A Closer Look at VSA Analytics

Have you ever wanted to take a comprehensive look at the results from the Student Achievement Measure (SAM) that incorporates both the breadth and depth of the data? SAM has featured exclusive tracking of several student cohorts since 2013, and VSA staff often get questions about the availability of the consolidated data. Now all of the SAM data are available in a single source. The VSA takes reporting on the SAM outcomes to a new level in two ways.

First, VSA Analytics gives subscribers a platform to create their own custom reports on any of the SAM metrics collected since its inception. Any number of visualizations based on these student outcomes are possible. VSA Analytics has all of the SAM participating institutions available for peer group comparisons for each of the past four years of published data.

For example, you could run a query on the two youngest U.S. states with a few clicks. To track the SAM outcomes for full-time transfer students at the University of Alaska compared to multiple locations of the University of Hawaii, VSA Analytics makes this possible in a comparison report. Here’s a screenshot of that visualization:


Or if you want to isolate large institutions that are Pell-majority, you can use a VSA aggregate report. Here’s a sector visualization based on SAM participants with total enrollments between 15,000 and 25,000 students and at least 50% of undergraduates are Pell recipients:


The new VSA gives subscribers the ability to isolate the SAM metrics for any group of institutions or sectors, instead of viewing them one at a time. It’s the only place to make customized reports that capture the true picture of student success.

The second way that the VSA has enhanced SAM data is by putting all of it into the hands of subscribers. The new VSA offers access to the raw SAM longitudinal data—not just the most recent cohort year. This is the first time that the entire SAM database has been shared in a downloadable format.

The VSA recently launched a new web portal for subscribers with an updated portfolio of offerings. More information is available at the VSA website, www.voluntarysystem.org


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