Institutional Researcher Kira Barrington was one of 40 participants in the 2010 Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Data Fellows training provided by the College for All Texans Foundation. The three-day workshop in June was underwritten by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Last summer, 20 district administrators participated in the Data Fellows sessions. This year, THECB’s Planning and Accountability Division staff invited administrators from large school districts in major Texas urban and geographic areas and higher education administrators from two- and four-year institutions near them.
“Having representatives from the ISDs and higher education institutions was extremely beneficial,” Barrington said. “Now that those of us in higher education know the data available from the ISDs, we can serve our students better.”
Topics covered included current and proposed views of the high school to postsecondary data and online systems, prototypes of data tables specifically requested by last year’s school district participants and trends in the Texas economy and students’ workforce participation and earnings.
Additionally, Data Fellows discussed how the data overviews and tables provided can inform their college and workforce preparation and student success strategies. Suggestions from fellows will be used to improve data accessibility and dissemination efforts across educational sectors, according to the July issue of THECB’s Academic Planning and Policy E-NEWS.