Young Invincibles Release Data Agenda

Dominic Alhambra
October 5, 2016

Young Invincibles, a non-profit advocacy and research organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for young adults, released a student-inspired data system reform agenda aimed at developing a more transparent and effective higher education system.

As of now, institutions and policymakers are unable to answer basic questions about colleges and the outcomes they produce. Colleges are unequipped with the data to adjust academic programs to ensure students can land good jobs or pursue further education. Furthermore, policymakers are left without the data tools to direct funding to effective policies. Young Invincibles seeks to address these issues, with major points of the Student Agenda on Data Reform calling for:

  • Overturning the ban on the collection and use of student-level data by the Department of Education;
  • Evaluating alternatives to traditional higher education such as competency-based education, industry certifications, and vocational certificates;
  • Counting all students in data systems — including part-time, returning, veteran, and transfer students — to better understand the modern college student;
  • Avoiding unintended consequences such as tracking students into programs based on algorithms that perpetuate existing inequalities;
  • Following widely accepted principles of privacy and security;
  • Accessibility and usability of data for students, such as graduation rates of students or workforce outcomes of departments and majors.

Goals outlined in the data reform firmly align with WDQC emphasis on collecting and utilizing data relevant to a variety of education and training pathways. Because of this, WDQC is working with Young Invincibles on pairing student and employer advocates to talk with Congressional staff about federal data policy.