I am pleased to share the following good news.
WICHE, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, announced today that WCET, the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, has been awarded a $1,000,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fund an initiative to unify student data from six U.S. institutions and demonstrate the effective use of predictive analytic methods for improving student outcomes. The goal is to identify variables that influence student retention and progression, and guide decision-making that improves postsecondary student completion in the U.S.
This grant for the Predictive Analytics Reporting (PAR) Framework will aggregate data representing more than 400,000 student records from across six WCET member institutions: American Public University System, Colorado Community College System, Rio Salado College, University of Hawaii System, University of Illinois Springfield, and the University of Phoenix. Each participating institution has been exploring or implementing descriptive, inferential or predictive analytics projects on their own student data; the PAR Framework expands on this work through exploration of patterns that can be derived when the six institutional datasets are considered as a single, unified sample.
The principal investigator is Phil Ice, Ed.D., American Public University System (APUS). The project will incorporate many of the best practices and award-winning predictive analytical methods for which Phil has been recognized by the Sloan Consortium and for which project partner Dr. Vernon Smith, Rio Salado College, has won the prestigious WCET Outstanding Work (WOW) award. WCET has appointed Beth Davis, WCET, to serve as the project director.
The WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) is a cooperative, membership-driven, non-profit provider of solutions and services that accelerate the adoption of effective practices and policies, advancing excellence in technology-enhanced teaching and learning in higher education. More information about WCET’s institutional membership resources, services and common interest groups can be found on here.