University of Maryland

Executive Certificate in Data Literacy and Evidence Building

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The Executive Certificate in Data Literacy and Evidence Building at the University of Maryland’s Social Data Science Center in conjunction with the Coleridge Initiative and the Kentucky Center for Statistics is a not-for-credit certificate program that trains participants in valuable data literacy skills and how to apply best practices when working with data. Participants will learn how to scope a policy problem, understand the data generation process, how to manage, combine, and structure data, how to create, measure and analyze the effect of different data decisions on key measures such as non-completion and job quality measures. Participants will also learn the basics of machine learning and visualization as well as inference, bias, privacy, and ethics issues. The specific use case is focused on the integration of education and workforce data using the Multi-State Education Dashboard as a concrete example. The focus will be on understanding the impact of COVID-19 on the labor market in a way that can be transferred to a wide range of policy contexts.  Each step of the way participants will learn how generative AI can fit into the workflow.

Much of the content for this course was generated by the original NYU-Accenture-KYStats-UMunich-UMD-OSU-Coleridge team.  The lead individuals from each institution included Julia Lane,  Xiangyu Ren, and Rafael Ladislau Alves (NYU), Jared Dubin (Accenture), Angie Tombari (KYStats), Frauke Kreuter (UMD and U Munich), Caro Haensch (NYU and U Munich),  Jody Derezinski Williams (UMD), Tian Lou (OSU), and Jessica Cunningham (Coleridge).  They drew on over a decade of successful experience in training government agency staff and researchers in how to work with real world data to develop projects that could go from products to practice. 


Frauke Kreuter, Ph.D.
Professor, Joint Program in Survey Methodology, Co-Director, Social Data Science Center (SoDa), University of Maryland
Chair of Statistics and Data Science in Social Sciences and Humanities, Ludwig-Maximilian, University of Munich

Angie Tombari, Ph.D.
Senior research Analyst & Chief Methodologist, Kentucky Center for Statistics

Nathan Barrett, Ph.D.
Vice President of Product and Development, Coleridge Initiative


This training program was created for federal, state, and local government agency staff, graduate students in public policy, and practitioners who seek a high value credential. Program participants are expected to use their knowledge to inform executive decision making at all levels of government.


Watch the informational webinar video that was recorded on May 22, 2024 and was hosted by the three lead instructors.   

Watch Video


  1.  Submit your CV
  2.  Submit a letter describing your hands-on data experience and how your participation will serve the public good through contributing to the mission of your agency
  3.  Submit a supporting letter from your supervisor (or instructor) describing how your participation will serve the public good, as well as their assessment of your hands-on data experience. 

Seats for the course will be filled on a first come first served basis. Applications open on May 1, 2024 and close August 12, 2024.


Some hands on data experience, such as managing or supervising data collection and analysis, developing data products and tools, or presenting and using data products to inform evidence-based policy.


Dates:  The Fall 2024 lectures and group sessions will be held 12-2 Eastern via zoom on Wednesdays and Thursdays.  The first block of classes will be on September 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26, with an interim presentation on October 3.  The second block will be October 9, 10, 16, 17, 23 with the final presentation October 30.

Commitment: 2 hours lecture, 2 hours group work per contact week (7 weeks total, Wednesdays and Thursdays); additional group presentation preparation time

Format: Online

Program Cost: $6,000 for full 12 class program

– Note: Partial scholarships (up to $3,500) available for eligible state and local government employees and enrolled students in public policy programs.