Achieving transparency through technology
Provide critical information about postgraduate employment, salaries, and professional and graduate school acceptance rates.
- Colleges and universities are being asked hard questions about their cost, value, and role in society and career preparation
- Parents and students seek transparency about institutions’ employment figures for their graduates
- Technology allows institutions to be far more accurate and forthcoming about key metrics like graduate school placement, job placement, and salaries
Cornelius Kerwin, president emeritus, American University
Today, universities are being asked the hardest possible questions about what they're contributing to the public good. At a university like American, because we're expensive and we make certain assertions about the value of the education one receives for that investment, students and parents want to know what's available to them at the end of this experience.
So, our communication office, working with our academic staff—mediated by technology and our Office of Information Technology—initiated a program called We Know Success, where for every graduating student, undergraduate and graduate, by nature, we now publish employment and graduate school admission statistics, including salaries, at the level of the individual major. That was not a capability we could have aspired to a decade ago.
Today, because of technology—and frankly, because of the awareness across the institution of our need to be responsive to what the public is demanding in terms of accountability—has made that a part of our story. I think that shows the unifying effect that a technological capability can provide a college campus. Everybody talks about silos. Silos exist, and they probably always will. But one of the most powerful forces in breaking down walls that need to be broken down is information, and ready availability of it through technology.