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glossary title  Glossary of Terms
Academic Year - The academic year refers to the period of the year during which students attend an educational institution. The academic year for MLDS reporting (and most other educational organizations) is July 1st through June 30th. Therefore, the academic year is reported using two years. The year beginning July 1st and the year ending June 30th. For example, the academic year beginning July 1, 2007 and ending June 30, 2008 will be referred to as the 2007-2008 academic year.

Annualized Average Wage -

Annualized wages are calculated using the following steps:

  1. Calculate the annualized wage for each person in the group by dividing the total wages for the year by the number of wage quarters and multiplying by 4.

    Annualized Wage per Person=((total wages for year)/(number of wage quarters)) x 4

  2. Calculate the average annualized wage for the group by dividing the sum of annualized wages from Step 1 for all persons in the group by the number of group members with wages during the year.

    Annualized Wage for Each Group=(Sum (Step 1-Annualized Wages per Person))/(Number of Persons with Wages during the Year)

  3. Example:

    Below is a simple example of annualized wage using the steps provided above.

Persons in Group 1 Number of quarters in 2008 in which wages were reported Total reported wages for 2008 Annualized wage total
A 1 $20,000 $80,000
B 2 $15,000 $30,000
C 3 $24,000 $32,000
D 4 $35,000 $35,000
E 4 $28,000 $28,000
Totals $205,000
Group 1 Average Annualized Wage for 2008 $41,000

Report Annualized Wages refers to those for which wage records exist in the State of Maryland, and does not include wages earned outside of Maryland, military employment, federal employment, or persons who are self-employed.

Cohort - Cohort refers to a group of people who have something in common, established for tracking purposes over time.

Combined group - The combined group includes all data available in the MLDS from students starting 9th grade in the 2008-2009 school year, and each group of students starting 9th grade all subsequent years (through the 2013-2014 school year). The chart below shows how each of the first time 9th grade students are grouped together for reporting in these dashboards. Each year of high school or year after high school is a combined group. Additional years of data will be added as it becomes available in the MLDS. Years in grey are not currently available. It is important to note that the only available data for 2015-2016 are 1st and 2nd quarter wages.

This method of grouping students is different than a cohort. A cohort follows the same students over a period of time. In a cohort, students are only counted once. In these combined groups, the students in each year may differ. Additionally, students may be counted as different outcomes in different years. Though, students are only counted once in each year. Combined groups are used for this analysis because they provide a bigger population to study and compare.

  1st Year High School 2nd Year High School 3rd Year High School 4th Year High School 1 year After High School 2 years After  High School 3 years After High School 4 years After High School
Cohort 1 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016
Cohort 2 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016  
Cohort 3 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016    
Cohort 4 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016      
Cohort 5 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016        
Cohort 6 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016          
Cohort 7 2014-2015 2015-2016            
Cohort 8 2015-2016              

Completed a Degree or Certificate (Postsecondary) - This refers to students who successfully completed the requirements for a Degree or Certificate including Lower Degree Certificates, Associate Degrees, and Bachelor's Degrees.

Exiter- A student who leaves an educational program in which the student was enrolled. An exiter includes a student who graduates, receives a certificate of completion, drops out, or transfers to another school or program.

FARMS - Free or Reduced Price Meals under the National School Lunch Program is an indicator of a student's eligibility to receive low-cost or no-cost lunches each school day. Students may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals meals through participation in certain Federal Assistance Programs or based on their family's income below a specified poverty threshold. The education community has historically relied on free-and reduced-price meal eligibility data to identify socioeconomically disadvantaged students, schools, or areas because the NSLP targets resources to schools with students and families in need of supplementary services. More information on how this information is used to identify socioeconomic status can be found in the Forum Guide to Alternative Measures of Socioeconomic Status in Education Data Systems.

GED - The GED test is a high school equivalency test aligned to college and career readiness standards for adult education. Students are tested in 4 subjects, Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA), Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies. Upon passing the test, students receive a State of Maryland high school diploma. More detailed information about the GED test can be found at the can be found at More information on GED in Maryland can be found at

High School Graduate - A student who completes a program of study at the high school level in a Maryland public school and satisfies the graduation requirements for a Maryland high school diploma.

High School Graduation Year - The academic year the student completed the requirements and was awarded a Maryland High School Diploma. Students may graduate at any point in time during the specified academic year.

Industry - The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is an industry classification system used for administrative and statistical purposes by many organizations in the world. Each digit in the code is part of a series of progressively narrower categories, and the more digits in the code signify greater classification detail. Each of the industry groups reported on the dashboards is based on one or a combination of NAICS codes. Each of the industries reported on the dashboards are listed below with their related NAICS codes and descriptions.

industry graphic

Elder care and Childcare-

NAICS Subsector 623 – Nursing and Residential Care Facilities

Industries in the Nursing and Residential Care Facilities subsector provide residential care combined with either nursing, supervisory, or other types of care as required by the residents. In this subsector, the facilities are a significant part of the production process and the care provided is a mix of health and social services with the health services being largely some level of nursing services.

NAICS Subsector 624 – Social Assistance

Industries in the Social Assistance subsector provide a wide variety of social assistance services directly to their clients. These services do not include residential or accommodation services, except on a short stay basis.

Health Care -

NAICS Subsector 621 – Ambulatory Health Care Services

Industries in the Ambulatory Health Care Services subsector provide health care services directly or indirectly to ambulatory patients and do not usually provide inpatient services. Health practitioners in this subsector provide outpatient services, with the facilities and equipment not usually being the most significant part of the production process.

NAICS Subsector 622 – Hospitals

Industries in the Hospitals subsector provide medical, diagnostic, and treatment services that include physician, nursing, and other health services to inpatients and the specialized accommodation services required by inpatients. Hospitals may also provide outpatient services as a secondary activity. Establishments in the Hospitals subsector provide inpatient health services, many of which can only be provided using the specialized facilities and equipment that form a significant and integral part of the production process.

Leisure and Fitness -

NAICS Sector 71 – Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation

The Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation sector includes a wide range of establishments that operate facilities or provide services to meet varied cultural, entertainment, and recreational interests of their patrons. This sector comprises (1) establishments that are involved in producing, promoting, or participating in live performances, events, or exhibits intended for public viewing; (2) establishments that preserve and exhibit objects and sites of historical, cultural, or educational interest; and (3) establishments that operate facilities or provide services that enable patrons to participate in recreational activities or pursue amusement, hobby, and leisure-time interests.

Some establishments that provide cultural, entertainment, or recreational facilities and services are classified in other sectors. Excluded from this sector are: (1) establishments that provide both accommodations and recreational facilities, such as hunting and fishing camps and resort and casino hotels are classified in Subsector 721, Accommodation; (2) restaurants and night clubs that provide live entertainment in addition to the sale of food and beverages are classified in Subsector 722, Food Services and Drinking Places; (3) motion picture theaters, libraries and archives, and publishers of newspapers, magazines, books, periodicals, and computer software are classified in Sector 51, Information; and (4) establishments using transportation equipment to provide recreational and entertainment services, such as those operating sightseeing buses, dinner cruises, or helicopter rides, are classified in Subsector 487, Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation.

Restaurants -

NAICS Sector 72 – Accommodation and Food Services

The Accommodation and Food Services sector comprises establishments providing customers with lodging and/or preparing meals, snacks, and beverages for immediate consumption. The sector includes both accommodation and food services establishments because the two activities are often combined at the same establishment.

Excluded from this sector are civic and social organizations; amusement and recreation parks; theaters; and other recreation or entertainment facilities providing food and beverage services.


NAICS Sector 44-45 – Retail Trade

The Retail Trade sector comprises establishments engaged in retailing merchandise, generally without transformation, and rendering services incidental to the sale of merchandise.

The retailing process is the final step in the distribution of merchandise; retailers are, therefore, organized to sell merchandise in small quantities to the general public. This sector comprises two main types of retailers: store and nonstore retailers.

  1. Store retailers operate fixed point-of-sale locations, located and designed to attract a high volume of walk-in customers. In general, retail stores have extensive displays of merchandise and use mass-media advertising to attract customers. They typically sell merchandise to the general public for personal or household consumption, but some also serve business and institutional clients. These include establishments, such as office supply stores, computer and software stores, building materials dealers, plumbing supply stores, and electrical supply stores. Catalog showrooms, gasoline stations, automotive dealers, and mobile home dealers are treated as store retailers.

    In addition to retailing merchandise, some types of store retailers are also engaged in the provision of after-sales services, such as repair and installation. For example, new automobile dealers, electronics and appliance stores, and musical instrument and supplies stores often provide repair services. As a general rule, establishments engaged in retailing merchandise and providing after-sales services are classified in this sector.

    The first eleven subsectors of retail trade are store retailers. The establishments are grouped into industries and industry groups typically based on one or more of the following criteria:

    1. The merchandise line or lines carried by the store; for example, specialty stores are distinguished from general-line stores.
    2. The usual trade designation of the establishments. This criterion applies in cases where a store type is well recognized by the industry and the public, but difficult to define strictly in terms of merchandise lines carried; for example, pharmacies, hardware stores, and department stores.
    3. Capital requirements in terms of display equipment; for example, food stores have equipment requirements not found in other retail industries.
    4. Human resource requirements in terms of expertise; for example, the staff of an automobile dealer requires knowledge in financing, registering, and licensing issues that are not necessary in other retail industries.

  2. 2. Nonstore retailers, like store retailers, are organized to serve the general public, but their retailing methods differ. The establishments of this subsector reach customers and market merchandise with methods, such as the broadcasting of "infomercials," the broadcasting and publishing of direct-response advertising, the publishing of paper and electronic catalogs, door-to-door solicitation, in-home demonstration, selling from portable stalls (street vendors, except food), and distribution through vending machines. Establishments engaged in the direct sale (non-store) of products, such as home heating oil dealers and home delivery newspaper routes are included here.

    The buying of goods for resale is a characteristic of retail trade establishments that particularly distinguishes them from establishments in the agriculture, manufacturing, and construction industries. For example, farms that sell their products at or from the point of production are not classified in retail, but rather in agriculture. Similarly, establishments that both manufacture and sell their products to the general public are not classified in retail, but rather in manufacturing. However, establishments that engage in processing activities incidental to retailing are classified in retail. This includes establishments, such as optical goods stores that do in-store grinding of lenses, and meat and seafood markets.

    Wholesalers also engage in the buying of goods for resale, but they are not usually organized to serve the general public. They typically operate from a warehouse or office and neither the design nor the location of these premises is intended to solicit a high volume of walk-in traffic. Wholesalers supply institutional, industrial, wholesale, and retail clients; their operations are, therefore, generally organized to purchase, sell, and deliver merchandise in larger quantities. However, dealers of durable non-consumer goods, such as farm machinery and heavy-duty trucks, are included in wholesale trade even if they often sell these products in single units.

Temps and Business svcs

NAICS Sector 56 -- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services

The Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services sector comprises establishments performing routine support activities for the day-to-day operations of other organizations. These essential activities are often undertaken in-house by establishments in many sectors of the economy. The establishments in this sector specialize in one or more of these support activities and provide these services to clients in a variety of industries and, in some cases, to households. Activities performed include: office administration, hiring and placing of personnel, document preparation and similar clerical services, solicitation, collection, security and surveillance services, cleaning, and waste disposal services.

The administrative and management activities performed by establishments in this sector are typically on a contract or fee basis. These activities may also be performed by establishments that are part of the company or enterprise. However, establishments involved in administering, overseeing, and managing other establishments of the company or enterprise is classified in Sector 55, Management of Companies and Enterprises. Establishments in Sector 55 normally undertake the strategic and organizational planning and decision making role of the company or enterprise. Government establishments engaged in administering, overseeing and managing governmental programs are classified in Sector 92, Public Administration.

Other - Other industry classification includes all other NAICS codes, employers that had no reported industry, or the industry could not be determined.

Initial postsecondary enrollments - The first time a high school graduate is found to be enrolled in a postsecondary institution as reported by the Maryland Higher Education Commission or the National Student Clearinghouse.

Maryland High School Diploma - A student who completes a program of study at the high school level in a Maryland public school and satisfies the graduation requirements for a Maryland high school diploma or a Maryland High School Certificate of Program Completion.

Maryland Community College - A public, state-aided institution of higher education that offers educational programs in the State for individuals who are at least 16 years old. Additional information on Maryland Community Colleges can be found at the website for the Maryland Association of Community Colleges. The following is a list of all 16 Maryland Community Colleges:
-Allegany College of Maryland -Frederick Community College
-Anne Arundel Community College -Garrett College
-Baltimore City Community College -Hagerstown Community College
-Community College of Baltimore County -Harford Community College
-College of Southern Maryland -Howard Community College
-Carroll Community College -Montgomery College
-Cecil College -Prince George's Community College
-Chesapeake College -Wor-Wic Community College

Maryland Four-Year Public Institution - A public institution of higher education that generally limits enrollment to graduates of secondary schools, and awards degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, or graduate levels. The following schools are included in this category:
-Bowie State University -University of Baltimore
-Coppin State University -University of Maryland, Baltimore
-Frostburg State University -University of Maryland, Baltimore County
-Morgan State University -University of Maryland, College Park
-Saint Mary’s College -University of Maryland Eastern Shore
-Salisbury University -University of Maryland University College
-Towson University

