Starting and Sustaining Meaningful Institutional Research at Small Colleges and Universities
Theory and Practice: New Directions for Institutional Research, Number 173
J-B IR Single Issue Institutional Research (Series Nr. 173)
1. Edition October 2017
104 Pages, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd
The focus of this volume is on the work of Institutional Researchers in a small college or university (SCUs) setting. At an SCU, the goal of the IR office is to balance the bureaucratic tendencies of data-driven decision making with the need for collegiality and collaboration.Drawing on numerous examples, it illustrates how IR professionals can leverage their positionality within the institution to design data flows to answer questions by serving as convergent thinkers, connecting disjointed systems and requests.
* identifies the challenges that small IR offices face
* reinforces the idea of collegiality as a defining feature of small IR offices
* discusses several principles for using data about teaching and learning
* explores the effects of low response rates in survey data and the effects of nonresponse bias
* demonstrates the importance of collaborative efforts in enacting change
* proposes a model of policy development focused on student success
* presents an effective model of SCU IR office development
This is the 173rd volume of this Jossey-Bass quarterly report series. Timely and comprehensive, New Directions for Institutional Research provides planners and administrators in all types of academic institutions with guidelines in such areas as resource coordination, information analysis, program evaluation, and institutional management.
Narren J. Brown, Wei-Fang Lin, Gordon J. Hewitt, Ruth Vater
1. Data Entrepreneurship: A Necessary Mindset for Institutional Research Effectiveness 11
Polly A. Prewitt-Freilino, Nathan A. Rush
Strong relationships with senior administrators, effective cross-campus collaboration, and efficient use of technology are central to impactful IR in small colleges.
2. Designing Networked Improvement in a Small-College Context 25
Jennifer L. Rachford, Travis M. Brown, Hector L. Sambolin Jr., Lenny Seligman
This chapter demonstrates the complexity of pedagogical and curricular change as it unfolds through several overlapping phases of increasingly coordinated reflection and action around STEM initiatives at Pomona College. It argues for a networked model of research and practice, drawing on theory and lessons from improvement science and highlighting the role of institutional research in supporting change initiatives.
3. Using Data To Support Teaching and Learning 37
Laura Palucki Blake
This chapter discusses principles that support using data about teaching and learning and offers several strategies particularly well suited for use by institutional researchers at small colleges in helping faculty, staff, and administrators use data on student learning for improvement.
4. "I'm Meltiiiiiing . . . ": The Decline of Response Rates and the Impact of Nonresponse Bias on the Results of National Surveys at Small Colleges 51
Wei-Fang Lin, Gordon J. Hewitt, Julio Videras
This chapter examines the impact of declining student response rates on surveys administered at small- and medium-sized institutions. The potential for nonresponse bias and its effects are addressed.
5. Leveraging a Community Participatory Framework To Move Climate Survey Data Into Action at a Small College 63
C. Ellen Peters, Michael Benitez, Jr.
A participatory framework in conducting research and implementing decisions can engage multiple constituents throughout a college community. At a small college it is especially relevant, because nonmajority groups are especially vulnerable because of a smaller critical mass.
6. Impacting Student Success: Intervention Effectiveness and Policy Development at Small Colleges 75
Narren J. Brown, Mack C. Shelley, II
This chapter puts forth amodel of student-successfocused policy development at small colleges that elucidates the role of the IR professional, highlighting how the breadth of roles and responsibilities that IR professionals serve at these institutions intersect with traditional training and background.
7. The Evolution of Institutional-Research Professionals in Small- and Medium-Sized Institutions 89
Narren J. Brown, Gordon J. Hewitt, Wei-Fang Lin, Ruth Vater
This concluding chapter discusses the main challenges currently facing institutional research at small- and medium-sized colleges and describes how the field may evolve.