SOURCE: USA Funds

USA Funds

October 27, 2016 10:00 ET

USA Funds launches new organization to help colleges tap data to promote student success

DXtera Institute to help member organizations connect information systems

INDIANAPOLIS, IN--(Marketwired - October 27, 2016) - USA Funds® today announced the creation of a new nonprofit membership organization -- the DXtera Institute -- to help higher education institutions and their partners better use data to promote student success and college completion. Colleges and universities currently have access to large amounts of data on many different aspects of their operations, but the individual data systems typically are not well connected. As a result, postsecondary institutions often do not make the most effective use of this data, creating barriers to enhanced student success and program completion rates.

DXtera will offer its membership open-source solutions, training and technical assistance to more affordably and effectively integrate systems, use and share data for academic success, and help students identify and succeed in structured educational and career pathways.

"This is a pivotal moment for higher education. Postsecondary institutions are under increasing pressure to produce better student outcomes, and they are grappling with technology challenges on an unprecedented scale," said USA Funds President and CEO William D. Hansen. "Initiatives like DXtera, working together with the higher education community, will be key to solving these challenges and helping students achieve their goals."

DXtera grew out of the work of the ad hoc National Digital Integration Advisory Consortium and will significantly expand the Consortium's vision. The Consortium included thought leaders representing higher education institutions, policy organizations, national associations, industry partners, and funders. Participants included representatives from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), Georgia State University, Tennessee Board of Regents, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), University of Hawaii, and Complete College America, as well as other innovators.

"Being able to access, control and integrate our data in real-time is critical to fully realize and support the Tennessee Board of Regents mission," said Tristan Denley, vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, Tennessee Board of Regents. "Whether using data to identify and intervene with academically 'at-risk' students at critical points, or to guide and support data-driven decision making, commercial tools have not kept stride with the potential, or have been cost-prohibitive to integrate with existing student record systems. TBR and our institutions seek technology solutions to fully realize the power of data, and the DXtera Institute's consortium of innovators will share technology solutions for common barriers like these."

Dale Allen will serve as president of the DXtera Institute. Allen has 25 years of experience in public and private higher education, system offices, and private industry, most recently as vice president for community engagement at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, Mass. He specializes in advancing complex connections between institutions of higher education and the various communities with which they interact.

"As a growing consortium, the members unanimously endorsed the opportunity to partner with USA Funds to scale our collective efforts, capacity and shared solutions," Allen said. "We're thrilled to have reached this goal after many months of dedicated effort, and are even more excited by the response from the original consortium members and prospective members."

"Making connections between disparate information systems to drive greater value for institutions and their students is a challenge, but one that can be addressed. USA Funds can make a measurable impact on student success through our support of the DXtera Institute. This is an example of the kinds of investments we are making to advance our new strategic direction of Completion with a Purpose," said USA Funds Executive Vice President Mark Pelesh.

For more information about DXtera, visit dxtera.org.

USA Funds is a nonprofit corporation that supports Completion With a Purpose®, building a more purposeful path for America's students to and through college and on to rewarding careers and successful lives. USA Funds pursues its nonprofit mission through philanthropic activities and partnerships, policy research, and programs and services that enhance preparation for, access to and success in higher education. Learn more at www.usafunds.org.

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