Pre-/Post-Conference Education

pageheaderbkg-v6

Pre- and post-conference educational opportunities are offered as multi-day, full-day, and half-day sessions on Monday, May 25; Tuesday, May 26; and Friday, May 29. Topics range from the development of specific skills to approaches to institution-wide needs. Seats are limited, and additional fees are required (AIR member and nonmember prices are listed for each offering). 


Workshop pricing is displayed as (member/nonmember).

Multi-Day Workshops

Monday–Tuesday

Monday (8 a.m.–4 p.m.) and Tuesday (8–11:30 a.m.)

  • Directing Your Office Today and Into the Future ($550/$650)

    Presenters:

    • Ellen Peters, University of Puget Sound
    • Leah Ross, Association for Institutional Research

    We all want to make an impact at our institutions—to see our work make a difference. Yet often the data-to-day work seems to distract us from seeing the bigger picture. How do we lead when so much of our time is spent managing and responding? We must ensure our offices produce quality work and meets today’s needs while planning and preparing our colleges and universities for the future. How do we make time to craft our vision and communicate it in a way that rallies our colleagues to meet the challenges of today without sidelining our goals for the future? What are the tangible ways to lead, regardless of institutional climate, and how do we align our work with our own agency to further our personal and professional goals? Join us for an event that will prompt you to examine leadership beyond title or role, develop personalized approaches to your work, and find space for self-awareness in pursuit of professional growth. Pre-work will be required and may include reading, webinars, and online discussion.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will:

    • Develop criteria to prioritize their work, including decisions about what work to do and what work not to do (for themselves and their offices)
    • Identify the nexus of management and leadership in their work and, if desired, how to shift the balance
    • Pay dedicated attention to their communication styles and the impact of those styles, including talking and listening in a variety of spaces (public and more personal or private)
    • Engage in self-awareness to recognize why they want to be leaders and identify leadership styles of interest
    • Craft a plan to garner honest feedback

    Note: Participants are not required to bring a laptop to this workshop.

  • The Art and Science of Data Visualization: A Power BI Bootcamp ($550/$650)

    Data visualization is a powerful medium with which to communicate insights derived through the exploration and analysis of data and information. Yet too many data visualization efforts fall short and are not elegant, succinct, or compelling, even when professionals are well-trained in this field. At its core, data visualization is storytelling, but too often we under-develop the why and how of our stories because we focus on software first. It is common for data visualization training to take an either/or approach: it features the art and the conceptual techniques of visual communication with data or it features the technical aspects of executing the visualizations through specific software packages. The tactic of addressing one approach and disregarding the other runs the risk of failure at the basic goal of any visualization: communicating with our audiences. This is a different workshop. A workshop in which we tightly intertwine the conceptual and technical aspects of communicating with hands-on application through the software of your choice. We will explore how humans perceive and understand visualizations, and how using space, color, shape, text, and design we create a clear and compelling visual story. Throughout the workshop we will apply and practice these concepts with hands-on exercises in Power BI.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will:

    • Understand how the human perception system works and how it influences the way viewers make sense of data visualizations
    • Create visualizations in Power BI designed to make the concepts concrete and advance their knowledge of the tool’s capabilities and limitations
    • Learn intermediate and advanced skills in Power BI that can be used to enhance dashboards, storytelling, and presentations
    • Critically evaluate visualizations for graphic design best practices and communication clarity
    • Modify graphs or charts in Power BI so that the visualizations are clear, concise, and support the broader story, whether that is exploratory, explanatory or persuasive

    Requirement: Participants are required to bring their own laptops with Power BI installed.

  • The Art and Science of Data Visualization: A SAS Bootcamp ($550/$650)

    Data visualization is a powerful medium with which to communicate insights derived through the exploration and analysis of data and information. Yet too many data visualization efforts fall short and are not elegant, succinct, or compelling, even when professionals are well-trained in this field. At its core, data visualization is storytelling, but too often we under-develop the why and how of our stories because we focus on software first. It is common for data visualization training to take an either/or approach: it features the art and the conceptual techniques of visual communication with data or it features the technical aspects of executing the visualizations through specific software packages. The tactic of addressing one approach and disregarding the other runs the risk of failure at the basic goal of any visualization: communicating with our audiences. This is a different workshop. A workshop in which we tightly intertwine the conceptual and technical aspects of communicating with hands-on application through the software of your choice. We will explore how humans perceive and understand visualizations, and how using space, color, shape, text, and design we create a clear and compelling visual story. Throughout the workshop we will apply and practice these concepts with hands-on exercises in SAS.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will:

