How much student data do you have available at your career school? You have access to demographics, GPAs, classes passed and failed, online course activity and many more metrics. These numbers aren't just for record keeping -- you can also predict student success and failure with student analytics tools.

The Benefits of Student Analytics

You face a competitive education landscape as you strive to keep enrollment and graduation rates high. Student analytics gives you the necessary insight to identify the best-matched students for your school, find at-risk attendees who need help, and discover patterns in students who transfer or drop out. Student analytics tools allow you to back up your decisions with hard data rather than general assumptions. Your students do better, and your career school improves its overall success rates by incorporating this technology into your back-end systems.

Most Important Student Success Metrics

Implementing a student analytics solution isn't enough to make these changes happen. You also need to know what you should look for. Here are a few of the most important indicators relating to student success and retention. 

1. Performance in First Three Classes

This metric explores how well students performed during their first three classes at your school1 by looking at their GPA and classroom attendance. Students who start off strong and attend most or all of their classes boost their long-term success rate compared to struggling students. If you intervene with the second group of attendees early, you can improve their success chances before it's too late. You may need to suggest a move to a different training program to better match their interests and capabilities.

2. Re-enrollment

The enrollment patterns of students also play a key role in their overall retention and potential for graduating in a reasonable amount of time. This metric examines the students who enroll for the next upcoming semester and those who take breaks in between. You may need to give more support to those who must take a step back and have a gap in their college education.

3. Repeated Classes

A single repeat class could be a bad mismatch for the student or simply a fluke as they get used to your school. A repetitive pattern indicates a much larger problem in the short and long term. Students may need to change to a new program, enter developmental courses, or get some time to address personal issues that are having an adverse impact on their classes.

4. Online Classroom Engagement

Online classroom systems2 track hundreds of student engagement data points that professors wouldn't possibly be able to gather in person. Strong engagement with your online system, which includes looking through course material before the first day of class and participating in discussions, are key characteristics of successful students. Those who skip scheduled class sessions, avoid homework on the platform and never interact through groups or chats have a hard time reaching high performance levels.

5. Student Satisfaction

Student satisfaction levels may not correlate as strongly to success metrics as the other options, but it still has an impact on whether you achieve your target graduation and student retention rates. Try to identify trends in problematic areas and make changes accordingly. You can't fix everything for everybody, but you can address larger trends and give some one-on-one help in particular cases.

Student analytics provides you with an important tool to keep your school growing and thriving. When you increase your student success rates, you motivate other applicants to choose your school to receive a high-quality education.

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Resources: Photo credit. 1) Predictive Analytics in Higher Education 2) Creating Effective Student Engagement in Online Courses