Higher ed must learn to use student data more wisely

When it comes to recruitment and alumni contributions, how you use student data can make a big difference. According to Students, alumni, and administrators agree: Data-driven communications make a difference, a survey from software and services provider Ellucian, students are increasingly using their expectations of and actual experiences with data and personalized communications to dictate their enrollment and future giving.

The annual survey, released last fall, shows that personalized communications weigh heavily in students’ decisions about which institution to attend.

Personalization & targeted communication are crucial

Eighty-seven percent of students who received personalized communications during their application process say it was an important factor in their choice of school. Forty-eight percent of students who applied to multiple colleges used poor communication as one reason not to attend a particular institution.…Read More

A new roadmap to guard student data

DQC releases a policy guide on how to keep student data safe and be more effective

roadmap-data-safeWith the slew of not just universities, but major corporations like Target, currently coming under criticism for leaking massive amount of personal data, keeping student data safe has become a major priority for colleges and universities across the nation…but states must also take responsibility.

That’s why the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) has just released its “Roadmap to Safeguarding Student Data,” targeted at State Education Agencies (SEA), but includes three main data safeguarding practices most any institution should implement.

“This is about changing the culture…around data,” notes the DQC in the brief, “and this culture change starts from the top. Safeguarding student data needs to continue to be a priority of SEA leadership, and the SEA needs to effectively use and protect student data.…Read More

Emory U: False data sent to rankings groups

Emory officials have investigated the rankings data since May.

Prestigious Emory University intentionally misreported student data to rankings magazines for more than a decade, the Atlanta school disclosed Friday, adding its high-profile name to a growing list of institutions caught up in scandals over rankings pressure.

As far back as 2000, Emory’s admissions and institutional research offices overstated SAT and ACT scores by reporting the higher average tallies of admitted students, rather than those enrolled, as is required, president Jim Wagner announced in a letter to the university community.

Those figures were reported to organizations including college rankers, the most prominent of which is US News & World Report.…Read More

Campus IT’s No. 1 worry: Protecting student, faculty data

College campuses have seen a major increase in the number of mobile devices since 2009.

Eight in 10 colleges and universities allow students to access the school network with any mobile device they bring to campus, but less than half have an official policy for enforcing certain security standards before a smart phone or computer tablet can use the school’s internet connection.

Those findings – along with a range of others showing campus technologists fret over student and faculty data security – were detailed in an April 16 report from CDW-G that listed higher education’s most persistent IT concerns.

Most college and university IT officials surveyed said their campus had taken basic information protection measures like installing web security filters, or using encrypted storage and data loss prevention programs as the number of people who access college networks has increased by 41 percent since 2009.…Read More

Veto sends huge data cache into state limbo

When Gov. Brown abolished the state office that coordinates and researches higher education, he cut the money but left dangling the fate of hundreds of millions of academic records–including confidential student information, reports Capitol Weekly. Brown’s surprise elimination of the 37-year-old California Postsecondary Education Commission–the commission only learned of its own demise shortly before Brown announced it publicly–saved the state some $2 million by eliminating about 20 jobs. CPEC was one of dozens of boards and commissions that were eliminated to save money…

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