Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Momentum Points

Momentum points are measures of students’ progression in their first year of college that research has found correlate with educational goal attainment in subsequent years.  These leading indicators enable the college to evaluate the potential longer-term effect of large scale systems, processes and policy changes.

YESS Momentum Points Defined

Students who are first time ever enrollments in college are grouped as a cohort.   Progression based on the following metrics is tracked through the end of the cohort’s first fall term and first academic year.

By end of first term, successful completion of

  • 6 or more college credits
  • 12 or more college credits

By end of first year, successful completion of

  • College math (100-level or higher)
  • College writing (121-level or higher)
  • Both college writing and math
  • 24 or more college credits
  • 36 or more college credits
  • 45 or more college credits
Findings
Successful Completion 1st Term F2016 F2017 F2018 F2019 F2020
6+ college credits 50.6% 53.4% 54.5% 57.0% 57.3%
12+ college credits 16.6% 20.6% 20.9% 23.1% 23.8%
  • Students completing six or more college (non-developmental education) credits in their first PCC Fall term increased from 51% of the 2016 cohort to 57% by fall 2020 cohort.
  • The percentage of those same students completing twelve or more college credits in their first fall term increased from almost 17% (2016 cohort) to 24% (2020 cohort).
Successful Completion 1st Year F2016 F2017 F2018 F2019 F2020
College Writing 46.9% 47.5% 49.1% 48.9% 49.8%
College Math 18.8% 21.5% 22.8% 24.1% 28.4%
College WR and MTH 14.9% 18.0% 18.9% 19.5% 22.6%
  • Cohort students completing a college writing course by the end of their first year ranged from 47% (2016) to 50% (2020).
  • The percentage of students completing a college math course in their first year increased from 19% with the 2016 cohort to a high of 28% with the 2020 cohort.
  • The percentage of students completing college math and writing courses increased from 15% of 2016 students to 23% of 2020 students.
Successful Completion 1st Year F2016 F2017 F2018 F2019 F2020
24+ college credits 33.2% 33.1% 34.8% 33.7% 34.8%
36+ college credits 11.3% 12.4% 13.2% 11.9% 13.2%
45+ college credits 2.1% 1.6% 2.0% 1.3% 1.95%
  • The trends among student completing 24+ and 36+ college credits has been relatively consistent since the fall 2016 cohort.
  • Students completing 45 or more college credits in their first year remain a small percentage of each cohort and is 2% or less of each cohort.

Notes:

College credits are associated with credit courses sequenced 100-level and higher

Source:  Argos, YESS, Momentum Points