Benchmarking, both formal and informal, is pretty common in higher education. We take a look at what other colleges and universities are doing and compare our efforts and outcomes. Analyze whether or not our performance is on par. Look for opportunities for improvement. Dig deep to find out if how others are doing things can inform our own practice.
Same Old, Same Old
In fact, benchmarking can be such a routine part of assessments and analyses that we find ourselves going back to the same sources over and over again. And why not? Of course IPEDS is going to offer you comprehensive and easy-to-access higher education data! Our benchmarking starts with IPEDS and then goes a step further. Since the very point of benchmarking is to identify new ideas, it might be time you considered some new tools for your toolbox.
In with the New
Recently, my colleagues, Angela Schmiede (Menlo College), Sheri Jones (Ashford University), Heather Brown (Cal Poly Pomona), and I hosted a Benchmarking session at the WSCUC Annual Research Conference. We shared some of our favorite resources for data and data elements, including:
- College Navigator from the National Center for Education Statistics
- CollegeInSight from The Institute for College Access and Success
- Education Trust’s College Results Online
- National Association of College and University Business Officers
- National Survey of Student Engagement Report Builder
- NICHE Colleges Data
- Online Degree Database
I am always on the lookout for new benchmarking tools. If I missed your favorite, please leave it in the comments below! And if you’ve got a benchmarking analysis that you aren’t sure how to tackle, the IEHE is here to help. Please drop us a note so we can touch base.