Colleges Combine Student Data Bases To Enhance Completion Studies

WICHE, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education,

announced today that WCET, the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, has been awarded a

$1,000,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fund an initiative to unify student data from six

U.S. institutions and demonstrate the effective use of predictive analytic methods for improving student

outcomes. The goal is to identify variables that influence student retention and progression, and guide decisionmaking

that improves postsecondary student completion in the U.S.

This grant for the Predictive Analytics Reporting (PAR) Framework will aggregate data representing more than

400,000 student records from across six WCET member institutions: American Public University System,

Colorado Community College System, Rio Salado College, University of Hawaii System, University of Illinois

Springfield, and the University of Phoenix. Each participating institution has been exploring or implementing

descriptive, inferential or predictive analytics projects on their own student data; the PAR Framework expands

on this work through exploration of patterns that can be derived when the six institutional datasets are

considered as a single, unified sample.

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