Strengthening Data-Use Practices to Promote Student Success and Equity

Posted by Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) on August 6, 2019

IHEP Report Recommends Strengthening Data-Use Practices

A new report from the Institute for Higher Education Policy and Education Counsel emphasizes the importance of disaggregating data to promote racial, ethnic and socioeconomic equity and student success.

“Data uncovers the inequities,” said Mamie Voight, vice president of policy research for the Institute of Higher Education Policy (IHEP). “Data on its own is not going to close equity gaps, but it does shine a light and point out important findings to guide efforts that will ultimately lead to improvement.”

In a report released in June IHEP highlights the importance of postsecondary accreditors utilizing data to inform their reviews. With more complete data, accreditors can evaluate institutional progress and see to it that the institutions they oversee are providing equitable opportunities for all students.

The report, “Informing Improvement: Recommendations for Enhancing Accreditor Data-Use to Promote Student Success and Equity” describes important data-use practices such as graduation rates, employment outcomes and other data on student access, persistence and support.

Voight, one of the authors of the report, said accreditors should build data into their routine and regular practices. By developing more of a culture of inquiry, data will be a part of their decision making processes and also the work they are doing to help institutions improve student success.

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