vibeffect Index Reveals Career College Students Are Higher Thrivers Than Four-Year Peers

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Career College Optimizer Index findings show 32 percent of career college students thrive across multiple dimensions

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The value of career colleges is often debated in higher education, yet little effort has been taken to collect data that allows us to understand how well students are doing in that ecosystem before now.

vibeffect, the leader in optimizing outcomes for students in higher education, announces the results of its inaugural Career College Optimizer Index (CCOI), a validated, multi-dimensional indicator to measure consumer confidence across the nation’s non-profit career-focused learning institutions. The CCOI is based on methodology used in the company’s College Optimizer Index, a study of thriving in four-year college institutions released last year. Each index establishes a snapshot of the state of a college ecosystem, providing a benchmark that can be used to measure student thriving and academic success over time.

Based on data collected, the results show that 32 percent of students are considered “high-thriving” in career colleges. This compares favorably to their peers in traditional four-year colleges where 19 percent are identified as high-thriving. The profile of high-thrivers in career colleges includes students with no prior college experience as well as students with some experience in two-or-four-year colleges. Individually, students with no prior college experience are as likely to emerge as high-thrivers compared to those with some prior college.

Data included in the CCOI also reveal interesting demographic insights. For example:

  •     African-American students comprised 43 percent of high-thrivers when in-class and online learning environments are combined.
  •     Hispanic students comprised 11 percent of high-thrivers, and white students comprised 32 percent of high-thrivers.
  •     Out of all the high-thrivers, 63 percent earn incomes under $10,000 per year.

“The value of career colleges is often debated in higher education, yet little effort has been taken to collect data that allows us to understand how well students are doing in that ecosystem before now,” said Elena M. Cox, CEO of vibeffect. “The CCOI provides an unprecedented ability to measure thriving in career colleges for students interested in this postsecondary model.”

The CCOI is a comprehensive analysis of a representative sample from a student population of 15,000 and includes 166,290 data points with 150 variables per student. It is a validated, nationally representative study of career college students learning both in-class and online. The data was collected between December 2015 and January 2016 in a non-profit career college system using a questionnaire designed for career college students. It is the first career college “thriving” index constructed from big data analysis, and positions vibeffect at the forefront of the dialogue about what success means for career college students and how institutions can better understand and support individual thriving.

The data comes from a 2016 questionnaire of career college students conducted by vibeffect and managed by Greenwald & Associates. Respondents rated their college experience satisfaction, improvements in their skills and job readiness, and their feeling of proactive support from instructors and staff. Career colleges are the second higher education sector analyzed by vibeffect, which will continue to release more indices over the next 12-18 months focused on adult learning, four-year colleges and community college ecosystems.

To view the results and an infographic summarizing some key findings of the Career College Optimizer Index, visit To learn more about vibeffect, visit

About vibeffect
vibeffect is the first company to deliver a proven scientific model for measuring and predicting individual thriving in higher education ecosystems. To increase college completion rates, vibeffect delivers responsive digital surveys and feedback systems that progress with the individual student, whether a recent high school graduate or an adult learner. For more information, visit

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Dusten Carlson
C. Blohm & Associates
+1 (608) 216-7300 Ext: 30
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