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MHEC Data Collection Websites, Emails, and Responsibilities

I.  MHEC Data Collection Websites

Website:  Secure Data Website

Use the data website for all your data collection needs.  The site is updated annually and contains:

 Website:  MHEC On-Line Data Cookbook

MHEC’s data dictionary is on-line!  All data collection variables are defined on-line at this link.  Each collection is defined as a functional area acronym with a description and each variable definition associated with the collection.  In the right column under "Sharing" click definitions and all definitions for the selected system will appear in alphabetical order.  Also, the "Sharing" tab can be used to list all variables across all systems in alphabetical order.  Each definition is assigned a:

  • Data Definition (DD) Number
  • Functional Definition
  • Format
  • Allowable Codes
  • Comments (for further clarification)
  • Documented and revised dates

II.  MHEC Data Collection Emails

Email:  MAC2 & Survey Assistance:


Use this email address to send questions and concerns for all your data collection assistance needs.  Multiple MHEC staff regularly monitor the email account and will provide a response as quickly as possible.  Ask questions for guidance, clarification, comments as well as for technical issues.   Sending to this account ensures that your email will be monitored by multiple staff and not just by a single person who may not be available.


Email:  Post-Closing Data Discrepancy Reporting:


Use this email address to inform MHEC that erroneous data was discovered in a previously submitted and closed unit record file or survey.  Revised files or surveys are not accepted.  When the collection validation cycle close date has passed and an error or discrepancy is discovered, submit an email to this address to inform MHEC.  Upon your submission, you will automatically receive a link to submit a form to further provide an explanation related to your discovery.  Do not complete the form without guidance from MHEC.

III.  MHEC Data Collection Responsibilities

Data Collection Responsibilities for Institution Point-of-Contact and MHEC


These responsibilities apply to the institution point-of-contact and the data file preparer, as applicable, for all unit-record data collections and surveys. 


A.      Institution Point-of-Contact Responsibilities

1.       Review Data Website announcements posted for updated information regarding data collections.

2.       Forward announcements and other unit record and survey issues and concerns received via email to other relevant campus colleagues

3.       Do not share user logon credentials.

4.       Notify MHEC immediately at when there is a change in the institution point-of-contact.

5.       Adhere to reporting submission due dates as posted on your segment’s calendar.

6.       Always use the group email account, when corresponding with MHEC for questions and guidance.

7.       Notify MHEC at least one week in advance of the due date regarding an extension request.

8.       Validate data elements as outlined in the file layout and according to specifications in the online Data Cookbook.

9.       Use the appropriate header record designated for each unit-record collection file

10.   Submit a complete and accurate file of individual student records.

11.   Ensure consistent use of the same student identifier through all unit record collections, even if the identifier is an assigned one.

12.   Use an institution assigned identifier only when the social security number is not available.  

13.   Do not use any component or portion of the social security number to create the Local Campus Student ID (DD8).

14.   Inspect data quality by performing and resolving data edit fatal errors and warnings before the official submission.

15.   DO NOT insert spaces between commas for any field that is not populated in the csv file.

16.   ALWAYS include comments with submitted files when fatal errors or warnings remain.

17.   Make use of the validation syntax code if available and if applicable in your environment.

18.   Ensure that a submission email arrives in your inbox resulting from your preliminary and official uploaded file.

19.   Promptly review reports resulting from submitted file.

20.   Respond promptly and accurately to MHEC’s internal validation follow-up questions.

21.   Respond promptly with revised submissions, if requested, resulting from follow-up validation questions.

22.   If the submission window has closed for a file or survey and an error is later discovered, contact MHEC first by sending an email to

23.   If advised to do so, submit a data discovery form for a unit record file or survey using the link provided in the email response.

 B.      MHEC Responsibilities

1.     Offer timely data collection guidance as needed.

2.     Provide secure means for institutions to upload data files.

3.     Keep point-of-contact list updated.

4.     Secure and protect institution data files in flight and at rest.

5.     Perform extended data quality checks after official submission.

6.     Check data for consistency.

7.     Promptly notify institutional segments for clarification and corrections.

8.     Request revised submission when necessary.

9.     Adhere to reporting timelines.

10.   Prepare appropriate institutional reports resulting from submitted files.

11.   Provide adequate advanced lead time when modifying data collections.

12.   Meet with segments/groups as necessary to communicate and clarify data elements.

13.   Make timely updates to the online Data Cookbook when changes occur.

14.   Respond to user promptly at email submissions.

15.   Respond to user promptly at email submissions.