Washington Attainment Gap Model

The Washington Attainment Gap Model

Please note that you will need a flash plugin to view the model (below), and that there may be a slight delay as the model loads into the browser and as variables are adjusted.

The student flow model estimates the number of credentialed residents Washington needs to reach the educational attainment goal in a target year. It also displays current measures of key transitional points in the education pipeline – primary and secondary math and English proficiency, high school completion, college participation (of recent high school graduates and of older adults), and college completion. These measures are interactive in the model, creating heuristics that allow users to estimate how improvements in those measures are likely to pay off in achieving the state attainment goal. The results of these heuristics are linked to evidence relating higher educational attainment to increased revenue from wages, taxes, etc. and to reduced expenditures on health care, incarceration, etc. to estimate an overall return on investment. In reading the results, it is important to be aware of several things:

  • The net change in credentials is based on the percentage specified in the educational attainment goal and the ending academic year that is selected.
    • Initially (prior to making any changes), projected outcomes are based on changes in the population over time. That is, assuming the most recently available rates of enrollment and graduation, Washington can expect to produce a net change in credentials between 2016 and 2023. All of these projections will change as the user makes adjustments in the input, enrollment distribution, retention, and completion rates of the population.
  • The Net Change in Credentials by the Ending Academic Year graph shows the number of credentials awarded in each year relative to the number of credentials awarded in the most recent year for which data were available, 2014-15. The number of credentials awarded that year is found in the Current Credentials Produced Annually cell. These columns may be negative if the model forecasts the credential production to shrink from the 2014-15 level. The user can make changes that create this result by reducing the college-going rate or redistributing student enrollments to a sector that has lower rates of student success. 
  • The net change in credentials produced is the cumulative sum over all the years indicated in the graph titled “Net Change in Credentials by the Ending Academic Year”. In order for Washington to reach its educational attainment goal, the net change in credentials should equal or exceed the number of additional credentials needed.

This model was developed by National Center For Higher Education Management Systems in collaboration with Washington Student Achievement Council.