Data to Drive Decisions

Income Data and the Degree is a piece published today on Inside Higher Ed, a for profit website about the dynamic world of higher education in the US.  This piece by Scott Kinney, president of Capella University, contains a dynamic idea:  schools should use the system created under the gainful employment rule to access data on how much their graduates make.

The gainful employment rule is now in judicial limbo, and didn't apply to not-for-profit schools anyway.  But the system where programs can receive aggregate data from the Social Security administration on the annual earnings of a graduate cohort (everybody that graduated from that program in a given year) is in place and functional.

So if the data is easy to get, and the schools say they want data....Well, Scott said it pretty well in the article:

"For those programs whose graduates are not receiving the kinds of incomes expected, it can drive the right conversations about what needs to be done to increase the economic value of a degree. Perhaps most importantly, hard data about graduate incomes can lead to productive public policy conversations about student debt and student financing..."

Who thinks the Deans will avail themselves of this opportunity?  How can we make them want to?

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