Maryland Dashboard Answers Research Questions

By Jenna Leventoff, April 20, 2016

The Maryland Longitudinal Data Center has recently added new dashboards to its website that will allow policymakers to easily assess outcomes and answer research questions such as “what happens to students who start at community colleges and do not go on to 4-year institutions?” and “what are the workforce outcomes for Maryland students who earn a high school diploma but do not transition to postsecondary education or training?”

These dashboards explore the postsecondary and workforce outcomes of the state’s high school and community college students. One dashboard shows postsecondary enrollment and wages for the 2009 cohort of first-time students at Maryland Community Colleges. It reveals that by 2015, students who graduated with a degree or certificate from a Maryland Community College had the best wage outcomes, followed closely by students who later graduated from a 4-year institution. A second dashboard shows the high school outcomes, postsecondary enrollment, and wage outcomes for a group of students who either graduated from a Maryland high school, earned an equivalency, or withdrew from high school in 2009.

Dashboards such as these can help policymakers evaluate education and training programs and create informed policies that promote strong outcomes. In the future, Maryland plans to enable more evaluation by adding additional dashboards that can answer questions such as “how many individuals are both enrolled in school or college and employed, and what are their wages?” and “what is the relationship between wage and employment status and degree fields?”

Creating dashboards for policymakers is a key element of WDQC’s 13-point state blueprint for an inclusive, aligned, and market relevant data system.