Skip to Content
Home > THEC Divisions > Policy, Planning, and Research > THEC Student Information System

Geographical Information System:

The Geographical Information System (GIS) is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present all types of geographical data. GIS allows users to visualize and analyze spatial information in new ways, revealing relationships, patterns and trends.


GIS tools enable users to create thematic maps based on data stored in spreadsheets or databases. Beside maps, data can also be represented by charts or graphics. In education, GIS enables administrators, policy makers and researchers to realize efficiencies in campus operations by analyzing state, county and district level data.


In this dynamic GIS website, we have focused on Tennessee residents and their participation in higher education. The following measures are used to analyze Tennessee educational data.


College Participation:

The College-Going Rate (CGR) measures the percentage of recent public high school graduates attending postsecondary institutions anywhere in the nation in the fall semester immediately following high school graduation, including the preceding summer semester. Click below to access the College-Going Rate.



The Enrollment Share allocates the percentage of College Going Tennessee public High School graduates broken down by in-state or out-of-state institution, institutional control (e.g. ‘Public’ or ‘Private’) and sector (e.g. ‘Four Year’ or ‘Two Year’). The statistics reflect the fall semester immediately following high school graduation, including the preceding summer semester. Click below to access the Enrollment Share.



High School Profile presents the graduation rate for each Tennessee public high school and the participation of its graduates in higher education anywhere in US. High School profiles also provide district and state averages for comparison purposes. Click below to access the High School Profile.


Data Source and Methods:

High School Data: High School Graduates file from the Tennessee Department of Education.


College Enrollment Data: Matched records of the High School Graduate file with the Student Information System (SIS) of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and the National Student Clearinghouse data to track students enrolled in out-of-state institutions.


College Going Rate (CGR) Calculation: College Going Rate is calculated by using 1) the number of Tennessee public high school graduates in a given year and 2) the number of such graduates who attended postsecondary institutions in the fall semester immediately following high school graduation. This includes students enrolling in the summer and continuing in the fall. The division of the latter by the former returns the college-going rate.


CGR is calculated first at the high school level, which can also be added up to district, county, and the state-levels. CGR calculation starts with High School graduation file from the Tennessee Department of Education. Each student is first matched with the Student Enrollment file from THEC’s Student Information System using unique student identifier. For Williamson county students, data are matched using a combination of first name, last name and date of birth from the FAFSA file. For Tennessee high school graduates who attend out of state institutions, Clearinghouse data are used.




High school graduates represent regular diploma holders only, excluding students receiving other types of awards such as a special education diploma or a certificate of attendance.


College students enrolled represent first time freshmen that enrolled for credit in any Postsecondary Institution participating in the National Student Clearinghouse in the fall semester immediately following high school graduation, including the preceding summer.


Cell suppression is applied to all data fields equal to or less than 5.


Export functionality is available for data only. The ability to export maps and charts will be added in future.

Educational Attainment of Tennessee Residents:

These maps show the educational attainment and educational needs of Tennessee residents by county and ethnicity for two distinct populations: (1) Working-age adults (age 25-64) and (2) All adults residing in Tennessee (age 25 and over).



The Educational Attainment metric presents all levels of educational attainment with the main focus on population with a college degree (an associate’s degree or higher).



The Educational Needs metric identifies population without a college degree—residents of Tennessee counties with educational attainment below an associate’s degree.


Data Source and Methods:

Educational Attainment Data: The American Community Survey (5-year estimates: 2007-2011).