(This version regards bachelor's-degree institutions but, of course, could be adapted to Associate and graduate degree programs, as well as disaggregated for transfer students.)
- Freshman-to-senior average growth in critical thinking, writing, quantitative reasoning, etc. (disaggregated by high school record)
(For you statisticians out there, a variable consisting of pre-post growth embeds significant error variance, but with the large N and that variable being only one of a number of indices of college quality, the wisdom of including a measure of growth outweighs the disadvantage of a large confidence interval. And if that argument is deemed inadequate, a reasonable proxy would be to use senior scores adjusted for high school weighted GPA and SAT score.)
- The results of a recent student satisfaction survey
- Four-, five-, and six-year graduation rates (disaggregated by high school record)
- The percentage of graduates professionally employed, including average salary. (disaggregated by high school record and by major)
- The accreditation team's most recent report on the college.
I know that some readers of this blog are senior college administrators. If you're one, should you advocate for your institution being that first one to post such a College Report Card?
If you don't do it voluntarily, I predict that in light of the growing groundswell of articles questioning higher education's value as well as of the integrity of colleges' admissions operations, the federal government will mandate that you issue an independently audited report card. To encourage that, I have meetings scheduled with two potentially sympathetic legislators.