A Holistic Approach to Institutional Research

​Do you know Barbara?

Join Barbara, a Director of Institutional Research, as she onboards Mark, her new employee. This six-week online course follows Barbara and Mark as they consider what it means to be an institutional researcher in the current higher education landscape. You will be guided by a mentor and join a cohort of colleagues—including Mark—to engage in activities and conversation about the topics Barbara and Mark explore.

  • What is a holistic approach to IR? In Week 1, Barbara provides an overview of the course and you meet your cohort colleagues through the course discussion board.

  • What does it mean to be an IR professional? In Week 2, Barbara shares her perspective and encourages Mark to develop his own understanding of the field and his role as an IR professional.

  • What is decision support? In Week 3, Mark learns about the art of transforming data into actionable information that’s placed in appropriate contexts for relevant audiences.

  • How are data managed and governed? In Week 4, Barbara and Mark discuss data as institutional assets and examine the concepts of data quality, security, privacy, and access.

  • What is research in institutional research? In Week 5, Mark learns about the nuances of research and problem solving, and bolsters his understanding of the common lines of inquiry pursued in IR.

  • How does IR contribute to data-informed decision cultures? In Week 6, Barbara and Mark explore the interaction between data literacy and data capacity at the institutional level.

Join Your New Colleagues

Once you complete the online course, join your cohort for a two-day interactive seminar where we continue to consider the field of IR with a truly holistic perspective. This mentor-led experience provides deeper exploration of course topics, dynamic examination of the challenges faced by individual course participants, and establishment of networks that enhance personal and professional development.

Why should I attend the seminar?

“Participation in the face-to-face seminar helped me find a very succinct way to grow my network, not just of people who are at institutions similar to mine, but also people who are at institutions of different sizes, offices that are different sizes, and from organizations that are not just colleges or universities.”
Bethany Miller

“Meeting the people with whom I connected online face-to-face—to be able to share those discussions, learn from other people, hear from the speakers and the course leaders—was the most beneficial part of the program.”
Stuart Terry

“I enjoyed the face-to-face aspect the most. Being in a room with colleagues from all over the country and different fields within IR was really helpful. It's comforting to hear from other people that they're going through some of the same challenges that I'm going through so I don't feel like I'm on my own. Just being able to talk to people in that intense two-day format was helpful.” 
- Rebecca Osakwe

When and where can I attend?

Spring 2019 - Online Course and Face-to-Face Seminar    

Special Forum Cohort ($850 member/$975 non-member) includes Seminar    

  • April 1 – May 12, 2019: Online Course
  • May 25 – 26, 2019: Face-to-Face Seminar at the Hyatt Regency Denver

Upcoming Offerings 

Summer 2019: Online Course with Optional Face-to-Face Seminar

  • July 8 – August 18, 2019: Online Course (registration opens in May) 
  • November 2019: Optional Face-to-Face Seminar 

Fall 2019: Online Course with Optional Face-to-Face Seminar 

  • September 16 – October 27, 2019: Online Course (registration opens in July) 
  • November 2019: Optional Face-to-Face Seminar 

Location/dates for the November 2019 face-to-face session will be posted in March 2019. 



"This course is truly designed to be more integrative in terms of its learning style and approach than any kind of previous professional development for institutional researchers. It represents the fact that the roles of an institutional researcher change over time. We cannot just learn about turning data into information and creating good reports without considering data quality, data management, and other elements and aspects of our jobs."

--Mary Ann Coughlin,
Member of the course development team







Contact air@airweb.org with questions. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​