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Data Dictionary

Academic Efficiency Metrics Academic Outcomes Metrics
Basic Needs Metrics General Data Definitions
Learning Outcomes Assessment Roadmaps to Success

Academic efficiency Metrics

FTES: “Full time equivalent students.” Each FTES equals 525 contact hours, whether taken by one or several students. So total FTES for a district or department equals all contact hours divided by 525.

FTEF: “Full time equivalent faculty.” Each “FTEF” equals fifteen units of instructional loading, regardless of whether they are taught by full- or part-time faculty. It is a common expression of the size of the faculty as a whole, but not of their number.

FTES/FTEF – Efficiency: This shows the number of FTES generated per faculty. Higher values indicate lower cost classes or programs and lower values indicate higher cost classes or programs. A value of 15 is considered average. Efficiency values can viewed over time within a department and compared with other departments to aid interpretation.

Academic Outcomes Metrics

Retention: Earning a grade in a course other than a W.

Retention Rate: The number of students completing a course with a grade other than a W divided by the number of students that were enrolled at census.

Success: Earning a grade in a course of of A, B, C, or CR/P.

Success Rate: The number of students that had success in a course divided by the number of students that were enrolled in a course at census.

Persistence: The percentage of students who enroll in the next term out of the students enrolled in a first term. Can be computed fall-to-spring, spring-to-fall, or sometimes fall-to-fall.

Productivity: A measure of efficiency that divides FTES by FTEF. The higher the number, the more students served by each FTEF, and the lower the cost to the district.

Median Time to Degree (Median TTD): The time it takes a student to earn a degree in calendar years. The term a student earns their degree is compared to their first term at AHC to see how long it took them to earn the degree. Due to rounding, a fraction of 0.4 is a primary term (fall/spring) and a fraction of 0.2 is a summer term. For example, if a student took 3.4 years to earn a degree that would be three full academic years and one extra primary term. If a student took 4.1 years to earn a degree that would be four full academic years and one extra summer term. The median is used, instead of average, due to that measure not being influenced as much by outliers.

Median Time to Transfer (Median TTT): This is the time it takes a student to transfer to a four-year college. The term a student transfers to a four-year college is compared to their first term at AHC to see how long it took them to transfer. A student is considered a transfer student if they had a CA community college enrollment (either at AHC or some other), came to AHC as a non-special admit student (but could have also been a special admit student in the past), and transferred to a 4 year school in a calendar year greater than the calendar year the student had their non-special admit enrollment. If the student did begin at a different community college, they had to have come to AHC for at least one term.


Basic needs metrics

Food Insecurity: Students are considered food insecure if any of the following items applies to them within the last twelve months.

  1. They were worried that their food would run out before they got money to buy more.
  2. The food that they bought just didn't last, and they didn't have money to get more.
  3. They couldn't afford to eat balanced meals.
  4. They cut the size of their meals or skip meals because there wasn't enough money for food.
  5. They ate less than they felt they should because there wasn't enough money for food.
  6. They were hungry but didn’t eat because there wasn’t enough money for food.
  7. They lost weight because there wasn’t enough money for food.
  8. They didn’t eat for a whole day because there wasn’t enough money for food.

Homelessness: Students are defined as homeless if they are currently staying overnight in the following places:

  1. At a shelter
  2. In a camper
  3. Temporarily staying with a relative, friend, or couch surfing until I find other housing
  4. Temporarily at a hotel or motel without a permanent home to return to (not on vacation or business travel)
  5. In transitional housing or independent living program
  6. At a group home such as halfway house or residential program for mental health or substance abuse
  7. At a treatment center (such as detox, hospital, etc.)

Housing Insecurity: Students are considered housing insecure if any of the following items applies to them within the last twelve months.

  1. There was  a rent or mortgage increase that made it difficult to pay.
  2. They did not pay or underpay your rent or mortgage.
  3. They were unable not pay the full amount of a gas, oil, or electricity bill.
  4. They have  moved two times or more.
  5. They had to move in with other people, even for a little while, because of financial problems.
  6. They had to live with others beyond the expected capacity of the house or apartment.
  7. They had to leave their household because they felt unsafe.
  8. In the past 12 months, how many times have you moved?

