Economic Success Measures - Tennessee

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Methodology

Methodology

 

Setting a Cohort

In this report, we set the universe of data to include completers from the Tennessee Board of Regents and University of Tennessee systems in the Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s (THEC) tblGrads table.  We combine five years of data from the 2006-2010 academic year into one cohort, and we label the cohort with the most recent year of data (e.g. 2010). The 2006-2010 academic year equates to Summer 2005 through Spring 2010.


Data for each completer is compared with the completer’s school, award level, and CIP major code for the first major only. For this report, we aggregated information to the 2-digit CIP code in order to reduce the amount of records that needed suppression. Most of the CIP major codes in the THEC database are 10 digit codes. In order to extract the 2-digit CIP code, we took the 3rd and 4th characters of this code. In cases where the CIP major code was 9 digits, we used the 2nd and 3rd character to extract the 2-digit CIP code. When the CIP major code was 6 digits, we used the first 2 characters to extract the 2-digit CIP code, and if the CIP major code was less than 6 digits, we excluded the record.


Number of Completers

The total number of students who graduated from the program in the cohort.

 

Percentage of Completers with Wage Data

This is the number of completers in the cohort with earnings data divided by the total number completers in the cohort.


Average First-Year Earnings

Wage data is based on comparing social security numbers from the THEC tblGrads table to the Unemployment Insurance wage file. Completers were included in the cohort if their earnings in each quarter from Q3-Q6 after graduation met or exceeded the minimum wage threshold. Wages include all jobs where there was wage data. If the individual had multiple jobs, all wages were included.


In order to determine the semester a student graduated, we converted the quarter information from the tblGrads table into a calendar quarter (e.g. Spring = Q2, Summer = Q3, Fall = Q4). First-year earnings are calculated as wages in the 3rd through 6th calendar quarters after graduation.


The minimum wage threshold for each quarter was set to the minimum wage for that quarter multiplied by 35 hours per week. If the minimum wage changed in the middle of a wage quarter, went with calculation of hours per month before and after the min wage went up.


All wages were adjusted to 2011 dollars using the following values from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s CPI inflation calculator (http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm).

 

Wage Year Conversion for adjusting wage to 2011 dollars
2005 1.151761
2006 1.115769
2007 1.084869
2008 1.044756
2009 1.048486
2010 1.031565
2011 1

 

Percentage of Above-Average Earners

The number of completers in the cohort for a given program with first-year wages above the state-wide  average wage of the cohort for that program divided by the total number of program completers in the cohort across the entire state. Wages for each completer were compared to the average wages of the school, award level, and CIP code to determine if the completer’s wages were above or below these broad averages.


Number of Completers With Wage Data

This is the number of completers in the cohort with earnings data.


Area of Study, Area of Study (CIP) Code, Program

The Area of Study, Area of Study (CIP) Code, and Program refer to the Classification of Instructional Program developed and maintained by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). According to NCES, “The Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) provides a taxonomic scheme that supports the accurate tracking and reporting of fields of study and program completions activity. CIP was originally developed by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in 1980, with revisions occurring in 1985, 1990, 2000, and 2010.” For more information about CIP codes, please visit NCES’s website: http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cipcode/


Data suppression and exclusions:

Data was suppressed where there were less than 10 completers for the school, award level, CIP grouping and with less than 5 completers with wage information.

 

 

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