e-AIR Newsletter November 2017

NOVEMBER 2017 NEWSLETTER, VOL. 37, ISSUE 11 | A SERVICE OF AIR SINCE 1987
Creating an Undergraduate IR Intern Program

2c181995-465d-4144-b9c9-e749e5f0b4cf.jpgBy Erika M. Farfan, Director of Institutional Research, Kenyon College

If you run into me at the Forum and ask about how things are going in my office my answer is usually, “Really busy! All of our interns are gone for the summer so we’re swamped!” This response usually raises some eyebrows and prompts a cascade of questions about how working with undergraduate interns is feasible.

I initially set up the intern program (with significant support from my supervisor) when the office was a one-person shop to address workload issues. With six interns working ten hours a week, we addressed any work back log long ago and are now creating unique, student-led analysis to support our college’s leadership. Our interns give us insight into the student experience that would be difficult to capture otherwise, they have creative ideas for engaging our student body, and challenge us to be our professional best every day. MORE
 
 
BOARD CORNER
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Missing Voices, Thanks, and Awards
Ellen Peters
AIR President

I hadn’t intended this to be a column about thankfulness. I mean, it’s not that I am not thankful – it’s just that I am usually so focused on the work, the tasks, the projects, the initiatives, and the analysis, that I don’t always make the time to be reflective.

I suspect I am not alone. But several recent events have led me to turn away from a column about the work of the Board per se, and to emphasize the way in which we work together as an institutional research community.

While one board member is facing a personal health issue, another has a parent who needs care and attention; as these two take short or lengthy periods of time to attend to health, I miss their contributions, and am grateful to have their voice at our table. That of course leads me to think of other voices for which I am thankful – colleagues who have helped make AIR what it is – and served as examples of strong leadership.

Part of my thanks goes to AIR Presidents for their courage and vision in moving AIR forward. Their leadership has brought AIR closer to NCES and IPEDS, providing needed training to institutional researchers. They contributed to the scholarly literature. They brought ever greater professionalism to AIR, shifting the logistical and practical work of AIR to an Executive Office staff, freeing the Board to think about the future of our field. They brought a series of Executive Directors who built on the work of one another to strengthen the voice of AIR in national conversations about the added value of data and analysis in higher education.

And this Board, along with the Executive Office, has had the privilege of engaging our members in conversations about institutional research, and the work we all do to advance the profession, the work, our institutions, and higher education.

As I review your insights, I am inspired by the thoughtfulness and wisdom of my colleagues, and I thank you for being a part of this community.

Another event is the call for nominations for awards. This is when AIR has the opportunity to publicly thank those who contribute to the profession through their scholarly work, their service, or both. We are looking for nominations for:

Outstanding Service Award, which recognizes a member for professional leadership and exemplary service to AIR;

John Stecklein Distinguished Member Award, which recognizes a member whose professional career has significantly advanced the field of institutional research through scholarship, leadership, and service; MORE
 
IR IN THE KNOW
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A Look at Pell Grant Recipients’ Graduation Rates
The Pell Grant program represents a major federal investment in higher education, but little is known about recipients’ success. Robert Kelchen and the Brookings Institution analyzed Pell graduation rates and found that the average graduation rate for Pell recipients (51.4 %) was lower than non-Pell recipients (59.2 %)... MORE.
 
SPECIAL FEATURE
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Outcome Measures: Metrics Beyond First-Time, Full-Time Cohort
Jessica Egbert
Richard Reeves is Chief, Postsecondary Branch, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

eAIR: Please provide some background/context for the release of Outcome Measures (OM) data.

For years, the postsecondary research community has needed a set of metrics that describe student completions beyond the first-time, full-time degree/certificate-seeking cohort. The development of OM has been in the making since the 2008 HEA reauthorization. It takes years to confer with the industry and build a new survey instrument. OM provides the public with award and transfer-out data for students that begin at an institution, transfer into the institution, and attend full-time or part-time.

eAIR: Why is the release of the OM data significant for NCES and IPEDS? For the IR community?

The IR community and researchers will have three more cohorts that allows for benchmark comparisons as well as have a completion metric that is representative of their student body. This will facilitate comparison between institutions and allow for data-driven policy/program conversations about student progress and completion. MORE
ASK eAIR
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Sharing Data Without Violating FERPA
Steve
Dear Steve: What are the best practices for sharing data at your institution while not violating FERPA? Several of us at my institution have been discussing this topic, and we all have very different thoughts on the matter.

This is a topic many of us in the Office of Institutional Research and Decision Support (IRDS) at IUPUI have been thinking about as well. Generally speaking, the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (otherwise known as FERPA) prohibits the disclosure of individually identifiable student education records without first obtaining the consent of the student or (if the student is under 18 or below the college level) their parent. MORE

This month’s question is answered by Steve Graunke, Director of Institutional Research and Assessment, IUPUI.
SPECIAL FEATURE
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Enhance Your Reporting with Digital Pass
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View Digital Pass recorded sessions to learn about ways to illustrate student success in your reporting.

Better Ways to Measure Community College Student Success
This session shares alternate ways to illustrate student success, other than the typical one-dimensional graduation rate. Several multi-dimensional approaches are presented and demonstrated, including combining measures into a single report and using percent change data, as well as numerous examples of a balanced scorecard approach. Presenter: Lou Guthrie, Benchmarking Institute, JCCC




SPECIAL FEATURE
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Enrollment Management: Enhancing the IR Function
Eric Eric Atchison is Director of System Analysis, Research & Enrollment Management and IPEDS State Coordinator, Mississippi Public Universities

eAIR: How did you transition from an IR role to also work in enrollment management?

I began working in IR at a public, four-year institution as an analyst in 2008 and came to the system office in 2012 to take a similar position. At the system level, the nature of the IR function was more organic to the operations of the executive office. I worked closely with those in academic and student affairs as well as finance and financial aid to tackle large projects at the state-level. In contrast to the institution where I was reporting information to internal (e.g. faculty, administrators, etc.) and external (system office, IPEDS, publishers, etc.) constituents, the system office had a different level of reporting. MORE
 
VISUAL DISPLAY OF DATA
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AUC Trends Dashboard
By Heba Atteya, Business Intelligence Manager, Data Analytics and IR, The American University in Cairo

Effective decision making is evidence based. An evidence of improvement is not just how well we do today in comparison to what we did last year, it is also how well are we doing with respect to our peers. The AUC interactive trends dashboard reports on the main KPIs relevant to the admissions, graduation, and enrollment processes in comparison to our peers. his helps us understand our strengths as well as our weaknesses.

The dashboard was created using IBM Cognos 11. The user can switch modes between “AUC trends” in any of the three processes or “Peer comparison.” The “Peer Comparison” compares our performance to our peers using standard CDS (Common Data Set) definitions. For each process, a user can choose between “Undergraduate” and “Graduate” data. We list the main standard KPIs for the most recent census term in the KPIs block then we show a table of a five-year trend for each KPI, highlighting our lowest value in red and our highest in green. MORE

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TECH TIPS
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ASAP Utilities for Excel
By Kristin McKinley, Director of Research Administration, Lawrence University

600e00ab-a637-439e-ad7c-9eeadc4556d0.png ASAP Utilities is an add-in for Excel that offers over 300 time-saving features. The following tips are a few I use regularly in my work, but I would encourage you to explore the ASAP Utilities website and determine which features would be most useful in your work. It is possible that execution time may vary. Depending on your needs, the ribbon can be customized and shortcuts can be assigned to further enhance your experience. The tools are organized into categories. MORE
SPECIAL FEATURE
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Data Bite
We’ve explored the number of professional IR staff in IR offices in previous Data Bites. This month, we'll look at the types of staff involved. MORE

Graph of relationship between personality and staff size
CHANGING SCENE
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Who's on the Move?
New titles. New promotions. New institutions. Friends and colleagues on the move.
 
THANK YOU
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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.
 
JOURNAL NEWS
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Good Reads for the Higher Ed Professional Keep current with the latest news from these influential journals:

- Innovative Higher Education

- Research in Higher Education
 
AO AND IR EVENTS
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Announcements for AO and IR community conferences, meetings, institutes, and symposiums. See the LISTINGS.
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS
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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
 
JOBS
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There are more than 145 listed on AIR's Job Board.
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