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Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness (PRIE)

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Data Nuggets

Data Nuggets appear monthly during Fall and Spring terms in the President's Weekly Briefing.

2016 Monthly Data Nuggets


The most recent California Community College Chancellor’s Office Student Success Scorecard includes a new metric, “Skills Builder.” It measures an employment outcome rather than traditional completion (degree, certificate or transfer). Skills Builder students attend community colleges to maintain or add to their skill sets for ongoing employment and career advancement. The metric indicates the median percent change in wages for students who completed higher level career and technical education (CTE) coursework and left the system without achieving traditional outcomes. Students in the COM 2012-13 cohort showed a 15.5 percent positive median earnings change compared to 13.4 percent statewide. This is promising news for the College, our CTE program, and our local economy. COM’s full Student Success Scorecard is available online.



In the 2014-15 academic year, COM enrolled 13,199 students. Some students attend classes at both the Indian Valley Campus and the Kentfield Campus. Some simultaneously enroll in credit, noncredit, and community education courses. Taking that overlap into account, 91 percent of students attend classes at the Kentfield Campus and 21 percent at the Indian Valley Campus. Reflecting our diverse educational mission, 62 percent enroll for credit, 15 percent in English as a second language, 14 percent in basic skills, and 26 percent in community education. You can see more of this basic data online in the Fast Facts brochure. If you would like a print copy of the Fast Facts brochure, contact Nicole Oldendick in the Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness (PRIE) Office by email, or at

ext. 7570.



Successful course completion is key to earning a certificate or degree. The Planning, Research & Institutional Effectiveness (PRIE) Office identified 14 high-failure-rate courses that averaged ≥70 enrollment and <70 percent pass rate between fall 2011 and spring 2015. Those courses are:

Behavioral Science 103, Biology 101, Computer Information Systems 101, Computer Information Systems 110, English 92, English 92L, English 98, English 120, Math 95, Math 101, Math 103, Math 103A, Philosophy 110, Political Science 101

The full report on high failure rate courses, as well as additional studies of courses with high repeat and attrition rates are available on the PRIE website. These studies were conducted to assist the College in understanding the problem and improving student success.


2015 Monthly Data Nuggets

Approximately one-fifth of students enrolled for credit at the College have already earned a bachelor’s degree. The students are predominately female, white, and their median age is 50. They are pursuing a variety of majors, but the most common ones are art, registered nursing, music, kinesiology, and health and biology. More detail is available online.


Ever wonder how many Marin County students enroll directly to COM after graduating from high school? I did, and I am pleased to report that this fall, 22 percent of the 2015 high school graduates joined us. I am especially pleased because not only did the number of students who enrolled increase (from 342 to 478), it happened despite a decline in the number of graduating seniors (from 2,291 to 2,132). I would like to thank our K-12 partners and our many faculty, staff, and managers who helped make this happen.


A goal is in place for next year, and it’s built into our new strategic plan as a component of overall efforts to increase enrollment. In the coming year, we intend to raise the Marin County high school graduate “capture rate” yet again, to 30 percent. With our continuing team effort, I have no doubt we will achieve the goal.



Reducing the time it takes for students to earn their degree is one of COM's strategic plan goals. The baseline we’re using for improvement is 6.5 years. This is the average time to degree for students who were awarded degrees in 2012-13. In the two most recent years, the average time to degree was approximately 7 years. About half of COM’s students stop out for at least one semester, rather than enrolling continuously until they earn their degree. Some stop out for many years before returning. In addition, most COM students attend part-time. Both of these factors affect the time it takes for students to complete their degree. The median number of years, which helps to account for extremes that can skew the average, is 5. In addition, the median number of terms enrolled is approximately 8.5. You can see more information, including time to degree by academic program online in the Planning, Research and Institutional Effectiveness report.



All California Community Colleges are receiving additional funding to improve student success. Also, to assure equitable progress by gender, race/ethnicity, income, disability, foster youth and veteran status. To be considered inequitable progress, a group’s success rate must be 80 percent or less of the highest achieving group’s rate. At COM, African American and Hispanic students are less likely to make progress on several of the 8 metrics. Older students are less likely to progress from developmental to college-level courses, and are also less likely to complete the college-level courses. The full report is available on the Planning, Research and Institutional Effectiveness website. Click here to see the results.



The California Community College Chancellor’s Office produces the Student Success Scorecard each year to show student progress at each college and for all colleges combined. Each of the metrics tracks students across 6 years, so the most recent results are based on the cohort that entered in 2008-09. The scorecard rates are also disaggregated by gender, race/ethnicity, and students who are prepared for college and those who need remediation. Some state funding is now dependent on tracking and improving on these success indicators and results must be reported to colleges’ board of trustees. Click here to see the results.



