Measuring College-Going Outcomes

The grant that I work on currently, GEAR UP, uses college enrollment as its primary outcome. Or rather it used to. In recent grant cycles, the shift in absolute priorities has​ indicated that primary outcomes have been moving toward persistence i.e. staying in college for eventual graduation. In measuring college-going outcomes, it can vary with increasing expectations:

  1. Enrolling in any postsecondary institution
  2. Enrolling in a 2-year college
  3. Enrolling in a 4-year college
  4. Enrolling in college without need for remediation
  5. Persisting in college for the second year on track to graduation
  6. Graduating from college in six years

GEAR UP, due to its nature of the grant cycle, can only measure the first five outcomes and predict with varying accuracy the sixth one. But it is increasingly obvious that the first two outcomes are met easily or even the third outcome but the other two are exponentially difficult.

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Annotated Line Graph – Power Consumption

Power Consumption Data Visualization

Cole Knaflic, the ​author of Storytelling with Data, one of my favorite data visualization books in recent times, runs a challenge every month on presenting any form of data in a specific chart type. This past month, the challenge was for an annotated line graph. I submitted the above entry [click here for enlarged version] using the daily power consumption data I download from Austin Energy.

The data are a bit erratic and specific data points are not that reliable but I think the overall trend lines are somewhat symptomatic of our usage especially after we did an extensive overhaul of our roof attic insulation and fixed the AC duct pipes.