Data Visualization - North Carolina Community Colleges

The NCCCS Performance Measures for Student Success Report

You will find here some visualizations of the data presented in the NCCCS 2014 Performance Measures for Student Success Reports. My intent is to interest you in the richness of the report's data, even beyond the very helpful analysis already provided by the report's authors. This is something I did in 2012 on the basis of an earlier version of the Performance Measures report, as a pdf. It looks a bit old-fashioned now.

Below are some interactive graphics. I have worked with a few of the report's tables in order to show some different approaches to visualizations. These use Highcharts, an easy-to-use javascript graphics implementation. I used the open source R-statistical analysis system (via RStudio) for all the (many) data preparation and analysis steps prior to visualization. In order to grab the data from the NCCCS pdf reports, I used the pdf-HTML service kindly provided by PDFOnline. If you are interested in the R and highcharts programs, contact me at my hotmail address, cassiodorus.

April 2014 Performance Report The table has about 1200 cells - here it is, simplified, as a heat map Table A. Basic Skills Student Progress
TableB. GED Diploma Passing Rate Table C. Developmental Students Success Rate in College-Level English Courses
Table D. Developmental Students Success Rate in College-Level Math Courses Table A1. Basic Skills Student Progress - Adult Basic & Secondary Education
Table A2. Basic Skills Student Progress - ESL
Table C1*

* Table C1, Developmental Student Success Rate in College-Level English Courses, 2012-2013 - Grade Distribution. The table is on page 26 of this NCCCS report. This alternative presentation takes the right-most column, "% Successful," and plots total number of students against number succeeding. The plot also shows two linear regression lines, one including the largest contributor, Central Piedmont CC, and one excluding it. With or without Central Piedmont, there is clearly a consistent linear relationship based on the total number of students. I suggest that the original Table C1 makes this difficult to see, while the plot readily clarifies it.

Something Old

The purpose of this part of my web site is to present some publicly available data in informative ways. Since I have a particular interest in community college education, I have used data from that domain to write "A Brief Treatment of the NCCCS Curriculum FTE Data." This report is very detailed so if you prefer to avoid a lot graphs and numbers, consider yourself warned. Here it is as a pdf file.

The data dealt with here is available on the North Carolina Community College System web site here. This data for full-time equivalent students (FTE) is used for funding purposes and does not include head counts. While the lack of head counts limits a broader use of the data, the FTE counts do offer a good opportunity for learning more about the state's community colleges. The NCCCS data provides FTE counts for curriculum students, basic skills (developmetal) students and for people who take classes for interest or to gain specific skills. This paper considers only curriculum students so that we can more easily concentrate on methods of analysis and visualization. I present the data for each individual college, and I also undertake to identify and visualize a quality measure that can be used to classify and compare colleges.

If you find this interesting, you might also find a Virginia Community College System report on developmental education to be worth your time. It is here

Finaly gotten around to posting this 11 Nov 2014 although the work was done back in 2012.

Updated 26 July 2015.