Statement by SHEEO President Robert Anderson, Ph.D., on the Budget Reconciliation Agreement:

“The Build Back Better framework is an important milestone in making college more affordable, improving student degree completion, addressing workforce needs, and strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and minority-serving institutions. While the funding levels were less than previous proposals, the framework—combined with the bipartisan infrastructure package—creates a foundation for further federal-state partnerships and investments in college access, student success, and institutional capacity. SHEEO particularly welcomes the $550 increase in the maximum Pell Grant award and funding for scaling proven college completion strategies, which will help states meet educational attainment goals and grow their economies. We thank President Biden and House and Senate leaders for their support of higher education and urge swift passage of this bill.”

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Leading Higher Education Organizations Mobilize to Engage All College Students in Civic Learning and Democracy Engagement (CLDE)

SHEEO today joined forces with dozens of higher education and student success organizations to announce a “Shared Commitment” to make “Democracy Learning a Top Priority for Postsecondary Education.”

Democracy faces monumental challenges in the U.S. and world-wide. And in this pivotal era, “Shared Commitment’ calls on the higher education community to take concerted action to help build Americans’ readiness to tackle urgent public problems, together.

Urging “equity-committed civic learning,” the “Shared Commitment” signatories call for civic inquiry, practice in civil discourse, and collaborative work on real-world public problems to be part of each postsecondary student’s educational pathway. 

“We celebrate the state systems—Maryland, Massachusetts, and Virginia—that already are making civic learning a higher education priority, said Robert Anderson, SHEEO’s President. “But in the spirit of the nation’s founders, all educators need to advance civic learning as an indispensable asset to a creative democracy.” 

The Shared Commitment pledge was organized by the Civic Learning and Democracy Engagement (CLDE). Founded by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO), Complete College America (CCA) and College Promise, CLDE is working in partnership with civic learning organizations and initiatives across the U.S. 

CLDE builds from the revival of civic learning already spreading across K-12 and hundreds of postsecondary institutions, spurred by the work of many educational organizations that endorsed the Shared Commitment statement.

“These efforts are a strong beginning, but much more is needed to make democracy learning expected, rather than possible, for postsecondary students,” said leaders of the organizations that joined the “Shared Commitment“ pledge.

The problem, say CLDE leaders, is that students from underserved communities are often the least likely to take part in programs and courses that help engage them with urgent public problems. 

CLDE seeks to expand the national debate from its insufficient focus on skills and short-term training to a larger concern with all college students’ civic, historical, global, and intercultural knowledge, and students’ active work on pressing public problems.

“Shared Commitment” signatories include the Higher Learning Commission which, in 2020, made civic engagement a criterion for the 967 institutions it accredits. Further, three signatory state systems recently launched comprehensive initiatives to advance civic learning for all students in their public community colleges and universities. 

Other signatories are working in private higher education, in public and private consortia, and in active and ongoing partnerships between universities and community-based organizations, local governments, and philanthropies.

The CLDE coalition will work on four goals to engage college students with democracy’s future:  

  • Quality and Equity: Build commitment and capacity—across postsecondary education—to make civic learning and democracy engagement an expected part of a quality college education for all college students, with equitable participation by students from underserved communities a top priority.

  • Democracy Engagement: Engage students with democracy’s history, present and future in a diverse United States, in U.S. communities still struggling to reverse inherited disparities, and in a globally interdependent world where authoritarianism is on the rise.
  • Collaborative Problem-Solving: Prepare each postsecondary student, through creative combinations of general education, arts and sciences studies, and career-related studies, to work directly on selected public problems that society needs to solve—e.g., problems in racial healing, health, education, housing, climate, digital access, human rights, justice systems, interfaith cooperation, and more.  
  • Policy Commitment: Secure policy support for and robust public investment in the goals listed above.

To sign the Shared Commitment statement, join the CLDE movement, and share your own work toward the CLDE goals, visit www.CollegeCivicLearning.org

Statement by SHEEO President Robert Anderson, Ph.D., on the House Committee on Education and Labor Reconciliation Legislation

“The House Education and Labor Committee has put forward bold, historic legislation to make college more affordable for millions of students, invest in proven college completion strategies, and help address longstanding inequities in higher education. The Build Back Better Act is a significant first step toward building a federal-state financing partnership resulting in more affordable college opportunities and increased student success. SHEEO is particularly pleased to see funding for states to implement evidence-based practices to help more students complete college. Other notable investments in the proposal, including teacher preparation, minority-serving institutions, and Pell Grants, will benefit students, institutions, and communities while aiding state efforts to achieve educational attainment goals. SHEEO looks forward to working with House and Senate leaders to build on this proposal in the weeks ahead.”

