Charlotte, North Carolina October 8-11, 2016




General Conference Information

Information for Sponsors/Exhibitors

Local Information

Opening Keynote

Special Event

Sponsors and Exhibitors

Travel Grants



SAIR Proposal

SAIR Conference Program 2016
Monday, October 10, 2016
8:30 am to 9:15 am

Accreditation / Special Interest

Session 01
Movin' On Up: Preparing for a SACSCOC Level Change

From substantive change prospectuses to fifth-year interim reports to ten-year reaffirmation of accreditation, SACSCOC is an integral part of life in higher education. This presentation will go over best practices in the planning, preparation, and execution of SACSCOC reporting covering researching, gathering documentation, writing, creating/linking electronic reports, and preparing and hosting on-site visits. An opportunity for an exchange of ideas and brainstorming will be available at the end of the session.

Room: Tryon North
Beth Butler Methodist University

Facilitator: Cassandra Belton

Assessment / Work Share

Session 02
Focusing on Institutional Effectiveness: Is Peer Review the Future of Programmatic Assessment?

This session will discuss one institution’s approach to motivate faculty and staff to participate in quality institutional effectiveness processes through peer review. The presenter will (1) discuss implementation of a commercial assessment management system, (2) share our institution’s efforts to achieve widespread participation in completing annual programmatic assessment plans for educational programs, support services, research, and community services, and, (3) analyze the pros and cons of individual review verses peer review processes. Explanation of our peer review procedure will be discussed with copies of rubrics provided. Audience members will be encouraged to ask questions and to share their own experiences.

Room: Tryon South
Leslie Collins Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Facilitator: Lauren Lopez

Community College / Work Share

Session 03
Improving Student Retention and Success One Course at a Time

This session will focus on how utilizing institutional course level data led to improved student retention and success at a medium, rural, community college in Texas. Grayson College has improved its fall-to-spring retention of new students to a 16 year high and improved the success rate, successful course completion of all courses with an A, B or C, to a ten year high. Grayson accomplished this by: utilizing its data warehouse to produce departmental reports which are used by faculty to design interventions and course level changes; hosting an annual faculty data summit; and the use of proactive outereach. An overview of the process, including faculty engagement and communication, along with a look into the institutional data will be provided.

Room: Harris
Debbie L Smarr Grayson College

Facilitator: Elizabeth Cooper

Institutional Research / Work Share

Session 04
Using Data Mining Techniques to Predict the Success or Failure of Students Taking a Bottleneck Course

This study presents various data mining techniques--logistic regression, decision tree, neural network, and ensemble models—that can be used to predict the success or failure of students taking a bottleneck course. (A/B/C grades represent success; and D/F/W grades represent failure. A bottleneck course is one with a high number of failure cases.) The predictive modeling is first conducted at the beginning of the semester, and then repeated once more after mid-term grades are available. Statistically significant predictors include high school GPA, gender, number of D/F/W grades received previously, family median income, IB/AP credits, and mid-term grades. The results can be used to provide feedback to students and identify weak students that may need further academic assistance.

Room: Independence
Khoi Dinh To Virginia Commonwealth University


Institutional Research / Paper

Session 05
Using IR Data to Promote Student Success

IR offices collect large survey data sets such as the NSSE, the CIRP Freshmen Survey, and the CSS. Because of the large number of variables, often the only variables that are analyzed relate to retention, graduation, and climate. However, these data sets contain rich information regarding all aspects of college life. For example, using the CSS we investigated the relationship between faculty support and student success. Results show high faculty support is positively correlated with academic, emotional, and social success. These findings suggest that IR offices should collaborate with faculty and other departments to explore these data sets more fully.

Room: Sharon
Holly Thomas Radford University
Sandra Nicks Baker Radford University
Sarah Strout Radford University

Facilitator: Raul Fletes

Institutional Research / Work Share

Session 06
Automating a Common Data Set Template to Reduce Errors and Save Time

Most institutions spend considerable time and effort developing the Common Data Set (CDS) each academic year. This presentation will discuss how we adapted the MS Word CDS template to reduce the time and potential for error involved in creating the CDS. We will also discuss how we have created standardized queries with CDS definitions to pull the institutional data. The template is customized to include additional detail that is required by national surveys, and is branded and formatted as to allow the CDS to serve as a resource for the institution and community.

