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 record systems (PSURSs). This report highlights the results of the fourth administration of the survey, conducted in 2018.

PSURSs exist in an increasingly complex postsecondary data environment, one in which the interplay between state, federal, and institutional data collections and policy contexts continues to evolve. Over the past decade, PSURSs have been greatly influenced by increased linkages between different sources of administrative data and by the proliferation of state educational attainment goals. The evolving context notwithstanding, PSURSs remain vital information resources necessary for states to analyze, understand, and improve their systems of postsecondary education.

The report includes a detailed discussion of the pervasiveness of PSURSs’ use of benchmark privacy and security practices. These include privacy and security processes (i.e., data governance and physical security), standards (FERPA, state statute, etc.), and practices (destroying data, employee training).

Full PDF: Strong Foundations 2018