3 Higher Ed Metrics to Benefit Students
“This report draws on the knowledge and experience of higher education leaders and experts to lay out in detail the metrics we should be collecting – and explains why those data will make a difference, for all students, but particularly for those who traditionally have been underserved by higher education,” says IHEP President Michelle Cooper in the report. “Until now, only some institutions have been willingly and voluntarily collecting data to answer critical questions about who attends college, who succeeds in and after college, and how college is financed. But, the field needs a core set of comprehensive and comparable higher ed metrics and should incorporate those metrics into federal and state data systems. Doing so will make the data available for all students in all institutions, not only those who voluntarily collect and report it.”
The first key metric is performance, which measures institutional performance related to student access, progress, completion, cost, and post-college outcomes.
Next, efficiency measures are driven by increased interest in college costs and affordability, and consider how resources impact college completion.
Finally, equity measures seek to include all students and accurately represent the higher education experience of underserved populations that may have been discounted by other data collections.
Overall, these three key metrics are designed to answer critical questions about college access, who succeeds in and after college, and how college is financed. The report outlines these critical questions to better serve students of all backgrounds by measuring “each element as accurately and comprehensively as possible while balancing field convergence and data availability and feasibility” to give the best possible look at what leads to various post-college outcomes.
While the report takes great care to detail these three key higher ed metrics, it is just the beginning according to IHEP. The organization also plans to continue the conversation about postsecondary data and systems through its Postsecondary Data Collaborative (PostsecData), a coalition of more than 36 organizations seeking to improve data quality, transparency and use. Under IHEP’s leadership, PostsecData will continue to advocate for and share information around a long-term data and infrastructure improvement effort, working with partners to encourage institutions and policymakers to adopt the metrics framework and standardize it as a best practice nationwide.
For the full in-depth report, click here.