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ERIC Number: ED590627
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 211
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-0-4384-0672-8
Talk Data to Me: Bolstering the Communication of Data to Facilitate Data-Informed Decision Making in Community Colleges
Beshara-Blauth, Alexa M.
ProQuest LLC, D.Mgt. Dissertation, University of Maryland University College
Community colleges are continually being faced with pressures to use data to inform decisions. These pressures arise from a triage of factors, including accountability, accreditation, and student success initiatives. Yet, as these demands continue, research has shown that community colleges struggle to institutionalize data-informed decision making (DIDM) to support student success. In fact, in a 2011 survey of college and university presidents by "Inside Higher Ed," only 36.1% of the 344 public community college presidents believed their college was very effective in using data to inform decisions (Green, Jaschik, & Lederman, 2011, p. 19). Through the literature review process, it became evident that open channels of communication and discussions related to data and student success are essential for DIDM (Altose, 2017; Coburn & Turner, 2011; Katz & Ain Dack, 2014; Kerrigan, 2015; McClenney, McClenney, & Peterson, 2007; Peterson, 2007), yet research exploring how these processes take place in community colleges is lacking. As such, this multiple-case study was intended to develop best practices for communicating data related to student success by exploring the communication and presentation of data through the lens of stakeholder and knowledge management theories. Two community colleges were selected based on recommendations from the CEO of Achieving the Dream who affirmed these institutions' demonstrated efforts in supporting student success through DIDM. Findings showed that executive leadership, administrators, and faculty are the most commonly cited stakeholders in the decision-making process related to student success. Although frequent communication of data exists in both colleges, it was apparent that frequency depends on the stakeholder group. The main method of communicating data occurs in-person. In-person communication can support accurate interpretation of data and the transition of data into information. While participants identified Institutional Research (IR) as the main area helping them to interpret data, in-person conversations with colleagues facilitate bringing meaning and context to the data that are under review. Data are often presented to internal stakeholders in the form of graphs, charts, and tables; however, there was no overall consensus on which presentation is more effective. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A