College Portrait of Undergraduate Education

College Portrait of Undergraduate Education

Benefits of VSA Participation

TOOLS FOR CAMPUS EVIDENCE-BASED COMMUNICATION

  • Exclusive access to national institution-level datasets for benchmarking and comparison on key data reported to the National Center for Education Statistics, the National Science Foundation, Federal Student Aid, national college guidebook and search publishers, and the Student Achievement Measure.
  • Evidence of institutional commitment to measurement of student outcomes and institutional improvement for regional accreditation. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation cites the VSA as an important companion to accreditation.
  • Engage with standardized, interactive benchmarking reports and templates, including data from the Student Achievement Measures and key financial aid and student indebtedness data.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITIES FOR CAMPUS LEADERS

  • Learning community curriculum developed by national experts in institutional research, assessment, and communications combine face-to-face sessions with online materials and discussion over a 4-5 month period to build communities of practice and peer networks across campuses.
  • Network with peers to develop data proficiency and expertise, master data presentation for effective storytelling, and create integrated campus-wide assessment and communication of student learning outcomes.

COLLECTIVE ACTION BY PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES

  • A collective, voluntary response to the contention from government officials that a lack of useful data hinders policymakers, students and the public from making informed decisions.
  • Consistent with recent federal legislation and leadership from the Obama Administration placing students/families in the center as savvy consumers in key areas—increased price transparency, reduced complexity, and improved information about institutional quality.
  • Tangible demonstration of public university willingness to measure and publicly report learning outcomes and student engagement, while keeping the control of curriculum and measurement within the academy.
  • Action by a majority of public institutions is more influential than action by any single institution. VSA participants represent over half of public 4-year institutions and enroll nearly two-thirds of undergraduate students attending public institutions.