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Posts Tagged ‘Moving the Needle’

This week, SPC hosted its third annual Moving the Needle Conference. The conference brings together educators from across the country to share best practices and learn new ways to improve the use of “real time” data for the purpose of increasing student success. The conference ran Nov. 8-10.

This year, more than 275 people from more than 40 institutions of higher education gathered for keynote sessions, panel discussions, workshops and collaborative labs to discuss ways to improve data culture to help “move the needle” on student success initiatives.

Dr. Jesse Coraggio, Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and Academic Services, opened the event by welcoming participants and discussing the role culture plays in making data-informed decisions. He also discussed the six dimensions of organizational readiness institutions must consider when implementing full-scaled data informed practices: leadership, transparency, process, infrastructure, culture and people.

Chiquita A. Henderson, Dean of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Pasco-Hernando State College, said Coraggio’s presentation outlined the framework for the three-day conference before she attended sessions that expounded on the prominent themes. Henderson said it’s important for colleges to focus on students’ end goals: the furtherance of a successful education and ultimately, careers.

“It’s about the end result,” Henderson said. “Students have it in mind and we need to, as well.”

SPC President Bill Law led off an evening welcome reception with discussion about SPC’s work to ensure that data is at the heart of everything the college does to institute and refine student success initiatives.

Keynote speakers and panelists were: Dr. Davis Jenkins, Senior Research Associate at the Community College Research Center; Kerin Hilker-Balkissoon, Executive Director of College and Career Pathways at Northern Virginia Community College; Amy Takayama-Perez, Dean of Admissions at George Mason University; Dr. Karen Stout, President and CEO of Achieving the Dream; and Dr. Rob Johnstone, Founder and President, National Center for Inquiry Improvement.

Jenkins discussed The Transfer Playbook, a research-based guide of best practices for community colleges and universities to increase student success and completion. Jenkins then led a panel discussion with the representatives from Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University about their years-long partnership to provide students – particularly those of underrepresented populations – with the services, resources and guidance to create a clear pathway from a two-year degree to a four-year degree.

Dr. Stout spoke on the topic of “Making Space for Data Insights.” She stressed the importance of using quantitative and qualitative data points “side-by-side” to fully understand context.

Stout said “qualitative research adds dimension” and provides valuable insight needed to guide decisions intended to help students succeed.

Over the course of the conference, participants worked in collaborative sessions to determine barriers and best practices, analyze their organization’s readiness and current status of implementation of data informed practices, and create an action plan for their college.

Sponsors were:

  • Platinum: Echo360
  • Gold: AdAstra, Microsoft, Achieving the Dream, CampusLabs, SWIM Digital Group and Collaborative Labs at St. Petersburg College
  • Silver: Link-Systems International, InsideTrack, and Check I’m Here
  • Bronze: Taskstream, PCS, Pearson and Knewton Individual: Data180, Innovative Educators and NISOD
  • Strategic Partners: Community College Research Center, SAS, National Center for Inquiry Improvement and Hilton Hotels and Resorts

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On Wednesday, Oct. 28, St. Petersburg College kicked off the second annual Moving the Needle conference.

This year, more than 250 educators from more than 40 colleges and universities across the country met to share best practices and learn new ways to improve the use of data leading to student success.

“If we want to change data culture, everybody has to be at the table,” said Jesse Coraggio, Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and Academic Services and the lead organizer of the event. “It is together that we are actually going to move the needle and make the change.”

Jesse Coraggio

Jesse Coraggio

SPC President Bill Law began Wednesday afternoon’s session by emphasizing the importance of using data to promote student success.

“The challenge is to take a big complex organization and get everyone moving in the same direction,” said Law. “The data is what changes professional opinions and behaviors.”

He gave an overview of The College Experience, explaining how SPC monitors data for five key areas to track students’ actions to help them finish what they start.

The event’s keynote presentation was given by Dr. Mark Milliron, Chief Learning Officer at Civitas Learning. Milliron was the founding chancellor of Western Governors University, Texas, and also served as deputy director for postsecondary improvement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“I think we are about to unlock a golden age of education,” said Milliron.

He went on to explain how data is enabling us to reach and teach more people than ever before drawing comparisons from the fields of athletics, healthcare and education.

