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WCET Federated Database Includes More Than 3 Million Records

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) has federated databases from six institutions participating in the organization's Predictive Analytics Reporting (PAR) Framework project.

Comprising data focused on 33 common variables and collected from more than 640,000 anonymized student records and more than 3 million course-level records from public, private, two- and four-year institutions, "the goal of the PAR Framework is to identify variables that influence student retention and progression and to determine the impact of various demographic data on factors influencing loss and momentum," according to information released by WCET.

Institutions participating in the PAR Framework project include:

"We have been using analytics as a tool for improving student retention and progression for several years,” said Dr. Phil Ice, vice president, research & development, American Public University System, and principal investigator of the PAR Framework Project. "Unifying records from multiple schools has the potential to expose generalizable patterns that can provide guidance to institutions across the board, regardless of their internal level of analytics expertise. In higher education, no predictive analytics project has been able to use a multi-institutional sample of this size. As a researcher, having a sample size of this number changes everything."

"WCET is an action-based community of practice," according to information on the organization's website, with a mission of "accelerat[ing] the adoption of effective practices and policies, advancing excellence in technology-enhanced teaching and learning in higher education."

WCET members include colleges, universities, corporations, e-learning consortia, non-profit organizations, higher education associations, and state and system higher education executive agencies.

More information about WCET is available at wcet.wiche.edu. Further information about the PAR Framework project can also be found at wcet.wiche.edu.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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