Introduction

The State Higher Education Executive Officers is the national association of the chief executives of statewide governing, policy, and coordinating boards of postsecondary education. Founded in 1954, SHEEO serves its members as an advocate for state policy leadership, as a liaison between states and the federal government, as a vehicle for learning from and collaborating with peers, as a manager of multistate teams to initiate new programs, and as a source of information and analysis on educational and public policy issues. SHEEO seeks to advance public policies and educational practices to achieve more widespread access to and completion of higher education, more discoveries through research, and more applications of knowledge that improve the quality of human lives and enhance the public good.

SHEEO’s Strong Foundations and Communities of Practice projects are funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The findings and conclusions associated with these projects do not necessarily reflect positions or polices of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Strong Foundations

Postsecondary student unit record systems are the primary means for states to collect data and analyze student progress, completions, and outcomes. Since 2010, SHEEO has conducted surveys of state postsecondary data systems to better understand the “state of state postsecondary data.” Multiple iterations of the Strong Foundations survey have documented the content, capacity, and effective use of state postsecondary data systems. The Strong Foundations survey results are now available in customizable form, making it possible to explore metrics collected and how states link state postsecondary data systems with other information.

Communities of Practice

SHEEO’s Communities of Practice project is focused 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. Through the Communities of Practice project, SHEEO is developing 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.