    • Understand how the human perception system works and how it influences the way viewers make sense of data visualizations
    • Create visualizations in SAS designed to make the concepts concrete and advance their knowledge of the tool’s capabilities and limitations
    • Learn intermediate and advanced skills in SAS that can be used to enhance dashboards, storytelling, and presentations
    • Critically evaluate visualizations for graphic design best practices and communication clarity
    • Modify graphs or charts in SAS so that the visualizations are clear, concise, and support the broader story, whether that is exploratory, explanatory or persuasive

    Requirement: Participants are required to bring their own laptops with SAS installed.

  • The Art and Science of Data Visualization: A Tableau Bootcamp ($550/$650)

    Data visualization is a powerful medium with which to communicate insights derived through the exploration and analysis of data and information. Yet too many data visualization efforts fall short and are not elegant, succinct, or compelling, even when professionals are well-trained in this field. At its core, data visualization is storytelling, but too often we under-develop the why and how of our stories because we focus on software first. It is common for data visualization training to take an either/or approach: it features the art and the conceptual techniques of visual communication with data or it features the technical aspects of executing the visualizations through specific software packages. The tactic of addressing one approach and disregarding the other runs the risk of failure at the basic goal of any visualization: communicating with our audiences. This is a different workshop. A workshop in which we tightly intertwine the conceptual and technical aspects of communicating with hands-on application through the software of your choice. We will explore how humans perceive and understand visualizations, and how using space, color, shape, text, and design we create a clear and compelling visual story. Throughout the workshop we will apply and practice these concepts with hands-on exercises in Tableau.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will:

    • Understand how the human perception system works and how it influences the way viewers make sense of data visualizations
    • Create visualizations in Tableau designed to make the concepts concrete and advance their knowledge of the tool’s capabilities and limitations
    • Learn intermediate and advanced skills in Tableau that can be used to enhance dashboards, storytelling, and presentations
    • Critically evaluate visualizations for graphic design best practices and communication clarity
    • Modify graphs or charts in Tableau so that the visualizations are clear, concise, and support the broader story, whether that is exploratory, explanatory or persuasive

    Requirement: Participants are required to bring their own laptops with Tableau installed.

Workshops

Full-day and half-day options.

Monday

Monday Full-Day (8 a.m.–4 p.m.)

  • Beyond Compliance: How to Use IPEDS Data to Examine Student and Institutional Success ($25)

    This workshop is designed for individuals interested in utilizing IPEDS data to examine and measure student and institutional success. The first half of the workshop explores the five IPEDS surveys that contain academic performance metrics (Completions, Graduation Rates, 200% Graduation Rates, Fall Enrollment, and Outcome Measures). Through group discussion, activities, and lectures, participants will learn what the measurements can—and cannot—tell us about student and institutional performance. The second half of the workshop will involve hands-on activities to work through a series of case studies based on real-life scenarios. Participants will identify the question being asked in each case study; determine the best metric(s) to use to answer the question; extract data using the IPEDS tools; perform analyses; and present the data to answer the question. Participants will gain the knowledge needed to explore and answer questions at their institutions or organizations.

    Requirement: Participants are required to bring a MAC or PC laptop with wireless capability and Microsoft Excel.   

  • Data Governance: Moving Beyond Talking to Action ($300/$350)

    Presenter: Rick Burnette, Florida State University

    The term data governance is ubiquitous. At its core, data governance is a set of agreed upon guidelines for how people behave and make decisions about data. In theory data governance sounds simple, but in practice, it can be overwhelming to implement. So, where do you begin? Prior to the workshop, participants can attend webinars to learn the basics of data governance like what data are typically governed, organizational structures, and common governance roles. Then at the workshop, participants will discuss the initial steps needed to start a data governance structure like communicating the need and importance of data governance, how to identify potential champions and detractors, identifying the ideal members of a cross-functional project team, and understanding the potential human and financial resources necessary to implement data governance. Come to this workshop to learn how to get move forward in data governance.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will:

    • Articulate what data governance means within the context of their institution
    • Rate potential data governance projects on their likelihood to succeed
    • Identify the components of a data governance business case including project scope
    • Identify an ideal cross-functional project team structure and leadership roles

    Note: Participants are not required to bring a laptop to this workshop.

