In 2012, NCAN developed Common Measures, a standard set of evidence-based outcomes and indicators to guide and assess college access-success programming. The framework specifies two key outcomes (college enrollment and completion) as well as associated interim indicators that all college access programs serving traditional-age students should use (12“essential” indicators and 25 optional indicators). These commonly accepted and proven outcomes mean that college access and success programs no longer need to“reinvent the wheel” on program design, and funders need no longer wonder which student supports are worth the investment. Real-time data systems tracking these student outcomes and indicators also allow college access and success programs to consistently check their progress, undertake improvements, and ensure equitable results for all kinds of students.
NCAN promotes adoption of Common Measures and benchmarking practices through an annual report, training, member services, bulk data purchasing, and technical assistance. Much of this work is supported from 2013-2017 by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. The original development of Common Measures was supported by the College Success Foundation and Deloitte.