41: Proving the Value of Higher Education at The University of Texas System w/ David Troutman

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Dr. David Troutman, Associate Vice Chancellor for Institutional Research and Decision Support at The University of Texas System, discusses how SeekUT, their free online college and career planning tool is designed to better assist students in degree program selection by helping them understand the complete financial story behind their decision.

We were able to identify that musicmajors from ut Al Paso their first year out, are making fifty percent of themwere making fiftzenolars you're listening to enrolment growth,university from helics education, the best professional development podcastfor higher education leaders looking to grow in Romant at their college oruniversity, whether you're looking for fresh endromant growth techniques andstrategies or tools and resources. You've come to the right place. Let'sget into the show, welcome back to anroman growthuniversity, the proud member of the connect Evu podcast network, I'Mar,Golson AVP of marketing at helics education, and were here today with DtrDavid Troudman Associated Vice Chancellor of Institutional Researchand Decision Support at the University of Texas system. Dr Tratman welcomed tothe show. Thank you. frhapping me really excited to talk with you todayabout how the University of Texas system is utilizing. Graduate Earnings,utilizing graduate outcomes to prove out the value of higher education in aworld where it is constantly being put into question before we dig too deepinto that David. Can you get the listeners a little bit betterunderstanding of both the University of Texas system and your role there? Yes,definitely so. The University of Texas system is made up of a little over two hundred and twentyfive thousand students, that's our in moment per year, and we have eightacademic institutions and six health institutions. So our aconemicinstitutions range from our flagship, which is university, O Texa Austin, toUniversity of Texas, Al Passo to San Antonio, and then we have our healthinstitutions that people usually don't recognize that they're within oursystem, which rain from southwestern an Dallas to imb Anderson in Houston. Sowe have ariety of different programs from bachelor's degrees, to masters, toprofessional and to PhDs as well, and so within my office, I'Mn Associateotby Chancelr for instant of research and...

...so watl. Our Mission for our office isto make data timely and meaningful for Allsay colders, whether it be studentsand parents to the legislators across the state or even at the national scene,trying to inform people ba about how to best use data and how the value of adegree once you rersy thet awesome. So David Cut, is a free online college andcareer planning tool, develop an partnership with the University ofTexas system and the US Census Bureau that shows the outcomes and earnings ofyour graduates. One year, five year, ten years after they leave yourinstitutions, talk us through the original high level goals behind cutwher. Are you looking to better prove the value of a yut degree, better astisstudents in degree program selection to better justify stating federal fundingby proving the positive outcomes of your graduates or or perhaps all theabove? Well, I think it's all the above. Actually so just tos take a step back.We started this in two thousand and twelve, where we really wanted toidentify moving beyond just sort of survy based measures and askingstudents about how much they make. We wanted to get the actual data, and sowe really were pursuing a variety feor avenues, whether it be going to the irsdirectly to social, Cretd, dministration, and then what we foundinitially was working with our Texas warforce commission, looking atunemployment records ar unemployment wage records. So the state requires allemployers to submit unemployment records at a quorally basis to thestate, and so we we were able to build a relationship with the Texes warferscommission, initially getting aggregated reporting of earnings ofstudents, and then that grew into a more of a national cey. The reason whywe were doing this really is first to show the value of a degree and toreally make sure that people or parents and students understood that the valueof the investment of investing themselves and the dividends that paidoff a long term after receiving that...

...degree, because we always see thesenews articles and conversations about the rising couses and education,specifically in student debt, and so the national average right now basiedon the Pew Researches Bachelor's degrees, O about roughly around twentyfive husanddollars after receiving their degree that they have to pay backat UG system, we're pretty fortunate that we have lower lower twistion, anfees and so on average or about twenty twosand dollars. But we still want tomake sure that we're telling the complete story of how those thosedollars that they invested themselves is paying back to them and so by Ganiaccess to the UI's wave records. What I did was I initially just met withstudents from across our campuses, and I said I got them in a room, and I saidokay, I have this information. What do you want, and so what we try to do isoal Aptur the spirit of what they needed or what they were searching forinto a really easy facing appilling tools. So they could simply just clickon certain different majors and really understand first year, fifth year andtenth your earnings and combination with that. So Awesome David. It's sucha great great tool and great project help us understand the differencisbetween the helpfulness of the cqut database versus the federal data,that's currently being provided through the College score card. For example.Absolutely so several years ago, the Department Education released theCollege Cor card, which is an online consumer tool showing cost and value ofeducation. But in two thousand and eight, the Federal Government passedthe High Education Act in that passing of that law it restricted a studentlevel record band. What that means is that the department education cannotshare or collaborate with data points with the irs or with the US senses orwith social ree administration. So there's a limited scope or view of howthey can report out using the college score card, because one of the thingsthat they wanted to do is really understand sort of this national arthis debt by university compared to...

