Nov. 2018: ASA Serving as Research Partner for the National Education Association

 ASA Research is pleased to announce that we have been selected by the National Education Association (NEA) to support their higher education research efforts. As the research partner, ASA will develop and provide analysis and tools on topics surrounding issues related to higher education such as faculty and staff salaries, institution finance, working conditions, and state budgeting and finance. ASA Partner Sue Clery has provided content for NEA’s Almanac of Higher Education for over 20 years. 

Culture of Evidence

Oct. 2018: ASA Conducts Workshop for NC Student Success Center

Through our partnership with JFF’s Student Success Center Network, ASA conducted a workshop for the NC Center in October.  The workshop was designed to help college teams to develop a data plan that actively supports decision-making and planning regarding their college’s student success initiatives. ASA created a toolkit for the workshop participants that contains assessments, templates, illustrations and guides to help college teams develop their data plan. The workshop topics included discussion around the following: 

  • Key conditions for creating a culture of evidence. This section of the workshop relates the conditions and environment that need to be present to cultivate a culture of evidence on campus. The hard and strategic data work that is necessary of student success initiatives cannot be utilized fully and effectively unless the college embraces the use of data as evidence in their work. An assessment to gauge the current campus climate is provided in the workshop toolkit.
  • Leading versus lagging indicators. During the workshop, presenters discuss the difference between leading and lagging indicators, and the importance, value and use of both. The presenters describe what is  a “good” indicator, and provide practical examples to illustrate both leading and lagging indicators.
  • Probing and guiding questions. The presenters pose guidance for colleges when thinking about and examining their student success KPIs. A probing guide is included in the workshop toolkit, along with an annotated sample North Carolina KPI reports to help colleges identify good, actionable questions to ask of their data. 
  • Data communications. Presenters discuss who on campus needs what type of data; a “probing” guide is included in the workshop toolkit.
  • Monitoring plan. Tips for developing a monitoring plan are briefly discussed during the workshop.
  • Strategic data plan. A worksheet is provided in the workshop toolkit, and presenters assist participants with developing their strategic data plan.

Sept. 2018: ASA Serving as Data Partner for Jobs for the Future's Student Success Center Networks

ASA Research is pleased to announce that we are partnering with Jobs for the Future to help Student Success Centers (SSCs) and their colleges strategically use data to drive change. As the data partner, ASA will develop and provide: 1) tools and guides to support institutions’ student success related data work; 2) workshops and trainings regarding the strategic use of data to support student success initiatives; and 3) customized services to states, including research and consultation services for Centers.


ASA-developed tools to support the SSCs can be used during a facilitated webinar or workshop, or they can be provided to institutions for their own use. ASA’s tools support four phases of strategic data planning and use:

  • Data Needs Assessment – to guide an institution through data inquiry that identifies motivators, facilitators, and barriers to their students’ academic success.
  • Metrics Identification & Alignment – to create a metrics framework that aligns operational metrics and student outcomes with a college’s reform strategy to facilitate understanding of cause and effect and potential impact.
  • Strategy Implementation and Goal Setting – to assist colleges in setting improvement targets and intermediary outcomes. 
  • Monitor and Communicate – to assist with tracking progress, analyzing outcomes and communicating impact.

ASA will offer a series of training workshops and webinars. Each workshop or webinar, customized to the participants’ needs, focuses on a phase of the strategic data planning process and the use of data to support student success initiatives. ASA-developed tools will be used during the workshop, along with practical examples.


ASA will also provide ad hoc research consultation to SSCs, including services such as:

  • Consultation on Center research agendas, including an assessment of what is needed balanced with data availability and what is possible.
  • Interpreting and analyzing statewide data to identify trends, barriers and motivators of success, and examine outcomes with an equity lens.
  • Supporting statewide data collection, including conducting a data assessment, aligning metrics and definitions, liaising between NSC and other data holders, and assisting with data sharing agreements. 
  • Developing Key Performance Indicator (KPI) monitoring systems including identifying the appropriate metrics to be included and providing consult regarding easy-to-use and effective data displays.
  • Developing reports and infographics to tell institutions’ and states’ student success stories.

More information on JFF’s Student Success Centers can be found at:

July 2018: ASA Selected as Evaluator for NCAN 2018-19 FAFSA Completion Challenge

ASA Research is pleased to announce that the National College Access Network (NCAN) has selected ASA as the evaluator for the 2018-2019 FAFSA Completion Challenge, funded by The Kresge Foundation and Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates. NCAN has selected 25 U.S. cities to participate in the grant, and challenges each of the grant recipients to increase their FAFSA completion rates by at least 5 percentage points for the graduating high school class of 2019.   

As the project evaluator, ASA will conduct a formative assessment of all sites using qualitative data collected through site visits, focus groups and surveys to identify promising implementation practices and potential challenges. ASA will also conduct a quantitative analysis of changes in FAFSA completion rates over the year of the grant, and to the extent possible, examine for closure of equity gaps. ASA will highlight five high performing sites through in-depth case studies, and will provide recommendations for replication based on findings through reports and blog postings.  

In an effort to address equity gaps, this Challenge specifically focuses on cities with current FAFSA completion rates below the national average. The 2018-19 competition builds on the success of the original Kresge-funded 2016-17 FAFSA Completion Challenge. NCAN will award a $100,000 grand prize in September 2019 at its national conference in Indianapolis to one city based on a holistic review of the percentage growth in completions, adoption of effective strategies, barriers overcome, and likelihood of sustainability.

Recent Presentations

October 2018

June 2018

April 2018

  • Sue Clery presented findings from the North Carolina Multiple Measures evaluation at the Southern Regional Education Board and American Association of Community Colleges recent conferences.
  • Abby Miller was invited to present findings from the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative report on distance education at the IPEDS state data conference.

March 2018

  • Sue Clery presented the annual Salary report at the NEA Higher Education Conference in Chicago.

February 2018

  • Sue Clery presented information about data analysis for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities annual conference

Recent Publications

September 2018

ASA Partner Sue Clery analyzed institutional revenues and expenditures by public colleges and universities to investigate why students are paying more for tuition, and found a clear shift away from instruction toward administration. See page 15 of the September NEA Advocate for a detailed infographic.

July 2018

See page 4 of the National Education Association’s May 2018 Advocate for Sue Clery’s analysis of salaries for faculty represented by unions compared with those who are not.

Read more

May 2018

ASA founding partner Sue Clery co-authored a chapter in the Spring 2018 volume of New Directions for Community Colleges. Entitled “Lessons Learned from Developmental Education Data,” the chapter identifies some of the challenges surrounding data collection and analysis regarding development students, including testing and identifying academic needs, placement determination, and measuring student outcomes.

Sue Clery authored “Faculty Salaries: 2016–17” in the National Education Association’s 2018 Almanac of Higher Education, where she delineates the most recent changes in faculty salaries. She finds that faculty purchasing power showed a slight one-year increase in 2016–17, but recovered to a level higher than that prior to 2007–08, the high before the financial crisis. Although women faculty, on average, continue to earn less than men, some women fare well when salaries are compared within rank and sector. In public institutions, faculty with collective bargaining agreements earn more than faculty at institutions without such agreements, and the gap is more pronounced at community colleges. The share of faculty with tenure has declined over the past two decades, with the largest declines occurring between 1997–98 and 2007–08, yet over the most recent 10 years the declines have slowed or leveled off in some sectors.