State Policy Resource Center (SPRC)

Over the past four years, with support from the Lumina Foundation, SHEEO staff have been working to develop a broad, up-to-date database of policy relevant information in order to provide SHEEOs with rapid, easy access to data and analytical studies to help state leaders identify priorities and develop strategies for improving policies and performance. This work is collectively known as the State Policy Resource Center, or SPRC.

The project resulted in a data warehouse that includes IPEDS data and other data sources for the past ten years. Analytical reports are produced and distributed using this data based on the direction framed by the SPRC Board of Advisors. Each report includes a national overview (publicly released) and state-specific institutional profiles (released to the respective state SHEEO offices). In addition, the SPRC project produced interactive tools in partnership with HCM Strategists that enable users to view data from the IPEDS database graphically.

Katie Zaback and Andy Carlson are currently on the point for this effort, with some technical support from NCHEMS and additional staff involvement in specific studies.


SPRC Projects/Studies

For each of the projects/studies generated through the SPRC initiative, a national report has been widely released, and each SHEEO member has been provided access to a detailed, institutional-level state report.

Degree Production

Degree Production Trends by Program Area: A National Analysis 2001-2009 (August 2011) examines degree productivity by specific program area using the Classification on Instructional Programs (CIP).

Certificate Production and the Race toward Higher Education Attainment (December 2010) provides national, regional, and cross-state overviews of recent trends in certificate production and the types of certificates being produced.


The Economic Benefit of Postsecondary Degrees: A State and National Level Analysis (December 2012) shows that postsecondary degree attainment clearly results in higher earnings for the vast majority of individuals in all 50 states. Moreover, the evidence indicates that almost without exception, despite variation across states and disciplines, each successive level of higher educational attainment yields additional economic benefit.

Degree Productivity and Cost Trends (August 2010) provides a national and cross-state overview and analysis of trends in degree production and completion rates, costs per degree and completion, and enrollment in public higher education.

Four-State Cost Study by Sharmila Basu Conger, Allison C. Bell and Jeff Stanley, September 2010


Staffing Trends in Public Colleges and Universities: A National Analysis 2001-2009 (May 2011) analyzes postsecondary staffing characteristics and changes over time by state, sector, and institutional type.

  • State Fall Staffing data and analysis (March 2012) provided detailed state and institutional data on staffing trends to SHEEO agencies in a format that facilitated additional analysis at the state level. These analyses were distributed directly to state agencies as a supplement to the Staffing Trends in Public Colleges and Universities report. If you'd like a copy of your agency's report, please contact us.


SPRC Evaluation

Ann Daley Ryherd, former SHEEO in Washington, was commissioned to evaluate this project through interviews with members in twenty-four states. Her summary conclusion reads: 

SHEEO’s State Policy Resource Connections (SPRC) initiative has been well received by its intended users and there is strong interest among the states interviewed in assisting SHEEO in the development of next steps on this initiative and identifying priority areas of research. When asked for suggestions for future research, the great variety and number of recommendations received is testament to both the hunger for better information and the credibility of SHEEO in filling that gap.

Evaluation of SHEEO’s State Policy Resource Connections (SPRC) Initiative


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