Results of the formal evaluation of the Mini-Medical School (MMS) are in, and they affirm the event’s success. There were 207 community members at the event held on Saturday, January 24, at the James Dunn Theatre. The half-day program on the science of aging well was hosted by COM’s Community Education Department in partnership with the UC Davis School of Medicine.  Four highly respected medical experts from UC Davis spoke about the anatomy of aging, the aging mind, heart health, and nutrition. Of those present, 188 participants responded to the evaluation survey; a 91 percent response rate. The response was overwhelmingly positive:


You can now find student and faculty responses to all Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) questions on the PRIE website. As PRIE continues to explore these data, brief topic-focused reports will be posted there as well, such as the one that shows us how College of Marin differs from other colleges. This report compares COM to two national groups of community colleges and a small group of San Francisco Bay Area community colleges that participated in the CCSSE survey. Take a look to see how we measure up.


2014 Monthly Data Nuggets


College of Marin’s strategic plan calls for developing courses and services that allow for anytime/anywhere delivery. According to the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) results from spring 2014, approximately 90 percent of COM students prefer to register for classes, review their account, and manage other college-related business using computers and smartphones. Additional findings about our students’ use of information technology will be presented in various college forums and posted on the PRIE website.



Helping more students accomplish their educational goals is key to our mission and a major focus of our strategic plan. One high-impact practice that improves students’ chances of success is new student orientation. According to the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) results from spring 2014, COM students were less likely than the national sample to participate in orientation (40 percent vs. 62 percent). These kinds of data can help us decide how to intervene so that our students and our College succeed. Look for the complete CCSSE data to be posted on the Office of Planning, Research and Institutional Effectiveness (PRIE) website in November. Also, the CCSSE results will be shared with various campus groups to foster discussion and action.


One of College of Marin’s strategic plan objectives is to implement teaching and learning strategies that improve student success. Students working together on projects in class is an active and collaborative learning best practice that is known to help students succeed.
According to the results of the 2014 Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE), a higher percentage of COM students work on class projects together than do students in the national comparison group (58% versus 50%).
Watch for additional interesting results from this survey to be provided in the near future.
Source: 2014 Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE)
This data nugget has been brought to you by the Office of Planning, Research and Institutional Effectiveness (PRIE).



Do you know…?
To which California public university did the largest number of COM students transfer in 2012-13?
      A.  University of California, Berkeley
      B. California State University, East Bay
      C. San Francisco State University
      D. Sonoma State University

Answer: D. San Francisco State University (55 students)
For the Office of Planning, Research and Institutional Effectiveness’ information source for this nugget or for more related transfer information, please see Student Transfers to UC and CSU Institutions from College of Marin, 2000-2001 through 2012-2013.


What percentage of the annual goals for the 2013-14 action steps of COM's Strategic Plan 2012-2015 were achieved?
      A.  34%
      B.  58%
      C.  63%
      D.  76%

Answer: D. 76%

Sources: The Office of Planning, Research and Institutional Effectiveness and the Educational Planning Committee


Do you know how many credit course sections College of Marin is offering at Kentfield, IVC and online this summer?

     A.   90 at KTD, 45 at IVC and 0 online

     B.  73 at KTD, 38 at IVC and 6 online

     C.  26 at KTD, 30 at IVS and 4 online

Answer: B  (The figures in choice c reflect the numbers for summer 2013.)


Do you know the graduation rate of the full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking students who entered College of Marin in Fall 2010 and completed a degree or certificate within three years?

     A.  10-19%

     B.  20-29%

     C. 30-39%

     D. 40-49%

Answer:  C. 30%

Source: IPEDS Graduation Rates 2013-14, see page 12 - link listed as second item under the May 2014 Data Nugget on the College’s Data Nugget web page.


Do you know what percentage of first-time students who entered the College in 2007-2008 have either earned a degree or certificate, transferred to a 4-year institution, or completed 60 UC/CSU transfer credits (as defined in the Scorecard produced by the Chancellor’s Office)?
      A. 20-29%
      B. 30-39%
      C. 40-49%
      D. 50-59%

Answer: D. 54%    ( The Statewide average is 48%. The highest rate for California Community College Districts is Foothill-De Anza with a rate of 66%.)
Source: California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Data Mart. The 2007-2008 cohorts of students was tracked to see if they attained a degree or certificate, completed 60 UC/CSU credits or transferred by 2012-2013.  (


Do you know what percentage of credit students at College of Marin are enrolled in at least one Distance Learning class for spring 2014?
      A.   0% - 4.9%
      B.  5.0% - 9.9%
      C.  10.0% - 14.9%
      D.  15.0%- 19.9%
Answer: C. 11.3%
Source: Office of Planning, Research and Institutional Effectiveness (PRIE)

(…a fun test of your knowledge about our customers…and a chance to learn to understand them better through data)
Background:  Below are some of the educational goals on COM’s Credit Application for Admissions form from which students taking credit classes are asked to select as representative of their purpose in attending COM.
Question:  Which two goals showed an overall total increase of credit student selection in fall 2013 over fall 2012 (despite the decrease in enrollment during this same period)?

