The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is pleased to announce the release of the 2020 Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP), which reflects the various programs of study being offered at postsecondary institutions around the country. This is the sixth edition of the CIP and contains more than 300 new programs of study, which can be searched on the new 2020 CIP website.
The CIP is updated about every 10 years to reflect changes in instructional program structures and the introduction of new fields of study. Beginning next year, postsecondary institutions will use the 2020 CIP when they report the degrees and certificates awarded for the 2020 Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Completions Survey.
The CIP is a taxonomy of instructional programs that provides a classification system for the thousands of different programs offered by postsecondary institutions. Its purpose is to facilitate the organization, collection, and reporting of fields of study and program completions. CIP Codes and IPEDS Completions Survey data are used by many different groups of people for many different reasons. For instance, economists use the data to study the emerging labor pools to identify people with specific training and skills. The business community uses IPEDS Completions Survey data to help recruit minority and female candidates in specialized fields, by identifying the numbers of these students who are graduating from specific institutions. Prospective college students can use the data to look for institutions offering specific programs of postsecondary study at all levels, from certificates to doctoral degrees.
To allow sufficient time for institutions to update their reporting systems, NCES is releasing the 2020 CIP and the new website approximately one year before it will be implemented.
The 2020 CIP website has many features, including multiple search options, an FAQ section, resources, a help page, and contact information. Users can search the 2020 CIP by code or keyword and the resource page contains lists of new, moved, and deleted CIP codes as well as Word and Excel versions of the 2020 CIP and 2010 CIP. The website also contains an online data tool called the CIP Wizard, which enables users to focus on changes at a specific institution between the 2010 and 2020 CIPs.
The CIP Wizard requires users to specify an institution by either name or IPEDS ID, a unique identification number assigned by NCES. The Wizard then searches the last 3 years of the IPEDS Completions Survey and compiles the CIP codes used by that institution. The Wizard also crosswalks an institution’s 2010 CIP codes to its 2020 CIP Codes and generates a report that categorizes the codes into the following categories:
- No substantive changes—codes that did not change from the previous version of the CIP
- New codes—codes that were added to this version of the CIP
- Moved codes—codes that were relocated and have two references: one in the former location and one in the current location
- Deleted codes—codes that were removed from the previous version of the CIP
By looking through the CIP Wizard report, an institution can see exactly what changes have been made to the CIP codes it used in the last 3 years of Completions Survey data.
The CIP Wizard also suggests new CIP codes that might be of interest to the user, allows the user to export a report as either a Word or Excel file, and creates a file of CIP codes that can be uploaded to an institution’s reporting system.
Over the next several months, NCES will be preparing web-based tutorials on how to use the CIP website and the CIP Wizard. Until then, users can reference a list of frequently asked questions and a detailed help document, and also submit questions by email to CIP2020@ed.gov.
By Michelle Coon