State Data Partnerships

December 5, 2019

As part of a push to better equip higher education institutions with better data, the University of Texas system worked with the U.S. Census Bureau to gather student outcomes data that includes those who leave the state.

A new report detailing the process was released in conjunction with the Institute for Higher Education Policy's November guidebook.

Advocates for better data expect the information will help the system create evidence-based policies and practices, as well as promote success for all students, according to a news release.

The institute is pushing for more accurate and timely data on student outcomes to inform state efforts in higher education. In 2014, it started the Postsecondary Data Collaborative, which led to a state working group. The group addresses the challenges that state higher education leaders face, such as inefficient collection and limited data.

The report provides a road map for how one state found a solution to its problems. The partnership between the Texas system and Census Bureau began in 2017 and has collected data on earnings outcomes by institution, degree level and field of study.

"The partnership between the UT System and the U.S. Census Bureau has demonstrated that is possible to protect student data and at the same time provide timely information to help students make informed decisions," Stephanie Bond Huie, vice chancellor for institutional research and analysis at the system, said in a news release. "In fact, this partnership informed recent updates to the College Scorecard and, ideally, will continue to inspire leaders at the federal level to create a more comprehensive student-level data network."

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