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It’s that time of year when colleges and universities are touting their rankings in publications. Jeff Selingo recently (again) has raised some interesting questions about the validity and utility of such ratings.

What might be helpful resources to (re)visit as one engages in a Strategic Planning Process or is choosing a college or university? What kinds of practical, real-world data might one use in the classroom to develop students’ abilities to think clearly about data?

I feel that it is essential to be aware of educational data resources and understand their value, assumptions, limitations, and potential uses and misuses. Below are a few of my favorite data resources. What have I missed? I’ll return to some observations about College and university “rankings” and FAST FACTS and their misuse in a subsequent post if there is sufficient interest.

  1.  Payscale.com’s recent release of the College/University ROI database
  2. CollegeScoreCard (click on the link and try it) wonderfully introduces an essential trend toward TRUE TRANSPARENCY in data sharing and a handy interactive database for comparing schools
  3. The UW Accountability Dashboard similarly exemplifies this healthy trend.
  4. College Results Online is such a gem in the rough.
  5. Chronicle of.Higher Education (I no longer pay for premium access.)

  6. AAUP Salary Data: Source: Chronicle of Higher Education (I no longer pay for premium access.)

  7. Executive Compensation at Private Colleges: Source: Chronicle of Higher Education (I no longer pay for premium access.)

  8. IPEDS (individual institutions and comparisons

  9. Here is a link to the U.S. Department of Education’s database “trove” that drives its database.  

  10. And if you work dig deeply enough, you can find historical data on one’s own former institution.