Hiding in plain sight: solutions to degree value
Can you see me now?  
Ensuring college degrees are worth the time, money and effort is a challenge this nation must solve. Simply put: more degrees of value mean a more prosperous, equitable future.
The college attainment enterprise is certainly working hard and using considerable resources to make college more affordable and beneficial, but it is missing an important solution right under our noses.
The "big reveal" came during a recent meeting with some higher education hall of famers: Stanford University Registrar Thomas Black, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce director Anthony Carnevale, and manager of strategic partnerships for IEBC's Tuning USA John Yopp. 

Want to know the skills, knowledge and degrees required by the latest "green jobs," the number of job openings and how much they pay? Planning and budgeting for courses and need to know the software used by Neurodiagnostic Technologists? A little-known, publicly available database has the answers and can be an important tool for answering the fundamental question: What can students and workers seeking to advance or change careers get out of their college education? Learn more. 

K-12/Higher Education Bridge to Student Success
IEBC is intensifying its work to join K-12 and higher education sectors  to improve college completion. New senior director for strategic partnerships, Rob Baird recently joined IEBC, bringing more than a decade of experience bridging K-12 and higher education sectors. 

"The failure to link high school standards to post-secondary entrance expectations reverberates through a student's life and the nation's economy," said IEBC president and CEO Brad Phillips. "The nation  needs to create a coherent pathway from K-12 to and through college. Rob's experience and energy are a great match for this challenge." 

The Texas gulf region is one model to follow. With IEBC's help the consortium of high schools and community colleges wrote math and English alignment guides to ensure a smooth transition from high school to college. Similar work in California dramatically improved student success rates. 

The alignment work convenes all stakeholders -- K-12 school staff and administrators, higher education faculty and leadership, workforce leaders, students, government, and accrediting agencies -- together to focus on one agenda that creates graduates who are prepared to succeed. "The continued balkanization of higher ed and K-12 is borne of inertia and tradition," Baird said. "But once a community sees the potential and begins to align their work, huge breakthroughs occur. It is the epitome of local control and creating a successful college-going culture."

We just can't afford to do reforms piecemeal any more. Finally getting student success right will require a more comprehensive look from K-12 through higher education - after all, we all share the same students, just at different points in their education journey.  Read more

Higher Ed Plays Cultural Competency Catch Up
Higher education is painfully slow in realizing that the student population looks significantly different than it did just 10 years ago. Cultural competency efforts that have been in effect in health care and K-12 for nearly 20 years a re just getting started at many colleges.
California is providing record funding to support student success and student equity plans designed to eliminate disparities in opportunity and outcome, but many colleges are struggling with how to best use the funds. To help accelerate equity and opportunity, the Institute for Evidence-Based Change, in collaboration with Educational Testing Service (ETS) will host a workshop series for California Community College faculty, administrators and staff November 6-7. 
The webinar is aimed at  helping colleges develop Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs), assignments and assessments that reflect an increasingly diverse student body. 

The infusion of money combined with recognition of untenable economic and racial inequity provides an extraordinary opportunity to slay some sacred cows and status quo thinking. Read more.

Don't Assume You Know What Students Need. Ask Them.

California funding is supporting student success and student equity plans, but how can you be sure you're reaching your students? 

The Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC), in collaboration with Q2 Insights, is pleased to offer a free one-hour webinar October 1 for California community colleges to help capture today's student voice  and reduce barriers to improving student success.

Understanding the student experience from the student perspective leads to dramatically more effective policies and practices. This is particularly true for y ounger adults who have low income and low educational attainment levels are non-white, and call themselves "smart-phone dependent." 



Data Use to Improve Response Time in HigherEd 

Speaking at an Achieving the Dream webinar on data use, IEBC CEO Brad Phillips encouraged community college leaders to focus on leading indicators that signal students' needs early enough to act on.

Phillips used the example of closely watching in-class retention numbers and proactively providing the little nudges that keep students on track to progress through courses. 

Measuring the Impact of Philanthropy

Innovation is all the rage in the philanthropy community. Bringing in new ideas and people to identify better ways to serve pressing needs is great, but IEBC's Jordan Horowitz says "don't forget to measure impact early and often." 

In a Medium post, Horowitz says getting a better understanding of what data and information is "in time" and what is "too late" for action is imperative for effective philanthropy.

While philanthropists like to talk about impact, they seldom provide grantees with the tools to measure it in actionable ways.

As "impact giving" grows and evolves, it will be important for foundations and nonprofits to learn how to provide their grantees with the right leading metrics at the right time to be more responsive and successful in meeting philanthropy's big and little goals.

Thanks for taking the time to learn more about the big opportunities and challenges of data use in education. We would love to learn more about your organization and how we can help. E-mail me at bphillips@iebcnow.org or call us at 760-436-1477.