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Research Brown Bag Digest – September 2016

During September’s session, we covered various aspects of the Program Review process, but we also provided brief discussions of IPEDS data and qualitative research methods.

Generally speaking, the IPEDS reports are results from a nationwide survey of college institutions. Data for ECC or Compton Center is aggregated to the institutional level, and then this data is compared with other institutions that are determined to be similar based on characteristics like size, geography, and community demographics. The IPEDS feedback report isn’t currently available online, but please feel free to contact us if you would like to see a copy of the report or presentation. More intrepid users or those already familiar with IPEDS may consider going directly to the IPEDS Data Center, but please be advised that this federal database can be very complex to navigate and that we have not provided a tutorial for this website yet.

Regarding qualitative research, this is a broad and encompassing term for data that tends to be open-ended and verbal, as opposed to closed-ended and numerical. Common examples involve using information from focus groups and interviews to answer the “why” of a larger research question. But rather than writing an extensive review of qualitative research on this blog, we recommend looking at the Qualitative Research summary document provided to attendees of the last session. (Feel free to contact us if you’d like a copy of this document even if you weren’t present at the last session.)

A majority of the September session was spent discussing the Program Review process. The program review process is detailed extensively in the guidelines provided for Instructional Programs as well as Student Services.  The document for instructional programs also contains a detailed explanation and visualization of how the process works and why your program review matters to institutional planning, located in Appendix E.  This document also contains: a 2016 timeline of the review process; a sample of the standard student survey questions; a rubric for how the program review will be examined by the committee; and detailed instructions for addressing each aspect of the program review document that needs to be written.

Lastly, we went over the MyECC portal and the different program review data files available there. Interactive data files are available containing: program review information for instructional programs, program review information for student service programs, and detailed success and retention rates for courses, departments, and divisions. Success and retention rates are also available on the IRP website, but you can access an interactive version of this data through MyECC.

To access the Instructional Program Review data file:
1) Log in to MyECC.
2) Move your pointer over “Areas” in the top-left to make a drop-down menu appear.
3) From the drop-down menu, move your pointer over “Institutional Effectiveness” and then click “Program Review,” which will open a new page.
4) Under documents, click “Academic Affairs,” which will open a new page.
5) From here, select “Program Review Datafile-Compton 2015” for the most recent data.

To access the Student Service Metrics file and the interactive Success and Retention file, just click on “Institutional Research and Planning” instead of “Program Review” in Step 3 listed above. Student service data is located in the “Metrics Tool” folder, and the success and retention data is located in the “Success and Retention Reports” folder.

As always, please feel free to provide any questions and comments about the material, or additional suggestions for the type of content you’d like to see on these blog posts. The next Brown Bag is scheduled for Tuesday, October 11th, and we welcome any suggestions you have for topics you’d like to see us cover.