Annual Meeting September 20-21, 2016

Annual Meeting, September 20-21, 2016

Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown

Better Data, Better Decisions:
Using Data to Inform State Policy


Tuesday, September 20

The 2016 Legislative Sessions: A Banner Year or Much Ado About Nothing?

This session presented highlights and trends from the 2016 legislative sessions; during the subsequent facilitated discussion, LAC members shared their perspectives.

Christina Sedney, policy analyst, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education | PRESENTATION

Informing Policy Decisions: Using Cross-State Data to Answer State Policy Questions

“Data-driven decision making” is an ubiquitous phrase in just about any materials on good government and policymaking. But actually taking advantage of the data resources that exist and applying them to real-world policy problems is a formidable challenge. This session examined the current “data ecosystem” in higher education and workforce development to show the strengths and weaknesses of potential data sources, including State Longitudinal Data Systems, federal education datasets, the National Student Clearinghouse, the Multistate Longitudinal Data Exchange, and the Wage Record Interchange System. Examples from states using these diverse sources provided a framework for a facilitated discussion on how to use these data to improve a range of policies and practices.

Patrick Lane, director of data initiatives, Western Interstate Commission for Higher EducationPRESENTATION
Melissa Beard, data governance coordinator, State of Washington Education Data and Research Center

Dual and Concurrent Enrollment: Exploring Outcomes and Quality through Data

Several Western states have a long history of using dual and concurrent enrollment as a strategy to increase student access and success and reduce costs for students while others have invested more recently. This session explored what the available data show about this approach, including issues related to student outcomes, equity, cost, and quality.

Demarée Michelau, vice president, policy analysis and research, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Veronica Dujon, director, academic planning and policy, Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission PRESENTATION
Jason Taylor, assistant professor, department of educational leadership and policy, University of Utah | PRESENTATION

Looking Inside the Black Box of Performance Funding: Let the Data Tell the Story

For the last several years, states have increasingly used outcomes-based funding—which directly connects state funding to a postsecondary institution’s performance on indicators such as student persistence, credit accrual, and college completion—as a way to incentivize institutions to behave in certain ways, generally toward better college outcomes. As most states have made enormous investments in performance funding, questions about whether this strategy has achieved its intended outcomes, and whether it has produced unintended consequences (e.g., restrictions in access for underrepresented students or weakening of academic standards), have not been adequately answered. By drawing on data that were previously unavailable, researchers have begun to investigate these important questions, and this session covered what they have found so far.

Joseph Garcia, president, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Kevin Dougherty, senior research associate, Community College Research Center | PRESENTATION
Nate Johnson, founder and principal, Postsecondary Analytics | PRESENTATION

Addressing the Postsecondary Attainment Gap through the Use of Data

Postsecondary attainment across the United States is increasing, but underlying these promising data are trends that show that certain groups of Americans, including those from low-income and certain racial/ethnic backgrounds are not earning postsecondary credentials at the same rates as other students. This session highlighted Colorado’s efforts at the state and institutional levels, as well as other evidence-based strategies, to address the attainment gap through the use of data.

Christina Sedney, policy analyst, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Lindsey Malcom-Piqueux, associate director for research and policy, Center for Urban Education, University of Southern California | PRESENTATION
Michael Vente, research and information policy officer, Colorado Department of Higher Education | PRESENTATION

An Update on WICHE's Mental Health Psychology Internship Program

Dennis Mohatt, vice president, mental health program, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education | PRESENTATION

Wednesday, September 21

The Cost and Price of Distance Education: What do Data Really Tell Us?

State legislators often ask, “When will distance education start to save us money?” They want to know about the “cost” of creating, offering, and supporting courses and about the “price” that students ultimately pay in tuition and fees. This session presented results of a survey of colleges about both cost and price, recent legislative and gubernatorial actions, and options for consideration.

Demarée Michelau, vice president, policy analysis and research, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Fred Lokken, professor, political science, Truckee Meadows Community College
Russell Poulin, director, policy and analysis, WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET)

2015 ITC Annual National eLearning Survey Results Infographic
2015 Distance Education Survey Results
Faculty Cost Models
Legislative Options
Price and Cost Surveys

Evidence-Based Strategies for Student Success

Policymakers are increasingly searching for evidence-based strategies that lead to student success. In recent years, three approaches—guided pathways, direct admissions, and co-requisite remediation—have emerged with promising results. This session covered these strategies, what makes them effective, and what the data tell us.

Joseph Garcia, president, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Joanne Itano, associate vice president for academic affairs, University of Hawaii System | PRESENTATION
Matt Freeman, executive director, Idaho State Board of Education | PRESENTATION
Sarah Tucker, chancellor, West Virginia Council for Community and Technical Education