The Loss/Momentum Framework (LMF) is designed to help colleges better understand students’ pathways through college.
Following students through the four main stages of their interaction with college—Connection, Entry, Progress, and Completion—the LMF helps colleges identify where students stumble or become sidetracked, and, thus, where there are opportunities to prevent students from dropping out and improve their momentum toward program completion.
How can we increase the number of new students who make it through the application and intake process appropriately placed and ready to learn?
A substantial number of students who have an interest in college, and even apply, do not end up enrolling in classes because they do not make it through the intake process. The goal in this phase is to encourage new students to apply in a timely manner, secure the necessary financial aid, begin to develop a plan for college and careers, and enroll in initial coursework appropriate to their level of readiness and goals. Understanding what happens to students in this phase can help colleges improve recruitment, intake, and placement.
How can we accelerate the rate at which new students choose and successfully enter a program?
The objective here is to help students choose and enter a program of study as quickly as possible. Many students seeking degrees drop out after only one or two terms. Colleges, therefore, need to understand how students get from their initial enrollment in the college to the point of passing their first college-level courses in their chosen program of study.
How can we increase the rate at which students complete program requirements?
In this phase, colleges track students’ progress in taking and passing the courses they need to complete their intended program as efficiently as possible. Many college departments do not track students’ progress in their programs, so it is perhaps not surprising that many students fall off track.
How can we ensure that our programs prepare students for further education and career advancement?
In this phase, colleges track students’ rates of completion by program, and determine whether their students are able to move successfully to the next level of education—a higher level degree program for certificate recipients, or transferring with junior standing in the desired major field for associate recipients—and advance in the labor market. This information is critical to ensure that the college’s programs are aligned with the requirements for success in further education and careers.