2016 Conference Presentations

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  • Developing a Peer Comparison Database to Support Strategic Planning Michael Bolen, Jennifer McCarthy, and Karina Pineda – University of South Florida

This presentation will discuss why and how an IR office developed a database of data about peer institutions for quickly reporting actionable data to university leaders. Consideration will be given to navigating the unforeseen problems surrounding this proactive initiative as well as the technological requirements necessary for implementation.

This study focuses on institutional level data and examines how institutions (public, private for- and not-for-profit) are impacted by the variations in macroeconomic and financial aid indicators in terms of graduate student enrollments. Preliminar y results show that graduate enrollments in public and private institutions are impacted by these factors. These findings can assist administrators and IR professionals with revenue prediction, planning, and strategic decision making.

This presentation provides a step-by-step demonstration of how to use historical data, and retention and persistence rates, to construct a multi-year undergraduate enrollment projection model that can be used for scenario-testing. The talk reveals three important principles for constructing enrollment models.

This session will describe the rationale and initial development work for the creation of the Pulse BI Consortium as well as the work that has occurred during the first six months. The session will also demonstrate the initial consortium version of Pulse BI which includes data from five of the par ticipating schools.

  • Academic Program Review: Balancing Philosophy & Reality Andrew Permeter and Cody Lloyd – Southeastern University

Southeastern University (SEU) evaluate a number of key performance indicators, including learning objectives, curriculum, teaching and learning methods, student learning assessments, and administrative processes and procedures. This presentation will outline the SEU Academic Program Review process as well as some of our successes and challenges of developing/navigating the process.

This presentation will discuss how we adapted the MS Word CDS template using field codes and VBA macros. We developed a template that allows the date fields to be updated for the new academic year with the touch of a button, include additional detail that is required by national sur veys, and allow the CDS to ser ve as a resource for the institution and community.

Hillsborough Community College is increasing completion rates with 3 innovative techniques: Auto-graduation, Reverse Transfer, and Near Graduation. Using a complete view of student data, they can determine what paths students need to take to graduate. They have added 1000 additional completions per year and increased completion by 51% since 2009-10.

  • Aligning Student Achievement of Essential Learning Outcomes with Teaching Methods in General Education Steve Benton – The IDEA Center

The presenter will repor t on teaching methods most effective in helping general education students make progress on Essential Learning Outcomes, and distinguish teaching methods for first-year/ sophomores and upper-level general education students.

  • A Content Analysis of the Journal of College Student Retention: An Analysis of Institutional Initiatives, 2004 to 2015 Daniel Duerr,William Hamilton, Cheryl Hemphill and Amelia Evans – Saint Leo University

To gain a better understanding of the student success initiatives that colleges and universities have implemented we conducted a content analysis of a representative sample of ar ticles from the Journal of College Student Retention. Our presentation provides a discussion of the emergent salient themes and implications for practice.

  • Surveying Student Perceptions and Behaviors in Gateway Courses: Lessons for Improving Passing Rates Tekla Nicholas – Florida International University

Why do students fail gateway courses? Surveys can provide rich data to guide efforts to improve passing rates in key courses. I will discuss sur vey development, index creation, and what was learned about differing perceptions and behaviors of students who passed or did not pass gateway math courses.

  • PA Decade of Community College Data from the NCCBP Michelle Taylor – Johnson County Community College

The National Community College Benchmark Project (NCCBP) is an annual data collection effor t that was star ted in 2004 by the National Higher Education Benchmarking Institute (NHEBI). With a decade of data to mine and annual par ticipation of over 250 community colleges, this session will present some of the most interesting trend data from the study, as well as some recent results.

  • Optional Developmental Education Course Enrollment: Exploring the Relationship Between Taking Counselor Recommendations and Student Success  Melinda Hess, University of South Florida

Recent legislation in Florida has removed requirements for many students to take DE classes, allowing immediate enrollment into Gateway courses. At St. Petersburg College, an analytical strategy was developed to help determine if a student is Likely College Ready, Recommended, or Strongly Recommended to take a DE course in Math, Writing and/or Reading. This study explores the impact this legislation has had on SPC student success over numerous semesters relative to student decisions to take counselor recommendations for DE coursework.

