Annual Conference

AEFP 45th Annual Conference Program

Please note: All times are Central Time (CT)

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Conference Workshops - Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 8:30am to 11:30am
- Workshop: Accessing and Exploring NCES/Census Data

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has several state-of-the-art data tools that allow users to easily access and analyze data. This workshop provides participants with a comprehensive overview of those tools to access data sets. Participants will learn how to access public-use and restricted-use data sets, create reports and data tables, find published reports and conduct analyses in selected statistical tools. NCES offers a large variety of national, state, local, school and student data sets including assessment data, cross sectional data, survey data and administrative records, and participants will better understand which data sets cover their educational topic of interest.

The workshop is designed for graduate students, faculty members, researchers and other users with interest in using NCES and/or Census data for their research studies, evaluations, and data projects. Participants are not required to have any pre-requisite skills to attend, and should bring their personal laptops for interactive, in-class activities. Each participant will receive an Accessing and Exploring NCES/Census Data “cookbook,” that provides comprehensive instruction and screen shots explaining how to navigate a myriad of NCES data tools and the DLDT. The workshop will introduce NCES’ Distance Learning Dataset Training System (DLDT). The workshop will also offer an in-depth instruction on four NCES data tools, including the Elementary/Secondary Information System (ELSI); the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Data Explorer; Educational Demographic and Geographic Estimates (EDGE) data tools to explore ACS and GIS data; and the new Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

Participants will also be given an overview of the NCES website, including information on school district data available through the NCES Common Core of Data (CCD) from the National Public Education Financial Survey (NPEFS) and the School District Finance Survey (F-33). Staff from the U.S. Census Bureau will also conduct an overview of F-33 data files and documentation available on the Census Bureau website ( The overview will cover the types of data files and tables available on both websites, the locations of file documentation and record layouts, and a summary of historical data available for researchers.



Conference Workshops - Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 10:00am to 11:30am
- Workshop: Using EdBuildR to map disparities across school district lines
Participation in this workshop is free! Thank yo to EdBuild for your generous support.

As EdBuild prepares to close its doors, we are open sourcing all of our data and tools. We’ll introduce the EdBuildR package to be used in the R software environment. We will walk through the datasets available for automated download and processing, functions to automate spatial analysis, and tools for mapping and visualization. In the workshop, we will use the EdBuildR package to identify economic and racial disparities across school district lines in the country and create maps to visualize these disparities. We will import a master dataset of school districts, identify inter-border inequities, and map them to explore chosen demographics or analyses. We will end with lessons learned from six years of geographic exploration of the nation’s school district borders. Participants will leave knowing how to use the EdBuildR package to import school district finance, enrollment, demographic and economic characteristics data, analyze these spatially, and visualize the results in a map. This workshop is intended for researchers with experience using the R programming language and software environment, but we will also cover how to download all EdBuildR datasets as excel or csv files.

- Workshop: Understanding and Accessing Higher Education Data
Thank you to Urban Institute for sponsoring this session! This event is free and does not require registration.

The federal government makes large amounts of data available on colleges and universities through longstanding data collection efforts such as IPEDS as well as a newer ones such as the College Scorecard. But these data can be time-consuming for researchers to use, as data formats and field definitions change over time. The Urban Institute’s Education Data Portal makes these datasets easier than ever to access by creating a “one-stop shop” with harmonized data that are accessible through an API, Stata/R packages, and point-and-click interface.

In this session, Erica Blom and Matt Chingos will explain the ins and outs of higher education data, including IPEDS and the College Scorecard, and provide an overview of how to access and work with these datasets. The session will include a presentation on the March 2020 addition of the IPEDS finance survey to the Portal, which harmonizes data on institutional finances from sector-specific surveys into a single panel dataset. The presentation will be geared towards researchers with relatively limited experience with these datasets, but all AEFP attendees are welcome to attend.