...actual Arnins. So people don't realizethis, but but the college core card. It provides information on earnings ofstudents who had taken loan debt out and it excludes anyone that did nottake any lon doubt. What does that really mean? That means that what we'refinding in our data is that students that don't have any loan debt once e'vegraduated, actually are making higher aunions than those students who didtake out loan debt within the same major and so you'R, reallyunderestimator or D, valuing the ry associated with a college degree. Bycreating this aggregated reporting of only students that had taken federalfinancial aid out right using the college cool guard. Interesting also, Ithink it's challenging because we know that stem major, so science technologyengineering mathematics are going to make more money their first year onfifth year out and if a institution, if their primary focus, WIS Instin, filledby nature they're going to make more money. So it's very difficult tocompare an contrast, asstem base sort of like a mit versus more of a LiberalArts, culture, O R University right right David. How is sut currently beingused and who are your primary users? That's a great question! So th, theprimary user is the parent student. We wanted to make sure that we built atool that was didn't, require you to log in didn'tidentify it didn't, require you to identify who you were and that's reallywhat the students wanted. They wanted it to be teidentified, so we could justthey could explore around and understand the value of education basedon earnings, and then other participants would or other stakeholders would be thes itlegislators. One thing that we've tried to show I'm using these data is to showthe value of sate ofproparations. So, each year, based on our Roman numbers,the state provides US dollars that are reinvested into our institution and itcovers a lot of some of the cost. So,...

...for example, we did a brief studylooking at Tote probrations given to us from two thousand and seven to twothousand and eleven, it was about ten billion dollars for all of our campuses,but we followed those students who were we in that? Oh seven, two, two thousandand eleven. We followed them and looked at their five year, earnings aftergraduation and what we showed is the investment of ten billion resulted inforty three billion dollars worth of Texas earnings. So it's a four to oneon return which is fantastic. Is that really tried to help tell a completestory about the investment from the taxpayers into higher education andthen the other thing that we've done? Is We really tried to change theconversation at the national level to talk about debt and com ratios versusjust earnings alone, so taking hi combination, how much students owe andhow much they're earning one year and five years out and looking at thatratio, and so we can? What we can see is that, after graduating in theworkforce, ninety two percent of our our programs are below the ten percentrate of debt income ratios. That basically means that ten percent oftheir earnings are going towards their student debt and so at the five yearmark. Ninety nine percent of our our programs are below the ten percent rate,which is the recommended rate to be under. It's awesome awesome, hugecongratulations. David Ckut currently tracks alumni, O your systeminstitutions as they progress through the workforce. This includes earninglevels. Loan debt levels, like you mentioned by institution and brokendown by degree program from a data perspective. How are you able toeffectively track and report on? All of this? That's great. So we've workedwith the SINSUS, with an Moou agreement to establish identifiers. So what we'vebeen able to do is to- and it was really fascinating journey with thecensus. We provided them student identifier, so that would be first name.Last name did birth, typically social ecurity numbers, but they have aspecialized unit. This sully focuses on...

...d identification, and so we submittedthose information into a secured portal. They flagge them to create sort of anan identifier, so we'll say a student ID and then they once they've createdthe ID that's matched with the UIWAIG record. They deidentified or destroyedany kind of personal identified information other than their major andthen once they've done that they created this Dataset. That's providedto the the specializing economist to provide information on how to calculateearning that way. We would never be able to identify a certain person, butrather we're looking at it by major versus the individual student and thenWac once they've done all the and analysis on calculating annial earnings.They submit that back to us by the major level and that's what we'veintroduced or integrated within our tool, so we're very protective ofstudent information and student identities with if there were anythingto have invalidate that I would basically our office would be shut downbecause that's really what we we really stand on with the integrityof making sure that we're respectful and careful with student data. It'sawesome super clever and Super Smart David. Do you personally have anyconcerns or have your faculty raise any concerns with the transparency of thisdata? If some students may rely too heavily on this data to make college ordegree program decisions, I mean that's a great question. So when we initiallydid this, we were very anxious, because I thought that we would hear from thedeans of liberal arts. Eerad o find fine arts and what's interesting, iswhen we release information. We actually deidentified the university,meaning that we we coated them sort of as a research. One sort of this largeresearch program versus emerging research and comprehensive and when wereleased information as people started...

