Hartford Promise Scholars pursuing 2 year Colleges

by Jackson Camporin and Jack Brown

Last updated on December 4th, 2023

For Data Visualization for All
with Prof. Jack Dougherty
Trinity College, Hartford CT, USA


The overarching question we aim to address is this: “At each two-year college (with at least 5 students who started), what percentage of Hartford Promise (HP) students who there, successfully completed with an associates degree?”

It's a question that carries significant implications for our community partners, who are: Hartford Promise. Hartford Promise aims to increase access to higher education for Hartford students by providing financial assistance and support services. The organization offers scholarships to students who attend Hartford public schools and meet certain eligibility criteria, such as maintaining a grade point average of 3.0 or greater. Their goal is to reduce the impact of advantage and privilege on success by ensuring that every Hartford Promise scholar has access to essential resources. As students of Trinity College, we are working with them to help visualize their data in new ways. The analysis of this data holds significant importance. It will be examined by Hartford Promise to gain a better understanding of what institutions their students will thrive at as individuals and academics. It is our pleasure to be working with an organization like Hartford Promise, that cares deeply about their scholars and facilitates their success. In our research, we have identified variation in the performance of Hartford Promise scholars at each school eligible school, indicating a discrepancy of graduation rates that will be further explored later. Finally, before delving into our findings, it is crucial to discuss a potential limitation in our data, that being sample size. It is general practice to examine the trends we aim to address in our findings over a large period of time with a large number of participants in order to reduce the chance of error. This is not realistic for our scope, as we only had complete data for the years 2016 and 2017. We attempted to address this issue by only examining the two-year institutions with five or more enrollments. Though this is still a small set of data, it captures all of the associates degree earners, our main focus demographic. With all this being said, our data is inherently uncertain, and should be explored further in the future to gain more understanding of the trends.


To begin, the big picture: Our initial dataset included a total of 254 Hartford Promise Scholars. We focused on a subset of 108 students who enrolled in two-year institutions, with added focus on 11 students who received an associates degree from a two-year institution. Analyzing the data provided by Hartford Promise and sourced from US CollegeScorecard, several findings are initially apparent. Manchester Community College showcases the highest number of graduates at 10, exceeding Capital Community College with 7 graduates and Tunxis Community College with 1. There is a noticeable variance between the Hartford Promise scholar and aggregate enrollment graduation percentages for each institution, which may imply future graduation of Hartford Promise scholars. Manchester Community College stands out as the highest graduation rate of just over 23%.

Click the link for Figure 1's Interative Chart.

Figure 1 shows a stacked bar graph and depicts the raw counts of Hartford Promise students at 2-Year colleges. We decided to display our graph this way to show raw counts in our first graph to convey two main objectives. Firstly, we aimed to show the frequency of student enrolling at each school to differentiate them ranging from highest to lowest total enrollments. We decided to organize the colleges in this manner because it provides a clear and easily understandable ranking, allowing for a quick identification of the institutions with the highest and lowest numbers of scholars enrolled from Hartford Promise. Secondly, it provides important visual context for our data, that being a relatively small sample size.

Comparative Excellence: HP Students’ Performance Superiority at Manchester Community College:

Click the link for Figure 2's Interative Chart.

Analyzing graduation rates allows colleges to identify areas for improvement and implement strategies to increase graduation rates. This could involve targeted support for students, financial aid programs and teaching methodologies. For Hartford Promise, this is pivotal data. Their ultimate goal is to provide aid to students with the end goal of facilitating a degree for that student, and this data provides valuable insight to which institutions may be best for Hartford Promise scholars.

Click the link for Figure 3's Interative Chart.

The visualization illustrates the number of individuals who obtained an associates degree and later earned a bachelor's degree. It displays the proportion of students who completed an associates degree and that of those individuals who went on to attain both an associates and a bachelor's degree as well. This is important information for Hartford Promise, as students who move on to four-year institutions from two-year institutions are impressive examples of achievement. Speaking to these scholars further about their experiences may yield insight as to what helped them, and could be replicated for others. It is important to note that, while only 11 scholars earned associate degrees, one scholar earned two separate associate degrees, increasing the total to 12 associate's degrees earned.

Methods and Sources

Our data is drawn from a masked data file sourced from Hartford Promise. The data includes information on students from the 2016 and 2017 cohorts, meaning they began receiving tuition support from Hartford Promise in 2016 or 2017. Our data parameters required us to focus on the students in two-year programs, a total of 108 students from the two cohorts. In order to ensure a usable sample size, we only included schools that met the minimum threshold requirement of 5 students, yielding us a study of three colleges. Using pivot tables and formulaic logic through google sheets, we were able to break down the broader dataset into the information required under our parameters. As discussed prior, low sample size is a major restriction of the data. Traditionally, a minimum of 30 values is required to deem a sample representative. Despite the small sample size, this data is aimed to provide insight into what the true trends are within Hartford Promise students at two-year programs. In order to optimize the data, similar analyses must be undertaken with future cohorts in order to ascertain the true nature of the observable trends. Finally, our data was graciously given to us by our community partners at Hartford Promise. The data source will not be linked here to maintain scholar anonymity. Please reach out to Hartford Promise if you would like more information about the data used. Aggregate graduation percentage numbers sourced from US College Scorecard


College Scorecard. Accessed 7 Dec. 2023. https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/.