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ATLAS Reporting - Glossary for First-Year Retention Study of LAS New Freshmen

A reference for the student retention project created summer 2017 by the Student Academic Affairs Office and ATLAS in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.



Complete presentation (Powerpoint)


The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has proposed to raise its first-year retention rate of new Freshmen to 95%. To aid that effort, this study aims to examine patterns in recent retention levels of new Freshmen and to investigate some of the factors behind those levels.

As closely as possible, this project follows the University Office for Planning & Budgeting's definition of retention. For details, see Definitions below.
The initial focus for this project is to identify areas where interventions and further investigation are needed. In the future, this project will be expanded on to include additional populations and more in-depth analysis.


This study is limited to three recent cohorts of first-time Freshmen in LAS. It includes new Fall freshmen from 2013, 2014, and 2015.
As far as possible, this is intended to provide a reasonable sample size for exploration of retention issues, while minimizing any obscuring effects of changes in policy, cost, and climate over time.
Additional cohorts and analysis will be included in the future.


First-Year Retention

Beginning with: new, first-time Freshmen enrolled in degree-seeking LAS programs as of the close of business on the tenth day of a given fall term;

Students are considered to be retained if: they were enrolled in any degree-seeking undergraduate program on the Illinois campus as of the close of business on the tenth day of the following fall term. Students need not have remained in LAS as long as they stayed on campus.

Unlike the Office for Planning & Budgeting, this project does not take into special account:
  • deceased students;
  • students called to military service;
  • students who entered church missionary service.
Including these differences, the discrepancy between retention figures from Planning & Budgeting and the figures used in this project should be less than 0.1%.

First-Time Freshman

New students are considered to be first-time Freshmen if they have never enrolled in degree programs at other colleges or universities. This follows the Office for Planning & Budgeting's definition.


Each cohort includes new first-time Freshmen from a given fall term. For example, the 2013-2014 cohort includes Fall 2013 new Freshmen.


Represents a single race/ethnicity for each student. Based on the "Racial Ethnic Report Code" in the AITS electronic data warehouse.
This field displays "International" for most non-US citizens. The detailed logic behind this field is:

  1. display "Unknown" for students with citizenship "Out of Country, Citz Unknown";
  2. display "International" for students with citizenship "Adjustment of Status", "Non-Resident Alien", and "Resident Alien for IRS only-NR";
  3. display "Hispanic" for remaining students with ethnicity "Hispanic/Latino";
  4. for remaining students who identify with multiple races, display "Multi-Race";
  5. finally -- for remaining students who identify with individual races, display the race.
The information is current as of the close of business on the tenth day of each student's first degree-seeking fall term on this campus.

Access and Achievement Program (AAP)

Distinguishes students who participated in any LAS Access and Achievement program during their first degree-seeking fall term on this campus:

  • Educational Opportunities Program (EOP)
  • President's Award Program (PAP)
  • Educational Opportunities Affiliates Program (EOAP)


Distinguishes students who were considered Illinois residents in their first term from out-of-state students and international students.


Student gender. "N" indicates gender not given.


Indicates the nation of legal student residence. Current as of the beginning of each student's initial fall term.


This major reflects each student's primary major as of the close of business on the tenth day of the student's first degree-seeking fall term.

For clarity, the project merges certain majors:

Freshman Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Integrative Biology are merged into a single "Biology" category.

Older versions of majors are merged into the current versions:

Reported Major Major Codes Included
Communication 0313: Speech Communication
5164: Communication
Creative Writing 0420: Rhetoric
1136: Creative Writing
5347: Creative Writing
Earth, Soc, Env Sustainability 5086: Earth Systems, Env, & Society
5281: Earth, Society, & Environment
5313: Earth, Soc, Env Sustainability
Geography & Geographic Info Sc 0341: Geography
5330: Geography & Geographic Info Sc
International & Global Studies 0401: International Studies
5206: Global Studies
Psychology 0338: Psychology
5535: Psychology
Religious Studies 0443: Religious Studies
5197: Religion
Russian, E Eur, Eurasian St 0287: Russian & E European Studies
4097: Russian, E Eur, Eurasian St
Slavic Languages & Literature 0411: Russian Lang & Literature
5459: Slavic Studies

Academic Standing

The project displays each student's academic standing as of the close of business on the tenth day of the second fall term after first enrolling, regardless of whether the student was actually enrolled on that date.

