2020 MidAIR Keynote Speaker: Cameron Smither (AASCU)

Seeing Data Clearly to See Students Clearly

Cameron Smither is the Director of Assessment & Network Engagement at the American Association for State Colleges & Universities (AASCU). In this role, he and his team are developing the association’s strategy for facilitating comprehensive institutional transformation for equitable student success. Cameron leads with experience guiding cross-divisional reflection and collaboration, quantifying and communicating the “return on investment” of postsecondary credentials, and designing improved measures of institutional performance, cost to students, and student progression to drive continuous improvement.

Prior to joining AASCU, Cameron served for 4 years at the American Institutes for Research as a researcher in the Secondary Education, College, Career Readiness, and Workforce Development practice areas. While at AIR, he helped lead such projects as Launch My Career, a series of state-based public-facing webtools calculating program-level ROI; the evaluation of the Frontier Set, a multi-year, multi-institutional collaboration to dramatically increase student success and erase equity gaps; and several projects measuring student success in postsecondary competency-based education (CBE) programs.

In this session, Cameron Smither will ______________________.

· Ground the role of equity in the work of higher education (spoiler: it’s everything) and share principles for how to keep equity, and the student experience, at the center

· Share insights from AASCU’s evolving strategy for facilitating institutional transformation for equitable student success, one pillar of which is Valuing & Sustaining a Culture of Evidence

· Leverage a national perspective to discuss how the role of institutional researcher (and others in roles central to bringing evidence to bare in decisionmaking across the institution) is evolving in reflection of the increasing need to do more with less

· Provide concrete methods for using student data to see student experiences clearly and create space for challenging underlying assumptions about who is served best by the institution