SHEEO Welcomes Sarah T. Zipf, Ph.D., as Communications Intern

The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) welcomes Sarah T. Zipf, Ph.D., as a communications intern.

Sarah Zipf, Ph.D.

At SHEEO, Sarah will focus on extending our social media presence, marketing and communication projects, and building public relations. Sarah served as the associate director of compliance and financial aid for outreach and online education and oversaw the financial aid office and scholarship portfolio for the Penn State World Campus. In addition to working at SHEEO, Sarah is a member of several research teams, investigating the form, function, and policy implications of online program management (OPMs) and the diversity and equity language used at U.S.-based international campus locations. She earned her Ph.D. in higher education from Pennsylvania State University in August 2021. Her dissertation researched the experiences of racialization in online undergraduate classrooms. Sarah’s research interests include online and distance education, educational equity, and federal and state policy. She is experienced with mixed-methods and survey administration.

ABOUT THE STATE HIGHER EDUCATION EXECUTIVE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION

The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) serves the chief executives of statewide governing, policy, and coordinating boards of postsecondary education and their staffs. Founded in 1954, SHEEO promotes an environment that values higher education and its role in ensuring the equitable education of all Americans, regardless of race/ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic factors. Together with its members, SHEEO aims to achieve this vision by equipping state higher education executive officers and their staffs with the tools to effectively advance the value of higher education, promoting public policies and academic practices that enable all Americans to achieve success in the 21st century, and serving as an advocate for state higher education leadership. For more information, visit https://sheeo.org.

SHEEO Welcomes Kelsey Kunkle as Policy Analyst

The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) welcomes Kelsey Kunkle as a policy analyst.

Kelsey will be located at SHEEO’s Boulder, Colorado, office, where she will assist with the collection of higher education finance data, provide quality controls and quantitative analysis, contribute to writing the state higher education finance (SHEF) report and related issue briefs, and support efforts to improve and expand the report in new directions.

Kelsey Kunkle, Policy Analyst

Prior to serving as a policy analyst at SHEEO, Kelsey spent the summer of 2021 as a state policy intern where she focused on the SHEF project and contributed to the development of issue briefs related to public higher education finance. Prior to joining SHEEO, Kelsey served in multiple student and academic affairs roles at the University of North Texas. In these positions, she primarily supported the academic transitions of community college transfer and returning adult students. Kelsey holds a B.A. in communication from the University of Maryland and an M.Ed. in college student personnel from Western Carolina University. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in higher education at the University of North Texas, where she most recently served as a graduate research assistant.

ABOUT THE STATE HIGHER EDUCATION EXECUTIVE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION

The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) serves the chief executives of statewide governing, policy, and coordinating boards of postsecondary education and their staffs. Founded in 1954, SHEEO promotes an environment that values higher education and its role in ensuring the equitable education of all Americans, regardless of race/ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic factors. Together with its members, SHEEO aims to achieve this vision by equipping state higher education executive officers and their staffs with the tools to effectively advance the value of higher education, promoting public policies and academic practices that enable all Americans to achieve success in the 21st century, and serving as an advocate for state higher education leadership. For more information, visit https://sheeo.org.

SHEEO Job Posting: Policy Analyst

Located in Washington, D.C.

Position Description:

The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) seeks a talented professional to support our efforts to develop state data and information resources and to provide technical assistance and professional development to SHEEO agency researchers and policy analysts. The ideal candidate for this position will be enthusiastic about working with higher education data, understand how data can inform policy and practice, and use this enthusiasm and knowledge to inform our members and the community about current practices and future trends in public higher education.

SHEEO serves the chief executives of statewide governing, policy, and coordinating boards of postsecondary education and their staffs. Founded in 1954, SHEEO promotes an environment that values higher education and its role in ensuring the equitable education of all Americans, regardless of race/ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic factors. Together with its members, SHEEO aims to achieve this vision by equipping state higher education executive officers and their staffs with the tools to effectively advance the value of higher education, promoting public policies and academic practices that enable all Americans to achieve success in the 21st century, and serving as an advocate for state higher education leadership. For more information, visit www.sheeo.org.