Room: Trade
Amanda Miller University of Central Florida
Patricia Ramsey University of Central Florida

Facilitator: Charlotte Ashley

Institutional Research / Paper

Session 08
From Contemplation to Completion: Understanding How Personal Characteristics, Programs and Services, and Engagement with Faculty Impact Student Success

Survey and focus group research was conducted at a large public research university to identify students who had contemplated leaving but stayed and were completing their senior year. Differences between contemplators, stayers, and returners were examined in terms of personal characteristics, programs and services use and impact, and engagement with faculty. Over half of the respondents had contemplated leaving for reasons in three broad categories: academics, finances, and fit. The findings suggest that contemplators fell between stayers and returners on the impact of their characteristics and engagement, and that faculty played a key role in helping contemplators progress to graduation.

Room: Kings
Denise C. Gardner University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Sally J. McMillian The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Facilitator: Dana Dalton

Institutional Research / Panel

Session 10
IPEDS Update: Changes for 2016-17 and 2017-18

The National Center for Education Statistics will present an update on 2016-17 and 2017-18 approved changes to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

Room: Grand Ballroom A
Gigi Jones U.S. Department of Education

Facilitator: Kristy Neal

Sponsor Session / Software Demonstration

Session 07
Learn how to benchmark your institution against your peers with U.S. News Academic Insights!

U.S. News Academic Insights is the top peer benchmarking and performance assessment tool in Higher Education. Containing unpublished rankings and data, Academic Insights allows college, university and graduate school administrators the ability to create custom peer groups and compare their relative performance to that of others. Data can be visualized using Academic Insights unique data presentations or exported as reports or in raw form. Institutional Research professionals can access the Download Center to export large data sets. This session will show IR professionals how to use Academic Insights for benchmarking and reporting to Senior Leadership.

Room: Morehead
Megan Trudeau
Evan Jones

Facilitator: Maren Hess

Sponsor Session / Software Demonstration

Session 09
The Many Ways to Utilize National Student Clearinghouse Data

The National Student Clearinghouse Student Tracker service has many uses. For example, have you been asked the following questions: • Did my lost admissions enroll somewhere else? • Where did our transfer-out students attend and what degrees have they earned? • Did our graduates continue on to a 4yr college or to graduate school? • Who from our student body is concurrently enrolled? • A need for special cohort tracking? This session will provide an overview of StudentTracker and how you can put it to use for you, not only to provide answers to questions, but to develop Enrollment Management strategies. Also, come learn about VSA, SAM and our initiatives with Achieving the Dream and SACS. Finally, we provide an update on our latest enhancements to StudentTracker, which will be available in December 2016.

Room: Queens
Joe Roof

Facilitator: Angie Mason

Sponsor Session / Work Share

Session 23
Collaborative reports: Putting it all together (on one page!)

The new administration asked for quick glance performance tables based on a diverse set of data – from student data (enrollment, degrees, credit hours, retention, graduation) to faculty data (headcounts, diversity, productivity) to research dollars. It took a team effort for the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA) at The University of Alabama to update outdated modes of analysis and pull together the results. This presentation will show the steps from gathering the data, discussing methodology, to creating a systematic format that would allow consistency and flexibility to present information for each disparate entity – department to university level. Using SAS®, we were able to create data sets from which to drive the reports and then output a one-page PDF with nine separate tables for each entity. This approach will provide a guideline for many types of collaborative reporting.

Room: Grand Ballroom B
Christine Kraft University of Alabama
Alicia Weaver University of Alabama
Eric Wang University of Alabama

Facilitator: Steve Wilkerson

Technology / Software Demonstration

Session 12
Using SQLite as a Lightweight and Server-less Database Alternative to Traditional Systems

This presentation describes how one IR office uses SQLite as a substitute to other larger, client-server database systems to maximum effect. Time is taken to describe SQLite’s strengths and weaknesses compared to traditional client-server Relational DB Systems’s (like Oracle or MySQL). The presentation also uses live demonstrations to show SQLite’s ability as a RDBMS. Several free SQLite tools will be demonstrated along with how to obtain SQLite. A brief overview of RDBMS will be provided, for context.

Room: Brevard

Facilitator: Celeste Church

Sessions: 12

SAIR 2016 Charlotte