Course Selection of First Time Freshmen

Ever wonder which courses our freshmen enroll in the most during their first year at OU?  They’re sure to be general education courses, right?  Yes, they are!  But interestingly, even the most widely enrolled in courses are done so by less than half of the first time freshmen population.

In both 2014-15 and 2015-16, we saw the largest freshmen enrollment in ENGL1113 & ENGL1213, as well as UCOL1002 and CHEM1315. Approximately 30-40% of the first time freshman class enrolled in these early general education courses.

New graduation cohort codes available via Cognos

For those who access student data via Cognos, IRR has changed the way we tag students who have been excluded from the official cohort. There are only three valid exclusions from the cohort, according to federal guidelines: death/permanent disability, military deployment, and extended absence due to participation in an official religious mission.

Students who are included in the “official” cohort – i.e., First-Time, Full-Time Degree-Seeking students – are tagged in Banner with the code FTFTDS.

Students who are being excluded from the cohort for one of the three valid exclusions will have their cohort code changed from FTFTDS to one of the following:

  • FTEXCLD – deceased
  • FTEXCLM – military deployment
  • FTEXCLR – religious mission

It is important to remember that these students are included when providing the total number of students in the cohort. They are only excluded from the actual percentage calculations. For example, say you have 100 students in your cohort, 2 are excluded due to one of the above reasons, 80 graduate, and 18 do not. Your total cohort is still 100 students, but the graduation percentage is 80/98 or 81.6%. This is important to remember because retention and graduation reports from IRR typically list the total cohort headcount, then provide percentages. That total cohort headcount includes all students, which means it includes all excluded students. They are only excluded from the percentages on the report.

Let’s get this blog started!

Thanks for checking out IRR’s new blog. We’ve started this as part of our continuing efforts to better communicate with the OU user community. Posts to this blog will be answers to frequently asked questions, as well as more in-depth explanations of often misunderstood reporting definitions or conventions.

We want your input, and we want your questions! If there’s something you’d like us to explain, or a discussion on a reporting topic that you’d like have, please let us know by making a suggestion in the comments section here, in a tweet tagging @ou_irr, or in an email to