The Answer is...Maybe!
As, undoubtedly, you are busy extracting and computing data for the 2009-2010 Perkins Report, I thought I might share an insight gained after a conversation with one of our partners from Mid-Plains Community College, Tad Pfeifer. We had a discussion about the 2P1 Numerator and the 4P1 Denominator. More specifically, we pondered whether these two items, in fact, represent the same populations.
After some discussion and running of numbers, we concluded the answer is … maybe!
It is conceivable that these two populations could be the same. However, there is a key distinction between the two. For our purposes in Nebraska, the 2P1 Indicator is measuring the percentage of CTE Concentrators that graduate with a diploma, degree, certificate, or credential. The 2P1 numerator is calculated as a subclass, or subpopulation of the 2P1 denominator; we refine the 2P1 denominator population to calculate the population comprising the 2P1 numerator.
The 4P1 Indicator measures the percentage of CTE Concentrator graduates employed in work, military or apprenticeships. The 4P1 denominator represents the number of CTE concentrators from the previous reporting year that left postsecondary education with a credential, certificate, degree or diploma during the previous reporting year. On the surface, this sounds eerily similar to the 2P1 numerator definition. However, there is a difference - a subtle difference – which is found within the computation methodology of the indicators.
2P1 requires the removal of those students attempting a CTE course during the current reporting year (see step 11 from the 2P1 denominator calculation process, page 14 of the Perkins Postsecondary Data Manual). 4P1 does not make such exclusion.
So, let’s revisit my earlier answer of “maybe”. I noted that these two populations could be the same. That is because if none of the CTE Concentrators from the previous year attempt a CTE course during the current reporting year, in fact, the 2P1 Numerator population will be identical to the 4P1 Denominator population. However, this is conditional on whether or not any CTE Concentrator from the previous reporting year attempts a CTE course during the current reporting year – thus, the unambiguous answer … “maybe”.
Until next week…