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cbifoja

Proud Parent
Oct 9, 2012
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Background....I am a teacher and with my kids next year, I am going to implement Genius Hour in my classroom. This is based on Google's 20% policy if you are familiar with this. Over the summer, I want to complete a full project as a model of the depth of effort and final product to help my kids understand the kinds of subjects/projects they should envision before embarking on their own passion project.

There have been several threads about D1 gym programs and how they can be rough on their athletes. I've read some blog posts from links that CBers have posted that share personal experiences from gymnasts attending some different schools. However, for my project, I want to quantify athlete retention.

I think as far as data analysis, I am doing things right. What I will do (have already done a few), is sort year by year rosters (going to use 5 years of data) and see how many athletes left from year to year. I can them compute a rate of retention by percentage.

Where I am needing help/feedback... in years where a program has lost an athlete (reason isn't relevant for this project), but has also had someone transfer in, the calculated retention rate would be 100%. Now obviously this isn't entirely accurate since the program did lost an athlete. However, doesn't it seem relevant that an athlete chose to enter the program beyond their freshman year? Or are athletes who don't enter a program as freshmen invalidating my data and therefore should be excluded from all calculations?

Thoughts?
 
Maybe you can look at it not as total # athletes per year on the roster but # who enter each year and # lost each year. Then separate graduation vs leaving the school/ program.
 
There are reasons athletes transfer in and out of programs....out (off team) generally because:

*they've been told that their scholarship will be cut
*that they won't compete
* that they never competed and are sick of training like a madman and not competing
*medically retired by their original school against their wishes but they feel they can still compete if not there, some where else
* truly medically retired and want a school closer to home or just a different school
* just plain old done with the sport...so these would be those that leave the school/ team

People that transfer IN to a program after their freshman year do so because:

* they've been told any or all of the above by their first school
* disciplinary issues on their first team ( i.e. kicked off)
* want to be closer to family
* don't like the school
* an ASU or Penn State type of situation that they just want to get away from

Kids that are medically retired often remain at the schools and are counted in the #s for calculating team GPA and retention rates.
 
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If I were doing this analysis in real life, I'd start by looking up how NCAA defines retention rates for student athletes, how colleges define retention rates for all students, and how education researchers define retention rates. Those seem like the closest analogues, but with the first two there will be an incentive to present the rosiest picture possible.

Without doing that background research, here's my initial impression. Including transfers in the numerator but not the denominator would inflate the retention rate and would essentially allow schools to cover up losses by filling those spots. I would first define the period and population for which you want to calculate the retention rate (four-year retention for entering freshmen? retention to graduation for entering freshmen? one-year retention for anyone in the program at any time during the year? etc.). Then anyone in that group at the beginning of the period, or being added to the group during the period if that's how you defined it, is counted in the denominator, and anyone still surviving at the end of the period is counted in the numerator. If you want an annual retention rate, the most realistic thing would be to include everyone who was already in the program at the beginning of the year plus incoming freshmen plus transfers in, then calculate the percentage who did not leave during or at the end of the year for any reason other than graduation.

I would calculate both annual retention rates and rates of retention to graduation by entering class, and probably also a rate of retention to graduation for all transfers who entered during a defined period. If you have the data, you could also look at the reasons for leaving.
 
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I would first define the period and population for which you want to calculate the retention rate (four-year retention for entering freshmen? retention to graduation for entering freshmen? one-year retention for anyone in the program at any time during the year? etc.).
I would calculate both annual retention rates and rates of retention to graduation by entering class, and probably also a rate of retention to graduation for all transfers who entered during a defined period. If you have the data, you could also look at the reasons for leaving.

Excellent point. Yes, this would make the project a lot better. Thank you. And I will definitely tell my kids about reaching out to others for suggestions because frequently, you get excellent advice like this!
 
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There are reasons athletes transfer in and out of programs....out (off team) generally because:

*they've been told that their scholarship will be cut
*that they won't compete
* that they never competed and are sick of training like a madman and not competing
*medically retired by their original school against their wishes but they feel they can still compete if not there, some where else
* truly medically retired and want a school closer to home or just a different school
* just plain old done with the sport...so these would be those that leave the school/ team

People that transfer IN to a program after their freshman year do so because:

* they've been told any or all of the above by their first school
* disciplinary issues on their first team ( i.e. kicked off)
* want to be closer to family
* don't like the school
* an ASU or Penn State type of situation that they just want to get away from

Kids that are medically retired often remain at the schools and are counted in the #s for calculating team GPA and retention rates.

My plan isn't to assign reason for retention rate because honestly, I think that unless you are conversing with the student athlete, it is difficult to say why someone left.

Now, the information you share is interesting for those who have children considering this route so I thank you for always being so willing to share your experience. You bring so much to this forum!
 
Maybe you can look at it not as total # athletes per year on the roster but # who enter each year and # lost each year. Then separate graduation vs leaving the school/ program.
Interesting....my original plans didn't calculate in seniors as graduating.
 
Thank you for the responses so far. I hope my students have access to the kind of people who are willing to share and advise like I do!
 
Also--I am not familiar with the Genius Hour concept, but does it incorporate a literature review? If you are trying to teach your students to do empirical research, the lit review is a critical component that informs the development of the research question as well as the strategy for answering it.
 
My plan isn't to assign reason for retention rate because honestly, I think that unless you are conversing with the student athlete, it is difficult to say why someone left.

You might not know why the athlete left the program, but do you know what happened to the athlete after leaving (joined another team, transferred schools but did not compete, remained enrolled at the original school, quit school altogether)? That would be interesting in and of itself.
 
Also--I am not familiar with the Genius Hour concept, but does it incorporate a literature review? If you are trying to teach your students to do empirical research, the lit review is a critical component that informs the development of the research question as well as the strategy for answering it.

I think it can because the kids will have to use a variety of outside resource. This is my first year doing it so I won't do that the first year but will keep it in mind for following years if I'm happy with the program.

Genius Hour is where the kids get 20% of their learning (so 1 day a week) to work on any project that interests them on any topic. There are some criteria they have to meet but the idea is that they create, develop, or acquire something that might fall outside of usual school curriculum. They will present their projects at a parent night as well as do a TedTalk type presentation at the end of their project.
 
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You might not know why the athlete left the program, but do you know what happened to the athlete after leaving (joined another team, transferred schools but did not compete, remained enrolled at the original school, quit school altogether)? That would be interesting in and of itself.
I could probably find some of that information but I'm afraid that in the time span that I have, I probably won't be able to incorporate that too. Obviously, if I were a professional doing this research for publication, there is a lot more I would need to do. I'm hoping that what I am doing will be sufficient to give my kids an idea of the depth of work they need to put into their own passion project.
 
Now that I am looking at your project again, if I were you, I would look at the absolute number of freshmen ( walk ons and scholarship kids) that start a program ( as year 1) and see how many of the same freshmen graduate 4 years later. My daughter's team started with 7 freshmen and this past Sunday, the 3 remaining of that class graduated...so if I'm reading your project correctly, her school had a retention rate of only 42%....which I suppose is better than Penn State's retention rate for the same time frame which is 0% (they started in 2012 with 8, 0 were on the roster this year or last)....or like a Rutgers who started with 6 freshmen in 2012 and 4 lasted until senior year from that class ( 1 is listed as a redshirt senior so I didn't count her)...
 
I work in a math /stats field where I often calculate retention rates.

I like the 4 year span idea.

Or, if you wanted to do an annual calc rather than a 4 year span... I would take the # of individuals on the roster for two consecutive years (so those who were retained) / # of people on last years roster that were eligible to be on this years roster (so non seniors).
 
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