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Data Definitions

Common variable definitions are critical to understanding the data and informing data requests. Most commonly-used variables are defined below:

Retention rates: Retention measures the rate at which students persist in their education at the College. Retention rates are the percentage of first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students from the previous fall who return in the current fall or graduated from their program. As SUNY Canton has multiple degree levels, there are multiple retention rates reported (overall, Bachelor’s degree-seeking students only (as reported by IPEDS), and degree/program specific).

Graduation rates: Graduation rates measure the rate at which students complete a degree program within 150% of normal time (i.e., a student enrolling in a bachelor's degree program completing within 6 years). Although some subgroup analysis is done for internal and external transfer students, graduation rate cohorts are based on the completion by first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students. Like with retention rates, there are multiple graduation rates reported on both internally and externally (overall, by degree/program, within program only, 200% completion time, etc.)

Census Date: The college census date reflects a snapshot of student enrollment which is used as the official enrollment data for state, federal, accreditation, and SUNY reporting. SUNY Canton captures two census dates, primarily using the SUNY mandated October 15 deadline for Fall and March 15th for Spring. In addition, data files are frozen at the conclusion of the third week of classes, as some reporting requires data frozen after the third week.