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North Dakota University System Joins Student Success Collaborative

Setting its sights on better retention, graduation rates and student outcomes, the North Dakota University System (NDUS) has established a statewide partnership with the Predictive Analytics Reporting (PAR) Framework, an independent, nonprofit provider of learner analytics as a service. The decision to join PAR as a system is part of a five-year plan to "use the collective strength of the system and its institutions for the benefit of students, businesses and the state."

According to a press release, the effort will "leverage PAR's openly published common data definitions, data gathering, handling and analysis resources to standardize meanings for metrics that predict points of student loss in the U.S. higher education ecosystem." PAR works with a diverse set of U.S. colleges and universities to build normalized datasets that allow institutions to effectively outcomes.

By joining PAR, NDUS is following in the footsteps of the University of North Dakota, the largest university in the system, which has been a PAR member for 18 months. "When our partners at the University of North Dakota saw opportunities to use normed data and generalizable findings to respond to the needs of all North Dakota students, they worked proactively with North Dakota University System, partner institutions and the legislature to make this happen," said Beth Davis, PAR Framework's CEO, in a statement.

"UND took advantage of PAR membership to support our university-wide culture of vision, strategic decisions and accountability," said Joshua Riedy, vice provost and chief strategy officer at the University of North Dakota. "Integrating PAR into the UND technology ecosystem provides a comprehensive system to track and identify students in need of intervention and is helping us achieve our institutional goals in retention, graduation, and student success. During our first 18 months with PAR, UND has experienced a 5 percent increase in student retention and a 2 percent increase in graduation. We see those gains as a first step in dramatically improving student outcomes."

"PAR's common data definitions and scalable frameworks will facilitate meaningful cross-institutional benchmarking that will help us scale the most effective interventions across the system," said Lisa Feldner, vice chancellor for information technology and institutional research for the North Dakota University System. "Based on UND's experience, we expect we will see significant improvements across the state in graduation and student success. Having PAR as a common vehicle across the system will promote better informed decision making for student success the rule, rather than the exception, in the State of North Dakota."

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].

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