  • Improving Equity, Inclusion, and Socially Just Assessment Practices ($300/$350)

    Presenters:

    • Marjorie Dorime-Williams, University of Missouri
    • Michael Williams, University of Missouri

    The words “equity”, “diversity”, “social justice”, and “inclusion” have become commonplace in higher education. However, understanding what these terms mean and how they should influence institutions continues to be a challenge for many stakeholders. There is a noticeable gap between espoused and enacted values around equity and diversity in postsecondary education. While institutions tout the supposed importance of these issues, consistent dedication to enacting policies and practices that would lead to more socially just outcomes are scarce. In order to meet the needs of increasingly diverse students, it is imperative that individuals are intentional in their approaches. This workshop provides tools for (a) appropriately defining and discussing these concepts, (b) using assessment data to intentionally support diverse student constituencies, and (c) utilizing data collection and analysis strategies with designs that show promise for promoting inclusion.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will:

    • Describe issues that impact equity and diversity at institutions
    • Indicate how issues of equity and diversity impact their individual practice
    • Critique assessment and other data collection methods that may hinder equitable student outcomes
    • Recognize how institutional data can be more effectively used to support marginalized student groups
    • Recommend professional practices that can improve efforts to support institutional goals of equity and diversity

     Note: Participants are not required to bring a laptop to this workshop.   

  • New Keyholder Workshop ($25)

    This workshop provides essential beginner-level training and a thorough introduction to the IPEDS data collection cycle and reporting requirements. Workshop topics outline keyholders’ roles and responsibilities and highlight the resources available to assist in the IPEDS planning and reporting processes. Participants are given the opportunity to create an IPEDS planning calendar for the upcoming data collection cycle. Additionally, this workshop serves as a valuable professional networking opportunity for institutional researchers in their new roles.

    Requirement: Participants are required to bring a MAC or PC laptop with wireless capability and Microsoft Excel. 

  • The How-To of Student Outcomes Assessment ($300/$350)

    Presenter: Yongmei Li, Converse College

    Student outcomes assessment in educational programs and academic and student services is crucial for promoting student success. However, leading and coordinating assessment programs across both areas is challenging. This hands-on workshop guides participants through development and evaluation of student outcomes assessment reports in these areas using a framework from an evaluator’s perspective. The presenter will share a template and examples, and will facilitate exercises. Participants will gain concrete knowledge and skills to apply to student outcomes assessment projects at their institutions.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will:

    • Understand and define each component of a student outcomes assessment project
    • Develop components of a student outcomes assessment report
    • Evaluate a student outcomes assessment report
    • Know how to apply these techniques at their own institutions

     Note: Participants are not required to bring a laptop to this workshop.   

Tuesday

Tuesday Full-Day (8 a.m.–4 p.m.)

  • Advanced Data Mining with R Demo ($300/$350)

    Presenter: Ying Lin, Syracuse University

    This workshop presents the Cross Industry Standard Process of Data Mining (CRISP-DM) and highlights some of the most popular data mining algorithms that all IR analysts should include in their toolboxes. Detailed discussion of both theory and implementation in open-source data science programming language R will be included. Participants will achieve solid understanding of these important data mining techniques and gain substantial hands-on experience putting knowledge to practice through R codes.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will:

    • Understand how to carry out CRSIP-DM in institutional research projects
    • Gain solid understanding of the theories behind some of the most important machine learning algorithms employed in data analysis
    • Implement and apply aforementioned machine learning algorithms in R programming language

    Requirement: Participants are required to bring their own laptops with R and Rstudio installed.

  • Engaging Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in IR & IE ($300/$350)

    Presenters:

    • Priyank Shah, Minnesota State System Office
    • Narren Brown, South Central College
    • Clyde Wilson, Minnesota State System Office

    Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are increasingly part of the conversation and work of IR/IE offices. Challenging questions and concerns about how best to pursue equity-related research abound. This workshop presents the importance and relevance of equity in IR/IE work and shares practical approaches and examples for implementing equity-related research. We will discuss leveraging data to inform strategic initiatives and consider key challenges in implementing equity research at your institutions. Small group discussions and activities will bring together participants at different stages of engaging EDI issues to share experiences and learn with each other.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will:

    • Define diversity, equity, and inclusion (definitions and concepts)
    • Identify and understand different institutional stages of data use to inform and advance institutional EDI conversations
    • Calculate equity gaps and communicate them in a relatable manner to different audiences
    • Identify various ways to communicate the information effectively to stakeholders

    Note: Participants are not required to bring a laptop to this workshop.