Key Responsibilities Include:

SHEEO is seeking diverse applicants who are qualified to undertake the following responsibilities:

  • Assisting in the development, administration, and analysis of SHEEO’s “Strong Foundations” survey of state postsecondary systems.
  • Developing technical assistance and professional development materials for state-level data practitioners.
  • Contributing to agenda development for SHEEO’s national convenings of data practitioners, researchers, and policy analysts.  
  • Creating resources to communicate data and research results to multiple audiences.
  • Developing and maintaining knowledge regarding current activities and future trends in public higher education.
  • Contributing to reports, white papers, and policy briefs.
  • Responding to information requests and providing other member services.
  • May represent SHEEO at state, regional, and national meetings and conferences.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Experience and Qualifications:

  • A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field plus at least two years of experience in a role that requires similar skills. A master’s degree may serve as a substitute for one year of experience. 
  • Experience with or knowledge of state postsecondary data systems.
  • Knowledge of external data resources such as IPEDS, NPSAS, or U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Successful completion of coursework or demonstrated experience in statistics.
  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Excel.
  • Knowledge of Qualtrics or other survey platform.
  • Ability to establish priorities and coordinate work on multiple projects.
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills.
  • Ability to creatively analyze and visualize data and present it to non-technical audiences.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of state higher education policy and issues.
  • Experience developing or providing professional development or technical assistance resources.
  • Experience conducting education, social science, public policy, or other research.
  • Knowledge of Tableau or other data visualization programs.

Salary:

Salary will be commensurate with successful candidate’s level of education and experience. SHEEO provides excellent staff benefits, including educational assistance. 

Term:

This is a two-year contract position. Contract may be renewed or extended at the end of the two-year term.

Application Process:

Please apply by email to sheeo@sheeo.org and include the following:

  1. Letter describing how you meet the requirements of the position, addressed to Dr. Christina Whitfield, SHEEO, 1233 20th Street NW, Suite 360, Washington, DC 20036.
  2. Resume or curriculum vitae.
  3. Names and contact information of three professional references. (References will not be contacted until you have given permission for us to do so.)

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but full consideration will be given to those received by September 17, 2021. This position is based in Washington, D.C. SHEEO is committed to providing equal employment opportunities and believes that recruiting and developing a diverse and inclusive staff is vital to the success of the organization.   

SHEEO Members Invited to Co-Sign “Our Shared Commitment: Democracy Learning is a Top Priority for Postsecondary Education”

SHEEO members are invited to co-sign a declaration of shared commitment to higher education’s essential role in equitably providing civic learning and democracy engagement for all postsecondary students in public and private U.S. community colleges, colleges, and universities. The formal invitation can be found here. The signed statement will be made public this September. To co-sign the statement, please contact Rebecca Knobel at College Promise at rebecca@collegepromise.org. Please direct all questions to Carol Geary Schneider, president emerita of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, at cgs@aacu.org

In-person Annual Meeting Canceled

SHEEO’s Annual Meeting is an important event for our membership and our organization. As much as we were looking forward to convening and bringing together our membership, in consultation with our Executive Committee, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our in-person meeting. This is not a decision SHEEO made lightly, but one that we felt was necessary given the growing concerns around COVID-19 and the current public health climate. SHEEO had built out a robust Annual Meeting program and are determining options for delivering some of the program virtually. We will provide additional information about these sessions as it becomes available.

SHEEO Job Posting: Communications Intern

The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) seeks candidates for a paid internship for the fall of 2021. This internship is appropriate for students pursuing graduate study in communications, marketing, higher education, public policy, public administration, and related fields. The ideal candidates will be motivated, detail-oriented, active learners interested in communications and/or higher education policy with a desire and motivation to learn.

The focus of the internship will be providing support for SHEEO’s communications and public relations efforts. SHEEO’s fall 2021 communications intern will work directly with SHEEO’s strategic communications director and play a role in a variety of projects depending on the intern’s skills and interests and SHEEO’s needs. Projects may include assisting with social media efforts, copy editing, developing collateral, updating web properties, and designing professional development opportunities for SHEEO internal and/or agency staff. The communications intern will also have the opportunity to attend the SHEEO Higher Education Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., which we plan to hold in person from November 9 through 12, 2021.

