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Glossary of Terms

 

Glossary of Institutional Research Terms

Academic Year

Consecutive Fall and Spring semesters, currently August to May.

Carnegie Classification

A non-hierarchical scheme for classifying institutions of higher education that recognizes six distinct types - Research Universities, Doctoral Universities, Master's (Comprehensive) Colleges and Universities, Baccalaureate Colleges, Associate of Arts Colleges, and Specialized Institutions. The Carnegie Classification was originally developed in 1970 and last revised in 1994. Southern Methodist University is classified as a Doctoral I institution.

Research I - institutions that offer a full range of baccalaureate programs, are committed to graduate education through the doctorate, and place a high priority on research. They award at least 50 doctoral degrees each year and receive annually $40 million or more in federal support.

Research II - institutions that offer a full range of baccalaureate programs, are committed to graduate education through the doctorate, and place a high priority on research. They award at least 50 doctoral degrees each year and receive annually between $15.5 and $40 million or more in federal support.

Doctoral I - institutions that offer a full range of baccalaureate programs and are committed to graduate education through the doctorate. They award at least 40 doctoral degrees each year in 5 or more disciplines.

Doctoral II - institutions that offer a full range of baccalaureate programs and are committed to graduate education through the doctorate. They award at least 10 doctoral degrees each year in 3 or more disciplines--or 20 or more doctoral degree in 1 or more disciplines.

Source: Ernest L. Boyer, A Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, 1994 edition, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Census Date

The official reporting date for institutional data. Provides a statistical portrait of the institution at a fixed point in time. Data collected on the census date are reported to internal and external authorities, e.g. the board of trustees, state coordinating boards, private college associations, and the Federal government. There are a number of census dates during the year for the collection of different types of information, e.g. enrollment counts, financial statements, or graduation reports.

CIP (Classification of Instruction Programs) Discipline Code

    These codes represent a nationally used, common taxonomy for the classification of higher education degree programs. This classification was originally developed by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in 1979-80 and was revised in 1985, and again in 1990. The CIP is the standard method for reporting academic programs to the Federal government.

Census Enrollment

    Enrollment figures include all students registered for at least one credit-bearing course, including courses offered at sites other than the main campus, as of the second week of classes.

    Fall enrollment is reported for most purposes and is used to measure changes in enrollment. Spring enrollment is usually lower than fall enrollment because students graduate in December and the number of new students entering in spring semesters is small compared to fall semesters.

Degree-Seeking

Students who are enrolled in courses for credit and are recognized by the institution as seeking a degree or formal award.

Ethnicity

    Categories used to describe groups to which individuals belong, identify with, or belong in the eyes of the community. The categories do not denote scientific definitions or anthropological origins. Ethnicity is self-reported, however, a student may be counted in only one group.

Ethnic/Racial Classification

    A racial or ethnic category that is chosen by the student. International students (non-resident aliens) are not classified by racial/ethnic category, but are included in the total number of students when calculating percent minority. The current Federal definitions for ethnic categories are as follows:

    American Indian or Alaskan Native - a person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America and who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.

    Asian or Pacific Islander - a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, or Pacific Islands. This includes people from China, Japan, Korea, the Philippine Islands, American Samoa, India, and Vietnam.

    Black, Non-Hispanic - a person having origins in any of the black racial group of Africa (except those of Hispanic origin).

    Hispanic - a person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

    White, Non-Hispanic - a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East (except those of Hispanic origin).

First Professional Degree

    SMU offers three first professional degree programs, as classified under the U.S. Department of Education's Classification of Instructional Programs: (1) J.D., Juris Doctor, Law; (2) MDIV, Master of Divinity; (3) MTS, Master of Theological Studies.

First-Time Freshman

    An undergraduate student newly enrolled at SMU and not previously enrolled in a postsecondary degree program. Fall enrollment counts of new freshmen include students newly admitted and enrolled in the previous summer.

First-Time Graduate Student

A student enrolled at the graduate level for the first time. Includes graduate students enrolled in the fall term who attended graduate school in the prior summer term.

First-Year Student

An undergraduate student who has completed less than the equivalent of one full year of undergraduate work that is, less than 30 semester hours in a 120 hour degree program.

Fiscal Year

    A 12-month period running from June 1 through the following May 31. Fiscal years are designated by the year in which the FY ends, not the year in which the FY begins.

Fourth-Year Student (and Beyond)

An undergraduate student who has completed the equivalent of three years of full-time work; that is, at least 90 semester hours in a 120-hour program.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Employee

    A numerical designator for an appointment based on 100% for full-time. An FTE for a full-time employee is 1.00. (Two people each serving in half-time faculty positions would equal, together, one FTE faculty position.)

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Student

    A measure of student enrollment calculated on the total number of student credit hours. Every 15 credit hours at the undergraduate level equals 1.0 FTE, every 14 credit hours in the Law School JD program equals 1.0 FTE, and every 12 credits hours in all other graduate courses equals 1.0 FTE student.