Tuesday Half-Day Morning (8–11:30 a.m.)

  • I Have a New Job in Institutional Research… Now What? ($150/$175)

    Presenters:

    • Eric Atchison, Arkansas State University System
    • Melanie Sullivan,  Providence College

    This informative and interactive workshop is designed for individuals who are new to the field of institutional research. We review the typical roles and responsibilities associated with IR, highlight useful resources, and learn how to develop connections with others in the field.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will:

    • Understand common projects and responsibilities in institutional research
    • Identify useful resources to aid their work and professional development
    • Develop relationships with other professionals in the IR field

    Note: Participants are not required to bring a laptop to this workshop.   

  • Introduction to SPSS Syntax ($150/$175)

    Presenter: Yuxiang Liu, Yeshiva University

    Data analysis is a critical component of our work, and effective use of statistical software like SPSS is a skill we must develop. SPSS syntax is a programming language unique to SPSS that allows you to perform analyses and data manipulation more efficiently than using drop-down menus. This beginner workshop provides hands-on training for commonly used SPSS commands and procedures like producing frequency distributions, cross-tabulations, and descriptive statistics; generating graphs; formatting or creating variables; giving variable or value labels; and joining multiple data files. This is the basic level of a two-workshop series (enrollment of both workshops is not required).

    As a result of this workshop, participants will:

    • Write SPSS code to perform basic data manipulation and analyses
    • Perform common calculations like student retention rate, graduation rate, and average GPA
    • Use SPSS syntax to cross-check data, identify data errors, and improve data integrity

    Requirement: Participants are required to bring their own laptops with SPSS installed.

  • IPEDS Data and Benchmarking: Supporting Decision Making and Institutional Effectiveness ($25)

    This workshop introduces the fundamentals of benchmarking as a way to demonstrate institutional effectiveness. It is designed for individuals with little to no experience in benchmarking studies. Participants use data from the IPEDS Surveys, Data Feedback Reports, and the “Use the Data” center at the NCES website to learn about the types of comparison groups that can be constructed. Exercises demonstrate establishment of key performance indicators (KPIs) and identification of variables to refine comparison groups.

    Requirement: Participants are required to bring a MAC or PC laptop with wireless capability and Microsoft Excel.   

  • IPEDS Student Financial Aid Training ($25)

    This workshop provides foundational training for completing the IPEDS Student Financial Aid Survey using an integrated approach to managing, storing, and extracting financial aid data required for survey completion. Topics include an overview of financial aid concepts and how they intersect IPEDS, how to effectively create frozen data files from enrollment and financial aid systems, how to use these files to answer the respective sections of the survey, and how the files can be leveraged to address additional internal reporting needs. The workshop concludes with exercises focused on how IPEDS financial aid data are used for external purposes as well as for internal benchmarking.

    Requirement: Participants are required to bring a MAC or PC laptop with wireless capability and Microsoft Excel.   

  • The Art and Science of Enrollment Forecasting ($150/$175)

    Presenter: Chris Orem, James Madison University

    This workshop will describe and demonstrate best practices in forecasting enrollment for colleges and universities. Through hands-on application, participants will be introduced to an enrollment projection model in Excel that has successfully projected enrollment in a large (20,000+) public comprehensive university. The model can be adapted to institutions of any size. It is not designed to project how many new students will attend an institution, but rather, it forecasts how they will progress, hopefully to graduation.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will:

    • Identify guidelines to consider when implementing an enrollment forecasting model
    • Explain the logic behind the forecasting model employed by the presenter’s institution
    • Adapt the model to their own institutions
    • Identify various ways to communicate the information effectively to stakeholders

    Requirement: Participants are required to bring their own laptops with Excel installed.