  • Performance Funding Dilemma: Developmental Education  Michelle Taylor – Johnson County Community College

Colleges across the US are developing & implementing innovations in developmental education. While these innovations ultimately improve student performance & completion, they can also have a negative impact on college performance funding metrics. Missouri’s CCs responded to this dilemma by forming a task-force to identify new metrics to replace the two developmental success measures in Missouri’s Performance Funding Criteria. This session will discuss the opportunities & challenges related to implementing developmental education instructional reforms & their impact on state performance funding models. The specific metrics selected by the task-force and their process of evaluating these metrics will be shared.

  • How Colleges and Universities have started using the SAS Information Evolution Model to Move the Needle on Student Success.  Jesse Coraggio – St. Petersburg College and Aimen Zeid – SAS Institute

This session will describe how schools have used the SAS Information Evolution Model (SEM) to evaluate their current processes and begin to build systematic plans to improve their information capabilities. Aiman Zeid, author of “Business Transformation: A Roadmap for Maximizing Organizational Insights”, will present concepts from his book and provide insight into using the model to increase the use of data. Par ticipants will also walk through the SAS IEM and understand how it can be implemented at their institutions.

  • Early Warning System for Identifying and Monitoring Potential Dropouts  Ching-Wen (Tiffany) Wang – Chang Jung Christian University

An alternative approach for evaluating the performance of student learning is presented in this paper. We took into account the differences between warning groups, to construct an influences framework for student’s learning. Specially, we employed a pattern in order to form an early warning matrix based on number of absence and earned credits via two stage analysis.

  • Automating the Collection of Survey Data: Welcome to the 21st Century  Michael Bolen and Jennifer McCarthy – University of South Florida

This presentation will discuss how an IR office implemented a sur vey within the application to graduate process as well as an automated repor ting tool to quickly put actionable data in the hands of senior leaders. Consideration will be given to the institutional politics and technological requirements surrounding this proactive initiative.

2015 Conference Presentations

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Presenter Contact Information

To improve student success, college employees need more than just best practices. They need access to ‘real-time’ information and the policy and practices to encourage data-driven decision-making at all levels of the organization, especially the front lines. They also need a student-success focused, value structure that supports transparency, collaboration, and empowerment.

  • Identifying Major-Specific Roadblocks by Arlene Garcia

A series of analyses were conducted to identify roadblocks to timely graduation in four large majors: Biology, Criminal Justice, Finance, and Mass Communications. The use of a variety of strategies allowed us to identify major-specific roadblocks which can be targeted to increase timely graduation.

SPC demonstrates its process for engaging faculty, advisors, and administrators in meaningful, actionable conversations for restructuring curriculum to drive student success.  Participants will leave with a template for creating prescriptive Academic Pathways for students to follow, which include specific general education courses identified by curricular relevance to Meta Major areas.

This presentation focuses on a study conducted in the Office of Retention and Graduation Success on how to use decision trees to analyze first year in college student data collected prior to attending FIU.  The findings will be used to make improvements that increase first year to second year retention. This presentation targets researchers who are new to decision trees but are interested in understanding more about how to use them.

Enrollment data and course grades can be used to gain more insight on course performance and retention trends. Focusing on courses that are specific to certain major or student population may help program offices concentrate efforts on course pairings and offerings that promote student success and retention.

This presentation will feature an electronic tool designed for both operational and strategic course scheduling. The tool allows users to compare historical with transactional data along several variables in the pursuit of a more efficient schedule at a college with de-centralized course scheduling.

The presentation will focus on the effective integration of different technologies to accomplish survey administration, processing and reporting in an efficient and cost-effective manner. It will discuss the UCF Operational Excellence and Assessment Support (OEAS) Knowledgebase, a secure online environment, which is used to display results from all surveys.