Answers (from largest to smallest increase):
      1) 4-year college student taking courses to meet 4-year requirements
      2) Maintain certificate or license



Which age group below comprised the second largest percentage of students enrolled in College of Marin for fall 2013, fall 2012, fall 2011, fall 2010, fall 2009 and fall 2008?
      A. Under 21 years old
      B . 21-24 years old
      C . 25-34 years old
      D.  35-44 years old
      E.  45-54 years old
      F.  55+ years
Answer: C
(Source: College of Marin Enrollment Report Fall 2013, September 17, 2013)


2013 Monthly Data Nuggets


How many warm wishes for good health, happiness and wonderful holidays does the Office of Planning, Research and Institutional Effectiveness (PRIE) extend to you?

Answer:  An Infitite Number!



On Monday, November 11th, we took time to honor/remember our veterans……. Do know how many veterans we have enrolled at College of Marin this semester?”
Answer: We have 66 veterans enrolled this fall semester. (The Office of PRIE extends a big thanks to Patience James for her research securing this statistic!)



The number of degrees and certificates of achievement awarded by COM increased from the academic year 2011-2012 to the academic year 2012-2013 by what percentage?

      A.  5 – 9.9%

      B.  10 – 19.9%

      C. . 20 – 29.9%

      D.. 30 – 39.9%

Answer: D   There were 326 degrees and certificates of achievement awarded in 2011-2012 and 428 awarded in 2012-2013. This is a 31 percent increase from the prior year.


Do you know these facts about COM’s enrollment data…?
What are the ages of the youngest and oldest students attending credit/noncredit classes at College of Marin this semester (fall 2013)?
                    Choices for                             Choices for 
              Youngest Student                     Oldest Student

             - 12 years old or younger           - 87 years old

              - 13 years old                              - 88 years old

              - 14 years old                              - 90 years old

              - 15 years old                              - 91 years or older

Answers: Youngest: 13 years old     Oldest: 91 years old



The end of academic year 2012-13 denotes the first deadline for accomplishment of the 57 action steps in the College of Marin Strategic Plan 2012-2015. As a reminder, these 57 action steps are related to the following 13 objectives:
       1. Enrollment Management
       2. Instructional Technology
       3. College of Marin Distance Education Plan 2012-2015
       4. Professional Development for Instructional Technology
       5. Student Success Initiative
       6. Teaching and Learning Strategies
       7. Community Partnership
       8. Facilities Plan
       9. Technology Plan
       10. Assessment, Program Review, and Resource Allocation
       11. Fiscal Stability
       12. Financial Planning and Budgeting
       13. Communication with Community

Question (fill in the blank):  The College has accomplished ____ percentage of the Strategic Plan’s 57 action steps for the first year?
Answer: The College has accomplished 95 percent of its 57 action steps for this first year.



Do you know there are over 100 (103 to be exact) opportunities for employees and students to volunteer to serve on Participatory Governance Committees at COM?
At the end of this academic year, we want to express our appreciation for those who were able to contribute to the goal of student success at COM through the Participatory Governance System. These efforts really did make a positive difference! Why not think about volunteering for next semester? For more information, just click on the link above and check out the opportunities which might interest you.

Contact the Office of Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness (PRIE) for additional information at 415-485-9570.



    in which area COM exceeded the state average according to COM’s Student Success Scorecard Report 2013?
COM had a higher completion rate (which includes transfers, degrees earned, and certificates awarded) for its prepared students than the state average.
For more information on this topic, see Report to Board of Trustees (April 2013) posted under “Student Success Scorecard 2013 (Accountability Reporting for Community Colleges (ARCC))” on the Research page of the Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness Office website.



      A.  how long it takes for COM students to graduate (to obtain a degree or certificate)?

     B.  how long it takes for COM students to start their math or English courses (after entering the College)?


     A. For spring 2012 graduates, the average time to graduate was 6.4 years.

     B. For spring 2012 graduates, the average time between their entry into the College and their start of math or English courses was two years.

For more information on this topic, see College of Marin Student Achievement Report 2013.


COM priorities and Your Role (short survey in 03.27.2013 President's Weekly Briefing); results


(Nugget Factory production efforts reallocated to EPC/Strategic Plan Tracking Project)


Overall Course Success Rate - Spring 2012

Archived Data Nuggets

Archived Data Nuggets prior to 2013



Office of Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness (PRIE)

Technical Contact:  Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director, 415.485.9570