From Practice to Policy: How Institutions Leverage Data to Improve Outcomes


Data collection and analysis are often the first step in transformational change. While policymakers explore options for building the state’s first early education to workforce (P-Workforce) statewide longitudinal data system, local data-driven initiatives offer important takeaways. This brief explores how one institution, the University of California, Riverside (UCR), used data to improve completion rates and reduce time to degree.

Improving Degree Completion at the University of California, Riverside

In a May 2013 UC Regents meeting, Governor Brown publicly expressed frustration with bachelor’s degree completion rates at California’s public institutions, calling out UCR as having significant room for growth.

The university responded by developing the Graduation Rate Task Force to address its extended time to degree and relatively low completion rates. The taskforce used multiple sources of data and campus resources to clarify problems, identify opportunities, and roll out interventions.

This is the first in a series of briefs that highlight promising institutional strategies that can improve student outcomes across California’s diverse higher education system. From Practice to Policy: How Institutions Accelerate Adult Completion and Fuel Prosperity is the second publication in the series.

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