Data Collection, Analysis, and Identifying Root Causes
When collecting and analyzing data, those learners’ perspectives are essential to understand their educational journey based on their experiences. Example questions might include:
- What attracts economically disadvantaged students to be represented more in certain programs than others?
- Are there potential successful practices, student stories, etc., to share with other programs?
- What is one or two focus areas within my control that I can start with? Start small!
When conducting a root cause analysis, it is important to include perspectives that share more than just operational elements for program evaluation and design. Consider reframing your analysis to include these perspectives:
- In what ways might students be missing or not engaged in participation? How might their identities be tied to that exclusion?
- Under what conditions could eligibility, budget priorities, or programmatic decisions impact participation or successful completion?
- In what ways are cultural and gender perspectives missing from the conversations?
In closing, keep the end-user in mind! It is important to build trust through transparency and actionable steps that are responsive and inclusive of those served. The needs assessment process and root cause analysis are tools to improve how the institution serves learners, NOT to solely satisfy compliance.
Interested in learning more about applying a root cause analysis to your consortium’s CLNA? Reach out to Eva Scates-Winston by email (Eva.Scates-Winston@minnstate.edu).
In our previous two blog posts, we discussed using an equity gap analysis in the Perkins V Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment and taking labor market indicator analysis further with an equity lens based on Erin Olson’s Metro Workforce Trends & Careers of Tomorrow webinar and the discussion questions posted by Eva Scates-Winston, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities’ CTE Equity Specialist.