Tampa, Fla., Nov. 9, 2023 – Sharing data was a hot topic for Florida education leaders gathered in Tampa on Monday. Unlocking the data siloed within their institutions could smooth the way for the student transfer pathways between institutions.
“The work is harder than it has ever been,” Dr. Tonjua Williams, President of St. Petersburg College said. “There is so much more to advising than ever before.”
Dr. Williams kicked off the summit calling for an “inter-institutional” statewide initiative to share data and to align curriculum. She envisioned sharing plans and goals, creating stackable credentials, and developing an integrated system for advising and transfer success that would create a seamless transfer experience for students.
Ashton Terry, Senior Manager of CFEED echoed Williams sentiments, saying “In listening to the message of the keynote speaker and other summit attendees, there is a shared sense of urgency among Florida’s post-secondary leaders to have stronger communications, alignment and data sharing so that more students in our state can follow proven patterns of success as they work towards graduation and a career plan,”
Following Dr. Williams keynote, Terry joined CFEED leaders in a presentation focused on insights that drive change, including Transfer Shock, Transfer Readiness, and Student Readiness. Diana Pienaar, CFEED Director; Michael Holt, Product Director/Innovation Manager; and Terry shared research on the Osceola Prosper program, demonstrating how the CFEED infrastructure can support students in making a smooth transfer from Valencia College to UCF (University of Central Florida). The team also shared updates from the Helios Education Foundation Transfer Scholars program that has helped hundreds of Osceola Prosper students prepare for a successful transfer experience.
Several presenters, including Harrison Oonge, Assistant Dean for Academic Planning, UCF, and Farah Abass, Academic Program Coordinator, UCF referred to CFEED research in their talks. In his presentation about “System Approaches to Pre-and Post-Transfer Student Success” Oonge pointed to the work accomplished by the UCF Direct Connect program, with help from CFEED research, that has helped align curriculum and create success pathways between Valencia College and UCF. CFEED’s Interactive Transfer Readiness model, which uses analytics to connect Relevant Courses for UCF majors to determine the likelihood of student success has been instrumental in these efforts.
Holt explained that CFEED’s unique data sharing model, which is based on collaboration between its ecosystem partners, helps drive data driven discussions that can be used to highlight important issues in the education sector. The collaboration between these partner institutions has helped the data model evolve to enter the efficacy phase, he said. CFEED uses its data/AI platform and analytic capabilities to compile historical and ongoing data from partner institutions, and, by using data analysis and reporting tools, leaders can identify insights about student success, course pathways, and other trends. This system and its tools serve as a template that could be implemented statewide.
As institutions grow and grapple with increasing challenges, data insights are important for harnessing the advancements in technology that can help in degree auditing, articulation, and curriculum alignment to improve students’ post-secondary journey.
About the Conference:
The one-day conference entitled, “Partnering with a Purpose,” provides information on high-impact practices for transfer students’ success and is a networking and workgroup forum where transfer professionals can gather, promote, share, and exchange the best strategies, techniques, and tools for transfer student success. This unique opportunity is a showcase for transfer professionals to take back actionable and impactful ideas designed to provide engaging experiences for transfer students. The Florida Summit intentionally balances the best practices of sending and receiving institutions.
The Central Florida Education Ecosystem Database is a collaborative data sharing project including Orange County Public Schools, The School District of Osceola County, Valencia College, and University of Central Florida. CFEED’s goal is to build the tools and processes necessary to provide a silo-free examination of student performance from pre-kindergarten through post-secondary and begin identification of insights that can be used to provide interventions that will increase student success.