Initiative will support institutions of higher education in making evidence-based improvements to their career and technical education programs
Cambridge, MA (January 31, 2020)—Through a grant from the ECMC Foundation, the Strategic Data Project (SDP), an initiative of the Center for Education Policy (CEPR) at Harvard University, will expand its data fellowship program to support postsecondary institutions that serve career and technical education (CTE) students. The fellowship will build the capacity of institutions to use evidence to meet the diverse needs of CTE students—who tend to be older, more female, and more economically disadvantaged than other postsecondary students.
“There has been a surge of interest and investment in CTE as states and regions focus on supporting and developing their workforce in a changing economy," says CEPR Executive Director Jon Fullerton. "Given the importance of the work, it is critical that institutions of higher education leverage their data and evidence to pursue strategic programming improvements that will benefit both students and their regions’ economies."
In its first year, the fellowship program will partner with ten institutions of higher education (IHEs) to build the capacity of existing analytic staff through SDP’s year-long training program, during which fellows will focus on using data to support institutional decision-making. Each fellow will pursue an analytic project addressing a unique challenge facing their organization—from evaluating student and workforce demands to analyzing certification completion rates—to identify potential barriers to student success.
Over the last decade, SDP has partnered with more than 150 education organizations to tackle pressing organizational challenges and build long-term capacity for data-driven improvements. SDP Fellows and partner organizations receive training through workshops and support from a dedicated SDP faculty advisor and a cultivated network of professional colleagues.
“We are looking forward to building on the successful model that has yielded significant results for our K-12 partners,” says SDP Director Miriam Greenberg. “Our SDP Fellows have uncovered many important insights in areas like college enrollment and teacher recruitment and preparation, to name just a few. This next phase of growth will allow us to broaden that impact and ensure that students at all phases of their education receive the benefits of evidence-based program improvements.”
About the Strategic Data Project: Harvard's Strategic Data Project (SDP) works with education agencies to find and train data leaders to uncover trends, measure solutions, and effectively communicate evidence to stakeholders. SDP’s network of system leaders, fellows, and faculty come together to share how to best use data to make a difference in the lives of students. SDP Fellows are driving data-informed change in over 145 school systems and organizations. Learn more at sdp.harvard.edu.
About the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University: The Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University seeks to transform education through quality research and evidence. CEPR and its partners believe all students will learn and thrive when education leaders make decisions using facts and findings, rather than untested assumptions. Learn more at cepr.harvard.edu.
About the Educational Credit Management Corporation Foundation: Based in Los Angeles, ECMC Foundation is a national foundation working to improve postsecondary outcomes for students from underserved backgrounds. It is one of several affiliates under the ECMC Group enterprise based in Minneapolis, which together work to help students succeed. The Foundation makes investments in two focus areas: College Success and Career Readiness; and uses a spectrum of funding structures, including strategic grantmaking and program-related investments, to fund both nonprofit and for-profit ventures. Learn more at ecmcfoundation.org.