Strong Foundations

Since 2010, SHEEO has conducted surveys of state postsecondary data systems to better understand the “state of state postsecondary data.” The Strong Foundations reports are the outcomes of the surveys, documenting the content, capacity, and effective use of state postsecondary data systems.

Explore Strong Foundations


State Postsecondary Data: How Data Governance and Funding Influence Innovation and Sustainability

In a new report, the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) examines the ongoing efforts and challenges states have in safeguarding and sustaining their postsecondary student unit record systems…


Evolving Systems, Improving Insights, and Enduring Value: Strong Foundations 2023 

For more than 50 years, state agencies have used postsecondary student unit record systems (PSURSs) data to inform policy and decision-making. In Strong Foundations 2023, SHEEO asked which state partner…


State Postsecondary Data Research Partnerships: Strong Foundations 2020

SHEEO agencies have long relied on postsecondary data to inform policy and decision-making. Since the 1970s, these data typically have been stored and protected in postsecondary student unit record systems…


Privacy and Security in State Postsecondary Data Systems: Strong Foundations 2020

State postsecondary data systems contain a wealth of information—including detailed records about individuals—that allow states to analyze and improve their postsecondary education systems. The entities that maintain these systems operate…


Strong Foundations 2018: The State of State Postsecondary Data Systems

Since 2010, the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) has periodically administered the Strong Foundations survey, which documents the content, structure, and effective use of state postsecondary student unit…


Data Driven Decision-Making in South Dakota

This white paper discusses the South Dakota Board of Regents’ (SBDOR) presentation of data to external stakeholders, its focus on Native American students, and the relationship between SDBOR leadership and research…


Promoting Transparency and Accountability in North Carolina

This white paper highlights the University of North Carolina’s use of its data resources to support policy priorities, including evaluating teacher preparation programs and promoting reverse transfer.


Privacy, Confidentiality, and Security in Arkansas

This paper provides an overview of the Arkansas Research Center’s philosophical approach to ensuring privacy and confidentiality of student data and their advanced technological methodology for safeguarding data security.


Data-Informed Policy Innovations in Tennessee

This white paper discusses efforts at the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to support policy innovation with data and information resources.


Coordinating Data Governance in Washington

This white paper discusses the coordination in the state of Washington between multiple agencies resulting in a central warehouse for data from multiple sectors, enabling important longitudinal research.


The State of Postsecondary Data Systems

This presentation provides an overview of the postsecondary data environment including what state-level postsecondary systems collect, conditions for effective use of state-level postsecondary data, and best practice examples.


Strong Foundations 2016: The State of Postsecondary Data Systems

The 2016 Strong Foundations report is a follow-up and redesign of the 2010 and 2012 reports. It examines what data are collected by various parties and how these entities use…

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