This is a look at students enrolled in Maryland community colleges in fall 2019. In fall 2019, there were 113,288 students enrolled in Maryland Community College. Of those students, 35,905 (31.7%) were enrolled full-time and 77,383 (68.3%) were enrolled part-time. I decided to dig deeper into this information by combining attendance status with student age. The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) reports enrollment of students aged 25 and older by attendance status. Approximately one-third of community college students are aged 25 or older. About 85% of community college students aged 25 and older attend part-time, while approximately 60% of community college students under age 25 attend part-time.

I made a Sankey diagram to show both age and attendance status of community college students at the same time in the same diagram. This is a different use of a Sankey diagram than I have made in the past. In the past, I have used a Sankey diagram to show individuals flowing through the education system. This diagram shows two variables related to the same population of students. I am happy with the result and find it easy to understand and read; however, I don’t know if people unfamiliar with Sankey diagrams will find it easy to read and understand. My next step will be to ask my friends and family about what they think about the visualization. I also wonder if there are other data sets that I use that would be better understood using this formate. Another way to show this information would be with a single bar graph with four segments: 1) aged 25 and over and part-time; 2) aged 25 and older full-time; 3) under 25 and part-time; and 4) under 25 and full-time.

Sankey-Community College Fall 2019 Enrollment by age and attendance Status

Source: Maryland Higher Education Commission, Databook 2021

Bar Graph-community College Fall 2019 Enrollment by age and attendance Status

The bar graph shows the same information as the Sankey diagram above, but it is another formate. The purpose of this post is to show this data in different forms on the web and be able to test them on various platforms and to remember what I learned about the data. From the bar graph visualization, it is easy to see that the largest group are students who are under 25 and attending part-time and the smallest group (by far) are students who are 25 and older who are attending full-time.

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