News Updates

October, 2020

ERDC's P20W Longitudinal Data System Research Handbook introduces researchers and analysts to the Washington Preschool-to-Grade 20-to-Workforce (P20W) data warehouse and the use of its products for research and analysis purposes. The research handbook summarizes the core source data that goes into the P20W data warehouse. It also contains information about ERDC's data request process and common methodologies used in P20W research.

August, 2018

Jeffrey Thayne, Jim Schmidt, and Greg Weeks each presented at the 2018 NCES STATS-DC Data Conference in July. STATS-DC is a conference that brings together individuals and organizations from throughout the country who use data to help administer and evaluate education programs. The conference includes discussions on technical and policy issues related to the collection, maintenance, and use of education data for education researchers, policymakers, and data system managers from all levels of government. The theme of this year's conference was "Visualizing the Future of Education through Data." 

Jim Schmidt served on two panels:

  1. The first was titled The Art of the Possible: Data Governance Lessons Learned from Kentucky, Maryland, and Washington. Also on the panel were Elizabeth Dabney from the Data Quality Campaign, Ross Goldstein from the Maryland Longitudinal Data System Center, and Kate Akers from the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics. The panel explored how Maryland, Washington, and Kentucky were able to create strong cross-agency data governance and the challenges they overcame along the way. 
  2. The second was titled, "Courting" P-20W Partners. In addition to Jim, it included Bill Hurwitch from AEM Corporation, Kate Akers from the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics, and Kara Arzamendia from the Minnesota Department of Education. This session explored strategies for "courting" potential P-20W partners, defining and justifying the purpose for expanding partnerships, and potential categories for partnerships. 

Greg Weeks presented on findings from his ongoing research into the economic returns of various degrees in Washington state, and the gender deficit in earnings observed in income data in Washington. His presentation was called, The Gender Deficit in Earnings Among Workers with Postsecondary Degrees or Credentials in Washington State, and it tracked the findings reported in the research brief published by Greg here: The Earnings Premium of Washington Higher Education: Gender Deficit in Earnings among Washington College Graduates.

Jeffrey Thayne partnered with Nikki Churchwell and Ivan Metzger from the U.S. Department of Education to explore how to create more compelling data stories. The presentation focused on how to distill large amounts of information into stories that make sense for readers and consumers, and how to present these stories in a meaningful way to audiences. The presentation was titled, Telling Engaging Stories with Data. During the presentation, Nikki and Ivan shared data stories created by the Department of Education: Chronic Absenteeism and Our Nation's English Learners. The slides that Jeffrey used, with brief notes, can be found here.

January, 2018

The Office of Financial Management, Forecasting and Research Division has released a newly designed Statewide Public Four-Year Dashboard. OFM worked with the six public universities and colleges to create this centralized dashboard, which provides the public a view of public, four-year institution information, including the types of students enrolled and completing, in addition to the types of degrees awarded.

In 2011, the Legislature passed E2SHB 1795, related to higher education. In an effort to streamline the numerous accountability measures collected by different agencies, the Legislature requested that the public four-year institutions report on many of the Complete to Compete metrics identified by the National Governors Association. Since then, OFM has published the Statewide Public Four-Year Dashboard in response to this legislation, to make this information available to the public. OFM prioritizes student privacy and has developed suppression rules that meet the law and intent of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). These suppression rules are applied to the data before it is released for display.

This newest version of the dashboard makes use of the data visualization capacities of Tableau, and has been user-tested to ensure that visualizations are useful and easy to understand. The hope is that these new and improved visualizations will better equip Washington educators, institutions, and residents in making informed policy decisions that affect Washington institutions of higher education.

The dashboard has a Frequently Asked Questions page (located under the About this Dashboard tab) that addresses common questions and concerns related to the dashboard and its data. If you have any further questions about the dashboard, or need any assistance viewing or navigating the dashboard, please contact Melissa Beard, higher education analyst for the Office of Financial Management.


December, 2017

ERDC has recently published a new Earnings for Graduates report, which explores theearnings of students who have received certificates or degrees from public colleges, universities, and apprenticeship programs in Washington. The report allows users to explore how much graduates from various degree programs in Washington have earned during the seven years after graduation, and how this varies by institution and industry. For example, users can see how much graduates from a degree program have earned in multiple industries.

The 2014 Legislature, via a budget proviso, requested that ERDC “create a report of employment and earnings outcomes for degrees, apprenticeships and certificates earned at institutions of higher education” (ESSB 6002, Sec 129). In addition, institutions have relied on graduate surveys to get important feedback information for accreditation and program improvement purposes. While wage outcomes are not the only way to evaluate a program, linking completion and employment data and providing this to institutions can assist them in decision-making.

Some important caveats: Earnings information is provided only for completers matched with Unemployment Insurance (UI) wage records collected by the Washington State Employment Security Department. Therefore, this analysis does NOT include self-employed individuals, federal employees, and those employed exclusively outside Washington. Data are not displayed for groups of fewer than 30 individuals. Many students continue their education after completion of a program and do not reach their full earning power until completing their education. Wage rates vary widely across the state and the mix of programs offered by a college often reflects the regional economy. Earnings variations across colleges are expected. Many factors in addition to earnings are required to measure the true value of a degree.

May, 2017

ERDC's High School Feedbck Report has been updated to include college-going rates through 2015. The High School Feedback Report is a yearly-updated P20 report that presents college attendance data for high school graduates. The report includes student enrollment, demographics of graduates by postsecondary status, pre-graduation indicators by postsecondary status, and postsecondary participation characteristics for students enrolled in Washington publicly-funded institutions.