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Using Unemployment Insurance Wage Data to Improve Program Employment Outcomes: A Technical Assistance Guide for Community and Technical Colleges

2012 — The National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education — Graduate Employment Outcomes Study developed a guide for college practitioners using unemployment insurance wage data to examine employment and earnings outcomes for students. The guide draws from the experiences gained in conducting the project and suggests practical action steps for colleges to take to negotiate their own data-sharing agreements, acquire and analyze the data, and interpret the results. The guide discusses the overall accountability context for community colleges, which is under significant transition, particularly as it relates to the question of post-program employment and earnings outcomes. The potential benefits and limitations of using unemployment insurance wage data to evaluate these outcomes are summarized.