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 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 $1,700).

HEDS member institutions also have the option of sharing individual- and institution-level data from third-party surveys administered by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research (CPR), the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP), and the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI). These surveys include the following:

For HEDS institutions that wish to share data from these surveys, the HEDS staff will collect data directly from CPR for NSSE. For the CIRP and HERI surveys, we will collect data files from institutions.

In addition to sharing unit record data from the surveys, HEDS creates summary and/or comparison reports on key data elements from these surveys. HEDS does not share unit record data on the HERI Faculty Survey.

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 arms of the Center of Inquiry, which is located at Wabash College. The Center of Inquiry supports the use of evidence to strengthen liberal arts education for all students regardless of the institution they attend, the major they pursue, or their economic means. Through HEDS, the Center of Inquiry supports institutions that share and use data to improve institutional effectiveness and student success. The Center of Inquiry’s ATLAS program provides consulting support and workshops on assessment, and the Teagle Assessment Scholar Program TASP supports the professional development of assessment leaders.