Distance Learning Data

Retention and Success Rates

Retention and success rates are critical to distance learning classes. When assessing retention and success rates it is important to look at the data a variety of ways. In line with Research and Planning, Ed Tech focuses on retention and success as it relates to age, ethnicity, sex and overall persistence.

Data for summer 2001 to spring 2012 can be found to the right under Quick Links. Major findings, including retention rates are listed below.

Fall 2012 distance learning data can be found at the California Community College State Chancellor's Office Management Information Systems Data Mart.

Major Findings

Major Findings for Online Courses from the Report on Distance Learning

As of Spring 2013, online courses have grown to 120 courses with almost 160 course sections taught by over 100 instructors, representing 31 departments in over 40 disciplines as well as all six schools and Library and Learning Resources.  In Fall 2000, when online courses began at City College, there were 8 online courses.

Distance Learning FTES growth from fall 2000 to spring 2013 is located in the FTES Growth Chart under Quick Links to the right. In looking at the chart, it is clear that FTES generated from online classes continues to rise while FTES generated for Telecourses continues to decrease. In spring 2013, City College produced the highest FTES generated for distance learning at FTES 734.  It is important to note that while the College has been experiencing a gradual decline in credit FTES, distance learning has experienced a continued growth.

For the academic year 2011-12, distance learning accounts for 4.8% of the total credit apportionment generating approximately $6.02 million dollars in apportionment.

On average 9% of all credit classes are offered via online delivery. The California State average is 9% as reported by the California State Chancellor’s Office in the April 2011 Distance Education Report.  

For the academic year 2011-12, White non-Hispanic students represented approximately 25% of the on-campus students, but 35% of the online-only students.  The percentage of online-only students in the Hispanic/Latino category has increased slightly. The percentage of online-only students in the African American, Asian, and Other categories is either about the same as for face-to-face students, or slightly lower.  In looking at the California State Chancellor’s Office April 2011 Distance Education Report, CCSF has significantly more students in the Asian category enrolled in online course sections.

The highest percentage of online-only students are in the 25-29 age group, followed closely by the 20-24 age group. This percentage distribution is consistent over the last six semesters. The April 2011 Distance Education Report by the California State Chancellor’s Office reports that the highest statewide percentage is in the 20-24 age group.

The percentage of men and women taking only online course sections and online/face-to-face sections mirrors the percentage of men and women taking face-to-face sections.  This pattern has not changed significantly over the last few semesters. The percentage of men and women enrolled online sections is more evenly dispersed at CCSF at about 50% where the State percentage is 61% female and 38% male for the academic year 2009-10.

High School graduates represent the largest percentage of students enrolled in online sections. The second highest are in the BA or Higher category.

For the educational objectives category, the percentages for online-only students mirror those for face-to-face students. In the last several semesters there has been an increase in the percentage of students in the online and face-to-face category indicating obtaining a 4-year degree as their educational objective. 

The retention rate for students enrolled in online classes and those enrolled in face-to-face classes varied by about 6-8% over the last six semesters. The retention rate for students enrolled in summer sessions is higher for both of these categories varying by about 5%. The overall retention rate for students enrolled in online classes over the past two academic years is 77.5% for online and 85% for face-to-face. These averages mirror State-wide and national averages for online retention.

Students enrolled in both a face-to-face section and at least one online section have a higher persistence percentage (varying between 6 to 12%) than those students enrolled in only a face-to-face section.

In spring 2012 the percentage of units passed for online and face-to-face students was only 1% lower than students in the face-to-face category. This is a significant finding with a preliminary conclusion that students are becoming more experience taking online courses or they are coming to CCSF with more knowledge about how to navigate an online course.

The GPA for students enrolled in both an online course section and a face-to-face section is lower than for those students enrolled in an online-only section or a face-to-face only section.  Students enrolled in both an online course section and a face-to-face section attempt more units than students enrolled in an online-only section or a face-to-face section. A preliminary conclusion could be that students in this category have a lower GPA because they are attempting more units.