U. of Alaska Researcher Presses More-Inclusive Approach to Measuring Student Achievement

U. of Alaska Researcher Presses More-Inclusive Approach to Measuring Student Achievement 1

Loren Holmes for The Chronicle

Gary A. Rice, associate vice provost for institutional research at the U. of Alaska at Anchorage, was frustrated that the government's limited graduation-rate data discounted most of his institution's students.

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close U. of Alaska Researcher Presses More-Inclusive Approach to Measuring Student Achievement 1

Loren Holmes for The Chronicle

Gary A. Rice, associate vice provost for institutional research at the U. of Alaska at Anchorage, was frustrated that the government's limited graduation-rate data discounted most of his institution's students.

Measured against commonly used definitions of student success, the University of Alaska at Anchorage performs poorly. Its most recent graduation rate is only 24.6 percent, and a quarter of its full-time students don't return after their first year.

But when Gary A. Rice, associate vice provost for institutional research, looks at those numbers, he doesn't see a lagging university. He sees statistics that fail to reflect the experiences of the campus's students.

The graduation