One of our goals was to construct an integrative system that would not only answer today's questions about workforce and education, but the ones policymakers come up with tomorrow, or next year or in the next decade.

CoverIndiana Return on Investment Report Part II: A Closer Look at College Value

November 2013

This report from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education uses data from IWIS to examine the value of an individual’s investment in higher education and the expected return in terms of salary and job opportunities.

This report is supported by a companion piece, ROI College at a Glance which gives an overview of the return on investment for Hoosier college graduates employed in Indiana.

CoverMajor Unemployment: How Academic Programs of Study Affect Hoosier Unemployment Patterns

August 2012

This research brief explores the potential effect of academic majors on unemployment dynamics (the risks of becoming unemployed and the likely duration of unemployment). It found that graduates' choice of academic major can greatly influence the probability of becoming unemployed during a severe economic downturn.

CoverHow Education Pays in Indiana

November 2011

The question of which degrees–based on the program of study chosen by the student–stayed in Indiana, their respective industries and the resulting pay levels is the focal point of this report.

The report is supported by a robust set of data that readers and researchers can explore more deeply.

CoverThe Importance of Being Educated

October 2011

A study that began by replicating the Washington state "tipping point" research and transformed into a deeper investigation of the adult student's credit hour attainment and when it "paid off" in terms of wages.

The Unemployment Experience in Howard County, Indiana


An early report stemming from the Great Recession, this county provided a good testing ground for the integration of unemployment, employment, new hire and college enrollment data.

Working Papers


Simulated Education Experience

The Lumina Foundation funded a project to build a virtual world of Indiana students around the goal of earning a certificate or degree.  We call the resulting virtual world the Simulated Education Experience or SEE for Indiana or even SEE-I.

SEE uses agency-based modeling technology by Simulex, Inc., Daniel Kahnemen’s theories of decision-making, appropriate education research identified by a cadre of experts convened by Lumina, and Indiana Business Research Center data about students and school districts. 

We went back five years to track each student’s path through school.  With the results, we can see the pathways of all students as well as the analytical results which show the relationships between student traits, achievement milestones, and specific influences significant to finishing school.  SEE for Indiana brings outcomes, indicators and analysis to a dashboard for a user to track and analyze relationships—by geography or any factor of interest.