Spotlight Roundup: Big Data, Credential fraud, FERPA vendors, Enrollment trends

August 27, 2013
  • AACRAO Connect
  • Compliance and Reporting
  • International Admissions and Credential Evaluation

AACRAO executive directorAACRAO Spotlight interviews are published twice weekly before major professional development meetings. They feature our conversations with industry experts, highlighting key issues and promoting their sessions and workshops at the upcoming conference.

Below you'll find brief summaries of four recent Q-and-As with a link to the full interview.

Featured: AACRAO talks with Executive Director Mike Reilly about Big Data

Mike Reilly, the Executive Director of AACRAO, has personal experience dealing with the tradeoffs between protecting privacy and making data available for improved public outcome—and thoughtful ideas about how to strike the right balance between them.

"Prior to coming to AACRAO, I worked in Washington State and was very involved in the planning for the data sharing agreements of their state longitudinal database," Reilly says. "I personally think there should be no compromise on student privacy, and I also have a belief that I don't think people need identifiable student data to be able to conduct a lot of the studies and analysis that needs to take place. I am yet to be convinced why somebody needs to see that anyway."

"I think it's essential that you have a trusted authority in your state that you can work with who does things like attaches unique identifiers and serves as the conduit for matching of data—that has been my experience," he adds. "I just think its important for registrars and enrollment people to be involved in these conversations early, establish the principles of the data sharing agreements, and remind people that there are ways to do this without compromising privacy."

Along with state- and national-level researchers and experts, Reilly will participate in the “Student Privacy in the Age of Big Data” panel at AACRAO's upcoming Annual Meeting. The panel will discuss "the intersections between the national desire for more accountability and transparency in higher education through the use of data and analytics, and the intersection with FERPA and student privacy, and how that stays protected in this national movement for more transparency," Reilly says. Read the complete interview here.


AACRAO talks with FBI agent on academic credential fraud

Allen Ezell, an FBI Special Agent who targeted diploma mill rings in sting operations, talks with AACRAO about how the internet has changed the game in the market for fraudulent credentials.

Together with John Bear, another leading authority in academic credential fraud investigation, Ezell wrote Degree Mills: The Billion-Dollar Industry That Has Sold Over a Million Fake Diplomas (Prometheus Books, 2005). Ezell and Bear will be holding a pre-conference workshop—Academic Credential Fraud: Detection, Protection, Resources—at the Annual Meeting about issues surrounding the integrity of legitimate education and higher education institutions.  

AACRAO talks with Senior Fellow LeRoy Rooker on FERPA-compliant vendors and other compliance issues

“Contractors and vendors can now be designated as 'school officials,' [according to] the new regulations … but institutions oftentimes have no idea whether their vendor is in compliance–they just have the product or the service, but don't know whether they are at risk of violating FERPA,” warns  LeRoy Rooker, AACRAO Senior Fellow, in his spotlight interview with AACRAO.

At this year's Annual Meeting, Rooker, former Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO), will conduct the interactive sleuthing workshop “CSI: FERPA,” and will also offer a number of legislative overviews and updates.

AACRAO talks with ACT's Steve Kappler on ACT's Enrollment Management Trends Report

ACT'S Enrollment Management Trends Report offers some unexpected findings that can help enrollment managers do their jobs more effectively, says Steve Kappler, assistant vice president at ACT.

The report, which Kappler will be presenting at AACRAO's Annual Meeting, reveals that students tend to do what they say a surprising amount of the time—they generally follow through on their preferences for schools in terms of size, public / private, distance, and so on. Another fascinating finding is that recruiters often have a blind spot when it comes to first-time senior-tested students, a disproportionately male and minority group who are often overlooked entirely. Read more of our Q-and-A with Kappler here.


By: AACRAO Connect



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