Information is Power: Data at Your Disposal

September
2004
Mark Wade Lieu, Treasurer

This article is based on a presentation made at the 2004 Leadership Institute by Patrick Perry, Vice-Chancellor of Technology, Research, and Information Systems.

Often, local academic senates feel at a disadvantage when in discussions with their administrations because local senates do not seem to have the same access to pertinent data. In addition, faculty find that they need more and more information about programs, student retention, and student success at the very time when budgetary belt-tightening results in the loss of campus research personnel and resources. The fact is, however, that much data is available to faculty and local academic senates on the Internet. All you need to know is where to look.

As the Chancellor's Office has continued to downsize, it has needed to find new ways to share information with districts without concomitant personnel. The result is the wealth of information now available at the Chancellor's Office website. Some reports are PDF versions of printed reports.

Other information is interactively generated and can be viewed online and also downloaded directly into Excel for use in reports or formatting for duplication. Data is available for the state as a whole or for individual colleges. Here is an overview of some of the reports that you can access. The Chancellor's Office website can be tricky to navigate, so I will offer both a path of links as well as the actual URL in parentheses. Most of these resources below are found by beginning at the Chancellor's Office website at http://www.cccco.edu/.

FISCAL DATA

For local senates, fiscal data is often the hardest to obtain. From our Chancellor's Office, one can obtain information about apportionment, general fund expenditures, and full-time faculty obligation. A full list of reports that break down state allocations to each district month by month is available at agency > fiscal services unit > allocations > state apportionment reports (http://www.cccco.edu/divisions/cffp/fiscal/allocations/apportionment.htm). The Fiscal Data Abstracts for each district include apportionment calculations, apportionment FTES, and reported general fund expenditures. Follow agency > fiscal services unit > fiscal standards and information > fiscal data abstracts (http://www.cccco.edu/divisions/cffp/fiscal/standards/fiscal_data_abstrac...). Of even more interest to local senates is your district's submitted report on your full-time faculty obligation, also known as your 75/25 report. This is available at agency > fiscal services unit > fiscal standards and information > full-time faculty obligation (http://www.cccco.edu/divisions/cffp/fiscal/standards/full_time_faculty_o...). All fiscal reports are in PDF format.

PROGRAMS AND STUDENT SUCCESS

For faculty who need information about programs and student success, there are sources for information in various places. The complete inventory of degrees and certificates offered by individual colleges can be derived by college, T.O.P. code or T.O.P. title. I haven't figured out a path to this information from the Chancellor's Office opening web page, so use the URL (http://misweb.cccco.edu/esed/webproginv/prod/invmenu.htm).

Partnership for Excellence data provides annual counts by college and district for indicators such as transfers to CSUs and UCs, degrees and certificates conferred, course completion rates, and basic skills improvement. Follow agency > technology, research, and information systems > research and planning > partnership for excellence > partnership for excellence reports (http://www.cccco.edu/divisions/tris/rp/pfe_rpts.htm).

Distance Education annual reports include data specific to distance delivery. Follow agency > educational services > academic affairs and educational services > distance education (http://www.cccco.edu/divisions/esed/aa_ir/disted.htm).

Vocational program information is available in the VTEA Core Indicator reports. This includes vocational completion rates to comply with Carl Perkins VTEA reporting requirements. Follow reports > vtea core indicator reports (http://misweb.cccco.edu/voc_ed/vtea/vtea.htm).

The Data Mart is an interactive source for college, district, and statewide data on student demographics, degrees and certificates awarded, assessment, student services, and program retention/success rates for credit classes. You can select secondary selection criteria to refine searches as well. Follow agency > technology, research, and information systems > management information services > data mart and reports (http://www.cccco.edu/divisions/tris/mis/reports.htm).

LEGISLATION

The Chancellor's Office also provides regular updates on the status of legislation. These are available in PDF format by following agency > governmental relations > legislative tracking 2003-04 (http://www.cccco.edu/divisions/grea/resources/legislative_matrix_03_04.pdf).

The Chancellor's Office is not the only source of useful data. The California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC) provides counts of enrollments, transfers and degree/certificate awards for all three public segments of higher education. Follow http://www.cpec.ca.gov > data > online data system (http://www.cpec.ca.gov/OnLineData/OnLineData.asp).

It's impossible to really describe how much information is available through each of these sources, so I encourage you to go online and explore. Information is power, and given these sources of data, the power can be yours.

The articles published in the Rostrum do not necessarily represent the adopted positions of the academic senate. For adopted positions and recommendations, please browse this website.