The internship will last approximately twelve weeks, beginning in October. The communications intern will have the option of working remotely or from our Boulder, Colorado, or Washington, D.C., office (depending on intern’s geographic location). The intern position will pay $20 per hour. Interns will work at least 15 but not more than 37.5 hours per week, with hours set by mutual arrangement. This is a temporary position that is not eligible for benefits. Successful past interns have been offered an extended contract to continue working past their allotted time frame.

SHEEO is seeking diverse applicants with the following qualifications:

  • Current graduate student with completed graduate coursework in communications, marketing, higher education, public policy, public administration, or a related field
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite
  • Experience with Adobe Creative Suite with an interest/talent in graphic design
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with the ability to independently produce high-quality written communication content on behalf of SHEEO
  • Enthusiasm and curiosity for communications, marketing, and/or public relations
  • Interest in higher education policy
  • Self-starter who is eager to learn

Goals of the SHEEO Communications Internship Program:

  • Increasing the communications expertise and skills of the selected intern
  • Advancing communications efforts of SHEEO
  • Increasing the knowledge of communications in the higher education policy field

Application Process:

Please apply by email to sheeo@sheeo.org and include the following:

  1. Letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the position, and contact information for two references (references will not be contacted until applicant has been informed), addressed to:

Annahita Jimmerson

Strategic Communications Director

State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

3035 Center Green Drive, Suite 100

Boulder, CO 80301

  • Résumé or curriculum vitae

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but full consideration will be given to those received by August 20, 2021.

About SHEEO

SHEEO serves its members as an advocate for state policy leadership, as a liaison between states and the federal government, as a vehicle for learning from and collaborating with peers, 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 and successful participation in higher education, more new discoveries through research, and more applications of knowledge that improve the quality of human lives.

SHEEO is committed to providing equal employment opportunities and believes that recruiting and developing a diverse and inclusive staff is vital to the organization’s success. Read more about SHEEO on our website: www.sheeo.org.

New Report: Privacy and Security in State Postsecondary Data Systems

State postsecondary data systems contain a wealth of information—including detailed records about individuals—that allow states to analyze and improve their postsecondary education systems. The entities that maintain these systems operate in a context of concern about the privacy and security of educational records. They have both an interest in making valuable information available to researchers and policy analysts and a duty to protect sensitive data.

Washington, D.C. – The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) has released the first in a series of papers based on results of the 2020 administration of SHEEO’s Strong Foundations survey. This first paper outlines the use of benchmark privacy and security processes, standards, and practices in state postsecondary data systems.

Respondents’ answers to the Strong Foundations 2020 survey reflect a desire to stay ahead of the curve regarding privacy and security. Survey responses indicate more state agencies are incorporating more external guidelines, more personnel, and stricter protocols for handling data into their data governance strategies. Three overarching themes stood out in the responses to questions about privacy and security in state postsecondary data systems: States rely on controlling who has access to the data, use legally binding agreements for data sharing, and employ robust cybersecurity infrastructures to ensure their data is private and secure.

Based on the responses to this survey and on evolving standards and legislation, we recommend that state higher education agencies employ the following practices to advance a robust state postsecondary data system – create dynamic and inclusive data governance, establish or update agency data security and privacy policies and practices, and require data security and privacy training.

State postsecondary data systems are vital information resources for policymakers and researchers and contain large amounts of potentially sensitive information about students, faculty, and staff. The agencies that operate these systems take privacy and security considerations seriously, and our research indicates that the prevalence of benchmark privacy and security practices is increasing. By continuing to adapt to emerging privacy and security standards, states can use state postsecondary data systems to develop policy solutions and promote student success, while protecting personal information housed within them.

Learn more and explore the report at https://bit.ly/3xxTo0p.

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About the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO)

The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association serves the chief executives of statewide governing, policy, and coordinating boards of postsecondary education and their staffs. Founded in 1954, SHEEO promotes an environment that values higher education and its role in ensuring the equitable education of all Americans, regardless of race/ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic factors. Together with its members, SHEEO aims to achieve this vision by equipping state higher education executive officers and their staffs with the tools to effectively advance the value of higher education, promoting public policies and academic practices that enable all Americans to achieve success in the 21st century, and serving as an advocate for state higher education leadership.