A new report helps colleges build and sustain unified data systems to measure, compare, and improve student outcomes, enrollment and retention

Data is key to student outcomes–here’s how to use it

New report offers recommendations to help colleges build and sustain unified data systems to measure, compare, and improve student outcomes

To help sustain progress and eliminate completion gaps, the guidebook and its accompanying tools provide a framework for faculty, staff, college leadership, and policymakers to collect, share, and act on data to improve student outcomes. 

The resources are relevant to college systems and state agencies depending on the state’s setup, and anyone in higher education who wants to use data to drive their decision-making can benefit from using them. The guidebook’s ideal use is for a college team, led by a senior administrator, to review and complete the tools, which should include faculty members, advisers and other staff members, students, and institutional research staff. 

The guidebook includes specific recommendations for how colleges can identify key performance indicators of student success, source data, and use the National Student Clearinghouse’s Postsecondary Data Partnership (PDP) to track student outcomes. It outlines the four cornerstones of strong measurement systems: measuring what matters, sourcing the data needed, using the PDP, and having regular conversations about data. 

The publication draws on CCA’s efforts to implement and scale data-informed student success practices over the past decade across its alliance of states, systems, and organizations aligned working to improve college completion in the United States. 

“Creating a strong measurement system can be a daunting task,” said Charles Ansell, Vice President of Research, Policy, and Advocacy at Complete College America. “Building a student success data team is like building any successful roster. You need the right mix of talent, coaching, and strategy. This report provides the blueprint, breaking down the process into manageable steps and providing the tools and guidance needed to create a winning system.”

This press release originally appeared online.

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