New Postsecondary Governance Structures Database

New Postsecondary Governance Structures Database
Tim Siftar
September 30, 2009
This database is a revised version of the 1997 State Postsecondary Structures Sourcebook that was converted into an interactive database with information about the postsecondary governance structures in each state. Generate profiles of individual state postsecondary governance structures, comparisons between them, or check out a few of their predetermined reports. Published by the Education Commission of the States ( It's a good start on that MSHE510 assignment.

As a second step, find the website for your state's agency. (The directory on the SHEEO  website has handy links to all states.) Study your agency's website carefully. What does the "About Us" link reveal? For example, on the page for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Ed , it lists their mission statement and summary of powers.

If there is no helpful "About Us" section on your state system's site, I recommend using the Google Advanced Search feature "Search within a site or domain" and paste in the homepage of your target state system, then use keywords such as "governance" or "powers" to come up with your answers.

As an afterthought, I noticed at the bottom of the pages they have a "related link" to an informative section of the Massachusetts General Law that was enacted by state legislators to create their system. Wading through the legal language can help clarify any details that are not revealed on your agency's website. If your agency doesn't include a link to the legal statute that created them, it is possible to find via Drexel's subscription to Lexis Nexis as I have detailed in the Higher Education Research Guide.

Lastly, I understand that you need statistics on the high school graduation rate for your chosen state. Whenever you hear "education and statistics" in the same sentence, you should think of the Federal National Center for Education Statistics website. While there are certainly other places to find this data, their report entitled "High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the US: 2007" is the definitive source that all the others will cite.  Table #12 entitled: "—Averaged freshman graduation rate of public high school students, by state: School year 2005–06" seems right.

I'll update this blog with a posting about your upcoming historical assignment next week.