“We are realizing that small moves made with analytics can make a huge difference,” he said.

Milliron led a panel discussion on Using Data to Improve Student Success featuring:

  • Laura Mercer, Director, Research, Analytics and Reporting, Sinclair Community College
  • Paul Dosal, Vice Provost for Student Success at University of South Florida
  • Bill Law, President, St. Petersburg College
Mark Milliron, Laura Mercer, Paul Dosal and Bill Law

Mark Milliron, Laura Mercer, Paul Dosal and Bill Law

Mercer, who also teaches classes at Sinclair Community College, explained how personal notes to her students “sent engagement through the roof” proving that short, empathetic messages to students can make a difference.

“I can tell you without reservation that the people who changed my life were the people at the community college,” said Milliron. “They took the time to really challenge me.”

The panel discussed the use of apps that make it easier for faculty and staff to communicate effectively with their students.

“I am most excited about the potential for having this information in a useful form in the hands of the people who can most effectively touch students,” said Mercer.

The panel also discussed how educators are now entering the emerging field of predictive analytics and are learning that regarding intervention analysis, it’s not the same for all students.

“I think the students will tell us how to optimize the tools,” said Law. “If we keep that door open I think we’ll have great tools.”

Panel members explained the importance of using live data to make decisions quickly and then being ready to evaluate the outcomes and make changes as needed.

“I like the approach that we are all in this learning together and trying to adapt and grow and improve constantly, said Dosal. “We don’t know all the answers. But we have a vision of where we want to go.”

Held at downtown St. Petersburg’s Hilton Bayfront, the three-day event also included Collaborative Labs and a variety of topical sessions, as well as a second keynote panel discussion on Guided Pathways and Student Success led by Dr. Davis Jenkins, Senior Research Associate with the Community College Research Center. Panel members included:

  • Joyce Walsh-Portillo, Associate VP of Academic Affairs, Broward College
  • Wendi Dew, Assistant VP Teaching and Learning, Valencia Community College
  • Sabrina Crawford, Executive Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, St. Petersburg College

Follow the event on Twitter at #movetheneedle2015.

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MTN-2015St. Petersburg College, nationally recognized for using data-driven strategies to increase student achievement, will host its second annual Moving the Needle Conference, Oct. 28-30 at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront, 333 First St. S, St Petersburg.

The event begins with registration at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, followed by a Welcome and Introduction at 2 p.m., a keynote address at 3:15 and a reception at 5:30 p.m. Panels, sessions and workshops continue from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29, and from 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30.  The event is not open to the public, but members of the media are invited to attend.

The conference is designed for postsecondary leadership teams to engage in collaborative discussions and methods regarding the improved use of data leading to student success. More than 200 postsecondary educators from across the country are expected to attend.

St. Petersburg College has become a leader in using data to drive student success initiatives that can be monitored and adjusted in real-time. The college uses a robust business intelligence system that was designed in-house to enable faculty, staff and college leaders to make evidence-based decisions. For these efforts, SPC received a 2014 Florida College System Chancellor’s Best Practice Award and has been named a 2015 Leader College by Achieving the Dream. Additionally, college leaders have been invited to speak about SPC’s data-driven culture by the Aspen Institute and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“We have been using data to inform our work with students for several years and have seen some amazing successes,” said Dr. Jesse Coraggio, conference organizer and St. Petersburg College Associate Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and Academic Services. “We’re excited to share those proven best practices and collaborate with others on data-driven strategies that can benefit students in Florida and all across the country.”

Conference topics include:

  • Creating a responsive and ‘nimble’ organizational culture
  • Creating and employing data tools and dashboards
  • Building a data-driven culture
  • Using data to improve academic success
  • Employing high impact practices within student support services
  • Employing shared governance, responsibility and transparency practices

Two keynote panels will be held. The first, focusing on using data to improve student success will be facilitated by Dr. Mark Milliron, Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer of Civitas Learning. Panelists are:

  • Dr. Chris Bustamante, President of Rio Salado College, Tempe, Ariz.
  • Dr. Paul Dosal, Vice-Provost of Student Services at the University of South Florida, Tampa
  • Laura Mercer, Director of Research, Analytics, and Reporting for Sinclair Community College, Dayton, Ohio

Dr. Davis Jenkins, Senior Research Associate for the Community College Research Center, will facilitate the second keynote panel comprised of:

  • Dr. Joyce Walsh-Portillo, Associate Vice-President of Academic Affairs for Broward College, Fort Lauderdale
  • Wendi Dew, Assistant Vice-President of Teaching and Learning for Valencia College, Orlando
  • Sabrina Crawford, Executive Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at St. Petersburg College

For more information about the conference, including the full agenda, please visit the Moving the Needle website.

