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News & Media

Voluntary System of Accountability Launches College Portraits At A Glance at the APLU Annual Meeting

November 16, 2015

Indianapolis, IN –The Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) today launched College Portraits At A Glance, a new interactive tool for users to create one-page customized snapshots of College Portrait data. The inaugural version of At A Glance features 13 modules with College Portrait data covering student admissions, enrollment, costs and financial aid, success and progress and student experiences – allowing VSA participants with published College Portraits to start using At A Glance immediately.

“At A Glance provides a powerful platform for institutions to tell their story to policy makers, students and families with data,” said Christine Keller, Executive Director of the Voluntary System of Accountability and Vice President for Research and Policy Analysis at APLU.  “Institutions participating in VSA are committed to taking voluntary and meaningful steps toward transparency, and the At A Glance tool offers a new, interactive way for them to communicate with stakeholders about important institutional characteristics and student outcomes. .”

Visitors to the College Portraits website can create a custom At A Glance page for any institution with a published College Portrait either by searching for the institution from the At A Glance start page or by clicking the At A Glance link from the institution’s College Portrait. Users can either select a pre-designed page focused on themes including Costs, Aid, and Debt, Student Outcomes, or Campus Diversity, or build their own page from scratch. Each At A Glance page is shareable as a link or a PDF file, making it easy to create instant handouts to share with campus visitors or external stakeholders or via social media such as Facebook or Twitter.

Created in 2007 through a partnership between the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the VSA College Portrait has long been a tool for public institutions to demonstrate accountability and transparency, particularly in the areas of access, cost, student progress, and student outcomes. The College Portrait At A Glance feature allows for increased customization and flexibility for institutions to provide important information on the undergraduate experience to key stakeholders in clear and understandable format.  

Institutions including Bowling Green State University, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Boise State University, the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of Texas at Arlington, North Dakota State University, Texas Tech University, and the University of Connecticut are already using At A Glance to disseminate metrics on their performance in easy-to-understand graphs and charts.  To learn more about At A Glance and how institutions are using the tool, search #AtAGlance and follow @VSAvoice on Twitter.

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