Stories of Impact: Providing Transparency Through a Data Dashboard

Ed Prep Matters is featuring “Stories of Impact” to showcase AACTE member institutions with educator preparation programs that are making a positive impact in their communities and beyond through innovative practices. We are committed to sharing members’ success stories and encourage you to do the same.

The University of North Carolina (UNC) system offers the public a variety of data on its institutions’ work through the UNC Data Dashboard. A series of specialized pages provide overviews of areas from research and development to graduates’ job placement, all in the name of boosting transparency for taxpayers, students, and other stakeholders.

Following a recommendation in January 2015 from the UNC Board of Governors, an Educator Quality Dashboard was added to show the system’s progress toward improving teacher quality in the state. Built on the SAS Visual Analytics model for data visualization, the interactive site allows users to view a variety of data, including 5-year trends, from the 15 system institutions with accredited educator preparation programs.

Alisa Chapman, UNC vice president for academic and university programs, said the dashboard has allowed the university system to meet its goal of “developing a public, interactive, web-based tool that ensures greater public accountability, increases transparency, and facilitates data access for all education stakeholders.”

The dashboard is populated with data from the system’s Office of Institutional Research, state reports under Title II of the Higher Education Act, and other sources. The information is organized into four categories: recruitment and selection, educator preparation, performance and employment, and university-school partnerships. Within each category, several key performance indicators are supported by tables, charts, and a variety of customizable inputs.

Currently available data cover program entrance requirements, enrollment trends, graduates’ survey results, and much more. Highly detailed information is available in some areas, shedding light on indicators such as the percentage of teachers from various preparation pathways employed in each county and the 3- and 5-year retention rates of new teachers by pathway.

Still in development are indicators showing licensure exam results and descriptive data on clinical experiences, all broken down by institution.

“This kind of public data reporting positions educator preparation providers as leaders in continuous improvement,” said AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson. “By providing easy access to key data, UNC is not only demonstrating its commitment to transparency and accountability, but also modeling a comprehensive approach to data use that is innovative and transformative.”

If you would like to share your institution’s story about successful innovation in educator preparation, please contact me at Stay tuned for more stories of impact!

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Jerrica Thurman

Director of Marketing & Communications, AACTE