Strong Foundations Survey + State Postsecondary Data & Communities of Practice - SHEEO

Last Updated: 05/17/2024

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Postsecondary student unit record systems (PSURSs) are the main way that states collect data and analyze the progress, completions, and outcome of students in their educational institutions.  Since 2010, the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) has periodically conducted surveys of state postsecondary data systems to better understand the “state of state postsecondary data.”

The Strong Foundations Survey documents the content, capacity, and effective use of state postsecondary data systems. Survey results are available in customizable form for users to explore the metrics collected and how states link state postsecondary data systems with other information, and to build custom datasets. This information is used to gauge changes over time and compare states’ progress.

SHEEO’s most recent report (Strong Foundations) was issued in November 2021. This report asked about states’ research partnerships and data sharing agreements with educational researchers for the first time. Questions associated with educational research focused on whether SHEEO agencies had research agreements in place, the values and barriers associated with these partnerships, number of received and awarded research requests, and the kinds of research associated with these partnerships.

The related SHEEO’s Communities of Practice project focuses on increasing the capacity and utilization of state postsecondary data systems, and providing a forum for states to work on solutions to common issues with those systems. SHEEO manages an ongoing network of state postsecondary data users by providing opportunities for members to share information, analyze solutions, and provide assistance to practitioners in other states.


SHEEO, states, Gates Foundation


State Postsecondary Data - SHEEO

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