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Get a high level overview of the process behind the National Student Clearinghouse’s Postsecondary Data Partnership.

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In this tutorial, we discuss the process behind the National Student Clearinghouse’s Postsecondary Data Partnership. ​

The process to create the Postsecondary Data Partnership reporting can be explained in three steps:​

  1. First, the data are submitted by your institution to the National Student Clearinghouse;​
  2. Second, the Clearinghouse conducts data checks then processes these data;​
  3. And third, reporting becomes available.​

Let’s explore each step in more detail.​

The first step in the PDP process is data submission. ​

​In addition to the enrollment and degree files already submitted by your institution to the Clearinghouse, your institution must submit cohort and course data.  ​

The cohort data file contains information for students enrolled during the submission term. ​

For example, these data include the student’s name, date of birth, the year they completed high school, their high school GPA, and an indicator of first-generation student status.​

The second file is course data which contains course information for all students taking courses during the submission term. ​

For example, these data include whether the student completed a developmental math or English course, the student’s semester or session GPA, and their overall GPA.​

In addition, your institution can upload an optional file which contains financial aid data for students enrolled during the cohort year. ​

Those data include the number of dependents, the amount of Pell Grant awarded, other grant amounts, and federal loan amounts.​

The first time your institution submits data, it is ideal to submit three to five years of data to establish trend lines.  After that, your institution will submit data twice in an academic year, once in fall and once in spring.  The fall submission reports data from spring and summer while the spring submission reports data from the fall.​

If you would like more information on the data submission process, please visit the PDP page on National Student Clearinghouse website.​

The second step in the PDP process is data processing.​

Once the institution completes their data upload, the National Student Clearinghouse conducts two different data checks.​

The first is a validation check to ensure that the cohort and course data files are complete and formatted correctly.   ​

Once data files pass the validation check, then they undergo data quality checks to ensure that data are not duplicated and are consistent with historical data.  ​

If data do not pass these checks, your institution can fix these data and resubmit.​

​Once the cohort and course data files pass validation and quality data checks, it is matched and merged with enrollment and degree data to create the complete PDP dataset.​ ​

The final step in the PDP process is the release of the reports.​

After data are processed, ​outcomes metrics are calculated, institutional-level reports are produced, and the PDP dashboards are made available. ​

PDP dashboards are hosted on Clearinghouse servers using a portal on the Clearinghouse PDP website. This means that the institution does not need a Tableau license to view.​

Once dashboards are available, all institutional users, who have been granted access, can view them. The PDP now becomes an institution-wide data sharing tool with no per-user license needed.​

​In addition to institutional access, the Clearinghouse can provide access to initiatives and associations that the institution is a member of with your institution’s explicit permission. This reduces, or eliminates, the need for your institution to submit separate data to these organizations.​

The PDP also provides an analysis-ready file. This downloadable excel file contains student-level data derived from the PDP dataset which contains each student’s outcomes metrics.  This file enables institutional users to match these PDP data to other institutional datasets like early alert data and identify student populations that require additional support.​

This completes our tutorial on the Postsecondary Data Partnership process.  Thank you joining us.​

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