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Achieving the Dream, SAS use analytics to help more students succeed

Analysis of data on 275,000 students will spot at-risk populations, support interventions and planning

CARY, NC and SILVER SPRING, MD  (31. jan. 2013)  – For the first time, the 2012 cohort of Achieving the Dream Community Colleges is able to apply powerful SAS analytics and visualization software to evaluate student data in more effective ways. Through this new collaboration between Achieving the Dream and SAS, participating colleges identify struggling students (or those likely to struggle) and implement interventions to help them succeed.

All colleges in the National Reform Network 2012 Cohort (representing an estimated 275,000 students from 10 states) have access to SAS. The colleges will analyze three years of longitudinal student data. The results help them to identify students having difficulties, and intervene via evidence-based supports.

To assist with the implementation, dubbed "JumpStart for Institutional Research," Achieving the Dream has engaged the Center for Applied Research (CFAR) at Central Piedmont Community College (Charlotte, NC) to provide technical assistance and programming support.

"Many Achieving the Dream Community Colleges lack the IT resources to meet the rigorous data standards necessary to track performance," said Dr. Nicole Melander, Achieving the Dream's Chief Technology Officer. "Through SAS and CFAR, we are offering a complete solution to support institutional research, reporting, and planning."

Each college in the Achieving the Dream 2012 cohort has committed to participating in the National Reform Network for three years. During that time, the colleges have access to SAS software, and a Data Coach who advises on ways to better use data to inform decisions.

"Data Coaches have candid conversations about the analyses and how to improve student outcomes," said Dr. Melander. "Those conversations are critical to building a culture of evidence, where schools honestly assess what is working and what is not."

SAS’ data integration, reporting and analytics are used by institutional research departments around the world to identify the best candidates for admission, predict which students are at the greatest risk of attrition or determine the optimum number of resources for incoming students.

"SAS is committed to supporting data-informed decisions to improve education," said Armistead Sapp, Senior Vice President, SAS Education Practice. "By improving institutional research, our partnership with Achieving the Dream Colleges should increase student success."

At the forthcoming DREAM 2013 conference, SAS will be recognized at a breakfast for their support of engagement through media and technology. SAS will also demonstrate dashboard reporting for executives in the Emerging Ideas Exchange on Wednesday, February 6, 2013.

About Achieving the Dream

Achieving the Dream is a national nonprofit leading the nation's most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. The Achieving the Dream National Reform Network, including nearly 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams - working throughout 32 states and the District of Columbia - helps 3.75 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

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