources. It may also be defined as the ratio of full-time-equivalent (FTE) students to full-time-equivalent (FTE) faculty. National
Summative A method of establishing the quality or effectiveness of a program/intervention/service after its delivery. The focus is on outcome of what students have learned and how well they were taught the information needed. May serve as some indication whether or not students have met the intended goals and objectives. National
Summer Session A summer session is shorter than a regular semester. It is not the third term of an institution operating on a trimester system or the fourth term of an institution operating on a quarter calendar system. The institution may have two or more sessions occurring in the summer months. Some schools, such as vocational and beauty schools, have year-round classes with no separate summer session. State
Texas Education Agency (TEA) The purpose of the TEA is to provide leadership, guidance and resources to help schools meet the educational needs of all students in grades P-12. State
Technical Staff Persons whose assignments require specialized knowledge or skills which may be acquired through experience, apprenticeship, on-the-job-training, or academic work in occupationally specific programs that result in a 2-year degree or other certificate or diploma. National
Texas Skills Initiative (TSI) TSI (formerly TASP) is a state-legislated program designed to improve student success in college. There are two components of the program. (1) An assessment to diagnose students’ basic skills in reading, mathematics, and writing (2) Developmental instruction to strengthen academic skills that need improvement State
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) Provides leadership and coordination for the Texas higher education (post-secondary) system. State
Tracking Period The amount of time the cohort is followed. National
Transfer-In Student A student entering the reporting institution for the first time but known to have previously attended a postsecondary institution at the same level (e.g. undergraduate, graduate). The student may transfer with or without credit. National
Texas Success Initiative (TSI) A legislatively mandated program established to be effective September 1, 2003 to replace the Texas Academic Skills Program (TASP) and give more flexibility to public higher education institutions in their efforts to ensure that students have the academic skills they need to succeed in higher education. State
Tuition and Required Fees Amount of money charged to students for instructional services. Tuition may be charged per term, per course, or per credit. National
Undergraduate Student A student enrolled in a 4-5 year bachelor’s degree program, an associate’s degree program, or a vocational or technical program below the baccalaureate. National
Unduplicated Headcount The sum of students enrolled for credit with each student counted only once during the reporting period, regardless of when the student enrolled. National
Value A principle or quality that is intrinsically important to the organization or culture. National
White A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. National