Postcollege Outcomes Clearinghouse

What students do when they are no longer enrolled – known as Postcollege Outcomes – is an area of increasing interest for higher education stakeholders. The Postcollege Outcomes Clearinghouse serves as a repository for available resources, with a particular focus on research and resources related to best practices for gathering, analyzing, and using graduate employment data. As the body of research and practice related to the collection, use and study of Postcollege Outcomes continues to grow, the Institute for Effectiveness in Higher Education will add items to this Clearinghouse.


Linked resources include policy briefs, research reports, and journal and news articles. Active links are provided to publicly available resources. For resources behind a paywall or requiring other subscription, we have provided the reference information.

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Paywall Resources

Blumenstyk, G. (2018). The Adult Student: The population colleges—and the nation—can’t afford to ignore. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Available from:

Ewell, P. and Jenkins, D. (2008). Using state student unit record data to increase community college student success. New Directions for Community Colleges, 2008: 71-81. Available from:

Kuh, G. D., Kinzie, J., Buckley, J. A., Bridges, B. K., & Hayek, J. C. (2007). Piecing together the student success puzzle: Research, propositions, and recommendations. ASHE Higher Education Report, 32(5). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Available from:

Laguilles, J. S., Coughlin, M. A., Kelly, H. A., & Walters, A. M. (2016). Postgraduate Outcomes of College Students. New Directions for Institutional Research, 169. Available from: 3A+New+Directions+for+Institutional+Research%2C+Number+169-p-9781119325277

Linked Resources

Adelman, C., Ewell, P., Gaston, P., & Schneider, C. G. (2014, October). The Degree Qualifications Profile. Lumina Foundation. Retrieved from:


Alexander, L. (2018, February). Higher Education Accountability. Retrieved from:


American Association of State Colleges and Universities. (2006). Graduation rates and student success: Squaring means and ends. Perspectives. Washington, DC. Retrieved from:


Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities. (2017). Ready for jobs, careers, and a lifetime: Public research universities and credentials that count. Retrieved from:


Baum, S., Ma, J., & Payea, K. (2013). Education Pays 2013: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society. The College Board. Retrieved from:


Baum, S., & Payea, K. (2005). Education Pays 2004: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society (Revised Edition) The College Board. Retrieved from:


Baum, S., & Steele, P. (2017, January). Who goes to graduate school and who succeeds? Urban Institute. Retrieved from:


Bearer-Friend, J. (2009). Measuring student achievement at postsecondary institutions. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices. Retrieved from:


Blumenstyk, G. (2019, April 16). Do your academic programs actually develop ’employability’? There’s an assessment for that. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from:


New! Bragg, D., Endel, B, Anderson, N., Soricone, L., and Acevedo, E. (July 2019) What Works for Adult Learners: Lessons from Career Pathway Evaluations. Jobs For the Future (JFF) Retrieved from:


Busta, H. (2019). 5 ideas for change in higher education from SXSW EDU. Retrieved from: 


Busta, H. (2019). SXSW EDU 2019: What it means to treat students as consumers of higher ed. Retrieved from:


New! Busta, H. (2019). What’s at stake for colleges as employers rethink hiring and training. Retrieved from:


Busta, H. (2019). SXSW EDU 2019: Why we need to fix the college-to-career handoff. Retrieved from:


New! Busteed, B., This will be the biggest disruption in higher education. Forbes. Retrieved from:


New! CalStatePays – combines the data from Southern California’s top public universities. Retrieved from:


Carnevale, A. P., Rose, S. J., Hanson, A. R. (2012). Certificates: Gateway to gainful employment and college degrees.Washington, DC: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Retrieved from:


Complete College America. (2017). Common college completion metrics technical guide. Retrieved from:


Committee on Measures of Student Success. (2011). A report to Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan. Retrieved from:


Cook, B. & Pullaro, N. (2010). College graduation rates: Behind the numbers. American Council on Education. Retrieved from:


Curran Consulting Group. (2015). New Vision for Career Preparation. Retrieved from:


Deming, D. J., Yuchtman, N., Abulafi, A., Goldin, C., and Katz, L.F. (2016). The value of postsecondary credentials in the labor market: An experimental study. American Economic Review106(3): 778-806. Retrieved from:


Desrochers, D. M., & Hurlburt, S. (2016, January). Trends in College Spending: 2003-2013: Where Does the Money Come From? Where Does IGo? What Does IBuy? American Institutes for Research, Delta Cost Project. Retrieved from:….pdf


Dickler, J. (2018, July 10). Here’s how US college costs stack up against the rest of the world. CNBC. Retrieved from:


Ellucian. (2019). Credential clout: How higher ed can prepare for an evolving job market. Retrieved from:


Erickson, N. (2019, April 11). College administrators support greater accountability in higher ed. Third Way. Retrieved from:


Executive Office of the President of the United States. (2015). Using federal data to measure and improve the performance of U.S. institutions of higher education. Retrieved from:


Fain, P. (2019, March 18). U of Louisville and IBM to open ‘Skills Academy’. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from:‘skills-academy’


Fain, P. (2019, March 19). JPMorgan’s big-dollar bet on community colleges. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from:


Feldbaum, M., & Harmon, T. (2013, February 3). Using unemployment insurance wage data to improve program employment outcomes: A technical assistance guide for community and technical colleges. National Science Foundation. Retrieved from:


Frawley, D. & Harvey, V. (2015, October). Graduate surveys: Review of international practice. Higher Education Authority. Retrieved from:


Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. (2017).
Career Pathways: Five Ways to Connect College and Careers. Retrieved from:


Griffin, A., & Kvall, J. (2018, June). Congress needs to lift restrictions on collecting college student data. Washington Post. Retrieved from


Guryan, J., & Thompson, M. (2014). Report on the proposed gainful employment regulation (RE: Docket ID ED-2014-OPE-0039). Tallahassee, FL: Charles River Associates. Retrieved from:


Harmon, T. & Ridley, N. (2014, April). Workforce results matter: The critical role of employment outcome data in improving transparency of postsecondary education and training. Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success at the Center for Law and Social Policy. Retrieved from:


Higher Learning Commission. (December, 2018). Defining student success data: Recommendations for changing the conversation. Retrieved from:


Hoffman, L., & Reindl, T. (2011). Complete to compete: Improving postsecondary attainment among adults. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices. Retrieved from:


Jankowski, N. A., Timmer, J. D., Kinzie, J., & Kuh, G. D. (2018, January). Assessment that matters: Trending toward practices that document authentic student learning. National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. Retrieved from:


Jensen, L. (2017, May). Collecting employment and wage data.Retrieved from:


Kinsely, P., & Goldrick-Rab, S. (2015, June). Making the grade: The academic side of college life among financial aid recipients.Wisconsin Hope Lab. Retrieved from:


Klor de Alva, J. (2019, April). Is the university next door the key to upward mobility? American Enterprise Institute. Retrieved from:


Kuh, G. (2016, September 26). Student success in college: Creating conditions that matter. Retrieved from:


Leu, K., Radwin, D., & Horn, L. (2015). Multiple initiatives, one framework: The intersection of initiatives, data, and metrics.The Completion Arch. Retrieved from:


Linn, D. (n.d). The NGA common completion metrics. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices. Retrieved from:


New! Longitudinal Employment-Household Dynamics Post-Secondary Employment Outcomes (PSEO) (Beta). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved from:


Ma, J., Pender, M., & Welch, M. (2016, December). Education pays 2016: The benefits of higher education for individuals and society. The College Board. Retrieved from:


Markowitz, T. (2017, May 30). Employment: The much needed ultimate student learning outcome. Forbes. Retrieved from: 2017/05/30/employment-the-much-needed-ultimate-student-learning-outcome/#51b69f013b29