If a student had any override of their academic standing for the second fall term, the figures reflect that override. Otherwise, the project uses the academic standing assigned at the end of the most recent prior term where grades were awarded to the student.

Academic standing values correspond to the following codes:

  • Good Standing: 10, 12, 15, 16, 19
  • On Probation: 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F, 1G, 1H, 1J, 1K, 1L, 1M, 1N, 1P, 1Q, 1R, 1S, 1T, 1U, 1V, 1W, 1X
  • On Drop: 17, 18
  • None/Unknown: 00 or none assigned


This study considers holds which prevent student registration. The holds must have taken affect on or after the start of a given student's first fall term, and must have remained active at least until the start of the second fall term.

The study groups hold types into the following categories:
  • Dean of Students / College / Dept Advising: codes 1D, CA, CH, DA
  • Financial / AR / Loan: 1H, 9C, 9E, 9H
  • Health / Immunization: HH, IM
  • Conflict Resolution: D1
  • Transcript Not Received: AD
  • Other: all other hold types which prevent student registration

Destination Institution

For students who left UIUC before the start of the second fall term, this identifies the first US postsecondary educational institution which a given student attended.

This excludes:
  • International institutions;
  • Outside enrollments that were concurrent with UIUC enrollments;
  • Summer-only enrollments, except when they represent the only information available for a given student.
For students who merely stopped out and returned to UIUC following the second fall term, the Destination Institution reflects this.

Information about outside enrollments comes from StudentTracker reports provided by the National Student Clearinghouse. Institution locations and characteristics are taken from 2013-2014 IPEDS survey data submitted to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Destination Major

Derived from the CIP code of a given student's primary major at the Destination Institution. Note that this information is not always available.

Original High School

Represents the high school from which a given student graduated.

High school locations are computed based on zip codes. Zip code coordinates are taken from the 2010 ZCTA Master Data Set, compiled by the Missouri Census Data Center.

Sources and Currency of the Information Used in This Project

Slides which directly compare the LAS retention rate with the campus retention rate

Slides 5 and 10 draw their figures directly from the Office for Planning & Budgeting, as reported by the Division of Management Information. For this project, we did not independently compute campus-level retention rates.

To maintain consistency, these slides draw their college-level retention figures from the same source. This leads to slight differences with college-level retention figures in other slides.

Slides which focus on LAS students

Slides which explore characteristics of students during their time in LAS utilize data originating from the AITS electronic data warehouse. ATLAS performs computations and rollups based on this data.

Student characteristics are shown as of the close of business on the tenth day of each student's first degree-seeking fall term. Retention is shown as of the close of business on the tenth day of the following fall term, regardless of whether a given student was enrolled.

Slides which focus on destinations of students who do not enroll for the second fall term

Following initial enrollment on the Illinois campus, information about any subsequent enrollment at any US institution was obtained from the National Student Clearinghouse's StudentTracker reports. These reports were obtained between December 2016 and March 2017 for the 408 students not retained for a second fall term at UIUC.

Information about any majors declared at those institutions also originated from the StudentTracker reports.

Locations and sizes of outside institutions were taken from 2013-2014 IPEDS survey data submitted to the National Center for Education Statistics.

To compute distance of destination institutions to student high schools, this project used the distance from an institution's latitude/longitude coordinates to the latitude/longitude of a given high school's zip code. Zip code coordinates were taken from the 2010 ZCTA Master Data Set, compiled by the Missouri Census Data Center.


Presentation and Data

Melissa Kisubika, LAS Student Academic Affairs Office
Xiaobei Chen and Kurt Tuohy, ATLAS Reporting Services

Additional LAS SAAO Retention Committee Members

Kristy Valentin – Academic Advisor
Tenaya Reifsteck – Academic Advisor 
Kimberly Alexander Brown – Assistant Dean
Robert Steltman – Executive Assistant Dean
Dean Barbara Hancin-Bhatt – Associate Dean

Keywordsstudent retention project reference   Doc ID74471
OwnerKurt T.GroupUniversity of Illinois LAS
Created2017-07-05 13:05:27Updated2022-03-28 16:04:30
SitesUniversity of Illinois Liberal Arts and Sciences
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