• Evidence and Data

WSCUC's Approach to Evidence and Data

Round Data GraphicWSCUC is developing pathways for strengthening the use of evidence and outcomes to drive equitable student success through institutional quality and improvement as part of a significant leadership initiative, “Better Conversations, Better Data,” funded by Lumina Foundation. This evidence and improvement initiative complements WSCUC’s two other Goals, equity and inclusion and national and global reach.

The work at its core standardizes institutional data used as part of the accreditation review, introduces accreditation process improvements, and provides a training agenda that fosters the effective use of data for all participants in the accreditation process – institutions, peer reviewers, commissioners, and staff liaisons.

Key Indicators Dashboard (KID)

KID GraphicKID is an interactive data visualization available to the public that presents detailed trend and comparative information on WSCUC accredited undergraduate institutions in a clear, easy to use format. KID displays information from federal data sets to present multiple years of metrics, trend data, and comparisons based on both national and WSCUC averages. KID provides integrated, accessible data on institution size and context, student completion, student finances, institution finances, and post-graduation outcomes. KID was developed through a WSCUC initiative called “Better Conversations, Better Data,” funded by Lumina Foundation, to support evidence-based practices in accreditation. Components of the work include standardizing institutional data used during accreditation review, introducing accreditation process improvements, and providing training in the effective use of data for all participants in the accreditation process — institutions, peer reviewers, commissioners, and staff liaisons.

Access KID

Peer Benchmarking Pilot

WSCUC has implemented a peer benchmarking pilot project as part of the accreditation review process to improve methods for understanding student outcomes using common methods and standardized data sources and definitions. Peer benchmarking is not intended to create “bright lines”, floors, ceilings, or thresholds. But rather to put performance in context and help assure that standards are being met. The information is also intended to prompt questions that can be explored further through well-informed conversations, incorporating other materials submitted by the institution.

Key Indicators (KI) Reports

WSCUC has implemented a process to provide institutions, review teams, and the Commission with standardized data with common, relevant, and timely outcome metrics or “key indicators” (KI). The KI Reports cover a wide range of topics: institutional size and context, student completion, student finances, institutional finances, and postgraduation outcomes.

Enhanced Training

A critical factor in the success of “Better Conversations, Better Data” is training. How all parties involved in the accreditation process use the new KI information and benchmarking data is a critical part of WSCUC’s new training materials which bolster the accreditation process and enhance the ability for those involved to understand, interpret, and engage in conversations around information.

Highlights of WSCUC’s commitment to “Better Conversations, Better Data”

  • Enhancing the universe, presentation, and understanding of core outcome data that prompt relevant and engaging conversations between institutions and evaluators about information in the context of trends and peer benchmarks
  • Increasing institutional and evaluator understanding, quality, and depth of discussion around common metrics
  • Tracking and evaluating new metrics that will support constructive conversations and timely and relevant understanding of institutions and student outcomes
  • Implementing approaches to understanding institutional context by emphasizing how various demographic, social, and environmental factors contribute to outcomes
  • Integrating clear presentations of how to use key data for institutional and evaluator discovery through new and revised accreditation training materials

Where to Find Data on WSCUC Institutions

We invite you to explore publicly collected, standardized data about WSCUC-accredited institutions. The following federal websites provide user-friendly access to comprehensive national data on higher education institutions, from operations and finance to student success and post-graduation outcomes.

You can also learn about colleges and universities from the peer review team reports and full commission action letters posted on our website in the directory of institutions. WSCUC promotes transparency by being one of the few accreditors that publishes these important records of institutional review and actions. WSCUC is currently expanding the ways it uses evidence and data in those accreditation reviews for accountability, improvement and beyond.

College Navigator

Department of Education consumer information tool.
https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator

College Scorecard

The College Scorecard provides information through an interactive tool.  Each Scorecard includes five key pieces of data about a college: costs, graduation rate, loan default rate, average amount borrowed, and employment.
https://collegescorecard.ed.gov

Integrated Postsecondary Education System Data (IPEDS)

Allows access to standardized federally reported data through a variety of tools and download functions.
https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/use-the-data

Federal Student Aid (FSA) Cohort Default Rates

A cohort default rate is the percentage of a school’s borrowers who enter repayment on federal student loans and default prior to the end of the second following fiscal year.
https://www2.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/defaultmanagement/cdr.html

Federal Student Aid (FSA) Heightened Cash Monitoring

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) may place institutions on a Heightened Cash Monitoring (HCM) payment method to provide additional oversight of cash management. Heightened Cash Monitoring is a step that FSA can take with institutions to provide additional oversight for financial or federal compliance issues, some of which may be serious and others that may be less troublesome.
https://studentaid.gov/data-center/school/hcm

Data & Reporting Resources

You can refine your search by resource type or keyword. As you update the criteria the resources below will adjust automatically. To explore all resources use the main Resource Library page.

FEATURED | PROCESS

Accreditation Management Portal (AMP) Login

Member institutions log in to the Accreditation Management Portal (AMP) to submit their annual reports, request substantive changes, and view invoices. The AMP is also used by institutions to update profile information, institutional contacts, and details related to programs and locations

FEATURED | PROCESS

Evidence and Data

This page provides access to data on WSCUC accredited institutions, information about WSCUC data initiatives such as peer benchmarking, and highlights of WSCUC’s “Better Conversations, Better Data” initiative.

FEATURED | PROCESS

Key Indicators Dashboard

The Key Indicators Dashboard (KID) presents detailed trend and comparative information on WSCUC’s accredited undergraduate institutions in a clear, easy to use format. KID displays from federal data sets to present multiple years of metrics, trend data, and comparisons based on both national and WSCUC averages. KID provides integrated, accessible data on institution size and context, student completion, student finances, institution finances, and post-graduation outcomes.

PROCESS

About the Accreditation Management Portal (AMP)

Member institutions log in to the Accreditation Management Portal (AMP) to submit annual reports, request substantive changes, and view invoices. The AMP is also used by institutions to update profile information, institutional contacts, and details related to programs and locations.

GUIDES & MANUALS

Annual Report User Guide

This guide provides screenshots and instructions on how to submit the annual report in the Accreditation Management Portal (AMP). The guide outlines each report section, describes the data items collected, and provides links to relevant IPEDS definitions and resources.

REPORT

Data Definitions for Key Indicators (KI) Reports

The KI Fields and Definitions dictionary provides definitions of the KI data elements and documents the sources of the data.

FORM

Degree Programs and Locations at Eligibility

The Degree Programs and Locations at Eligibility is a form provided by the institution during the eligibility review process listing all current programs and locations being considered during the review process.

WEBINAR

How to Complete the 2021 WSCUC Annual Report

Demonstration of the 2021 WSCUC annual report submission process within the Accreditation Management Portal (AMP).

WORKSHOPS & TRAINING MATERIALS

Key Indicators (KI) Tip Sheet for Teams

The KI Tip Sheets for Teams provides tips for how to use Key Indicators (KI) reports as part of an accreditation review, general questions to consider when reviewing and discussing the KI data, and specific questions related to the CFRs

GUIDES & MANUALS

KID Evaluator Guide

A guide for peer evaluators using the Key Indicators Dashboard (KID). Topics include: considerations for using key indicators; benefits of using quantitative data; sample questions to ask of the data.