SHEEO Launches New State of State Postsecondary Data Systems Website

Thursday, June 7, 2018


Rob Anderson, President
(303) 541-1600

Christina Whitfield, Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff
(303) 541-1600

Link to website

Link to press release PDF

Boulder, Colorado — The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) announces the launch of a new Strong Foundations website featuring the “State of State Postsecondary Data Systems.”  To access the site, please go to

Postsecondary student unit record systems are the primary means for states to collect data and analyze information on student progress, completions, and outcomes. Since 2010, SHEEO has conducted Strong Foundations surveys to better understand the content, capacity, and effective use of state postsecondary data systems. Through the new interactive website, these survey results will be available in customizable and downloadable form for the first time. Users will be able to explore the metrics collected by each state, how states link state postsecondary data systems with other information, and how data systems have evolved.

The website also features content for states seeking to develop and expand the capacity and utilization of state data systems. White papers, presentations, and blog posts are all available to state policymakers, higher education agencies, and researchers seeking to understand how to better utilize student unit record data.

“Access to high-quality student data has become increasingly important to policymakers and students,” said Christina Whitfield, vice president and Strong Foundations project leader at the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. “State data systems have evolved to become one of the most important tools for policymaking and policy evaluation. Because each state’s data system has developed within unique political, demographic, and economic circumstances, these data systems can vary greatly across states. The resources available at SHEEO’s new Strong Foundations website will provide new opportunities to learn about state data systems and how states use data effectively and efficiently.”

“Improving educational attainment is a social and economic imperative,” said Robert Anderson, president of the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. “As students increasingly take nonlinear pathways to postsecondary credentials, policymakers need access to multi-institution, longitudinal data that can only be collected in state postsecondary data systems. The resources SHEEO has made available with the new Strong Foundations site will provide access to vital information for states looking to better utilize state postsecondary data to improve student outcomes.”

The new Strong Foundations website is part of a broader, ongoing effort at SHEEO to improve access to and utilization of state postsecondary education data. This project is part of a multi-year grant SHEEO received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In addition to a new iteration of the Strong Foundations survey, SHEEO is also developing multiple communities of practice to improve the awareness, capacity, and utilization of state postsecondary data systems. Between 2017 and 2019, SHEEO will hold four convenings and release four white papers on critical postsecondary data topics. 


The State Higher Education Executive Officers is the national association of the chief executives of statewide governing, policy, and coordinating boards of postsecondary education. Founded in 1954, SHEEO serves its members as an advocate for state policy leadership, a liaison between states and the federal government, a vehicle for learning from and collaborating with peers, a manager of multistate teams to initiate new programs, and as a source of information and analysis on educational and public policy issues. SHEEO seeks to advance public policies and educational practices to achieve more widespread access to and completion of higher education, more discoveries through research, and more applications of knowledge that improve the quality of human lives and enhance the public good.