A Holistic Approach to Institutional Research

AIR-Button-Register.pngThis 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 features the why of reporting and analysis, and stresses the importance of knowing the audience and identifying 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 discusses 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

  • 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

What are the course

  • Six-week online course followed by a two-day face-to-face seminar

  • Mentor-supported online lessons consist of a series of papers, videos, exercises and assessments on each core topic

  • Two cohorts of 40 participants

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

  • Special introductory pricing

  • Participants receive a $200 discount on 2017 Forum registration

Course Dates

Course runs April - May 2017
See full schedule below.

 Registration open thru March 17

Face-to-Face Seminar

The face-to-face seminar will be held May 27-28, 2017 at the Renaissance DC Downtown Hotel.

Special Introductory Pricing

$450 - members
$550 - non-members* 

Schedule Overview

January 30

Registration Opens

April 3 - 7

Online Course Orientation

April 10 - May 14

Online Coursework

May 27 - 28

Face-to-Face Seminar: Washington, DC (preceding 2017 AIR Forum**)


Accommodations for the face-to-face seminar are available in conjunction with the 2017 AIR Forum:

Renaissance DC Downtown Hotel (Seminar host hotel - 0.2 miles/4 minute walk from Forum host hotel)

Washington Marriott Marquis
(Forum host hotel)

"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 

*Non-members who register for this course will be given complimentary membership for the remainder of the 2016-2017 membership year (through June 30, 2017)

**Additional registration is required for Forum attendance


Please contact air@airweb.org with questions.