New Partnership Explores Data Sharing Between Students, Education, Business

October 3, 2017

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Data flow
© Nick Youngson - Creative Commons

Takeaways

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Lumina Foundation partner to smooth data flow in the education sector.

Everywhere you look today there is innovation happening that is driven by data and technology. We see it through the application of big data analytics in the healthcare sector, which is changing treatment and saving lives. We see it taking shape in autonomous vehicles, which will forever change transportation as we know it. We see it every time we download an application on our smartphone and link it to our personal, professional, and financial data.

The education sector is no different. The power and potential of data is there. Through better data integration we can change how learners share what they know and can do, how credentials communicate what they represent, and how employers signal their hiring needs and connect with qualified job candidates.

However, interoperability in this sector is not a given. We will not unlock the power and potential of data integration unless we fully understand the need for a new public-private data infrastructure—and the technology and standards that can drive it—that will allow data to flow between learner records systems, credentialing organizations, and employer human resource information tools in ways that expand economic opportunity while providing security and protecting privacy.

This is an opportunity that should not pass us by. And the promise of getting it right means better and more comprehensive learner records, improved and more transparent credentialing pathways, and better job opportunity data for learners who are also job seekers. Today we are excited to announce a new partnership between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) and Lumina Foundation that will explore the new public-private data infrastructure of the future. Through a new 12-month grant made by Lumina Foundation, USCCF will organize stakeholder forums and work groups to increase awareness and understanding on the problem to be addressed and the potential benefits to employers, credentialing partners, and learners. It will also explore the underlying technologies (e.g., linked data, blockchain) and standards that will make data more transparent and shareable—while avoiding unintended consequences.

Interoperability and better data integration is important for students, education, and business alike. This project will not only help Lumina reach its national credentialing goal of having 60% of Americans with a high-quality postsecondary credential by 2025, but also will help the business community better locate the talent they need to grow and succeed in today’s economy. We encourage you to join the conversation and to get involved.

Jason Tyszko is executive director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Center for Education and Workforce. Amber Garrison Duncan is strategy director for the Lumina Foundation. 

To learn more about this project and how to get involved contact Tyszko at jtyszko@uschamber.com.