Across the country, postsecondary education and workforce development leaders have leaned into strategies around data-driven decision-making to improve their programs and policies and increase learners’ and workers’ success. Representatives across state agencies have joined national institutions to identify available credentials of value, prioritize growth industries within the state, and collect relevant data on education and training providers.
One aspect of this collaboration is a partnership between the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and Education Quality Outcomes Standards (EQOS), a nonprofit housed at Jobs for the Future (JFF). This collaboration focuses on assessing and refining the collection of student outcomes data from education and training providers to facilitate results-driven decision-making related to determining eligibility for Indiana’s Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL).
EQOS and JFF staff worked with state leaders and education and training providers to explore how EQOS’s Quality Assurance Framework might allow for a richer understanding of student outcomes and impact how providers are selected for the ETPL. This report outlines the key findings from that research and makes recommendations about how state policy leaders can continue to use data collection to improve ETPL criteria.
The Indiana Pilot Program began in October 2020, and included representatives from EQOS and JFF, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet, and the DWD. The pilot program included four phases:
- Review and standardized outcomes-based data collection process for three quantitative metrics (completion, placement, and earnings) already included in Indiana’s ETPL requirements.
- Develop updated definitions and measures of the five metrics contained in the EQOS Quality Assurance Framework (learning, completion, placement, earnings, and satisfaction) to better align with the needs of DWD and postsecondary training providers.
- Pilot comprehensive outcomes data reporting processes with a cohort of four ETPL training providers:
- Assess results and provided recommendations for broader implementation of outcomes-based quality evaluation processes across the state.
The overall goal was to revise EQOS’s Quality Assurance Framework to better align with the needs of the DWD, training providers, and employers, as well as pilot a new system of outcomes-based quality evaluation to improve DWD’s ability to vet and intake eligible training providers.
JFF acquired EQOS in January 2022 to strengthen its potential to drive quality in outcomes-based decision-making nationally and is committed to evolving best practices as indicated by past and future research.