ASSIST Data Governance Policy
| ASSIST Program Director
| ASSIST Central Services
|Last Review Date:
- ASSIST system users from the California Community Colleges (CCC), California State University (CSU), or
University of California (UC) who create, manage, and/or rely on ASSIST data for decision-making and
- Public viewers who rely on the accuracy of ASSIST data to make informed decisions.
- External stakeholders who are licensed to access and use ASSIST data.
| Dr. Lindsey Caputo
| ASSIST Program Coordinator
| (510) 287-3325
Statement of Purpose
ASSIST data are intersegmental assets maintained to support ASSIST’s mission to facilitate the transfer of California Community College students to California State University and University of California campuses by providing official transfer and articulation information.
For effective management, ASSIST data must be accessible, correctly represent the information intended, and be easily integrated across intersegmental (CCC, CSU, UC) information systems. The purpose of data governance is to develop ASSIST policies and procedures that ensure ASSIST data meet these criteria within and across intersegmental data systems, as well as each segment’s administrative data systems, including undergraduate application systems, student information systems, and educational planning applications.
This policy was developed to achieve the following:
- Establish responsibility for the management of ASSIST data as an intersegmental asset;
- Improve ease of access and ensure that once data are located, users have enough information about the data to interpret them correctly and consistently;
- Improve data security, including authorized use and protection from loss, and;
- Improve the data integrity, resulting in greater accuracy, timeliness, and quality of information for decision-making.
The ASSIST Data Governance Policy addresses data governance structure and also includes policies on data access, data usage, and data integrity and integration.
Table of Contents
- Data Governance Structure
- Data Access Policy
- Data Usage Policy
- Data Integrity & Integration Policy
1. Data Governance Structure
Data governance is the practice of making strategic and effective decisions regarding ASSIST information assets. It assumes a philosophy of freedom of access to ASSIST data by the intersegmental community and beyond, coupled with the responsibility to adhere to all policies and legal constraints governing such use.
Statement of Policy
To maintain effective data governance, the ASSIST program applies formal policy guidelines to manage the information assets and assigns staff to implement the policies. The ASSIST Program Coordinator (“Data Coordinator”) serves as the designated lead to oversee data governance activities. However, this function is also shared among other ASSIST Data Officers, the ASSIST Executive Management & Oversight Committee (EMOC), the ASSIST Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), and general data users.
Through the establishment of ASSIST data policies and intersegmental priorities, this policy will provide direction to the Data Coordinator, Data Officers, and general data users.
This individual is responsible for coordinating data policies and procedures, and ensuring representation of the interests of key ASSIST data users. The Data Coordinator facilitates consultation with TAC members and provides support to related data management efforts, including implementation of established data policies and general administrative data security policies; authorizing use of data within the ASSIST platform and monitoring this use to verify appropriate data access; safeguarding data from unauthorized access and abuse through established procedures and educational programs; and supporting access by providing applicable documentation and training for general data users.
Data Officers are ASSIST staff whose duties provide them with an intricate understanding of the data in their area. They work with the Data Coordinator to establish procedures for the responsible management of data, including data entry and reporting.
2. Data Access Policy
The purpose of the data access policy is to ensure that ASSIST users have appropriate access to intersegmental data and information. While recognizing the responsibility for the security of data, the procedures established to protect that data must not interfere unduly with the efficient conducting of the ASSIST program’s business. This policy applies to all intersegmental constituents and to all uses of ASSIST data.
Statement of Policy
The value of data as an intersegmental resource is increased through its widespread and appropriate use; its value is diminished through misuses, misinterpretation, and unnecessary access restrictions.
ASSIST will protect its data assets through security measures that assure the proper use of the data when accessed. Every data item will be classified by the Data Coordinator to have an appropriate access level. Data access will be conducted in accordance with the policies established by EMOC, in consultation with TAC.
Any data request that is denied may be appealed first to the ASSIST Program Director, and then to EMOC based on recommendations from the Program Director and/or TAC, as relevant.
3. Data Usage Policy
Statement of Policy
ASSIST data will be used only as required for providing transfer and articulation information as outlined in the ASSIST program’s mission, not for other unauthorized purposes. Data usage falls into the three categories of: Update, Read-Only, and External Dissemination.
Data extracts will be available for external dissemination for authorized users. The release of all extracts will be approved by the Data Coordinator and conducted in accordance with policies established by EMOC, in consultation with TAC.
- CCC, CSU, and UC system offices, their respective campuses, and third party entities working formally under the direction of system offices or campuses (e.g. a technical vendor, faculty/student researcher, etc.) are not required to sign an ASSIST license agreement.
- A third party working independently (e.g., a business entity, non-CA public/private college or university, researcher, etc.), or working under contract with a CCC, CSU, or UC entity and planning to use ASSIST data outside of their contractual obligation, is required to sign an ASSIST license agreement and pay any applicable fees prior to receiving ASSIST data extracts.
Consequence of Policy Non-Compliance
Any user who fails to comply with the data usage policy will be considered in violation of the relevant ASSIST code of conduct and may be subject to legal action if laws have been violated. Failure to comply with this policy could result in denial of access to ASSIST data.
4. Data Integrity & Integration Policy
The purpose of the data integrity and integration policy is to ensure that ASSIST data have a high degree of integrity and that key data elements can be integrated across intersegmental units and electronic systems so that intersegmental faculty, staff, and management may rely on ASSIST data for information and decision support.
Data integrity refers to the validity, reliability, and accuracy of data. Data integrity relies on a clear understanding of the business processes underlying the data and the consistent definition of each data element. CCC, CSU, and UC content providers are responsible for maintaining the accuracy of curriculum and articulation data.
Data integration, or the ability of data to be assimilated across information systems, is contingent upon the integrity of data and the development of a data model and corresponding data structures.
Statement of Policy
ASSIST data will be consistently interpreted across all intersegmental systems according to the ASSIST program’s values and best practices agreed upon by the ASSIST program staff, EMOC, and ASSIST advisory committees. Data administration will ensure that the needs of ASSIST data users are taken into consideration in the development and modification of data structures and values. It is the responsibility of the Data Coordinator to ensure the correctness of the data values.
ASSIST data is defined as information that is input, housed, and maintained in support of the ASSIST curriculum and articulation platform. Such information must meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Addresses a data field built into the ASSIST database structure (i.e., the information is required for integration within the ASSIST system and/or across downstream information systems);
- Serves an administrative and/or business purpose for ASSIST users (e.g., the information is included in official ASSIST reports);
- Involves monitoring by ASSIST program staff to ensure integrity and compliance with internal and external administration requirements.
It is the responsibility of the Data Coordinator to determine which core data elements are part of ASSIST data.
Documentation (metadata) on each data element will be maintained in an ASSIST repository according to specifications provided by the Data Coordinator and informed by TAC. These specifications will include both the technical representation/definition of each element, as well as a complete interpretation that explains the meaning of the data element and how it is derived and used. The interpretation will include acceptable values for each data element.
ASSIST users should bring data problems and suggestions for improvements to the attention of the Data Coordinator.
Data Element: A single data item housed within the ASSIST system. For example, prefix is a data element.
Data Value: The set of values that each data element can represent. For example, ANTH, BIOL, HUMN and MUSC are values of the data element, prefix.