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Reports & Surveys

Numerous accountability efforts have been launched nationally and in the state, all with the intention to provide information and data to key stakeholders and/or prospective students and their families. These accountability efforts include official information reported to the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) through the Integrated Postsecondary Electronic Data System (IPEDS) and to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) through the Accountability System. Less formal, but no less important to the general public, are the numerous surveys that generate various rankings touted and criticized within higher education, including U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings and the Common Data Set used by several groups. Still, a third effort at accountability has been data exchanges and cooperatives within the higher education community, particularly the Association of American Universities Data Exchange (AAUDE), the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), and the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP). Last, there is the individual effort of institutions to make their own data and information available to the public through websites and publications.

Much of this accountability data is available online through numerous websites, but the challenge for many is the ease of locating it and providing a context for how the institution is utilizing these accountability instruments and what data is determined to be important in the strategic decision making of the institution. In order to be more transparent in this regard, Action 2015: Education First calls for the development of a central accountability website that will bring this information into a single environment and contextualize it for its own use and creating accessibility for stakeholders, students and their families, and the general public. Below is a list of available accountability resources online:
 
Vision 2020 (http://vision2020.tamu.edu/) – This site includes information about the university’s bold plan to be recognized as a consensus leader among peer public institutions. The original report, adopted in 1999, along with updates on the progress toward the vision of excellence is available for viewing.
 
Action 2015: Education First (http://provost.tamu.edu/strategic-planning-2010) – This site includes the latest information on the adoption of the university’s five year strategic plan covering FY11 – FY15 as well as individual strategic plans for the colleges and other units that build off of the university’s plan. Prior planning documents, such as the Academic Master Plan, are also available.
 
Aggies Commit to Learning for a Lifetime: A Quality Enhancement Plan (http://provost.tamu.edu/initiatives/quality-enhancement-plan) – As defined by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) “describes a carefully designed course of action that addresses a well defined and focused topic or issue related to enhancing student learning” and “should be embedded within the institution’s ongoing integrated institution-wide planning”.  The QEP must be "forward looking" and "launches a process that can move the institution into the future characterized by creative, engaging, and meaningful learning experiences for students."  The QEP is a key component of the reaffirmation process.
 
THECB Accountability System (http://www.txhighereddata.org/Interactive/Accountability/UNIV_Participation.cfm) – This system is organized around the state’s Closing the Gaps initiative and structured to include participation, success, excellence, research, and institutional efficiency and effectiveness. It allows comparisons within the state and with an institution’s THECB determined out-of-state peers.
 
THECB Institutional Resumes (http://www.txhighereddata.org/Interactive/Resumes/) – There are two versions of the institutional resumes, one for prospective students, parents, and the general public and one for legislators and other policy makers. The metrics included in the resumes is defined in part by the legislature and includes widely accepted metrics for higher education as a whole.
 
USDOE College Navigator (http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/) – The navigator is designed to allow comparisons of institutions based on information reported through IPEDS annually, including enrollment, cost, success and completion data.
 
Texas A&M University’s Data & Research Services (http://dars.tamu.edu) – Numerous reports are available through this office’s website organized around five main areas: student, faculty, degree, course, and miscellaneous. Each of these areas contains standard reports that are prepared annually, many in response to state mandated reporting requirements. In addition, the aforementioned Common Data Set used by many ranking systems is available here (http://dars.tamu.edu/data-and-reports/student).