Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment
The mission of the Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment (OIRPA) is to provide and oversee quality research and information about Bristol Community College (Bristol) for its students, faculty, and staff as well as external stakeholders such as the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (MDHE). The office develops and utilizes a variety of data reports to lead and support a range of assessment and planning activities at the institution. As the official source of institutional data at Bristol, the office's primary objective is to interpret information about the college that can be used for the assessment of student learning, accreditation, and strategic planning.
The Research component of our office provides data and conducts statistical analyses for institutional planning and decision making. The office works closely with faculty, staff, and administrators to collect and analyze data regarding students, faculty, staff, programs, and resources. View the 2017 Fact Sheet.
The office conducts a number of surveys in an effort to assess both student learning and student satisfaction at the College. Two institution-wide student surveys include: the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) and the Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory. The office also oversees the completion of all IPEDS surveys in order to comply with Federal regulations. More information about these surveys can be found below.
The Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE)
This survey is used as a tool for assessing quality in community college education and focuses primarily on levels of student learning and retention. By gauging the level of “good educational practice,” the CCSSE helps identify areas in which the College can improve their programs and services for students.
The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
IPEDS is a data collection program for National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Data such as enrollment, program completion, graduation rates, finances, institutional prices, and student financial aid are collected from all providers of postsecondary education in the country. Institutional Research at Bristol Community College oversees the collection and submission of this information three times per year. Institutional Research staff work with the College’s Registrar, Director of Financial Aid, Vice President of Human Resources and Affirmative Action, and Comptroller to process these submissions.
State Reporting and Performance Measures
The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education provides key performance measures through its online Data Center which contains indicators for all fifteen community colleges and nine state universities in Massachusetts. Indicators for the community colleges are provided in the areas of: Tuition & Fees, Access and Affordability, Student Success and Completion, Meeting Regional Economic and Workforce Development Needs, Cost Effective Use of Resources, and Fundraising. Bristol also compiles Longitudinal Trends in an effort to review trends and develop strategies to improve our outcomes.
It is the responsibility of any person holding a BCC sponsored event to capture information on non-BCC attendees using the Non-Credit HEIRS Instructions and Forms FY19. On this form, attendees’ names, genders, and zip codes are recorded and subsequently entered into ARGOS for reporting purposes. This data collection initiative does not include BCC students, faculty, or staff. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education requires the college to collect information on the number of attendees at non-credit education experiences held at any campus location or sponsored by the College at any off-site location. Once data entry has been completed, please initial, date, and return the form and accompanying attendee data to the Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment.
The College's Strategic Planning process and reporting is overseen by this department. Strategic Planning is performed by a representative committee of College faculty, staff, students, and administrators and creates the process for collecting results and benchmarks that address the College's mission and the Department of Higher Education's Vision Project goals.
The 2016-2020 Strategic Plan can be found on the Strategic Planning Blog.
The office provides leadership in the area of college-wide assessment. The Educational Effectiveness Committee advises the President, through the Vice President of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment, on the implementation of a college-wide program to assess the College’s effectiveness and assist all academic administrators, faculty, and staff in meeting learning outcomes.
Assessment is conducted at various levels within the College, allowing us to evaluate the quality of the College’s educational programs and administrative functions. Assessment results are used to continually improve what we do.
Academic Program Review
In Institutional Research, we provide data and support for academic program reviews. The College has developed a timeline for 5-year reviews.
Administrative Area Reviews
The College has developed a timeline for administrative area reviews as well. Using the standards developed by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS), several functional areas are included in a 5-year review process.
- Why We Conduct Program Reviews
- Academic Program Review Report Template 2018-19
- Academic Program Review Schedule 4-5-18
- BCC Academic Program Review Activities Calendar
- Attachment A1 - The BCC Educated Person
- Attachment A2 - Characteristics of the BCC Educated Person
- CAS Functional Area Review Schedule
- CAS FAR Timeline