The following guidelines have been established for the administration and use of ASSIST:
Ownership of ASSIST Data
Participating institutions retain ownership and control over their data. The ASSIST database is accessible only through institution-specific or district-specific views. The views do not provide system-wide access to any institution’s data. Each institution is responsible for the accuracy of the data submitted for inclusion in the database. In addition to the mandatory elements, an institution may choose to submit some or all of the additional data elements that are part of the existing submission file in order to conduct more in-depth institutional studies on their own students. While every effort is made to ensure a consistent set of definitions is followed, inclusion of these data elements is intended to facilitate the research interests of the participating institution only.
Use of ASSIST for Research
Participating institutions approve all research involving ASSIST. All requests for a common set of reports from multiple institutions must be approved by the appropriate Steering Committee representative. After coordination with the institutions, a standard report format and set of definitions will be developed to ensure consistency. Once finalized, each institution’s report will be posted on the ASSIST web server and will be accessible only to the participating institution. It is the responsibility of each institution to print the report for distribution. All other requests for reports will be handled directly by the individual institutions. The decision to respond to the request using ASSIST or some other data source is solely at the discretion of the institution. Each institution’s Steering Committee representative is responsible for approving the release of any data or reports obtained from the ASSIST database. Each institution shall establish their own policies and procedures for the process by which reports are verified and provided for general use. The agreement between AZTransfer and participating institutions precludes using ASSIST for operational purposes, or any other purpose not consistent with research.
Access to ASSIST
Participating institutions designate which researchers are authorized to access their data in ASSIST.
The institution’s Steering Committee member, or designee, must indicate approval for user access before an ASSIST account will be established. Only institutional representatives employed by a participating institution may obtain authorization to access the institution’s data. AZTransfer trains these persons to use ASSIST, including the requirements imposed by FERPA and the ASSIST Security Plan.
Full access to the database, which allows direct manipulation of all data elements, will be granted only to institutional representatives from areas in which research is a primary function or activity. These users should have the technical background for developing and running their own queries and should have a solid understanding of the institutional data contained in ASSIST. Limited access may be granted to “read-only” reports that are stored on the ASSIST web server. Users may include institutional staff members responsible for submitting required reports to state or federal agencies as well as institutional decision-makers who need access to reports.
The ASSIST agreement prevents AZTransfer from granting access to persons other than those designated by the institution.