College Milestones

Five-Year Completion of 15 or More Credits: Washington

Percentage of 2001-02 Washington State Community and Technical College students who completed 15 or more college credits within five years, by student type

What Is Measured?

Percentage of students who completed 15 or more college credits within five years

Who Is Counted?

First-time community and technical college students enrolled in Washington Community and Technical Colleges in 2001-02 and who were enrolled in college-level, workforce, or transfer programs

What It Tells Us

About two-fifths (41 percent) of all students enrolled in transfer programs completed 15 or more college credits within five years, while almost two-thirds (67 percent) of college-level students did so.

Why It's Important

Students who intend to complete a program and obtain a credential or transfer to a four-year college must complete a required number of course credits. Even after the first year, earning a specific number of credits is a milestone that is associated with future success. For students who do not intend to graduate or transfer but may be more interested in improving their workforce skills or cultivating personal interests, earning a certain number of college-level credits may constitute a goal in and of itself.

About the Data

Students are categorized by whether or not they enrolled in developmental education courses and their educational objectives at the time of registration. These groups of students are not mutually exclusive.

College-level: include students who did not enroll in any developmental courses, regardless of their educational objectives.

Transfer: include students who enrolled with the intent to transfer to a four-year institution, regardless of their enrollment in developmental courses.

Data Source

Leinbach, D. T., & Jenkins, D. (2008, January). Using longitudinal data to increase community college student success: A guide to measuring milestone and momentum point attainment. CCRC No. 2. New York: Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University.