Maryland Private Institution - A private nonprofit or for-profit institution of higher education that generally limits enrollment to graduates of secondary schools and awards degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, or graduate levels. A Maryland Private Institution does not receive state aid. A Maryland Private Institution does not include the Maryland State-Aided Independent Institutions (see definition below). The following are some of the schools that are included in this category:
-Binah Institute of Advanced Judaic Study -St. Mary’s Seminary and University
-Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship -TESST College of Technology
-Lincoln College of Technology -Women’s Institute of Torah Seminary
-National Labor College -Yeshiva College of the Nation's Capital
-NerIsrael Rabbinical College

Maryland State-Aided Independent Institution - A private nonprofit institution of higher education that serves a public purpose, receives state-aid, generally limits enrollment to graduates of secondary schools, and awards degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, or graduate level. These institutions are also referred to as Maryland Independent Colleges and Universities. Additional information about State-Aided Independent Institutions can be found at the website for the Maryland Independent Colleges and Universities Association. The following schools are included in this category:
-Capitol Technology University -Mount St. Mary's University
-Goucher College -Notre Dame of Maryland University
-Hood College -St. John’s College
-Johns Hopkins University -Sojourner-Douglass College
-Loyola University Maryland -Stevenson University
-Maryland Institute College of Art -Washington Adventist University
-McDaniel College -Washington College

MHEC Institutions by Region - Click this link to review a list of Maryland Community Colleges, Four-Year Public Institutions and State-Aided Private Institutions, and the county and region where each institution is located.

National Student Clearinghouse - A non-profit, non-governmental organization that offers access to a nationwide collection of enrollment and degree records from nearly 227 million postsecondary education student records. Clearinghouse data is incorporated into the MLDS to allow reporting on Maryland student enrollment in postsecondary education outside of Maryland.

NEDP (National External Diploma Program) - NEDP is an assessment system that assesses the high school level skills of adults and out-of-school youth. The NEDP evaluates the reading, writing, math and workforce readiness skills of participants in life and work contexts. Participants meet periodically with an assessor to develop a portfolio, proving that the required skills have been obtained. Upon successful completion of the program students earn a State of Maryland High School Diploma. More detailed information NEDP can be found at More information on NEDP in Maryland can be found at

Non-Completion (Never Completed a Degree) - Non-Completion refers to students who did not successfully complete the requirements for a degree or certificate and did not formally withdraw from the educational institution.

Novice - Novice teachers are “teachers . . . in their first three years of teaching elementary or secondary public school students.” This definition is part of Title II of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and the U.S Department of Education’s guidance for teacher preparation program reporting.

Number of Years Following High School Graduation - The number of academic years of data used in the determination of postsecondary initial enrollments. The Maryland Longitudinal Data System contains postsecondary enrollments provided from the Maryland Higher Education Commission and the National Student Clearinghouse beginning with academic year 2007-2008.

Out-of-State Institution- A public, private nonprofit, or for-profit institution of postsecondary education that offers an educational program outside the state of Maryland for individuals who are at least 16 years old.

Persistence - Persistence refers to students that repeatedly enroll in the educational institution without completing in the specified period of time.

Private Career School- A privately owned and privately operated institution of postsecondary education that furnishes programs for the purpose of training, retraining, or upgrading skill for gainful employment as skilled, semi-skilled workers, or technicians in recognized occupations or new and emerging occupations. Private career schools may require a payment of tuition or a fee. The Maryland Higher Education Commission serves as the state's regulator of private career schools and provides additional information about the schools and programs offered.

Race/Ethnicity - An individual’s self-reported race and ethnicity, which is aggregated by MLDS into the following eight (8) categories.
  • Hispanic of Any Race - A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race. The term, ‘‘Spanish origin,’’ can be used in addition to ‘‘Hispanic or Latino.’’
  • American Indian or Alaskan Native - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintains a tribal affiliation or community attachment.
  • Asian - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Black or African American - A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
  • White - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
  • Two or More Races - A person identifying with one or more of the above races.
  • Unknown - A person who did not provide any information on his or her race.

Retained - Retained refers to students that remain in the educational institution and neither complete a degree nor exit the institution.

Withdrew from High School- Any student identified as a 12th grader in the reported academic year who, for any reason other than death, leaves school before graduation or the completion of a Maryland-approved education program and is not known to enroll in another school or State-approved program during the current school year (COMAR 13A.08.01.07) is considered withdrawn.