Predictive analytics is the correlation of factors and outcomes used by colleges and universities to predict how a student will perform in a college setting. Increasingly, colleges are using quantitative measures to predict which students will graduate and which will encounter difficulties that lead to dropping out.
In the admissions office, decisions are made on which applicants to admit to the incoming class. The parts of the application most closely aligned with student success are the difficulty of the courses a student has taken in high school and the grades in those courses. Typically a B in AP is considered more highly than an A in the regular level course. Honors and AP courses cover more material, foster independent work and include high order thinking all of which are closer to college class requirements. To increase the probability of admission, take the most difficult classes in which you can do reasonably well.
200 colleges have begun to compare outcomes of their first year students who earn a grade of C or lower in foundation courses for various majors. In nursing, the best predictor of graduating is an A or B in basic math. Without the basics, students are unable to manage the algebra and statistics used in microbiology and other required courses.
For other majors the stumbling block is often the freshman composition course required of most students. A grade of C here can predict academic troubles in the future. Low grades in freshmen courses that require heavy reading, such as introductory history courses, also foreshadow difficulties.
What we can project from the data generated by college predictive analytics is that the admissions criteria of rigor and grades is also generally predictive of college success. Grades in freshman fundamentals can guide students to access resources that bolster performance or can be an indicator that another major might prove to be a wise choice.
How can you crush the analytics?
Be prepared for the challenge of college work loads. The AP course you might have taken covers the same material that is offered in college but it will be completed in 15 weeks, half of the time you had in high school. You can expect to read more than 100 pages for each of your classes every week so it will benefit you to read on grade level and to be able to read quickly with comprehension. Proficiency in math that includes algebra and geometry gives a leg up in science courses.
Build your list of colleges around your academic strengths. If you are weak in math (as I was and am) look for colleges that have strong support systems and offer co-registration in remedial and college level courses.
Predictive analytics is used to alert advisors to struggling students who can offer assistance and support. Don’t wait: you are expected to reach out for help even before your advisor flags you. If you find that you aren’t on top of the material, ask for help immediately. Go to your professors for clarification-they are required to hold office hours for this purpose. Every college has a writing center and math tutors available for free. Use them!
Knowing the differences between high school experience and college will eliminate surprises and prepare you for success. Lets talk about what you need to do to get ready! Stephanie@access guidance or 610-212-6679 for an appointment.