About HEDS

We are a consortium of colleges and universities that collaborate to advance undergraduate liberal arts education, inclusive excellence, and student success.

What is HEDS?

HEDS facilitates the exchange of data and professional knowledge among member institutions in an atmosphere of trust, collegiality, and assured confidentiality.

HEDS is an independent not-for-profit corporation that was formed in 1983 and is now located at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

What is HEDS?

HEDS facilitates the exchange of data and professional knowledge among member institutions in an atmosphere of trust, collegiality, and assured confidentiality.

HEDS is an independent not-for-profit corporation that was formed in 1983 and is now located at the Center of Inquiry at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

What kinds of data do HEDS institutions share?

HEDS collects and shares institutional data, public data sets, third-party survey data, and data from HEDS surveys. HEDS also sponsors opportunities for representatives from member institutions to collaborate on using data.

Each year, HEDS collects and shares the following institutional data. The cost of sharing data is included in the membership fee:

For the AAUP and CDS data, institutions may submit the same data file to HEDS that they submit to the AAUP Salary Survey and the Common Data Set Initiative. For the remaining data, we ask institutional representatives to complete surveys with the relevant information. HEDS creates an interactive Microsoft Excel file that allows for customizable comparisons for each data set. Learn more about institutional data exchanges here.

HEDS also pulls data from publicly available sources and shares them with HEDS members in an interactive Microsoft Excel file that allows for customized comparisons. These comparison files include the following:

  • Baccalaureate Origins of Doctorates: Contains overall and discipline-specific data from the WebCASPAR database on the proportion of students that go on to receive PhDs for both public and private institutions. We update this information every three years. The last update was in 2016–2017.
  • IPEDS: contains data from the IPEDS Data Center for a broad range of public and private institutions.

HEDS administers seven unique surveys:

Learn more about HEDS surveys here.
HEDS member institutions can participate in these surveys at a substantially lower cost than institutions that do not belong to HEDS ($500 versus $1,800).

HEDS member institutions also have the option of sharing individual- and institution-level data from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) administered by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research (CPR).  The HEDS staff will collect data directly from NSSE for the institutions that want to participate. In addition to sharing unit record data from the survey, HEDS creates a summary report on key data elements.

How do HEDS members collaborate?

The HEDS Consortium sponsors opportunities for representatives from member institutions to collaborate and learn from one another through the following:

The HEDS Annual Conference:

Focuses on assessment, institutional research, and institutional effectiveness at small colleges and universities. Conference sessions include presentations on almost any aspect of how people at institutions analyze and use data to advance their institution’s mission. Aside from good presentations, an important part of the Annual Conference is the chance for people from a wide variety of institutions to get together and talk. Learn more about the HEDS Annual Conference

An Active Listserv:

Promotes the exchange of data, techniques, and other useful information between representatives of HEDS institutions.

How do we ensure that HEDS institutions won’t disclose each other’s confidential data?

When institutions join HEDS, their representatives sign a statement agreeing that they will:

Use data from other institutions only for their own internal efforts to more fully enact their mission.
Only share these data discretely with audiences inside their institutions.
Not share these data with audiences outside of the consortium.

What is HEDS’ relationship with the Center of Inquiry?

HEDS is one of three branches of the Center of Inquiry, which is located at Wabash College. The Center of Inquiry works with faculty, staff, administrators, and students to improve learning and teaching at 2- and 4-year colleges and universities through its three branches. Through HEDS, the Center supports institutions that share and use data to improve undergraduate liberal arts education, inclusive excellence, and student success. Through ATLAS, Charles Blaich and Kathy Wise work with faculty and staff to help them develop, revise, and upgrade assessment programs in order to develop faculty skills and improve student learning. TASP, the Teagle Assessment Scholar Program, is designed to develop and support people who are, or who have the potential to become, national leaders in using evidence to advance student learning.