  • Noncognitive Factors and Student Success: Research and Institutional Perspectives (ETS Vendor Session) by Ann-Marie Stephenson, Jill Miller, Will Miller

As institutions of higher education have increasingly pushed – and been pushed – to focus on student retention, persistence, and completion, we officially have shifted from an era of student access to one of student success. In this new paradigm of higher education, we see more institutions focusing not on who gets in and who doesn’t, but how we can help each student who enrolls. In order to achieve institutional and national goals of improved success and completion, colleges and universities require a different understanding of what determines success – one that focuses on skills and behavior rather than background and demographics. In doing so, institutions will be better suited to not only understand who is likely to succeed, but why, and most importantly how they can improve success for all students. This presentation will integrate the research perspective and institutional perspectives, discussing the factors that determine success, and the institutional decision-making process needed to implement tools and approaches to improving success for each student.

This topic presents a model for enhancing the Program Review process using Business Intelligence. The primary objectives of St. Petersburg College’s enhanced Comprehensive Academic Program Review process are engaging deans and faculty in their program data, facilitating discussions that result in performance improvement, and addressing the needs of College Stakeholders.

  • Planning and Outcomes Assessment – the Foundation of Performance Management (Nuventive Vendor Session) by Stacey Angelo

Join Nuventive and learn about TracDat 5 — the beautiful, new version of Nuventive’s planning and outcomes assessment software and the foundation for Performance Management. Learn how to bring all of your data/BI from different sources together into a single place where people throughout your institution can take effective coordinated action toward your key goals.

  • Predictive Modeling for Academic Success: SPC’s Approach to Implementing SB 1720 by Jesse Coraggio, Melinda Hess

This presentation will describe St. Petersburg College’s (SPC) approach to implementing Senate Bill 1720. The presenters will focus on the model that SPC developed to predict the college readiness of students that qualified under this legislation as not needing to take the PERT.

Institutions need to protect their brand against the incidents of student plagiarism. This presentation will focus on the quality control checkpoints that have been instituted at NSU, a follow up on the outcome thus far, and the ways in which Turnitin has assisted students in quelling instances of plagiarism.

IR offices often face the challenge of responding to data requests in short time frames. The presentation will include strategies for completing large, unexpected requests in a condensed period, managing research questions that arise during the project, collaborating with university stakeholders, and analyzing and presenting data in new ways.

  • Should We Advise All First-time Students to Take Heavy Courseloads? by Don Rudawsky, Arie Spirgel

Past research at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) has demonstrated there were no differences in academic preparation of students who self-select to take 12-14 credits vs 15-18 credits, that students taking 15-18 credits had better academic outcomes, and that those positive differences in academic outcomes were more pronounced at lower levels of academic preparation. The current research expands on these findings, by adding financial factors to the model and examining attempted versus completed credits.

This paper describes rationale for the application of ordinary least squares factor analysis to the conditions that institutional researchers encounter as they analyze data of increasing complexity.  In addition to providing the results of a Monte Carlo research design, this paper also includes a general description exploratory factor analysis.

This presentation will describe how the culture at SPC has been transformed from one of primarily intuition to one of on-going inquiry. The transformation started over three years ago as the college adopted a new Business Intelligence (BI) solution.

  • The Connection between National Unemployment Rates and College Enrollments by Diana Barbu

A series of articles indicated that IHEs are facing significant difficulties recruiting students and that enrollments have dropped significantly during periods of economic expansion. We explore this connection, provide empirical evidence of its existence, and help inform decision-making at the institutional, state, and federal levels.

Surveys are typically used for efficient data collection. But a survey can also be a used for student success outreach and interventions. This session will discuss a Major Satisfaction Survey distributed to early-career undergraduates that guided students through an evaluation of the fit of their major and their study habits.

This presentation focuses on two studies on how to use techniques such as survival analysis, cluster analysis and discriminant function analysis to analyze engineering student data in order to make improvements that will help them succeed in completing their degree. These methodologies can contribute to many higher education issues. This presentation targets researchers who are new to these techniques to get a better sense of how to use them in analyzing student data.

At Florida International University, the Biological Sciences major continues to experience significant growth in its student population. Currently, it is one of the largest majors at FIU (n=4,584). This analysis focused on the variables related to the academic performance, retention, and graduation of Biology students at FIU.