UCF recently partnered with three other educational institutions in the region to work toward the success of all students, no matter their age or ZIP code.

Also teaming up on the Central Florida Education Ecosystem Database are Valencia College, Orange County Public Schools and the School District of Osceola County in an initiative to help students achieve higher goals.

“Through our collaboration with partners in Central Florida and statewide, we focus on preparing students for success in college, career and life,” said Paul J. Luna, president of the Helios Education Foundation, which is funding the joint program intended to assist about 390,000 students who attend public prekindergarten to post-secondary schools in Orange and Osceola counties.

The CFEED research initiative was set up to link partners, data and educational opportunities to enhance student learning, increase academic achievement, and ultimately establish a supportive pathway toward education success.

The data collection for the research isn’t new — the information is submitted annually to the Florida Department of Education — but the foundation said this is a first-of-a-kind collaboration to use metrics and predictive analytics to create one database and analyze it to gather educational insights and improve student outcomes.

“The opportunity to understand how individual students experience the educational pathway from K-12 through to completion of a post-secondary credential will enable educators to design interventions that elevate student success at key transition points and overall student completion,” said Joyce Romano, vice president for educational partnerships at Valencia College.

The foundation projects that the collected data can be used to implement improvements as soon as two years. In addition to creating expected gains in student completion and graduation, the initiative is designed to produce better candidates for employment and ultimately grow the Central Florida economy.

“The whole idea behind CFEED is really readiness, preparing students for that next step,” said Maribeth Ehasz, UCF vice president for Student Development and Enrollment Services.

The nonprofit Helios Foundation focuses its educational efforts in Arizona and Florida, following its fundamental beliefs of community, investment, equity and partnership.