Learner Insights Case Study: How Howard University Uses StudentTracker to Help Guide Its Informed Decision-Making
The Data Analytics Team at Howard University Finds Value in StudentTracker’s “Eye-Opening” Details
Howard University is a private institution in Washington, D.C. with a mission of providing an “educational experience of exceptional quality” to its more than 13,000 students. It is among the world’s preeminent historically Black institutions, offering a range of opportunities to students and boasting distinguished graduates in the liberal arts, medical and applied sciences, and other professional fields.
In the last five years, Howard has reached record benchmarks in enrollment, retention, and student success metrics by emphasizing data-informed performance goals across its academic enterprise. This emphasis led to the creation of the university’s Office of Data Analytics in 2022, led by Associate Vice President, Yesenia Espinal.
Keeping Pace with Student Movement
The Office of Data Analytics compiles numbers and trends that inform decision-making in key academic areas, including risk management, human resources, finance and planning, and course design. Using the National Student Clearinghouse’s StudentTracker for Colleges & Universities service, the office has bolstered its ability to see student movement, both entering and exiting the institution, for transfers, stop outs, or graduating and moving to advanced study in graduate or professional programs at other schools.
“The level of detail is eye-opening,” said Espinal. “StudentTracker is immensely helpful in expanding our data warehouse to see trends in how and why students choose Howard at any degree level.”
Modeling Future Outcomes
Howard has used StudentTracker for over a decade, giving Espinal and her team access to valuable comparison models using legacy data. The data supports the efforts of leaders in Enrollment Management to model future outcomes, such as five-year student enrollment projections. When models predict deficits or overage enrollment within course, school, or institutional levels, they have greater flexibility in determining faculty hiring and budget adjustments.
“Leadership is really paying attention and they’ve incorporated the data we provide into their decision-making,” said Espinal. “This is the greatest thing about the National Student Clearinghouse data, it helps us to tell and write the Howard story in a more robust way.”
Learn more about StudentTracker.
“The level of detail is eye-opening. StudentTracker is immensely helpful in expanding our data warehouse to see trends in how and why students choose Howard at any degree level.”
Associate Vice President of Data Analytics, Howard University
Photo courtesy of Howard University.