Roane State’s data analysis chief wins prestigious fellowship

UPPER CUMBERLAND – Jeff Tinley, Roane State’s Director of Institutional Research, has been accepted into a prestigious fellowship program designed to help advance his data-related skills.

The program is sponsored by the Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) Foundation. It’s the second annual cohort for the Strategic Data Project (SDP), an initiative of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University.

Only 24 data leaders from 13 higher education institutions were accepted, SDP officials said.

As part of the fellowship, Tinley will participate in a series of four multiday workshops. He’ll also receive a $3,000 professional development stipend with the successful completion of the fellowship program. 

Tinley said he intends to research the academic success rates of Roane State students and graduates who transfer to institutions with bachelor’s degree programs, and the success of students who enroll at Roane State after attending a Tennessee Center of Applied Technology (TCAT).

“I’m excited,” Tinley said of his acceptance as a fellow in the program. “It’s a good chance to improve my data analysis skills and answer important questions for the college.” Tinley added that he hopes to use the data to “improve our relationships with our four-year institution partners and with the TCATs so that our students have a clearer picture of the educational pathways available to them.”

“We are so excited to work with you to strengthen the impact of postsecondary career and technical education programs at Roane State,” an official with the Center for Education Policy Research wrote in a letter to Tinley.

“Fellows will pursue analytic projects addressing a unique challenge facing their organization… to identify potential barriers to student success,” according to an overview of the fellowship program.

Tinley has been Roane State’s data research director for nearly five years. He has a master’s degree in English literature and is pursuing a doctoral degree in Higher Education Leadership and Administration at University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

He said he became interested in student data analysis after managing English as a Second Language and GED programs where students considered a variety of paths, from vocational training to obtaining a college degree, to entering the workforce.

For more information on Roane State’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Research, visit

Roane State is a two-year college providing transfer programs, career-preparation programs and continuing education. Founded in 1971, the college has locations in Roane, Campbell, Cumberland, Fentress, Knox, Loudon, Morgan and Scott counties as well as a branch campus in Oak Ridge. For more information, visit or call (865) 882-4554. Remember, eligible adults can now attend Roane State tuition-free with the new Reconnect grant. Learn more at

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