WHAT TO DO WITH THE DATA? The Institute for Higher Education Policy thinks better use of data about our postsecondary system can lead to better choices by students, policymakers and institutions. IHEP, a Washington D.C-based nonprofit focused on college access and success, has released “Envisioning the National Postsecondary Data Infrastructure in the 21st Century,” a collection of 11 policy papers targeting state and federal actors to strengthen the postsecondary data infrastructure.
The papers are the product of a Gates Foundation-funded National Postsecondary Data Infrastructure Expert Working Group, Politico reports. The research covers a wide variety of topics including, but not limited to, student-level data systems, leveraging employment data and labor market outcomes, state-to-state data exchanges, linking federal data systems, the National Student Clearinghouse and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
Some key recommendations across all papers are:
- Improve the capacity of institutions to report accurate, timely and relevant data.
- Collect new data elements; eliminate others.
- Improve access to data for key stakeholders.
- Keep individual data private and secure.
- Improve linkages between existing datasets.
- Remove legal barriers to data use.