Using Data to Support Planning

How Data Informs the Planning Process


Setting Outcome Targets

It is important to clearly articulate the outcomes you are trying to achieve with your redesigned model before you begin designing and implementing changes. Even if you are not conducting a formal evaluation, having clear outcome goals will help you assess progress and build support for your work. These outcomes should be connected to your theory of change; the theory of change is how you will map out the various activities and levers that will create the proposed outcomes. Once you have established outcome goals you will need to determine how you will assess whether the goals have been met, and how you will measure progress towards those goals. You will want to ensure that participating colleges have a clear understanding of the expected outcomes and that they understand how they will be evaluated.

Your outcome goals will vary based on the program you are implementing and the number of colleges involved. They may be primarily student goals, or they may also include institutional outcomes. Some suggested measures include: 

  • Number and percentage of students enrolled and/or percentage of eligible population enrolled 
  • Number and percentage of students successfully completing the redesigned pathway 
  • Number and percentage of students retained from term to term 
  • Number and percentage of students earning credentials and/or continuing into further postsecondary education 
  • Academic scores pre- and post-program (reading, writing, mathematics) 
  • Number and percentage of students placed in career-related employment 
  • Starting wages of students placed in employment
  • Number of pathways established