Colorado Community College System Entering Second Phase of National Effort to Harness the Power of Big Data to Elevate Student Success and Online Learning Excellence

DENVER, COLO. – The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) announced today that the second phase of its participation in a national educational technology cooperative’s project, to harness the power of big data to elevate student success and online learning excellence, has begun.

The project known as the Predictive Analytics Reporting (PAR) Framework, is a ground-breaking initiative exploring effective uses of big data predictive analytics to show a large group of colleges and universities across the United States how best to help students meet their academic goals. The project is managed by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET). 15 other higher education institutions are also participating with CCCS in this project.  CCCS will aggregate and anonymize the data of its 13 member colleges to contribute to PAR.

The PAR Framework uses “pattern strategy” to predict risks to student retention, and allows institutions to proactively ensure that barriers are removed and retention problems reduced.

The goal of the second phase of this research is to validate and extend the PAR Framework data model, data definitions and research and analysis protocols developed by the Colorado Community College System and the five other founding PAR Framework partners during the successful PAR Framework first phase “proof of concept” conducted in early 2012.

These implementation efforts will offer higher ed institutions easy to understand resources, including reports, dashboards and decision-support tools, to anticipate threats to student achievement, and remove barriers to student success before they become problems.

“The Colorado Community College System is proud to be a part of this project because of the commitment it shows to improving the experience of our students and helping them reach their aspirations, “ remarked CCCS President Dr. Nancy McCallin.

As a founding PAR Framework partner institution, the Colorado Community College System will contribute data to a shared data set that will exceed one million anonymized student records.

“With 16 participating higher ed partners and over 1 million anonymized student records in the shared data set, it will be possible for the PAR Framework to pursue our goal of identifying trends that contribute to student success, program momentum, and online course completion,” noted Dr. Phil Ice, Principal Investigator for the PAR Framework.

“The cross section of community college, 4-year and for-profit institutions featuring everything from traditional to progressive and competency-based programs will significantly advance our modeling capabilities,” Ice added.

More information about the PAR Framework and its partner institutions can be found on the PAR Framework website at

The Colorado Community College System comprises the state’s largest system of higher education serving more than 162,000 students annually. CCCS oversees career and academic programs in the 13 state community colleges and career and technical programs in more than 160 school districts and six other post-secondary institutions.

The WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) is a cooperative, membership-driven, non-profit provider of solutions and services that accelerate the adoption of effective practices and policies, advancing excellence in technology-enhanced teaching and learning in higher education. More information about WCET’s institutional membership resources, services and common interest groups can be found on WCET’s website,

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