Nov. 2021 - Transcript Holds, Registrar's Office Trends, Policy Changes

Dr. Wendy Kilgore |
November 26, 2021
  • Research
  • 60 Second Survey
  • AACRAO Research Insights
  • AACRAO Research Resources
  • Academic Policy
  • Data
  • Debt & Equity
  • Degree Completion
  • Lumina Foundation
  • Transcripts

I hope those of you who get a U.S. Thanksgiving holiday break are enjoying your time off, and I hope everyone else is doing well. The fall semester is wrapping up soon for many, and this is a busy time for many. AACRAO Research remains active, and I have data from three recently completed research reports to share with you. The Eye on Research blog will take a hiatus for December and return in January 2022.  I wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season.

AACRAO Research Update

Institutional Practices that Impede Undergraduate Student Advancement: Part 1 and 2 Now Available

The two reports are available here. The first concludes our Lumina Foundation exploratory study of registration and transcript hold information from 14 institutions. The second companion report covers the use of registration and transcript holds in U.S. undergraduate higher education. 

Registrar's Office Staffing Size, Primary Responsibilities, and Ability to Work from Home

The November 60-Second Survey inquired about staffing size, primary responsibility, difficulty in filling vacancies, and the ability for staff to work from home. 896 respondents completed the survey. The report was released on Monday, November 22nd, and is available here. Key data points include, but are not limited to, the following.

Key Data

All Respondents

  • 18% are responsible for admissions-related functions as well as registration and records.
  • 26% have seen a decrease in the size of their staff since the start of 2020.
  • 53% have one or more current vacancies.
    • Of those, 70% are finding vacancies "difficult" or "very difficult" to fill.
  • 63% currently allow staff to work from home at least one day a week.
  • 61% employ one or more student employee/s.
  • 30% employ one or more part-time employee/s.
  • Other units share primary responsibilities rather than being the sole responsibility of the registrar's office.

Records and Registration Functions Only (n=739)

  • 52% have six or fewer full-time employees; 33% report ten or more full-time employees.
    • Of those reporting ten or more, the mean is 21, with a standard deviation of 12.

Records, Registration and Admissions Functions (n=157)

  • 45% have six or fewer full-time employees; 45% report ten or more full-time employees.
    • Of those reporting ten or more, the mean is 51, with a standard deviation of 58.

Education Commission of the States (ECS) and AACRAO Joint Research Project

ECS and AACRAO are partnering to examine the state, system, and institutional-level policy influences on the use of administrative holds. In particular, we are interested in learning who has the authority to mandate the use of debt-related administrative holds and/or implement new holds on campus. This joint effort will occur in late January or early February 2022 and will consist of a survey of our primary contacts in the United States.   

January 2022 60-Second Survey Topic

AACRAO is partnering with the Mentor Collective, a non-profit organization aimed at helping institutions create student mentorship programs, for the January 60-Second Survey. This survey will serve as a benchmark on the existence and purpose of mentorship programs at colleges and universities. Please keep an eye out for your invitation to complete this survey. As with all other research projects, your personal information is not shared with our partners unless you specifically permit us to do so. The report will consist of aggregate data.

Possible Handbook for How to Examine Administrative Hold Data and Spark Discussions for Policy and Practice Change

AACRAO and WICHE are in the early stages of investigating a joint 2022 project where the output is a handbook for others to use to examine administrative holds. This handbook would include guidance for where the data resides in specific student information systems and brief case studies from some who have already completed the work. 

Current Higher Education Research and Related Topics

Given the time needed to post this blog behind the scenes to the web before the holiday break the week of November 22nd, the research highlights are simple links rather than summaries. The usual format will return in January.  


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