Meet Elizabeth Lieutenant, Education Program Analyst
Elizabeth Lieutenant, an education program analyst at QIP, holds a master’s degree in library and information science (LIS), but she did not intend to be a librarian.
”I was interested in developing my research and analytical and writing skills in a master's program, but without having a specific disciplinary lens,” she said.
While pursuing her master’s degree at The Catholic University of America, Elizabeth was a graduate assistant, working on renewing the LIS Department’s assessment program in preparation for its comprehensive accreditation review.
“I really just developed a love and passion for education data,” she said, “as a tool and a source of information that can provide additional context and insight that might not be apparent just by asking everyone for their individual perception.”
That passion—and the skills she developed—led her to her current position at QIP.
Elizabeth started at QIP in October 2016, on the first day of QIP’s contract to support the National Forum on Education Statistics (Forum), and she has worked exclusively on that contract ever since. She works with education data experts in federal, state, and local education agencies to develop best practice resources, such as the Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data; the Forum Guide to Early Warning Systems; the Forum Guide to Planning for, Collecting, and Managing Data About Students Displaced by a Crisis; and the Forum Guide to Cybersecurity: Safeguarding Your Data. She currently supports the Forum Steering Committee, Forum Technology Committee, Forum Communications Subcommittee, Forum Virtual Education Working Group, and Forum Attendance, Participation, and Engagement Working Group.
While the Forum’s work is of obvious interest to the education data community, Elizabeth said the goal is for its resources to be useful to staff in a variety of positions in the education field. For example, the working group that produced the Forum Guide to Cybersecurity made an intentional decision to have that document written from a nontechnical perspective so that it would be helpful for staff across an education agency and not just those in the information technology (IT) department. In supporting the development of this resource, she worked to make sure that the document’s tone, style, and content met the working group’s specifications.
Elizabeth said her most memorable Forum project to date has been the Forum Guide to Early Warning Systems. She said it was rewarding on a professional level, as it was the first time she took the lead in supporting a Forum working group, and also personally. “A lot of students that I went to school with would have benefited if our school had an early warning system in place,” she said. “Being able to support the development of a document that education agencies could use to help at-risk students was super rewarding.”
Her work sometimes requires her to quickly adapt to Forum member needs, such as when the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools across the United States to switch to virtual learning in a matter of days. In spring 2020, Elizabeth supported Forum members in developing a series of webinars with the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) Grant Program on virtual education, cybersecurity, and crisis data management. The virtual education webinar was organized in one week; under normal circumstances, there can be months of advance planning for webinars.
“It was a high-pressure turnaround, but it was definitely beneficial,” she said.
Before joining QIP, Elizabeth worked at research centers including the University of Michigan, the Smithsonian Institution, Georgetown University, and the National Archives and Records Administration. In addition to her master’s degree, she holds a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from Thomas Edison State University.