Say it with me, “IPEDS is not GRS. GRS is a part, a small part, of IPEDS.”
Matt Reed (@DeanDad) set me off a bit this morning with his Confessions piece over at InsideHigherEd and I kind of piled on with my long-time colleague Vic Borden that IPEDS and GRS are not simply one and the same with a focus (or fetish, if you prefer) on first-time, full-time undergraduates. It really ticks me off when I read something like this since it takes my mind of the very good points he was trying to make. I could have written thousands of words of comments about how what we are doing in Virginia is so different, and so much better.
Every time someone says he or she wouldn’t be counted in IPEDS because they transferred, or took eight years (like yours truly), I cringe. It is just not true. It is false. It is wrong.
Yes, that person would not be in the GRS metric. However, she certainly would show up in the Completions survey if shefinished a degree or certificate, whether it took one year or 20. Likewise, she would show up in the fall enrollment survey anytime she was enrolled in a fall term.
As important as a graduation rate is, there is not much more important than the degree conferral, the completions, themselves. That is something that folks should keep in mind.
Now I could brag about some of the things we are doing at research.schev.edu, but instead I will simply highlight this tweet from ACSFA PIRS Hearing:
I think Matt has the right ideas, and I would support them in a Technical Review Panel, although I would probably offer supportive amendments. The problem is getting to a TRP. The type of collection required to support these measures, if not Student Unit Record (or IPEDS-UR, although being a Thomas Covenant fan, I want to lean towards ur-IPEDS), would be so burdensome, the collection would never happen without Congressional action. And that’s the rub. USED only controls the details. Congress makes the ultimate determination and that is where AACC and ACCT (and probably a bunch of groups representing four-year colleges) need to get involved.
The easiest thing at this point is to pile on to support the Student Right-to-Know Before Go Act.