Postsecondary Data Partnership Provides Interactive Data Dashboards and Metrics for Increasing Student Access and Success
By Doug Shapiro, National Student Clearinghouse Research Center Executive Director
The National Student Clearinghouse is partnering with Achieving the Dream, Complete College America, Jobs for the Future, State Higher Education Executive Officers, American Association of State Colleges and Universities and Association for Public and Land-Grant Universities to expand the Postsecondary Data Partnership during 2019 to colleges and universities that are involved in these organizations. To assist participating institutions, the Clearinghouse recently launched the beta version of interactive dashboards and metrics.
The Partnership’s data collection and reporting services enable institutions to focus more resources on using — rather than preparing — data to build process and program improvements that facilitate better outcomes for students. This is especially true for those students who have faced hurdles getting into and through college, such as low-income and first-generation students, students of color, and adult learners.
“Achieving the Dream sees the Partnership as an opportunity to provide institutions with a comprehensive set of access, progression, completion and transfer data on all students who enter any term,” said Laurie Heacock, Senior Advisor for Data and Analytics at Achieving the Dream. “With the inclusion of first term and first year momentum metrics, the Partnership provides institutions with short-term key performance indicators to monitor as they implement gateway course redesign and other pathway components, which lead to improved completion outcomes.
“In addition, the Postsecondary Data Partnership will provide Achieving the Dream and its network institutions access to disaggregated data by key student characteristics such as Pell status, first-generation status and ethnicity to provide insights on educational equity to support institutions in closing equity gaps and advancing social mobility.”
The Partnership consists of a group of colleges and universities, state systems, and supporting organizations working to significantly increase student access and success, and to eliminate racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in college attainment.
Colleges and universities nationwide will be able to more efficiently use existing resources to gain a fuller picture of student progress and outcomes, meet various reporting requirements, and use data to help students. The Partnership also offers the opportunity for institutions to assess their student success metrics for all students, throughout the academic year, not just for first-time, full-time students who start in the fall.
Currently, institutions must submit data — much of it similar — to multiple agencies and organizations, from federal and state governments to accrediting bodies to national initiatives. The result is a complicated web of data exchanges that entail a significant amount of duplicated effort. By building on its current capacity, the Clearinghouse reduces this effort by acting as a hub, receiving, verifying, and reporting data back to participating institutions and organizations.
The Postsecondary Data Partnership platform offers a comprehensive data collection and analytics reporting solution for postsecondary institutions, systems and education organizations.
The Postsecondary Data Partnership’s three key goals:
- More efficient collection and reporting of student metrics;
- Leverage existing degree and enrollment data to create efficiencies and reduce administrative burdens while enabling easier data-driven decision-making; and
- Improve the institutions’ and organizations’ ability to retain students and increase the likelihood of students earning credentials.
The Clearinghouse is uniquely positioned to lead this initiative because more than 3,600 colleges and universities already use the Clearinghouse for student enrollment and degree completion reporting, including students who transfer across institutions and states.
The Partnerships’ core elements include the Clearinghouse’s commitment and processes to maintain the integrity of student records. The Clearinghouse services are designed to facilitate compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, The Higher Education Act, and other applicable laws.
The Partnership is supported through grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Lumina Foundation.
For more information, visit the Postsecondary Data Partnership webpage.
“Achieving the Dream sees the Partnership as an opportunity to provide institutions with a comprehensive set of access, progression, completion and transfer data on all students who enter any term.”
Senior Advisor for Data and Analytics at Achieving the Dream