  • The How-To of Focus Group Facilitation and Interpretation ($150/$175)

    Presenter: Linda LeFauve, Davidson College

    Focus groups can be tricky because the data generated (transcripts of carefully facilitated conversations) look very much like the conversations we have every day. While this workshop touches on the science behind focus groups, the primary goal is to provide a foundation for conducting, understanding, and using focus groups to collect quality data. Participants will engage in exercises that demonstrate organizing principles around research topics, create messages or programs that take those principles into account, and assess changes in perception or behavior. They will also apply analytical techniques to sample transcripts.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will:

    • Create focus group protocols that allow for authentic discussion and the generation of insights and ideas
    • Analyze focus group data with special attention to what is actionable and what can be evaluated for effectiveness
    • Be better consumers of focus group research presented by others (colleagues, consultants, the media, etc.)

    Requirement: Participants are not required to bring a laptop to this workshop.


Tuesday Half-Day Afternoon (12:30–4 p.m.)

  • Enrollment Forecasting and Modeling in Tableau ($150/$175)

    Presenter: Craig Abbey, University at Buffalo

    In this workshop, participants will learn several enrollment forecasting and modeling techniques in Tableau. Using Tableau's built in forecasting features as well as a cohort-based technique, participants will gain the skills needed to forecast their own institutions’ enrollments. Using advanced techniques including table calculations and parameters, participants will create tools to model enrollment, tuition revenue, and class demand.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will:

    • Learn how to use Tableau's forecast tool
    • Build tools to forecast course and seat demand
    • Build a headcount and revenue forecasting model
    • Build a cohort-based enrollment model

    Requirement: Participants are required to bring their own laptops with Tableau 2019.1 or newer installed.

  • SPSS Syntax for Intermediate Users ($150/$175)

    Presenter: Yuxiang Liu, Yeshiva University

    Continuing the conversation we started in Introduction to SPSS Syntax, this workshop provides intermediate training for those who have attended the basic workshop and/or have experience using SPSS syntax. This workshop provides hands-on experience for more advanced SPSS commands and procedures like reading data from files in other formats such as SAS, STATA, Access, Excel, and text; aggregating data; running the index; running macros; retrieving data from institutional databases; and generating reports.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will:

    • Understand how to import data into SPSS from files of other formats
    • Aggregate data, run indexes, and use macros to manipulate data and conduct analyses
    • Use SPSS syntax to retrieve data from institutional databases and generate institutional reports

    Requirement: Participants are required to bring their own laptops with SPSS installed.

  • The Tools of Data Science–Using R with Institutional Data ($150/$175)

    Presenters:

    • Mark Leany, Utah Valley University
    • Evelyn Ho-Wisniewski, Utah Valley University

    Data science is a hot topic and R is the statistical programming language that higher education uses to implement it. This workshop presents an overview of data science and the basics of R. Our approach will employ some lecture on concepts, but mostly the experience will be hands-on application of skills. You will run calculations, load files, and execute conditional statements and for loops. You will learn the importance of cleaning data, and then clean it using R. You will run predictive analytics models using linear regression, logistic regression, and a decision tree, and then use methods (such as AUC) to evaluate their usefulness. You will also take away R Scripts containing versions of the commands we run (which you can compare to the ones you create in the workshop) and RData files with some of the results. To put it bluntly, this is the data science with R course that we wish we had taken when we were first learning R.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will:

    • Learn the basics of R (variables, calculations, common commands, etc.)
    • Learn R programming details (if, for loop, ifelse, etc.).
    • Understand the importance of cleaning data, and be able to use R commands to clean datasets
    • Decide on appropriate models to use based on input and desired outputs
    • Run a few specific models (linear regression, logistic regression, decision tree)
    • Use R commands to evaluate the usefulness of R (ROC AUC [Area Under the Curve], R-squared, and pseudo-R-squared)

    Requirement: Participants are required to bring their own laptops with R and Rstudio installed.

Friday

Friday Half-Day Afternoon (12:30–4 p.m.)

  • Enrollment Forecasting and Modeling in Tableau ($150/$175)

    Presenter: Craig Abbey, University at Buffalo

    In this workshop, participants will learn several enrollment forecasting and modeling techniques in Tableau. Using Tableau's built in forecasting features as well as a cohort-based technique, participants will gain the skills needed to forecast their own institutions’ enrollments. Using advanced techniques including table calculations and parameters, participants will create tools to model enrollment, tuition revenue, and class demand.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will:

    • Learn how to use Tableau's forecast tool
    • Build tools to forecast course and seat demand
    • Build a headcount and revenue forecasting model
    • Build a cohort-based enrollment model

    Requirement: Participants are required to bring their own laptops with Tableau 2019.1 or newer installed.