Predictive software plots path to college degrees

Four higher education institutions in Tennessee saw marked improvements in grades, retention, and in closing attainment gap after participating in a trial of predictive analytics software.

Colleges have poured resources into bolstering predictive analytics.

Two universities and two community colleges used Desire2Learn’s Degree Compass predictive analytics technology between August 2012 and May 2013.

According to data released on Dec. 5 by Desire2Learn, students who selected courses based on Degree Compass recommendations had a much higher success rate than students who selected courses on their own.

At one university the average number of credit hours passed by students who used the predictive analytics technology for 12 credit hours of courses was 10.66 credit hours. The success rate was an average of just two credit hours passed for students who didn’t use Degree Compass at all.

The results were similar at the other institutions that were part of the trial.

“I am very excited about the latest data, that shows more and more clearly how students of all abilities succeed when they follow the recommendations from Degree Compass,” said Tristan Denley, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Tennessee Board of Regents, in an announcement of the results.

Denley developed Degree Compass at Austin Peay University in 2011 with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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