January 2000

Volume 3
Number 1


Current Issue


The Value of Accreditation in Planning

Common Data Project


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Common Data Project

The Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) established a Task Force on Common Data in 1998. The Task Force was asked to explore the feasibility of creating a core data set for accreditation purposes. Its charge was:

    “…to create a core institutional data set that is based on IPEDS as far as possible and that is oriented to evolving and future accreditation issues. Such requirements can be supplemented for institutional and accreditation commission purposes.”

In response to this charge, the Task Force has developed four documents:

  • A Report on Common Data Requirements of Accreditors prepared by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS)
  • Principles and Good Practices of Accreditation Data Collection
  • A Statement about the use of IPEDS data
  • A Resource List of commonly-used definitions of data elements.

The NCHEMS report provides an overview of data collection by accredi-tors confirming that, for the accreditors surveyed, there are few common data elements required by these organizations. The principles and good practices provide a framework for accreditors and institutions to review their data collection practices. The IPEDS Statement encourages voluntary use of IPEDS definitions and the Resource List provides information about commonly-used definitions.

CHEA has posted these documents on our website (http://www.chea.org/Research/index.asp) for review by interested parties. And the CHEA Board of Directors will review the material at the January 2000 meeting in Washington, DC.

We are interested in your comments and suggestions about the material. The Task Force will review all responses that are submitted at a future meeting or via conference call. •


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