vibeffect Index Reveals Career College Students Are Higher Thrivers Than Four-Year Peers

University BusinessThis article was originally published at University Business on April 18, 2016.

Career College Optimizer Index findings show 32 percent of career college students thrive across multiple dimensions

Washington, D.C. – vibeffect, the leader in optimizing outcomes for students in higher education, announces the results of its inaugural Career College Optimizer Index (CCOI), a validated, multi-dimensional indicator to measure consumer confidence across the nation’s career-focused learning institutions. The CCOI is based on methodology used in the company’s College Optimizer Index, a study of thriving in four-year college institutions released last year. Each index establishes a snapshot of the state of a college ecosystem, providing a benchmark that can be used to measure student thriving and academic success over time.

Based on data collected, the results show that 32 percent of students are considered “high-thriving” in career colleges. This compares favorably to their peers in traditional four-year colleges where 19 percent are considered high-thriving. The profile of high-thrivers in career colleges includes students with no prior college experience as well as students with some experience in two-to-four-year colleges. Individually, students with no prior college experience are as likely to be considered high-thrivers as those with some prior college.

The CCOI results also reveal interesting demographic data. For example:

  • African-American students comprised 42 percent of high-thrivers in both in-class and online learning environments.
  • Hispanic students comprised 10 percent of high-thrivers, and white students comprised 33 percent of high-thrivers.
  • Out of all the high-thrivers, 62 percent earn incomes under $10,000 per year.

“Career colleges are important and often debated in higher education, but little effort has been taken to collect data that allows us to understand how well students are doing in that ecosystem before now,” said Elena M. Cox, CEO of vibeffect. “The CCOI provides an unprecedented ability to measure thriving in career colleges and can be applied to students interested in this postsecondary model to show the impact the ecosystem has on students as they progress to graduation and create new options for stability and employment in their lives.”

The CCOI comprises a comprehensive analysis of a representative sample of 15,000 students and includes 166,290 data points with 150 variables per student. It is a validated, nationally representative study of career college students learning both in-class and online. The data was collected between December 2015 and January 2016 in a non-profit career college system using a questionnaire designed for career college students. It is the first career college “thriving” index constructed from big data analysis, and positions vibeffect at the forefront of the dialogue about what success means for career college students and how institutions can better understand and support individual thriving.

Data collected is a result of the 2015 and 2016 Survey of College Students and Recent Graduates conducted by vibeffect and managed by Greenwald & Associates. Respondents were given a survey about their college experience satisfaction, improvements in their skills and job readiness, and feeling of proactive support from instructors and staff. Career colleges are the second environment tested by vibeffect, which will continue to release more indices over the next 12-18 months focused on adult learning, four-year colleges and community college ecosystems.

To view the results and an infographic summarizing some key findings of the Career College Optimizer Index, visit thevibeffect.com/career-college-optimizer-index-2016. To learn more about vibeffect, visit thevibeffect.com.


Media Contact:
-Dusten Carlson, C. Blohm & Associates, dusten@cblohm.com, 608-216-7300 ext. 30