...clicking on the different liberal arts.Other types of majors, the Universitis, actually ask us to identify theuniversities they wanted, I to be transparent because they saw a value soEFOS example there's some really great stories using the national data. Wewere able to identify that music majors from ut Al Passotheir first year out, are making fifty percent of them ere making fiftyzerdollars. Well, yes, and then there's other programs like rhetoric andcomposition whicsypally, you know English based their first year out fromUT Arlington they're, making forty six OSAND dollars romance languagees inliterature. Forty two housand dollar, so its hell. This really nice storyabout the value of these nonstem majors that typically people think that othey're not making any money, but they actually are and and in typically yourfirst year out of college, will be your lowest earning and thereafter thisincrease over time. So we were really concerned about it. But what'sinteresting is since we've been doing this to since two thousand and twelve,we have not had one complaint for my parent and student about the privacy ofreleasing this information. I think it's so important that you give outthose one, five and and ten year levels to caue. Similarly to you, I went in inwith this expectation that that liberal, our arts, salary n in the longer termoutcomes, would prove slayly less than stem and while in most cases with thedata that I was able to browse their first year, salary might have been alittle low by five bin tenure. It often even doubt, if I didn't surpass, so Ithink it does give you a really strong defense of the broadness of the of theeducation of Liberal Arts and then the long term benefits of achieving thatkind of education. Absolutely and the one thing that we're trying toconcentrate on as well we're using this as a foundational pece, we have tha.The earnings will check that off as a box. Now we can start really thinkingabout CIFIC engagement, voter...

...participation, other things that aregoing to help our society in general. The way I view high education, itreally brodens students, perspectives and opportunities across all sacets oflife, because there are research out there that show that you know, studentsthat graduate with a Hir, ducation degree, they're more healthy, sothey're more aware of avenues to go down to increase their health. So justtrying to get those pieces to tidbits and then the last thing that I alwaystry to emphasize is that one student really inspired me when I interviewedthem. When we first started this, he told me you know I just want tofollow my passion, but I also want to make a livable wage, and so what we'vedone in the website? There's a subsection, that's sort of hidden and Ineed to actually expose it. More is following your passion, and it tells itgives case studies and photos of different types of students that falltheir passion, whether it be music, whether it being nursing, whether it beengineering and they're happy with their career and they're, making alevel wage and that's all we can really ask- is making sure that people arehappy with their day today, because we spent you know half our life at work.You have to make sure you're happy as well right right David. I love yourambition behind the data and the data potential. What are your future hopeswith the the seceut tool? And do you hold that hope for a similarly helpfulfederal database? One day, I'm hopeful, I'm always hopful, I'msort of a pollyanna about everything swe had to be, I mean with workingthefendral government. I can take a I take the little bit of time toestablish M agreements. So just making? U That you're positive and making surethat you have the right intentions, and so my hopes would be that we would movebeyond just tha US news and world rinking to actually looking at thevalue of education and how it it helps students develop into better peopleoverall and then also, lastly, just making sure that they have theiearnings that they need to be...

...successful in life. And so that'sreally the core charter of why we were doing this, the other, where it's goingand I'm hoping that the government will fall sort of the university lead. Thereare several of US around the country that sort of oure support groups, so Iwork with all righ interact with some colleagues from New York and Floridaand California, and we just really have conversations about. Hopefully, one day, the department education score cardwill mirror some of the things that we believe are important and and what issitting the needs for students and parents Gu. Ultimately, because whendeveloping the tool, I'm always thinking about our first generationstudent, someone that has such limited exp experience or exposure. Because Iwas the first generation student, I just happened to be very nosy and Iasked a lot of questions as I is doing my be really I was, I was the only onein my family everyday receive a degree, and so, but I was very inquisitive andI wouldn't really. I would always ask several questions and several people sowith this. I always try to frame it as they have limit experience. So, let'sfreee things and questions they can answer using data so that they'rebetter informed, and so yes, that's great. They want to go into find studioarts, but at least they're informed about their earnings associate withthat degree and how much is going to take with student dead if you needed totake out any lons and making sure that they're well informed n before they preven pursue that Avenue, love it David Congrats, on on being a firstgeneration student that has achieved magnificence success since then, andand then huge congratulations and Kudos on continuing to empower future firstgends to make more conscious and thoughtfulpoligen program specific decisions. I can't thank you enough for your timetoday in general. What's the best place for listeners to connect with you ifthey have any followed questions, probably the best places just throughemail, so they can reach me at d troutman at UT system. Dotedu, awesomethanks against so much for joining Os.

Today, David great thanks fad for meattracting today's new post, traditional learners means adopting newenrolmant strategies. Keelics educations data driven enterprise, wideapproach to enrollment growth is uniquely helping colleges anduniversities thrive in this new education, landscape and Helix has justpublished the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook, with fiftypercent brand new content on how institutions cansolve today's mostpressing enromant growth challenges download it today for free at Helocks,Educationcom playbook you've been listening to enromantgrowth university from helics education to ensure that you never miss anepisode subscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thankyou so much for listening until next time.

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