The Resource Library is a compendium of tools and resources selected specifically for the Accelerating Opportunity initiative. You can navigate the Resource Library by topic, or by key word (or tag).

View All Resources »

Suggest a Resource »


data systems

This memo to Shifting Gears states offers guidance on how to be intentional and strategic about using the results of various data collection projects and how data can be used to help engage key audiences to build support for desired policy changes.

Shifting Gears
Shifting Gears

Prepared for the Achieving the Dream national initiative, this report identifies essential features of a system to measure the performance of state community colleges.  It also describes the essential features of state data systems to support performance measurement.

Susan Goldberger
Jobs for the Future

In this paper, Peter Ewell and Hans L’Orange discuss the importance of Student Unit Record Systems (SUR) that contain an individual electronic record for each student. The authors outline 15 essential elements that a postsecondary data set should have to inform a complete analysis of educational pipeline issues and outcomes.

Peter Ewell and Hans L'Orange

Colleges participating in the Breaking Through initiative have found that incompatible data and data systems represent a significant barrier to creating pathways into college for adult students. This report provides insight into solutions that would be useful to any college seeking to serve low-skilled adults.

Peter Ewell
Jobs for the Future

This policy brief examines the issues associated with creating, improving and connecting state postsecondary, adult education and skills development data systems. It also identifies barriers states may encounter and overcome, profiles model state systems, and makes policy recommendations to help state advocates build or improve their state data systems.

Jennifer Philips
Working Poor Families Project

This report describes how states have successfully used student record data for evaluation and program improvement within the limits of federal privacy laws, particularly the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Jack Mills
Jobs for the Future

While far from a definitive statement on the subject, this four-page Policy Brief offers a brief discussion and illustrative listing of core indicators and elements of data collection in longitudinal career pathways programs.

Forrest Chisman, Garrett Murphy, James Parker, and Gail Spangenberg
Council for the Advancement of Adult Literacy

This guide describes how states can use data on community college students to conduct “tipping point” analyses of labor market outcomes. It specifies the data elements needed to complete a study and potential uses of the research.

Davis Jenkins
Community College Research Center, Teacher's College, Columbia University