The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) held its Communities of Practice: Improving Equity and Opportunity through Postsecondary Data in Denver on Sept. 28-29. Communities of Practice is a multi-faceted project, promoting the effective use of state postsecondary data systems and provides a forum for states to work on solutions to common issues with those systems. This work is funded through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).
The Communities of Practice convenings are a valuable opportunity for states to connect with their peers and reflect in-depth on the capacities, uses, and barriers to their data systems. This two-day meeting provided an opportunity for state data practitioners, researchers, and policy analysts and academic affairs and DEI officers to explore practical uses of postsecondary data systems for improving equity and opportunity. This launched an ongoing network for participants to share best practices and shared experiences and to workshop strategies and solutions with their counterparts in other states.
The Community of Practice explored topics such as:
- Developing shared equity and opportunity definitions, metrics, and goals.
- Thinking through the value and implications of disaggregated data.
- Investing in opportunity and equity perspectives and data to meet attainment goals.
- Building connections between opportunity, equity, data, and economic outcomes.
- Communicating opportunity and equity efforts, outcomes, and successes to stakeholders.
Participants included teams from up to 15 states, SHEEO staff, BMGF staff, and subject-matter experts from national P20W organizations. State teams were comprised of three to four members with responsibility for postsecondary data systems, research, or policy analysis.