Data Center: Your central resource for Massachusetts public higher education data


The DHE Data Center is derived from our Linear Trends books, a compilation of data submitted by the public higher education institutions that reflect the key performance measurement indicators approved by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (BHE) in 2003/2004. Where authorized comparisons are made to peer-derived benchmarks and other performance targets established by the BHE.

DHE Role and Responsibilities

The Research and Planning staff of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) works with the public institutions of higher education in Massachusetts on data collection and analysis and oversees a comprehensive performance measurement system on behalf of the state and community colleges. The primary function of the office is to provide research, policy analysis and planning recommendations to support decision-making by the DHE, the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (BHE), state government and the broader community of public higher education stakeholders. In support of this task the second primary function of the office is to ensure the quality, integrity and availability of information from the centralized Higher Education Information Resource System (HEIRS) database.

Higher Education Information Resource System (HEIRS)

The DHE maintains HEIRS, a centralized database of student unit-record data from 28 of the 29 public higher education institutions in Massachusetts (15 community colleges, nine state universities, and the four undergraduate campuses of the University of Massachusetts). The database currently contains information on:

In addition the database links (at the student level) to the National Student Clearinghouse, which enables the DHE to track enrollment and degree completion of students who leave the Massachusetts Public Higher Education System. The HEIRS database also maintains comprehensive fiscal information including information on budgeting and physical plant.

Additional Reports and the Vision Project

For additional reports prepared by Research and Planning, please see:

For reports and presentations related to the Vision Project, the BHE’s system-level accountability effort, please see:, and