West Point’s Graduation and Retention Data

West Point G5 has made great strides in data transparency. We noted this in the last post, but we have saved the best for last!

The G5 Institutional Research site also has a link tantalizingly named “Graduation, Commissioning, and Retention rates.” We visited it hoping to find detailed breakdowns of graduation rates and separation rates by reason code and by the various demographic slices that USMA brags about so often.

Alas we were disappointed:

“Content isn’t available.” Perhaps they haven’t gotten to analyzing that data yet. When they do, we have suggestions for useful content, particularly given the Academy’s focus on demographic representation:

  1. Aggregate graduation rates by class
  2. Separation rates by class by separation reason code. Cross-tab these by race and sex codings. We explored these in our “On Diversity As Strength” and “On Academic Standards” posts.
  3. Percent of each class year by service status code (Active duty, inactive ready reserve, resigned/exited), and cross-tabbed tables by race and sex codings. If the classes haven’t graduated, this can be null. Display this by graduated class as far back as data is available.
  4. Comparisons with other commissioning sources, especially ROTC.

This along with the entry scoring breakdowns we suggested in the last post would put context around how well the Academy is admitting and graduating cadets, whether there is preferential treatment, and to what extent. Ultimately this is about building the best Army for the United States. If the Academy leadership isn’t doing that, we the people need to know about it.

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