Office’s mission, roles, and responsibilities
- Our Mission: The Office of Institutional Assessment and Research (OIAR) strives to provide the highest quality data and analytics to the administration, faculty, and staff, in order to assist in decision making that will aid the institution in better serving our students and the community.
- The OIAR’s main responsibilities include planning and organizing activities involved in the research, review, analysis, and reporting of a variety of data and information used in assessing institutional effectiveness, accreditation, decision making, program review, and student learning outcomes. The office is also responsible for collecting, reviewing and delivering data to many different constituents internally and externally, for the college.
- The primary purpose of learning outcomes assessment at Elms College is to increase student success in major disciplines, as well as the liberal arts and sciences core, through a process that involves faculty from all academic areas and that promotes continuous improvements in teaching and learning.
- The Elms College core curriculum has fifteen learning outcomes that fall into five major component categories: spiritual and ethical development, intellectual and creative development in the liberal arts, global awareness and cultural understanding, critical thinking and communication, and civic engagement.
- To learn more about academic assessment at Elms please visit the Academic Assessment Google Site.
The Academic Assessment site serves as a hub for the learning outcomes assessment efforts put forth by the college. There, you will be able to submit data (if you are an instructor), access resources for your course, and view graphical visualizations of available data in real time.
Data Request Process
- In general, the OIAR provides data in the aggregate (i.e. student names or other unique identifiers will not be provided.) All requests must adhere to the guidelines set for by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Also be aware that if you are requesting information for a human research study please consult with the Institutional Review Board (IRB) first for approval and provide the documentation to the IAR office. You may contact the IRB at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Elms web site for more information.
- Common data requests include enrollment or demographic information for specific student populations, retention reports, student completion information, admission funnel summaries, and faculty and staff demographics. Ad-hoc data requests (in particular for grant purposes) are also common. In some cases, it is more appropriate to obtain your information from other departments or sources; when appropriate, the OIAR will direct you to the proper party in order to be sure you receive the most accurate data possible.
- Please send your data requests as soon as possible. Depending on the nature of the data, some requests take longer than others. Requests will generally be answered within two weeks; depending on complexity and priority level.
- To submit a request please complete the OIAR Data Request Form. This is the best way for the OIAR to track and prioritize requests. Please proceed to submit this form rather than emailing the OIAR office directly.
Listing of helpful data links to view the college’s profile on sites like ipeds, college navigator, and college scorecard
Though intended for prospective undergraduates, College Navigator is a great resource to get quick college profiles of basic, commonly used data. The data provided is based on most recently submitted IPEDS data from the institution profiled. Here, you can view selected data on: general institution information, tuition and fees, financial aid, net price, enrollment, admissions, retention and graduation rates, and programs/majors.
The IPEDS Data Center allows individuals to retrieve IPEDS data in a variety of different ways. Users are able to look up individual institutions, view trends for a variable over time, compare variables among multiple institutions, or build their own customized data tables. Available data ranges from the IPEDS categories: Institutional Characteristics, Pricing and Tuition, Admissions, Completions, 12-month Enrollment, Fall Enrollment, Graduation Rates, Student Financial Aid, Finance, Human Resources, Academic Libraries.
The College Scorecard is a “new planning tool to help students and their families make more educated decisions about college” by enabling them to “look up the cost and assess the value of colleges. Each scorecard highlights five key pieces of data about a college: costs, graduation rate, loan default rate, average amount borrowed, and employment.” The link above will take you to Elms College’s scorecard. With the search function you may also look up comparable institutions based on criteria such as: programs/degrees, location, size, etc.