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Instructions for Retention-Graduation Template

Download the Retention-Graduation Template.

Only fill in cells with dark gridlines around each cell. Do not enter data in cells with symbols in them (#DIV/0!) or with a zero in them; these cells will be filled in automatically by the worksheet when you fill in the cells in the dark gridlines.

Fill in the cell after "Program Name:" (the program name will probably extend beyond the right border of the cell; however once you enter the information into the cell and hit the return key, the name will show correctly on the worksheet).

For the proposal phase of the process:

  1. Fill in the "Projected" section (projected number of students in the program, projected number retained after their first year at Penn State, and projected number that graduate within six years) according to the outcomes you anticipate for the program.

  2. For the "Non-Program Students" part of this section, project the same outcomes for students in your target population who will not be in your program.

    The "Non-Program Students" part of this section presents some special challenges. In order to define your non-program student population A) you might use a defined group of students (e.g., specific students in the target population who might have participated in the program but, for whatever reasons, did not do so) to determine the number of students in your non-program student group, or B) you could project this number based on the number of students in the entire cohort of the target population (e.g., if your target population is African American first-year students at your campus, the number of students that comprise this group minus the number of students in the program). You can obtain these numbers using data identifiers (e.g., ethnic code, admit semester, and campus code) via one of the data retrieval tools used at Penn State (e.g., or the Penn State Data Warehouse). Method A) is better if you are reasonably confident that you already know most or all the students in the target population or if the population cannot be identified through data identifiers (e.g., ESL students). Method B) is better if you don't already know most or all of these students or if you can use data identifiers for the population. In either case, you will also project retention and graduation outcomes for the non-program group, just as you did for the program group. Obviously, your projections should be at least somewhat higher for the program group vs. the non-program group.

  3. Print out the worksheet and submit it with your proposal

For the program evaluation phase of the process:

  1. Retrieve the Excel file you used for the proposal phase of the process and, just as you did in the "Projected" section, fill in the section under "Actual" with the actual outcomes.

    The "Non-Program Students" part of this section presents some special challenges. First, you need to identify as many students as possible in the cohort of your target population who did not participate in your program. If this cohort can be captured by data identifiers in the Penn State database (e.g., ethnic code, admit semester, and campus code), you should use one of the Penn State data retrieval systems that provide PSU ID output (e.g., or the Penn State Data Warehouse) to identify these students. If the cohort cannot be captured by data identifiers (e.g., ESL students), you will need to obtain the PSU ID of this group by other means to the best degree possible. You will use these PSU ID to determine the actual outcomes of the non-program students using the Data Warehouse or looking up these students in the ISIS system (e.g., AIS).

  2. Print out this worksheet (it should now have your projections along with the actual outcomes of the program on one page) and submit it with your program evaluation.

  3. Utilize the PSU ID Templates for Program and Non-Program Students. Also, send the Excel files to Mike Blanco as email attachments. You only need to download these templates once and use the same files you originally used in the first year and keep all data for all program years on the same Excel worksheet. You only need to include these templates in the original of your program evaluation. Please do not include them in the copies.

  4. Please keep in mind that given the time frame of when program evaluations are due and when actual outcomes data become available, you will probably need to submit your actual data sometime after the program evaluation is due. If this occurs for your program, please make a note of this point in the program evaluation and indicate when you plan to submit the actual outcomes.

Every year that you conduct the program you will need to A) download a new Retention-Graduation template for the program during that year and B) update retention and graduation data for programs from all previous years on the respective Retention-Graduation template for each year. Even after you have completed conducting the program, EOPC requests that you continue to update the data through to the six-year graduation rates for students for each program year and provide this data to EOPC.