Ithaka S+R is now offering a student data service that will help institutions understand undergraduate student outcomes in a new and powerful way.

Contextualized Insights on Student Outcomes Are More Important than Ever

Timely and data-driven insights are more important than ever as higher education institutions and systems contend with serious challenges surrounding student success, equity, and costs, which have been exacerbated by the unprecedented disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the initial shock of the pandemic and emergency response efforts make way for longer-term planning, an important next step is to gain detailed and contextualized information about how undergraduate students are faring academically to effectively and efficiently allocate resources to promote student success and equity. Doing so requires not only fine-grained parsing of students’ academic performance by program, department, and especially student subgroups, but also benchmarks against which to evaluate those outcomes. That is where Ithaka S+R can help: by providing careful, methodologically rigorous comparisons both to an institution’s historical data and the data of institutional peers.

What is included in Ithaka S+R’s Student Outcomes Service

  • A customized, confidential report of findings that includes:
    • Descriptive statistics presenting trends in students’ academic outcomes (including enrollment, grade point average, credits earned and attempted, and degree completion) over time.
    • Comparisons of students’ actual outcomes with predicted outcomes based on historical data.
    • Disaggregated findings by student subgroups (including Pell recipients and students from underrepresented minority groups).
    • Disaggregated findings by programmatic subgroups (including major and school).
    • Comparisons of a partitipating institution’s results with those from peer institutions.

Click here for a sample report

  • A customized self-assessment exercise that facilitates an internal review of findings and guides subsequent decision-making by helping institutions:
    • Engage the right institutional stakeholders to review data-driven insights.
    • Assess how to use student data for effective decision-making.
    • Interrogate policies and practices that may contribute to unanticipated outcomes highlighted in the report.
    • Develop concrete plans for taking action based on the results.

The first year of the service will primarily—but not exclusively—focus on understanding the impact of the pandemic on student outcomes (academic year 2020-2021). In subsequent years, the focus will be shaped by the needs of participating institutions and general trends in higher education.

Responsibilities of Institutional Participants

We have streamlined this service to minimize the work required of institutions to participate. Participating institutions are responsible for:

  • Reviewing information and documentation concerning the service, including the FAQs.
  • Completing  and signing the participation agreement.
  • Designating one or more staff members to collaborate with Ithaka S+R team:
    • An institutional liaison who will distribute the report of findings and self-assessment exercise to relevant institutional stakeholders upon receipt.
    • A data staff member with adequate administrative data collection experience to serve as the data lead to pull and submit de-identified student administrative data.
  • Collecting and submitting de-identified student-level data as delineated in the data collection codebook using Ithaka S+R’s secure FTP data sharing system, and resolving any data issues identified by Ithaka S+R staff.
  • Identifying and submitting a list of peer institutions to be benchmarked against.
  • Participating in the internal self-assessment exercise based on report findings.
  • Completing the above activities by the service’s deadlines.

Major Service Deadlines

  • May 28, 2021: Complete and sign the participation agreement.
  • June 14, 2021: Receive email with instructions and login information to access your account on the FTP server, and a file that your institution will use to select peer institutions.
  • June 28, 2021: Submit de-identified student administrative data and list of peer institutions to Ithaka S+R via the FTP server.
  • August 2, 2021: Receive final report and accompanying self-assessment exercise.

Service Fees

The fees are tiered, based on your institution’s endowment per full-time equivalent (FTE) student and total number of FTE undergraduate students, as well as the number of academic terms included in the year-long analysis. Please contact Daniel Rossman at daniel.rossman@ithaka.org for the participation agreement and your institution’s fee group and corresponding fee. Institutions participating through a broader group, consortium, or network may be eligible for a reduced group rate. Additional services can be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

Fees by Service Type and Institutional Group

 Fee Groups Based on Institutions’ Endowment per FTE and Total Number of FTE Undergraduates
ServiceGroup 1Group 2Group 3Group 4
1. One school year  (two academic terms)$3,200$3,400$3,800$4,400
2. One school year (three academic terms)$3,900$4,100$4,500$5,100
Note that when counting academic terms, mini-mesters or other shorter academic terms (e.g. J terms) should not be included.

Why Work with Us

Ithaka S+R is a not-for-profit research group focused on improving postsecondary student outcomes. Our staff has methodological expertise in mixed-methods research and evaluation with significant experience in projects focused on promoting student success and equity through student data collection and analysis. Our portfolio of prior work includes a groundbreaking pilot of this service with the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) that assessed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic’s disruption to the Spring 2020 term on students’ academic outcomes.

For more information on the service, please review the FAQs. To request the participation agreement or if you have any questions, please email Daniel Rossman at daniel.rossman@ithaka.org.