Numerous accountability efforts have been launched nationally and in the state, all with the intention to provide information and data to key stakeholders and/or prospective students and their families. These accountability efforts include official information reported to the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) through the Integrated Postsecondary Electronic Data System (IPEDS) and to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) through the Accountability System. Less formal, but no less important to the general public, are the numerous surveys that generate various rankings touted and criticized within higher education, including U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings and the Common Data Set used by several groups. Still, a third effort at accountability has been data exchanges and cooperatives within the higher education community, particularly the Association of American Universities Data Exchange (AAUDE), the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), and the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP). Last, there is the individual effort of institutions to make their own data and information available to the public through websites and publications.
Much of this accountability data is available online through numerous websites, but the challenge for many is the ease of locating it and providing a context for how the institution is utilizing these accountability instruments and what data is determined to be important in the strategic decision making of the institution. Below is a list of available accountability resources online:
THECB Accountability System
) – This system is organized around the state’s Closing the Gaps initiative and structured to include participation, success, excellence, research, and institutional efficiency and effectiveness. It allows comparisons within the state and with an institution’s THECB determined out-of-state peers.
THECB Institutional Resumes
) – There are two versions of the institutional resumes, one for prospective students, parents, and the general public and one for legislators and other policy makers. The metrics included in the resumes is defined in part by the legislature and includes widely accepted metrics for higher education as a whole.
USDOE College Navigator
) – The navigator is designed to allow comparisons of institutions based on information reported through IPEDS annually, including enrollment, cost, success and completion data.
Texas A&M University’s Office of Academic Business & Performance Analytics
) – Numerous reports are available through this office’s website organized around five main areas: student, faculty, degree, course, and miscellaneous. Each of these areas contains standard reports that are prepared annually, many in response to state mandated reporting requirements. In addition, the aforementioned Common Data Set used by many ranking systems is available here (Student Data Reports