Achieving the Dream Benchmarking for Success Report

The Benchmarking for Success Report was developed by Achieving the Dream (ATD) for each participating college in the ATD network. The report, customized for each college with their unique student cohort-based, longitudinal data, presents the college’s performance on ATD’s five measures of student success. In addition to the college’s institutional data, two external benchmarks are provided to enable colleges to compare themselves to: (1) ATD Network colleges who entered in the same year; and (2) all ATD Network colleges, regardless of entry year.

This confidential report is prepared for each ATD college’s exclusive use and can be shared, and discussed, with the board of trustees, administrators, faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders to inform your student success agenda.

Achieving the Dream’s Student Success Measures

Achieving the Dream works with their Network colleges to “move the needle” on five measures of student success: (1) completion of developmental courses; (2) completion of gatekeeper courses, including introductory college courses in English and math; (3) completion of attempted courses with a grade of “C” or better; (4) persistence from term-to-term and from year-to- year; and (5) attainment of a certificate or degree. To monitor student progression through these milestones, colleges track these outcome measures for each entering Fall cohort of students and compare with past cohorts to determine whether the outcomes improved over time.

The student outcomes were measured by the percentages of students in each Fall cohort who:

1. Successfully completed developmental English or math within two years;

2. Successfully completed gatekeeper English or math within three years;

3. Completed all attempted courses with a grade of “C” or better, in the first three years;

4. Persisted from one term to the next (Fall to Spring) and from one year to the next (Fall to Fall);

5. Attained a certificate or degree within four years.

All outcomes were calculated from the data submitted to the ATD database through For detailed formulae and variables, please refer to the ATD Student Outcome Calculation Guideline posted on this web site under “Reports and Downloads”.

Benchmarking Methodology

A trend line chart and data table of Fall student cohort performance is provided on each of the five student success measures with institutional, “My College” data and benchmark comparisons to colleges with the “Same Entry Year” into ATD and to all “ATD Network” colleges. The trend data start with the baseline year Fall student cohort and extends to the most recent Fall student cohort year for which data are available.

Same Entry Year averages and ATD Network averages reflect the percentages of students meeting the five major milestones in the Fall student cohorts of that respective Same Entry Year or of the entire ATD network.


For a list of colleges that are included in the Same Entry Year and in the ATD network, please see Appendix A.

Missing Data. If a college is missing one or more years of data, the outcome calculations for some of its student cohorts will not be meaningful and the averages will be skewed for the Same Entry Year and the ATD Network benchmarks. Therefore, the college’s student cohorts affected by the missing data will be excluded from the calculation of the Same Entry Year averages and ATD Network averages. For example, when presenting the three-year completion rate of gatekeeper courses, if the most recent data submission cycle is for 2012-13, then Fall 2010 student cohort will usually be the last student cohort included. However, if a college did not submit the 2012-13 data, then Fall 2009 is the last student cohort for which the three-year completion rate can be calculated for this college. Accordingly, this college’s 2010 student cohort will be excluded from the three-year completion rate calculation of gatekeeper courses for the 2010 student cohorts of its Same Year Entry or of the ATD Network.

Using Benchmarking Data

Colleges can use these data to monitor their progress in improving student success, to set goals, but also to make appropriate, external comparisons to other ATD colleges. Colleges are encouraged to engage faculty, administrators, staff, students and other relevant stakeholders in conversations about these data to improve practice and help more students succeed.

Achieving the Dream

Achieving the Dream is a national nonprofit leading the nation’s most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. The Achieving the Dream National Reform Network, including over 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams – working throughout 34 states and the District of Columbia – helps nearly 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

For questions or comments about Achieving the Dream’s Benchmarking To Success Reports, please contact Wei Song, Director of Data and Analytics, by phone at (240) 450-3842 or by email at:

Oregon Coast Community College