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St. Petersburg President Bill Law speaks at the inaugural Moving the Needle conference.

St. Petersburg President Bill Law speaks at the inaugural Moving the Needle conference.

Jesse Coraggio, associate vice president of Institutional Effectiveness, Research and Grants at St. Petersburg College, speaks at the Moving the Needle conference.

Jesse Coraggio, associate vice president of Institutional Effectiveness, Research and Grants, headed up planning the conference.

On Wednesday, Nov. 5, St. Petersburg College kicked off the inaugural Moving the Needle conference. The event is designed for college and university leaders across the country to engage in collaborative discussions about methods through which to improve the use of data leading to student success.

SPC, the oldest state college in Florida, is trying to change the way administrators at other institutions think about and use data, share best practices and learn from one another through this two-day conference. Key events are being streamed live online.

“A big piece of the conference is creating a culture where college officials and faculty embrace ways they can use data to help increase student achievement,” said Jesse Coraggio, associate vice president of Institutional Effectiveness, Research and Grants.

SPC President Bill Law, a self-proclaimed “data guy,” began Thursday morning’s session by emphasizing the importance of using data to promote student success. He discussed the business intelligence data that SPC administrators receive each morning that allows them to monitor what is or is not working and how the college can better serve students each day.

Dr. Law also shared about The College Experience, the college’s initiative that monitors data for five key areas. The data allows administrators to track students’ actions to help them finish what they start, and is shared in weekly meetings that any SPC employee can attend remotely.

The College Experience is attracting attention from colleges around the United States. Even before traveling to Florida for the conference, Diane Snyder, vice chancellor of Finance Administration at Alamo Colleges, was familiar with the student success initiative and had listened to some of SPC’s weekly morning meetings remotely.

Dr. Mark David Milliron, chief learning officer at Civitas Learning, speaks at the Moving the Needle conference.

Dr. Mark David Milliron, chief learning officer at Civitas Learning, speaks at the Moving the Needle conference.

Along with several other administrators from Alamo Colleges, Snyder decided to attend the conference because her institution does not yet have a business intelligence or significant data warehouse and she said that they are trying to free up some funds to do more work in this area.

She was among more than 150 attendees from 26 colleges and universities that attended the conference, including eight presidents and 37 vice presidents. Attendees traveled from as far as Texas and Wisconsin, and included representatives from the Community College Research Center and Achieving the Dream National Reform Network.

The event’s keynote presentation was given by Dr. Mark David Milliron, chief learning officer at Civitas Learning. Milliron was the founding chancellor of Western Governors University, Texas, and also served as deputy director for postsecondary improvement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In his keynote, Milliron spoke about leveraging design thinking and advancing analytics for education and said he was excited that St. Petersburg College was catalyzing this kind of conversation. He described today’s greatest challenge as the need to help radically more students succeed and help students become more engaged in their education.

Travis Thompson, senior director of academic tracking and advising at the University of South Florida, participates in the Q&A with Dr. Mark Milliron.

Travis Thompson, senior director of academic tracking and advising at the University of South Florida, participates in the Q&A with Dr. Mark Milliron.

“Thirty years ago, we only needed some students to be educated at the highest level. Now we need most students to have some kind of post-secondary education,” he said, emphasizing the need for tough-mindedness and the use of creativity in how institutions approach this challenge. “It’s going to mean the deep-data work and design thinking. It’s going to be bringing together the best of both science and art, art and science, to be able to help those students cross that stage.”

“There are millions of students on that pathway who want to use this as an opportunity to change their lives,” he said. “There are students in our midst who have made huge, life-changing decisions to be on this pathway. It is worth every bit of our effort to bring that tough-mindedness and creativity to help them succeed.”

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