Chewing On a Tough Data Problem? NCAN's Idea Incubators Are Here to Help

May 6, 2016

It started with an idea we’ve heard over and over again: NCAN members find tremendous benefit in being in the same room together to network, share ideas, and talk about what’s working.

It continued with an understanding gained from nearly three years of the Common Measures Learning Community project: there are data and evaluation-related challenges that cut across program-level characteristics like scope, size, and model.

These two ideas come together this summer to solve some persnickety problems for NCAN members.

In June, July, or August, NCAN, in conjunction with three member sites, will host a series of “Idea Incubators” to tackle members’ questions and challenges related to data and the Common Measures. These Incubators will bring four to five member programs together in-person to tackle a shared concern or challenge they each have around the use of data, evaluation, measurement, and/or the Common Measures. NCAN will cover the cost of participation for these member programs.

We are planning this series and are seeking member input on the kinds of problems members have around these issues that they haven’t had the time, capacity, or thought partnership to tackle. Examples of the kinds of problems these Incubators might help to address:

  • Streamlining the collection of information from students’ college transcripts
  • Finding appropriate comparison groups for program evaluations
  • Securing data streams from community partners through data sharing agreements
  • Incorporating dosage data collection, analysis, and reporting into program activities

At the end of each Incubator, participating programs will ideally have concrete next steps or solutions for the obstacles they are facing. The broader NCAN membership will benefit from webinars, white papers, or conference presentations on working through these challenges.

If your program faces such a challenge and/or if you think your program would be interested in hosting one of these Incubators, or if you have questions or would like some more clarification, please email Bill DeBaun at debaunb@collegeaccess.org.



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