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Meeting of the Board of Regents | April 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - 11:00pm

sed seal                                                                                                 






The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents


Johanna Duncan-Poitier




Critical Data Issues Part II:  P-16 Data and Future Policy Directions in Higher Education


April 14, 2009



Goals 2 and 4






Issue for Discussion


What kind of data-based information does the Department collect and report about higher education in New York State?  What are the implications of these data in relation to the Regents Statewide Plan priorities? 


Reason(s) for Consideration


For information


Proposed Handling


This item will come before the Full Board for discussion at the April 2009 meeting. 


Procedural History


At the December 2008 meeting of the Regents Higher Education Committee, members of the Committee raised questions about higher education data collection and reporting.  The Committee began its discussion of the data in February.  Chancellor Tisch suggested that a Full Board presentation be prepared on this topic.




Background Information


The Office of P-16 Education gathers and assesses information that relates to both P-12 education and higher education.  Much of this information is based on data collected from the schools through the Basic Education Data System (BEDS) and from the higher education institutions through the Higher Education Data System (HEDS).  Other sources include the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and information from other public and private agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Labor and the New York State Department of Labor, the Higher Education Services Corporation, and the National Science Foundation.  In addition, CUNY, SUNY, and many independent and proprietary higher education institutions maintain data on their operation, finance, facilities, students, and other topics on which the Department may call as needed. 


The attached report draws on many of the above listed sources to provide information to inform policy issues such as:


  • What effect will current economic conditions and the potential downturn in enrollment have on independent and proprietary colleges, especially smaller institutions, and what steps are needed to maintain the stability and quality of these institutions?


  • What do the data tell us about the success in college of members of underrepresented minority groups?  What do we know about actions that make a difference?


  • What are the special challenges facing older New Yorkers seeking a higher education while continuing to hold full-time jobs?  How can we assist them?


  • What are the special challenges facing students at community colleges and other two-year colleges and how do we address them? Are the demographics in community colleges changing?


  • What do the data tell us about the ability of two-year college graduates to transfer to baccalaureate programs without loss of time?  What can we do to strengthen their ability to do so?


  • Will the increase in international migration into New York State have a significant impact on how the State’s colleges provide educational services? Will more ESL instruction be needed?


  • Are students graduating in fields that will strengthen the State’s economy and society?  How can we strengthen such outcomes?


The data in this report, along with the questions arising from the data, can be used at the State, sector and institutional levels to inform policy discussions. When the Regents enacted their Statewide Plan for Higher Education, it was grounded in data which supported the Boards priorities and initiatives. Data must continue to be the foundation for further policy reviews and proposals.


As the Board of Regents considers future budgetary and legislative proposals, master plan amendments, requests for new colleges and requests for branch campuses, the higher education data will be an important component of your review. In addition, the Department will inform the Board with updated data identifying serious issues that may require immediate action by the Department or the Regents (e.g., significant drop in enrollments, changes in persistence rates, issues relating to transfer of credits, etc.). The intent is to keep this data current and ensure that policymakers, educational officials and researchers have ready access to it to support planning, financing and program development for higher education.






Timetable for Implementation