Full-Time Student

Undergraduate students enrolled for 12 or more credit hours, students enrolled in a minimum of 10 credit hours in the JD program, and all other graduate students enrolled in a minimum of 9 credit hours are considered full-time students.

Graduate Degree

Graduate degrees include Masters and Doctorate degrees in all programs except the first professional degree programs in Law and Theology.

Graduate and First Professional Enrollment

All post baccalaureate students taking courses for credit are counted under Graduate and Professional enrollment.

IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System)

    IPEDS is the core postsecondary education data collection program in the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). It was designed to help NCES meet its mandate to report full and complete statistics on the condition of postsecondary education in the United States. It is a single, comprehensive data collection system developed to encompass all institutions and organizations whose primary purpose is to provide postsecondary education. The IPEDS system is built around a series of interrelated surveys to collect institution-level data in such areas as enrollment, program completions, faculty and staff, and financing.

Major Field of Study

    Students are classified as majors according to their selection of a primary field of study. This field must be selected from approved programs within each degree program.

New Transfer Student

    An undergraduate student newly enrolled at SMU who was previously enrolled in a postsecondary degree program at another institution. Fall enrollment counts of new transfers include students newly admitted and enrolled in the previous summer.

Non-Resident Alien

A person who is not a citizen or national of the United States and who is in this country on a visa or temporary basis and does not have the right to remain indefinitely.

Part-Time Student

Undergraduate students enrolled for 1-14 credit hours, graduate students enrolled for 1-11 credit hours, and Law School students in the JD program enrolled in 1-13 credit hours are considered part-time students.

Retention and Graduation Rates

    Calculated using cohort survival analysis. The cohort is typically defined as the first-time full-time freshmen entering in the fall semester. The term "first-time" means that the student was not previously enrolled in a postsecondary institution, and the term "full-time" means that the student enrolled for a minimum of 15 units in the entering semester.

    The assumption is that first-time full-time freshmen are committed to the pursuit of a degree in the traditional time-frame. The defined cohort is then analyzed in each subsequent semester to determine what percent persist or graduate. SMU produces reports in the fall of each year which update and summarize the retention and graduation rates for freshman cohorts going back 9 years.

SAT Combined Score

    The combined Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is the sum of individual verbal and math scores. SAT combined scores can range from a minimum of 400 to a maximum of 1600.

Second-Year Student

An undergraduate student who has completed the equivalent of one year of full-time work, but less than two years of full-time work; that is, at least 30 semester hours but less than 60 semester hours in a 120-hour program.

Staff Classification

The following categories are used for the purpose of reporting information to the Federal government on staff in institutions of postsecondary education. The classification is based on the type of work individuals are assigned and the level of skills required for the position.

Faculty - all persons who hold the academic rank titles of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, lecturer, or the equivalent, and whose principal activity is instruction, research, or public service. Includes deans, directors, associate deans, assistant deans, and executive officers of academic departments, if their principal activity is instructional. Includes adjunct faculty.

Executive, Administrative, and Managerial - all persons responsible for management. Work is directly related to management policies or general business operations. Required to exercise discretion and independent judgment and to direct the work of others. Includes all officers holding titles such as president, vice president, dean, director, as well as subordinate officers with titles such as associate dean, assistant dean, and academic department heads.

Other Professionals (Support/Service) - all persons in academic support, student service, and institutional support activities. Activities require either a college degree or comparable experience. Includes librarians, accountants, systems analysts, computer programmers, and coaches.

Clerical and Secretarial - all persons with primarily clerical or secretarial assignments. Includes bookkeepers, payroll clerks, and typists.

Technical and Paraprofessional - all persons with specialized knowledge or skills, whether acquired through work experience or academic preparation typically at a technical institute or junior college. Includes computer programmers and operators, photographers, and scientific and technical assistants.

Skilled Craft - all persons whose assignments require specific manual skills and knowledge of processes involved in the work. Expertise is acquired through experience on-the-job, apprenticeship, or formal training. Includes mechanics, electricians, machinists, carpenters, and type-setters.

Service and Maintenance - all persons whose assignments require limited skills and knowledge. These individuals provide for the comfort, convenience, or hygiene of staff and students. They also contribute to the upkeep and care of buildings, facilities, and grounds. Includes cafeteria workers, custodial personnel, groundskeepers, refuse collectors, and security personnel.

Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, Fall Staff Survey 1997.

State of Residence

    The state identified by the student at the time of his/her application to the institution as part of his/her permanent address. For entering freshmen, this may be the legal residence of their parent or guardian, or the state in which a student has a driver's license or is registered to vote. It may not be the state in which the student attended high school.

Third-Year Student

An undergraduate student who has completed the equivalent of two years of full-time work, but less than three years of full-time work; that is, at least 60 semester hours but less than 90 semester hours in a 120-hour program.