SURDS Degree File Description

CCHE collects information on all degrees and other formal awards conferred by Colorado postsecondary education institutions and approved by the commission. The Degree File is the system for reporting all students enrolled in Colorado postsecondary education institutions who have received a certificate, degree, or other formal award signifying the completion of a program.

The file is the official source of completions data for public postsecondary education in Colorado. Among the general uses of degree file data are:
  • providing information on the numbers and types of degrees conferred in Colorado postsecondary education institutions and the types of students who receive these degrees.
  • generating a yearly data report on the number of degrees granted.
  • reporting IPEDS completions data to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) by student gender and race/ethnicity.
  • calculating graduation rates for the Quality Indicator System
  • completing projections for the program approval process and productivity statistics for program discontinuation.
  • reporting for the annual diversity report.

Selection Criteria: The Degree File includes all students who have received a certificate, degree, or formal award approved by CCHE during the report year. Degrees earned but not conferred during the report period should be included in the following year’s report. The file is collected annually for federal and state reporting. A summer degree file is collected for use in graduation rate calculations, but these records are reported again in the full-year file.

Special Instructions:
   1. Program Classification: Classify degrees and awards as specifically as the program code permits. Thus, report a baccalaureate degree in business administration with a business economics major in business/managerial economics, not in general business.

   2. Multiple Awards in a Single Report Year: If a student earns more than one degree or award during the report year, report each award as a separate record. Each record must be completely filled out including demographic data. An institution, however, may not report multiple records for a student who receives multiple awards in the same program code, program sequence code and same degree level. This file reports formal awards associated with the completion of an approved program and does not report course completions.

   3. Two Degrees: When a student graduates with a degree in two separate programs and actually completes the degree requirements for two separate degrees, report each degree separately. For example, a student who receives two or more degrees in separate approved programs, differentiated by unique program codes, should be reported in each program code (e.g., B.A. in history, B.A. in communications).

   4. Double Majors: According to federal instructions and constraints, a student who graduates with a single degree (e.g., business) and two majors/ concentrations/ tracks (e.g., accounting, international business) may only be reported once, in the program code of the approved degree area of study (business).

   5. Program Codes for Teacher Preparation Students: The general rule is to classify degrees according to the major area of specialization. This means that degrees of students who are qualified to teach an academic subject, such as English, biology, or foreign languages but did not go through a program solely for that purpose, should be reported respectively in letters, biological sciences, and foreign languages and NOT in education. On the other hand, degrees of students who have gone through a state-authorized education program that is specifically preparing them to teach special subjects (e.g., agriculture, art, music) should be reported under Education (e.g., agricultural education (13.1301), art education (13.1302), and music education (13.1312, etc.).

   6. Split Program of Study: When a student graduates with a split program of study (e.g., business and electrical engineering), report the degree in the area of greater specialization, if possible. If this is not possible, the degree should be reported in the approved program closest to the combination. This condition applies only to those programs that are formally approved under a dual program name.