Alabama Community College System designated as agency to implement data quality plan

Career Technical Education (CTE) at Alabama’s community colleges will be studied among those of four other states as the result of a recently awarded ECMC data quality grant.

Advance CTE announced that Alabama has been selected as one of five grantees to participate in a cohort focused on improving postsecondary Career Technical Education (CTE) data quality.  The Alabama Community College System (ACCS) will serve as Alabama’s designated agency to design and implement a two-year data quality action plan. As part of the cohort, the ACCS will receive planning and implementation grants, technical assistance and a peer support network from Advance CTE.

“Making data-driven decisions is at the core of what we do at Alabama’s community colleges; in fact, the ACCS became the first education entity in the state to pilot an outcomes based funding model in 2018,” said Jimmy H. Baker, ACCS Chancellor. “The Advance CTE grant will help us further our ongoing data quality improvements specifically as it relates to career and technical education helping the ACCS to enhance economic and workforce development across the state.”

Alabama, in addition to Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida and Oregon, were chosen through a competitive application process to participate in an initiative announced in June 2020 and funded by ECMC Foundation. The Advancing Postsecondary CTE Data Quality Initiative aims to enhance equity, access and program quality for postsecondary CTE learners by building state capacity to improve postsecondary data systems, collection and sharing.

The ACCS plans to focus on optimizing its new longitudinal data system, scheduled to be released this winter, by enhancing data collection and accuracy from community colleges statewide to improve equity and access to postsecondary CTE programs. Participating in this initiative will enable the development of tools to improve data collection and analysis allowing the System and its colleges to pinpoint programs that are effectively reaching Alabama’s harder-to-serve populations and determine best practices to implement statewide.

“Quality data is critical for states to develop relevant, equitable, and effective CTE programs that meet the unique and dynamic needs of postsecondary learners”, said Kimberly Green, Executive Director, Advance CTE. “The five grantees represent a snapshot of the diverse challenges facing data quality, and we are excited about the potential of this cohort to foster innovation and develop foundational systems for quality data that can be scaled nationally in the years to come.”