A Different Kind of League: Data & Analytics for Community Colleges

Last week, I had the privilege of attending Achieving the Dream’s (ATD) Data & Analytics Summit which focused on the data needs of community colleges today, and what to expect going forward. During the conference, I represented HelioCampus, as a corporate sponsor, and in support of one of our first community colleges partners, Harford Community College. With limited expectations before the Summit, this opportunity really changed my perspective and opened my mind to the world of community colleges and the communities they serve.

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Leveraging Analytics in Enrollment Management: 5 Best Practices

Colleges and universities are under considerable pressure, both from within, as they work to fulfill their educational mission, and externally, as they attempt to understand and curtail drops in enrollment and retention. The latter is particularly troubling, as more than half of public colleges and two-thirds of private institutions failed to meet their enrollment goals in 2016.1 Many higher education institutions are embracing analytic solutions to help them unravel enrollment, persistence, and retention challenges. By analyzing academic history, student behavior, co-curricular involvement, and other pertinent data, colleges and universities can recruit, attract, and enroll students who have a higher likelihood of academic success. This allows them to focus on efforts to identify students that need extra support who are already enrolled, and make interventions, increasing students’ likelihood to persist. Institutional data is only useful if it is leveraged properly. The following are five best practices for enrollment management practitioners to consider when deploying an analytics strategy.

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What's the Latest in Advancement Analytics?

I recently attended (and gave a keynote address at) the APRA PD Data Analytics Symposium (APRA DAS), an analytics conference co-located with the larger APRA Prospect Development conference. It was held at the expansive David L. Lawrence Convention Center, which overlooks the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh.

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AIR Forum 2018: Data-Informed Decision Making, Collaborations & Student Success

Last week the HelioCampus team visited sunny Orlando for the AIR Forum. This is an important event that brings together higher education professionals working in institutional research, assessment, planning, and related postsecondary education fields. We spent two jam packed days talking to attendees about their analytics efforts, supporting our client partner presentations and getting feedback on our IPEDS Explorer tool.

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Why Use “Ensemble Approaches” for Forecasting?

If you wanted to predict how much corn would be sold at a farmer’s market stand this summer, you might ask multiple people to make educated guesses using different methods. One person might be a farmer who knows how the crops are doing in the region this year, one might be the person who has operated the stand for the past 3 years and has a good understanding of the seasonal purchasing patterns, and one might be a statistician with a table of the last 5 years’ of weekly sales.

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Data Is Not the Goal... & Other Reflections from HEDW 2018

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Higher Education Data Warehouse (HEDW) Conference at Oregon State University with my  colleague, Joe Bertram. The conference brought together over 350 attendees from over 150 institutions. Whereas last year’s theme was “data governance,” this year’s was around “Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled analytics” and “machine learning.”  I wanted to spend some time discovering and learning how colleges and universities are tackling the data warehousing and data analytics initiatives at their respective institutions.   

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Easily Access IPEDS Data? Yes, Please!

As the landscape for institutional sustainability in higher education becomes more and more challenging to navigate successfully innovative institutions have increasingly turned to more rigorous, methodical, and data-centric approaches to understand the issues specific to their institution and how to address them. The availability of data in its rawest form has increased exponentially, and now include such sources as National Student Clearinghouse, Complete College America, and of course one of the earliest data repositories, IPEDS (The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System).

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Reflections from the Salesforce Higher Education Summit: The Importance of Being Intentional

At the SalesForce Higher Education Summit in Washington, D.C., I had the great pleasure of listening to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and legendary aviator, test pilot, and astronaut, USMC Major General Charles Bolden deliver compelling keynotes. These, combined with many excellent presentations and demonstrations by trailblazing colleges and universities, impressed upon me the importance of being intentional in approaching institutional challenges. The term was applied to everything from ­­­­­­­­instilling cultural diversity to driving student success and retention. As I consider how universities implement and adopt technology and new business practices, the phrase “being intentional” very much aligns with the HelioCampus approach to institutional analytics in three specific ways:

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28th Annual Ithaca College EdTech Day

I recently attended the 28th Annual Ithaca College EdTech Day with HelioCampus Director of Implementation Services, Susie Chang.   Ithaca College made its campus available to over 60 vendors and 200 attendees, ranging from regional vo-tech schools, local high schools and regional community colleges, as well as many of New York’s public and private colleges and universities.

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Ithaca College: Transforming Institutional Data into Actionable Information

Ithaca College wanted to deepen their understanding of the patterns and trends that lead to better student outcomes – and ultimately student success. To do so, they needed to invest in an institution-wide analytics infrastructure that would reveal insights into the connections between curricular, co-curricular, and student life variables and help define their impact on the overall student experience. They partnered with HelioCampus to fulfill their vision. 

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