Photo Credit: Bacon’s Rebellion
The Virginia Longitudinal Data System (VLDS) is an educational data system that tracks student records from K-12 and after the student enters the workforce. Ultimately it will provide information to allow policy makers to make more informed decisions and assess what programs are successful. VLDS is directed and managed by five agencies including:
- The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC)
- The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE)
- The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV)
- The Virginia Community College System (VCCS)
- The Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA)
The Virginia Employment Commission is the department that can answer questions such as: how much an occupation pays in an area, what are the fastest or slowest jobs in an area, what’s the unemployment rate, what training institutions are in the area, along with profiles for demographic, economic, and educational data. VEC is one of the data providers for VLDS.
The Virginia Department of Education’s purpose is to ensure that students are educated in the fundamental knowledge and subjects they need in order to become responsible, self-reliant, and capable citizens. VDOE works together with the Virginia Board of Directors and the superintendent of public instruction to ensure this. VDOE is another data provider and the grant awardee for VLDS.
Established by the governor and General Assembly in 1956 The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia’s mission is making recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly. The areas in which they work include enrollment projections, institutional technology needs, capital and operating budget. SCHEV is another major data provider for VLDS.
The Virginia Community College System delivers quality higher education and workforce training throughout the 23 community colleges (and 40 campuses) in Virginia. VCCS provides data such as the number of students enrolled in the colleges, average tuition and fees, percentage of college graduates, the number of employers served through workforce programs and much more. VCCS is the follow-up data provider for VLDS.
The Virginia Information Technology Agency’s purpose is to provide data technology and services that allow the government to serve Virginia citizens. Their duties include governance of the Commonwealth’s information security, operation of the IT infrastructure, procurement of technology for VITA, and more. VITA is the technology developer for VLDS.
Also assisting with the project is the Virginia Polytechnic Institution (Virginia Tech) who serves as a technology partner and develops the data adapters. Another partner is the Center for Innovative Technology which also assists with the technology for VLDS. -LL