NSWERS is a partnership between Nebraska’s public education system, in affiliation with the Nebraska Department of Labor, to create a data-informed decision culture that supports successful pathways of learning and earning for the people of Nebraska. In 2020, the Nebraska Legislature codified this idea into law (LB 1160), envisioning NSWERS as a “comprehensive, sustainable, and robust lifelong learning and workforce longitudinal data system to allow for the targeting of resources, and focus data analysis on assessing workforce development and employment success in order to enable the training of tomorrow’s workforce.”
It is pronounced, “en-sirs.”
NSWERS operates as a joint administrative entity consistent with the provisions of Nebraska Revised Statute §13-804(6). NSWERS works on behalf of its partners to achieve two goals:
The NSWERS data infrastructure is managed in cooperation with the University of Nebraska’s Information Technology Services (ITS) to ensure appropriate security controls, including:
In addition, the NSWERS data system makes use of government-grade cloud storage solutions created to meet the needs of federal contractors for the U.S. Department of Defense. These solutions were designed to meet the stringent cyber security and compliance requirements of NIST 800-171, FedRAMP High, and ITAR, or who need to manage CUI/CDI.
NSWERS employs extensive data verification, validation, and certification procedures. Information submitted to NSWERS is encrypted and validated to ensure security and compliance with NSWERS data specifications. Feedback on non-compliant data
elements is provided at the time of submission for remediation and re-submission. Post-verification, data is de-identified. Then, a data certification report is generated for partner institutions to ensure that the data processed is accurate. Once the certification report is reviewed and signed, deidentified information is loaded into the NSWERS research systems for evaluation and data product development.
Partner agencies/institutions include the Nebraska Department of Education, the University of Nebraska System, the Nebraska State Colleges System, and each of Nebraska’s six community colleges (Central Community College, Metropolitan Community College, Mid-Plains Community College, Northeast Community College, Southeast Community College, and Western Nebraska Community College). Additionally, NSWERS works in affiliation with the Nebraska Department of Labor.
NSWERS focuses on assessing Nebraska’s education, workforce development, and employment success to enable the training of tomorrow’s workforce. In many cases, the analyses provided by NSWERS represent the first-time stakeholders are presented with cross-system, longitudinal findings – critical informed for decisions that support pathways of learning and earning for the people of Nebraska.
NSWERS created a six-stage research framework used to analyze the eight NSWERS outcomes. This framework – known as the NSWERS Stages of Analysis – is strategically designed to embody a modern, flexible, scalable approach to analytic activity. What’s more, it focuses our work on those research questions, methods and approaches that best support decision making.
At the baseline level, explore-type questions describe the current state of research, both at an internal level and in academic literature, more broadly. On the other side of the continuum, simulate-type questions provide a mechanism for understanding how education and workforce outcomes might change when inputs and processes in systems are modified.
NSWERS is committed to providing research insights to help inform decision making for Nebraska’s education and workforce development. To that end, we are currently focused on eight key longitudinal outcomes –four education and four workforce-related. Products design based on research insights produced on these eight outcomes: