Inside Higher Ed has an article today on the issues facing institutional researchers across the country, based on pertinent themes from the Association for Institutional Research Forum in Chicago. As the data gurus at their institutions, IRs have a lot on their plates. Perhaps the two most pressing issues are student retention and student success.
The articles goes in depth on the ways IRs are trying to improve student progress at their colleges and universities. It also gives a nice summation of the value of institutional researchers and quality data — whether internal or external.
CHICAGO — Institutional researchers are higher education’s version of a utility infielder. That doesn’t mean they lack expertise: They specialize in bringing data to bear on issues and problems, and explaining and interpreting those data to campus constituents who often come at the information from widely varying viewpoints. Their versatility comes, though, in the wide range of subjects they touch and of decisions over which they have some influence.
For more on how EMSI has provided up-to-date education and labor market data and analysis to institutional research staffs throughout the US, see this list of articles and resources.