Postsecondary Outcomes Data

Using Postsecondary Outcomes Data

Postsecondary outcomes data are critical to ensure students succeed after high school. Education stakeholders need access to high-quality data about students’ experiences after high school to prepare them for success. This information helps educators refine curriculum and instructional approaches so that students have

  • the skills and knowledge needed for their chosen pathways in higher education, trade school, and the workforce; and
  • the resources needed to overcome barriers to postsecondary success.

States and districts use higher education and workforce data to identify disparities in enrollment, persistence, and completion rates. The data helps them develop targeted interventions, recommendations, and support systems to achieve equitable outcomes for students. States and districts can also identify additional research to help understand the causes of these disparities.

Student at a desk filling out a paper

Best Practice Uses of Postsecondary Outcomes Data:
How States Support Stakeholders

Cover image for best practice guide

This resource provides best practice guidance for state-level postsecondary outcomes data stakeholders. It helps states promote postsecondary outcomes data to key education stakeholders, including K-12 districts and schools, parents and other caregivers, students, and policymakers, and help them use data to make data-driven decisions.

QIP developed the following best practices through a series of conversations with states that are committed to getting postsecondary outcomes data into the hands of education stakeholders at a local level.

  1. Promote a responsible data-sharing culture
  2. Connect data from multiple sources
  3. Develop data resources and tools
  4. Provide ongoing and adaptive support
  5. Establish communities of practice

To learn more about states' best practices on using postsecondary outcomes data, please see Best Practices on Using Postsecondary Outcomes Data and an infographic that expands on best practices for using postsecondary outcomes data.

Case Studies

QIP also identified several states with exemplary practices for using and distributing postsecondary outcomes data.

Michigan's MI School Data Portal

This case study focuses on Michigan’s use of the MI School Data portal to provide postsecondary outcomes data visualizations and reports suitable for a range of data needs, from statewide analysis to specific insights at the district, school, or college level. It highlights the importance of stakeholder collaboration and specific uses of postsecondary outcomes data for decision-making, enhancing programs, empowering educators, and driving statewide education goals.

Minnesota's Regional Coaching Network

This case study focuses on Minnesota’s Regional Coaching Network and how the data coaches help educators access, interpret, and use data to improve postsecondary and workforce outcomes for their students. It highlights program objectives and examples of how data coaches support effective use of postsecondary outcomes data in Minnesota

North Carolina's Targeted Support for Districts

This case study focuses on North Carolina’s targeted approach to support the effective dissemination and use of longitudinal postsecondary outcomes data from the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) in districts throughout the state. It highlights the training and technical assistance provided to district and school staff and examples of how school counselors use this data to map student pathways and trajectories to identify trends, patterns, and potential areas for improvement in career and college readiness and postsecondary outcomes.