Evans Authors: Grant Blume

Over the last ten years, in Washington community and technical colleges (CTC) there has been a great leap forward in access and use of data for setting and measuring goals, monitoring progress, and identifying equity gaps. Despite much progress, faculty members in career and technical education (CTE) programs still often have difficulty accessing and using data that would drive program improvements. The purpose of this research is to gain knowledge about the current state of affairs surrounding technical education faculty access to and use of student-level data; second, we seek to shed light on the constraints CTE faculty face in accessing and using data for data-informed decision making. Our research revealed much variation in faculty access and use of data, with some creating customized solutions for daily use and others only accessing data for external needs such as accreditation or mandated program review processes. While the need for data may be exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, faculty report data use on campus has dropped during the crisis and been replaced by immediate concerns over financial health, enrollment and instructional delivery challenges. Rather than continue to advance data-driven decision-making, we may be seeing colleges retrench to past organizational norms and customs.