Master's Culminating Experience
Sinclair Community College, like all institutions of higher education, has tremendous need for accurate enrollment forecasts. Until recently, using a combination of forecasting tools, the forecasts generated by the Office of Institutional Planning and Research (IPR) have been quite adequate. Recently, however, the accuracy of the enrollment predictions has waned considerably. In an effort to reverse this trend, it was decided to add another, previously untried, forecasting method to the IPR arsenal: Autoregressive Integrated Moving Averages, or ARIMA.
ARIMA models are a time series forecasting tool developed by Box and Jenkins in the late 1960s and early 1970s. After careful analysis an ARIMA (0,1,0)(0,1,1)4 model was determined to be best suited for use at Sinclair Community College. This model yeilded a prediction of 9210 FTE for the fall quarter 1991. The 95% confidence interval was from 7983 to 10090 FTE. With continued use of this model, the size of the confidence interval should decrease as the number of observations of data increases.
Although well within the 95 % confidence interval, the actual enrollment of 9766 FTE is significantly different from the point estimate of 9210 FTE.
It is hoped that the forecasts generated by this model, in conjunction with the other forecasting tools currently in place, will be adequate in re-establishing accurate enrollment forecasting at Sinclair.
O'Bryant, S. D.
(1991). Enrollment Forecasting at Sinclair Community College. .