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APLU & AIR Announce New Data Literacy Institute Cohort to Advance Data Capacity and Student Success on Campus

July 14, 2022

Washington, DC – The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and Association for Institutional Research (AIR) today announced a new cohort of institutions participating in the Data Literacy Institute, which aims to help APLU member campuses better use data to increase student success. Bowling Green State University; Illinois State University; Miami University of Ohio; Tennessee State University; and the University of Maine will all participate in the institute in Fall 2022.

The Data Literacy Institute, a program developed by AIR to build and sustain data-informed decision cultures, is offered as part of APLU’s Powered by Publics initiative and convenes cross-departmental teams on each of their campuses. The project advances APLU and AIR’s longstanding commitment to promoting the use of data to improve retention and completion.

“One of the central aims of Powered by Publics is to better leverage data to boost equity and student success,” said Denise Nadasen, Assistant Vice President of Institutional Data and Analytics, and who is co-leading the effort. “Public universities have long recognized the immense value of using data to track and improve student success, especially for students from underserved populations. The Data Literacy Institute will work to bolster data literacy not just in Institutional Research offices, but across campus and especially among key decision-makers.  A greater and improved use of data can make a real difference in a university’s ability to help more students succeed.”
 
Over the next 12 months, up to 20 participants from each institution, representing a variety of departments, will complete approximately 72 hours of coursework through the Data Literacy Institute. The program is tailored to the needs of each participating institution by bringing together a cross-functional group of participants from campus to learn and apply data literacy skills to a unique student success challenge at their institution. The goal is for faculty and staff to be more comfortable using data, feel confident talking about it, and as a result make better decisions that lead to improved student outcomes.
 
“Unlocking the tremendous potential of data to inform better decisions and increase the success of all students requires universities to invest in the knowledge and skills of faculty and staff,” said Christine Keller, Executive Director & CEO of the Association for Institutional Research. “The Data Literacy Institute is an important step in recognizing the importance of institutional-wide data literacy and its role in building stronger connections among data providers and data users to close equity gaps for the benefit of students.”
 
The Data Literacy Institute  uses a peer learning community model to provide virtual training on  the knowledge, skills, habits and mindsets necessary to improve data literacy skills   AIR ultimately aims to develop a data literacy program model that will be continued at participating institutions and available for adoption by other colleges and universities across the country.
 
Institutions that previously participated in the Data Literacy Institute are: Kent State University; Montclair State University; Oakland University; University of Minnesota-Duluth; and Wright State University.

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