National Association of Colleges and Employers. (2018, February 7). Collecting and using outcomes data. Retrieved from:


National Governors Association. (2015). Tracking Graduates into the Workforce: Connecting Education and Labor Market Data. Retrieved from:


Okahana, H. & Zhou, E. (2018, October). Graduate enrollment and degrees: 2007-2017. Council of Graduate Schools. Retrieved from:


Pascarella, E. T., Pierson, C. T., Wolniak, G. C., & Terenzini, P. T. (2004). First-generation college students: Additional evidence on college experiences and outcomes. The Journal of Higher Education, 75. 249-284. Retrieved from:


Pew Research Center. (2014, February). The rising cost of not going to college. Retrieved from:


Phenicie, C. (2018, June 21). The Department of Education and Workforce: Why Trump officials are looking to merge two agencies, with a focus on better developing a modern workforce. The 74. Retrieved from:


Roberson, B., & Stein, B. (2019, April). Consumer information in higher education. The Institute for College Access and Success. Retrieved from:


Russell, A. (2011). Policy matters: A guide to major college completion initiatives. American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Retrieved from:


Schwartz, N. (2019, April 15). Community colleges embracing ‘guided pathways’ see payoff. Education Dive. Retrieved from:


Smith, M., Bell, K., Bennett, D., & McAlpine, A. (2018). Employability in a global context: Evolving policy and practice in employability, work integrated learning, and career development learning.’ Wollongong, Australia: Graduate Careers Australia. Retrieved from:


Smith-Barrows, D. (2018, October 5). Change is on the way for the College Scorecard. The Hechinger Report. Retrieved from:


Soares, L. (2013, January). Post-traditional learners and the transformation of postsecondary education: A manifesto for college leaders. Washington, DC: American Council on Education. Retrieved from:


Soares, L., Gagliardi, J. S., and Nellum, C.J. (2017). The post-traditional learners manifesto revisited: Aligning postsecondary education with real life for adult student success. Washington, DC: American Council on Education. Retrieved from:


Soldner, M., Smither, C., Parsons, K., & Peek, A. (2016, May). Toward improved measurement of student persistence and completion. Association for Institutional Research. Retrieved from:


Stephens, R. (2017, April 7). Automate this: Building the perfect 21st-century worker. Third Way. Retrieved from:


Stone, C., Van Horn, C., & Zukin, C. (2012). Chasing the American Dream: Recent college graduates and the Great Recession. Rutgers University John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. Retrieved from:


Taylor, T. (2017). A grand bargain on quality assurance? Lumina Foundation. Retrieved from:


The Advisory Board Company. (2011). Tracking post-graduation student success. Retrieved from:


The Education Resources Institute & The Institute for Higher Education Policy. (1997, August). Now what? Life after college for recent graduates. Retrieved from:


The Institute for College Access & Success. (2018, December). Of metrics and markets: Measuring post-college employment success. Retrieved from:


Tighe, K. (2018, March). Recommendations for the Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. United States Department of Education Office of Inspector General. Retrieved from:


Torres, R. (2019, March 18). Leveraging data to improve college outcomes for adults. Forbes. Retrieved from:


Tran, H., & Smith, D. (2017, August 1). The impact of employer-sponsored educational assistance benefits on community college student outcomes. Journal of Student Financial Aid, 47(2), 83-100. Retrieved from:


Turk, J. M. (2019). A look at five key outcomes in early adulthood for associate degree earners. Washington, DC: American Council on Education, Hobsons. Retrieved from:


New! Tyszko, J. & Sheets, R. (2019). Co-Designing Assessment and Learning: Rethinking Employer Engagement in a Changing World. National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. Retrieved from:


Weise, M. R., Hanson, A. R., Sentz, R., & Saleh, Y. (2018). Robot ready: Human+ skills for the future of work. Strada Institute for the Future of Work. Retrieved from:


Wisconsin HOPE Lab. (2015, October). Costs and productivity in higher education: Convening summary. Retrieved from: