Whether you are new to institutional research or an experienced professional, AIR's mentor-supported A Holistic Approach to Institutional Research course is perfect for you.
This course offers a venue for data professionals around the world to meet and navigate the ever-growing demands for data and information in the current higher education landscape. The diverse expertise and perspectives of the participants, paired with a curriculum designed with student success in mind, results in a rich learning experience.
Leaders and Directors: This course will give your team a common vision and framework in which to consider their work. Many organizations build the course into their employee onboarding process. Check out this article in which two IR leaders explain their views on the importance and benefits of the course.
- Six-week online course: Participants examine challenges and explore solutions relevant to the rapidly changing field of IR through readings, discussions, exercises, and videos. Each week, participants follow Barbara (a Director of IR) and Mark (her new employee) as they consider what it means to be an institutional researcher in the current higher education landscape.
- Optional two-day face-to-face seminar: Participants expand their conversations and professional networks.
Week 1: What is a holistic approach to IR?
We provide an overview of the course and you meet your cohort colleagues through the course discussion board.
- Week 2: What does it mean to be an IR professional?
Week 3: What is decision support?
We focus our attention on the why of reporting and analysis and stress the importance of knowing your audience and identifying best practices when transforming data into information.
Week 4: How are data managed and governed?
We discuss data as institutional assets and address the importance of data quality, security, privacy, and access to ensure that institutions fully utilize data as valuable resources.
Week 5: What is research in institutional research?
We discuss what research is and is not, and highlight the important role in addressing questions, finding answers, and uncovering new lines of inquiry.
Week 6: How does IR contribute to data-informed decision cultures?
We discuss data-informed decision environments and highlight the ways in which IR professionals help foster and support them at their institutions.
"Simply a must do for anyone new to IR or looking for a refresh. The online course sets a strong foundation to help ground you in your sense of purpose and responsibilities." —Mary Frances Causey
"The Holistic class was one of the most helpful professional developments I have had. It helped answer questions about the profession, while also giving practical tips and strategies to implement best practices on my campus." —Anna Marie Pavy
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
"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
Community College Scholarship
We offer a scholarship that facilitates the professional growth and development of early-career institutional research professionals employed at community colleges by providing registration assistance for the online portion of A Holistic Approach to Institutional Research.