Brazosport College named among Top 10 Community Colleges

Brazosport College, located in Lake Jackson, TX, has been named a finalist for the Aspen Institute’s prestigious Aspen Prize. Recognized along with nine other community colleges, BC has been using ZogoTech solutions to integrate data into everyday decision making.

ZogoTech, a leading provider of data warehousing and business intelligence solutions for higher education, has worked with Brazosport College over the past few years to develop a data warehouse that precisely meets the data needs of executives, researchers, and decision makers at every level.

Dr. Millicent Valek, President of Brazosport College, explains, ”Part of our overall student success agenda is based on having a culture of evidence, and to have that be a real culture you need to have widespread use of data. You can only have widespread use when data reports out in a meaningful fashion. That’s why we’re enthusiastic about having ZogoTech in our hands because it answers that part of the question”

The Aspen Prize, initiated through the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, targets a new generation of college leaders in order to improve colleges’ ability to teach and graduate students, especially low-income and minority students on campuses across the United States. As the first national recognition of the extraordinary accomplishments at individual community colleges, this prize calls attention to the vital priority of raising completion rates nationwide. The grand prize winner and four finalists will be named in March 2013.

“We’ve been on this road to improve outcomes for students for a number of years. Because it’s a journey and takes some time, you don’t always notice the progress you’re making. Being nominated for the Aspen Prize was a way of acknowledging that all this hard work is beginning to take hold, and in ways that we weren’t really giving ourselves enough credit for,” explains Dr. Valek. “There are a lot of other colleges on this journey too, so to be named at the top of that list lets us know that our efforts are bearing the right results. It’s also helped energize the college community around the student success agenda. It’s put us in a position where we’re poised now to take that to the next level of wider use of data and a natural assumption that we’ll look to the data for every decision.”

“Department chairs frequently use ZogoTech to generate grade reports by class and longitudinal reports by class and instructor. We also report a lot on degree attainment and student learning objectives. Because the data are now available for various offices, they are able to get at a lot of information without waiting on IR,” says Dr. David Preston, Director of Institutional Research. “The plan is to get even more data in the hands of more users, so that eventually everyone can use data for decision making.”

For BC, working with ZogoTech is an important part of reaching that goal. “ZogoTech doesn’t require you to be a programmer; even people who wouldn’t have thought of themselves as data users can now feel at ease with the technology and use it every day,” Dr. Valek continues. “It’s customized to our requirements, so the data we need is quickly and easily available. Because so many people on campus can use ZogoTech, it generates conversations about the data. That’s the kind of thing that drives continuous improvements and it plays a critical role in what we’re trying to do here.”

Brazosport College now joins fellow ZogoTech client Southwest Texas Junior College, a 2011 Top Ten Community College, in being recognized by the Aspen Institute as a leader in higher education. “Working with colleges like Brazosport is important to us,” says ZogoTech CEO Michael Taft. “They have ambitious goals that are all centered on better serving their students and the community. Helping them access and analyze the data so they can reach those goals is at the core of all our work. We’re glad to see their efforts recognized on a national stage.”