e-AIR Newsletter February 2017

IR and Career Services, a Natural Partnership

Measurement of student outcomes can take many forms in higher education; from satisfaction surveys to formal assessment measures of growth. One measurement tool used by many institutions is administration of a First Destination Survey to capture where students head post-graduation. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has led the way in developing a set of standards and protocols for collecting graduate outcomes.

Institutional research professionals appreciate the need for data standards to ensure comparable data across institutions and enhance the usability of the data for analysis and decision making. Combining the knowledge and expertise of career services professionals with the data collection and analytical skills of IR professionals is a natural collaboration that improves the entire First Destination Survey process.

Collaboration among IR and career services professionals is occurring at institutions across the country. In its 2015 National Survey of IR Offices, AIR found that 49% of individual IR offices provided data, information, or analysis to career services and an additional 38% provided consultation. MORE
Worldwide Connection and Engagement
Glenn W. James, 2016-2017 AIR President
One of my favorite aspects of membership in AIR is the special connection that AIR members form with one another, across the wide expanse of wherever we are based.

AIR members are engaged with institutional research in higher education around the world, and we have excellent opportunities to connect with and learn from each other – to share ideas, solutions, and successes with our IR colleagues around the globe.

Currently, there are 51 affiliated organizations that maintain a collaborative professional connection with AIR, and a number of these are based in various countries, regions, and continents. I certainly treasure this amazing network of talented IR colleagues, and I encourage and remind us about this valuable resource for sharing knowledge in our profession.

In addition to our AOs, new IR groups continue to form around the world. A new IR association that has completed its first year and recently convened its second annual conference is the Taiwan Association for Institutional Research.

I appreciated being invited by Taiwan AIR President Jong-Tsun Huang to attend the recent conference in Taipei, and I enjoyed having the opportunity to meet with colleagues at the conference and at several universities after the conference. It was an informative exchange and a continuation of relationships with colleagues who have attended the AIR Forum during the past couple of years.

It is excellent to see the strong start that our colleagues in Taiwan AIR are making, as they seek to strengthen IR and higher education in Taiwan. Some Taiwan AIR members shared with me that their session proposals were accepted for inclusion in the 2017 AIR Forum and that they are looking forward to the upcoming Forum in Washington, DC.

Registration for the 2017 AIR Forum is open, and the early registration pricing is in effect. So, now is a good time to register and make your plans to join us for an outstanding Forum in Washington, DC, May 30 through June 2!

Another task to be certain to complete is to vote in the AIR Election, which is open now and will close on Friday, March 3. MORE
Who's on the Move?
New titles. New promotions. New institutions. Friends and colleagues on the move.
Trump’s Infrastructure Proposal Could Create 11 Million New Jobs
In this paper from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, President Trump’s proposed plan to spend up to $1 trillion over the next 10 years on America’s infrastructure, including transportation, energy, telecommunications, and border security, is examined from the perspective of job growth... MORE.
Using Survey Data for Student Success
Dear Kimberly: I am now in an assessment role at my institution. How can my institution use survey data to make data-informed decisions and improve student success?

This is a great question. When we think about assessing student learning outcomes, we tend to focus on direct measures of learning such as demonstrations of knowledge through presentations and projects, or proficiency on exams, or other types of assignments designed specifically to measure students’ knowledge, skills, and abilities. But, survey data can also provide us with valuable insight into students’ experience at our institutions. MORE

This month’s question is answered by Kimberly Thompson, Senior Director Assessment & Institutional Research, University of Phoenix-Corporate Office.
Data Bite
Last spring, we explored the FTE of the director and professional IR staff and found a correlation between FTE and student enrollment. This month, we go a step further and disaggregate those data by institutional sector to find that the correlation holds. In general, the larger the institution, the larger the IR Office. Does this hold true for your institution? MORE

Measuring and Understanding Student Political Learning and Engagement
An update on Tufts University’s national voting study and political learning in higher education

eAIR spoke with Adam Gismondi and Nancy Thomas for an update on NSLVE.

eAIR: We interviewed you in 2013 and again in 2014 about NSLVE. Interest in the study must be up after this contentious and unexpected election. First, tell us how the study is going.

As you may recall, we figured out a way to “marry” enrollment and voting records in ways that fully protect student privacy. Institutions need to opt in, and I believe when we last spoke about 200 colleges and universities nationally had joined the study. MORE

Seeing Student Success at a Two Year Institution
Jolene Hamm is Director of Institutional Research at Piedmont Virginia Community College.

eAIR: Can you tell me about the factors that influenced your decision to move from a small 4-year private institution to a mid-sized 2-year public institution?

Moving to Piedmont Virginia Community College was a very personal choice for me, as I am an alum of PVCC. As a young person, PVCC’s professors instilled a love of learning in me in a way that I do not feel words can adequately express. When I saw the opportunity to return to an institution that has given me so much, I jumped at the chance to give back.

As a professional, working for a system has provided a group of colleagues who are ready and willing to assist me in regards to any institutional research question I may have. I also enjoy having a set protocol to follow and the relationship between the state reporting agency and the system office is strong. MORE
Hamline University Data
By Molly Isaacson, Research and Data Analyst, Hamline University

This visual is cost-effective, fun, and easy. I use Word to create multiple examples of visual data like this and utilize our extensive media library. Hamline University has stock photos taken of actual students, faculty, and staff doing both day-to-day activities and special events. This visual is a way to promote the data about the students, use actual photos representative of our university, and showcase it in a style that is both unique and familiar (comic book conversations) to readers. MORE

Using Tableau Parameters to Switch Dimensions
By Christina Butler, Assistant Director for Institutional Research and Evaluation, Tufts University
Institutional Research offices often receive requests to look at various statistics broken down by many different demographic categories (e.g., gender, race, and academic discipline, to name a few). In Tableau, this kind of break down can easily be done by setting up a parameter.

This Tech Tip assumes a basic working knowledge of Tableau. For additional help and resources for getting started in Tableau, visit the Tableau website. MORE

Good Reads for the Higher Ed Professional
Keep current with the latest news from these influential journals:

- Research in Higher Education

- Innovative Higher Education
Thanks to AIR Members
Our members are not only incredibly helpful, they are a pleasure to work with. Here are some special thanks to those who have gone beyond the call of duty for our Association.
Announcements for AO and IR community conferences, meetings, institutes, and symposiums. See the LISTINGS.
Keeping AIR Members Informed
AIR welcomes brief announcements of interest to the IR and assessment communities, such as the release of a report, funding opportunities or a request for applications. Send your announcement to eAIR@airweb.org and include a link to your website as well as a contact name and email address. Announcements
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