Students are considered housing insecure if they answered yes to at least one of the first seven questions.

General Data Definitions

Academic Program - For purposes of college organization, a program is composed of all the degrees and certificates offered by a specific academic department. (Programs are Courses)

Academic Department - A group of faculty in a related field of study or a discipline that offers an academic program. (Departments are People)

Anonymity vs. Confidentiality - Research involving human participants' personal information can fall into one of these categories. Anonymity means that the researcher has no method of connecting data collected with a research participant. In other words, the researcher doesn't know personal information about a participant. Confidentiality occurs when the research collects data that could identify a participant, but agrees to not share that information with other parties and takes steps to secure that information. It is important to note that a research tool, such as a survey, that collects written or oral responses cannot be truly anonymous as a participant could provide information that removes anonymity . For example, a survey may not ask directly that name of an individual, but a respondent might respond to a written question with "There are not many people named Spike Bulldog, but I surely am." In this case, the participant has willingly provided information that could be used to identify himself and is no longer anonymous.

Basic Skills: A general term describing courses that provide instruction in foundation skills necessary for entry into college level programs. May be “degree credit,” “noncredit,” or “non-degree credit” for purposes of applicability to degrees (See also “Precollegiate basic skills). May be in an academic or occupational department.

Census Enrollments: The number of students enrolled on the “census date.”

Census Headcount: The number of students at the institution on the “census date.”

Census Date: The point at which 20% of a course has elapsed. For standard semester courses, this is the Monday of the third week (Tuesday if Monday is a holiday).

Enrollments: The number of “seats” filled at the institution. Each course enrollment is counted separately. Enrollment is considered a duplicated value because students can be counted more than once.


Headcount: The number of students at the institution. Each student who “comes in the door” counts as one, regardless of the number of units in which that student is enrolled. Headcount is considered an unduplicated value.

Matriculation: The process of bringing a student through the institution and on to success; includes admission, assessment, orientation, counseling and follow-up. Provides funding for research and training of staff.

Noncredit: Courses in special categories that are not designed to apply to a credit degree or preparation for a credit degree.

Simple Ethnicity: AHC has two populations that are much larger than the other ethnicities on campus. As such, the number of students for other populations is often too small to conduct proper analysis. As such, often researchers will group the smaller populations into a Other Underrepresented group. Simple Ethnicity is often shown as these three groups. That is not to say researchers do not do analysis on all populations. That is done often. People will often see, however, charts with three population groups in terms of ethnicity.

Simple Gender: AHC will often use three populations for gender: Female, Male, and Other. 

Transfer Initiated: Students who succeed in at least one mathematics or English course at the associate degree level or above.

Transfer Directed: Students who complete one or more university-transferable mathematics or English courses.

Transfer Prepared: Students who complete 60 or more units of university-transferable coursework.

Transfer Ready: Students who complete 60 or more units of university-transferable coursework, including at least one mathematics and one English course.

Weekly Student Contact Hours (WSCH, pronounced “wish”): The number of hours spent in class in a week. Used in the calculation of FTEF (see above) and, ultimately, in the calculation of the District’s income. This is a workload measure used by the state to determine apportionment or funding for the college. WSCH can be converted to full time equivalent students (FTES). Note that one student taking 15 units for 2 semesters of 17.5 weeks each would generate 525 WSCH or 1 FTES.

Learning outcome Assessment

Course Learning Outcomes (SLO): The official course outcomes live in CurriQunet on the course outlines of record. Course learning outcomes are the specific knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes that students ascertain at the course level. Every course has CLOs. If your outcomes are missing or you have further questions, please contact your LOAC representative listed in the chart below.

Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILO): ILOs are the general outcomes that a student who attends and completes a educational goal is expected to have upon leaving the college. There are seven ILOs and they are assessed in a couple of ways; directly and indirectly. The CLO and PLO associations with ILOs are direct measures of the attainment of ILOs. However, ILOs are also indirectly assessed through self-reported attainment surveys completed each academic year. The breadth and depth of experience and proficiency that any individual student may reach in each of these outcomes is, of course, dependent upon the student, his or her program or course of study, and his or her length of college attendance.

Program: an organized sequence of courses leading to defined objectives, a degree, a certificate, a diploma, a license, or transfer to another institution of higher education.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLO): PLOs are the Knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes that a student is expected to achieve by the end (or as a result) of his/her engagement in a given educational program. A program is a sequence of courses that leads to an objective, degree, or certificate.

SLO Performance: The number of students that met an outcome over the total number of students for a course, program, student service department, or institution.

Roadmaps to Success

AB 705: A state mandated component of the Roadmaps to Success initiative that allows students to self-select the level of English and Math competency they feel they can successfully complete.

A bill passed into law in October 2017 that requires all community colleges to place most students into transfer-level courses in English and mathematics.

Areas of Interest: Areas of Interest (previously referred to as "metamajors'") refer to groups of academic disciplines that bear similarities in their areas of study and/or career opportunities. The groups have been labeled with a generalized term to help students more easily identify a major relevant to their goals and personalities. Areas if Interest are then used to create the academic program maps that will help students on their path.  Programs within an area of interest will share some common requirements to allow for early exploration as students may enroll in this broad field of interest without collecting excess units. AHC's Areas of Interest can be viewed here: (Links to an external site.)

Guided Pathways: Guided pathways is a component of the Roadmaps to Success initiative that seeks to create clear curricular pathways from the point of entry to graduation and/or completion. Research from the Chancellor’s office and the Foundation for California Community Colleges anticipate this will increase the number of students graduating, transferring to four-year universities, or earning certificates in our career and technical education programs while decreasing the total number of courses students take.

Core Team: Cross-functional team made up of approximately 10 members.  Core team meets regularly  to discuss the progress of Guided Pathways, troubleshoot areas of concern, determine Guided Pathways expenditures, and overall planning of Guided Pathways activities.

Cross-functional:  An approach to college planning that includes input from administrators, content faculty, counselors, classified staff, and students.

Design Team:  Cross-functional team tasked with generating action plans associated with Academic Clusters, Advising, Entry (onboarding), Communication, Program Mapping, and Student Support.  Each design team has two co-leads, one of which is a member of the Core Team.

Faculty Coordinator:  Full-time faculty member designated by the administration to lead the Guided Pathways effort.  Faculty coordinator convenes bi-monthly Core Team and monthly Steering Committee meetings.  Faculty coordinator reports directly to the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Steering Committee: Core team + design team leads.  Meet regularly to coordinate GP implementation efforts.

Milestones: Measurable educational achievements, such as completing a college-level math course or number of units within a defined period of time. Milestones will help students identify where they are on their path and feel more accomplished throughout the process.

Program Map ("pathway"): A descriptive and easy-to-use plan detailing the scope and sequence of courses required to complete a credential efficiently and transition to baccalaureate degree programs or the labor market. Includes the route a student takes to connect with, enter, progress through, and complete his/her program of study, as well as, the skills they need to acquire for the labor market they will enter after their certificate or associate or baccalaureate degree.

Successnet: Successnet is a computer software we will be implementing to help connect students to instructors, counselors, and support services.

Student Success Funding Formula: A second state mandated component of the Roadmaps to Success initiative that “focuses on rewarding equity and success, in addition to but not fully focused on enrollment” (California Community Colleges, 2018). 60% percent of funding will come from FTES, 20% of funding will be awarded based on evidence that shows the college is serving the neediest students and 20% of funding is allocated to student success metrics.

Success Team:  A cross-functional team of faculty, staff, and administrators responsible for oversight and engagement of a particular group of students during a period of time. The individuals in the group have at least one statistical factor, such as an area of interest or an affinity group, in common.