Communities of PracticeEvents

SHEEO Communities of Practice: Aligning K-12 and Postsecondary Education

Dec 7th—Dec 8th, 2021
Denver, Colorado

Call for State Teams

The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) is pleased to announce the next installment of its Communities of Practice project. This multi-faceted project promotes 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).

SHEEO will hold the next in an ongoing series of Communities of Practice convenings December 7-8, 2021, in Denver, CO. This two-day meeting will provide an opportunity for state researchers, policy analysts, and state education agency (SEA) employees to explore practical uses of state K-12 data for improving college access and success and how state postsecondary data can better inform the K-12 to postsecondary pipeline. Best practices will be shared, and common challenges and solutions will be discussed. The Community 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 Community of Practice will address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the K-12 to postsecondary pipeline, the differential impacts on students of color and low-income students, and how state postsecondary data systems can be used to promote equitable outcomes for the most vulnerable student populations. Other possible topics include:

  • Developing shared definitions and accountability metrics.
  • Implementing a joint research agenda and improving research capacity.
  • Protecting data privacy, confidentiality, and security.
  • Improving the utility of high school feedback reports.
  • Developing data resources related to dual and concurrent enrollment.
  • Optimizing state longitudinal data systems and interactions with other administrative data systems.
  • Gauging the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs.
  • Using data to inform meaningful K-12 and postsecondary partnerships.

The Aligning K-12 and Postsecondary Education Community of Practice will include teams from up to 15 states, SHEEO staff, BMGF staff, and subject-matter experts from national postsecondary and K-12 organizations. This convening will launch an ongoing network for Community of Practice members to share information and workshop solutions with their counterparts in other states.

State teams should be comprised of three to four members with responsibility for K-12 or postsecondary data systems, research, or policy analysis. Including members from other organizations in your state, such as the state education agency, is heavily encouraged. SHEEO will defray all travel costs related to attending the convening.

States interested in participating in the Community of Practice should submit a letter of interest by July 30, 2021. The letter of interest should include:

  • The names, titles, and organizational affiliations of team members (members are not required to be SHEEO agency staff).
  • A brief description of the state’s current efforts to link, analyze, and report data related to the transition between K-12 and postsecondary education.
  • Two to three technical assistance or professional development needs related to K-12 and postsecondary data.

SHEEO offers the following advice to assist your state in submitting a successful letter of interest: Letters should be between two and three pages in length and clearly identify how the goals of the convening align with your state’s current or future activities. The letter should provide specific professional development or technical assistance needs and explain how participating in the convening will assist with those needs.  Information from the letters of interest will be used to select state teams, develop the convening agenda, and identify potential speakers. State teams are strengthened when they include representatives from multiple organizations and can foster discussion across state agencies.

Letters of interest should be addressed to Dr. Christina Whitfield, SHEEO senior vice president and chief of staff, and emailed to Caitlin Dennis at