A Holistic Approach to Institutional Research


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This course provides a foundation for participants to meet and navigate the ever-growing demands for data and information in the current higher education landscape. In addition to the course content, a cohort model, mentor support, and group activities encourage active conversation among participants.

Core Lesson Topics

  • What it Means to Work in Institutional Research explores the profession, including its history, where it stands today, and where it is headed, and introduces the AIR Code of Ethics and Duties and Functions of IR.  

  • Transforming Data into Information for Decision Support examines the why of reporting and analysis, considers how to communicate with different audiences, and identifies best practices when transforming data into information.

  • Data Management and Governance highlights data as institutional assets and addresses the importance of data quality, security, privacy, and access to ensure that institutions fully utilize data as valuable resources.

  • Applied Research Design for IR explains what research is and what it is not, and highlights its important role in addressing questions, finding answers, and uncovering new lines of inquiry. 

  • Data-Informed Decision Cultures defines these environments and highlights the ways in which institutional research professionals help foster and support them at their institutions. 

Who does the course benefit? 

  • IR professionals who have recently entered the field

  • Individuals already engaged in IR work who desire a broader understanding of how IR fits into the larger context of higher education

Why should institutions invest in this training?

  • Outstanding rate of return for participants and IR directors, provosts, presidents, and others who are responsible for IR staff

  • Two delivery methods to maximize available resources

 When and where can I attend?


This six-week mentor-supported online course includes a series of papers, videos, and exercises on course topics.


$500 (2017-2018 AIR Members)
$675 (Non-members)

Open for Registration

Summer 2017
June 19 - July 30



Future Online Dates

Fall 2017
September 18 - October 29
Registration will open in July

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This six-week mentor-supported online course is followed by a two-day face-to-face seminar.


$800 (2017-2018 AIR Members)
$975 (Non-members)

Open for Registration

Summer 2017
June 19 - July 30 (online portion)
Aug. 14 - Aug. 15 (face-to-face seminar in Chicago)



Future Hybrid Dates

Fall 2017
Sept. 18 - Oct. 29 (online portion)
Nov. 6 - Nov. 7 (face-to-face seminar in Phoenix)
Registration will open in July

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"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. ​