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A Data Dashboard to Promote Postsecondary Success

Male African American college student series
Developing tools to support college access and equity
  • Client
    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Dates
    2022 - 2023


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation wanted to refine its post-secondary success strategy.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Gates) funds programs that ensure post-secondary success is not dependent on race, ethnicity, and income. It decided that its previous goal—to support college completion for 11 million more students by 2025 to meet market demand—had limitations. It wanted to recenter its strategic goals on supporting a broader set of student outcomes, public goods to strengthen the field, and creating environments that support institutional transformation. The latter included selecting a set of six intermediary organizations with deep experience supporting colleges and universities to work with around 200 colleges and universities and help them achieve institutional transformation that supported those outcomes.


NORC worked closely with Gates to develop data dashboards that estimate graduation rates and forecast enrollment.

Gates partnered with NORC to create dashboards that the intermediaries and colleges and universities can use to support their goal-setting efforts and measure their progress. One of the dashboards estimates graduation rates for Black, Indigenous, Latino, and low-income students using a predictive analytical model. The model is based on a meta-analysis of research curated by Gates. Colleges and universities can use it to model the impact adopting one or more strategies (such as advising, digital learning, and developmental education reforms) could have on graduation rates. Since this project took place as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, NORC improved estimates to account for COVID-related enrollment changes. The second dashboard provides enrollment projections by institution and institutional sector through 2027. NORC collaborated with Gates to develop the methodology and the functionality and usability of the dashboards. 


Colleges and universities can use the dashboards to promote post-secondary success.

Colleges, universities, and intermediaries partnering with Gates can use the dashboards to set goals around post-secondary graduation and monitor progress toward them. They can also use them to assess how incorporating evidence-based strategies could affect that journey.  


Project Leads

  • Lance A. Selfa

    Principal Research Scientist
    Project Director
  • Quentin Brummet

    Principal Research Methodologist
    Project Statistician
  • Nola du Toit

    Senior Research Methodologist & Data Visualization Specialist
    Data Visualization and Dashboard Specialists
  • Kiegan Rice

    Senior Statistician
    Data Visualization and Dashboard Specialists

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