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Margaret Mia

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New Data Tool Aims to Help Campus Leaders Examine Inequities | Inside Higher Ed


The Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business recently launched a new tool intended to help campus leaders, policy makers and other higher ed stakeholders explore student outcomes data at individual campuses and identify racial and socioeconomic inequities. The center is an arm of the Sorenson Impact Group, a multidisciplinary organization focused on helping investors make impactful contributions to solving global social and environmental problems.

The MAPS Institutional Equity Outcomes Dashboard, the new searchable online platform, provides visuals of institutional enrollment, retention and graduation data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System data and the U.S. Census, including data disaggregated by race where available. Users can see graphics of graduation rates for different racial groups and make graphs comparing a college’s retention rates to those of other institutions. The platform also details what support services a college offers, such as on-campus day care for students with children or weekend and evening programs.

The dashboard is the first of three tools the center plans to develop as a part of the MAPS Project, a three-year initiative funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The project aims to “model, analyze, prototype and share innovative solutions to challenges in higher education,” according to a press release by the center.

“Higher education needs data-driven metrics to understand how to best help and support its students, make decisions about future growth, and succeed in a rapidly changing education environment,” Frederique Irwin, managing director of impact strategy at the center and MAPS grant lead, said in the release. “Institutions that thrive 10 years from now will be ones that ensure diverse student success as we expect the composition of the student body to undergo a rapid shift over the next decade, and schools need to be prepared.”



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