Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment
Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment is the official source of institutional data at Bristol Community College. Our primary focus is to collect, analyze, and interpret information about the College that can then be used for strategic planning, assessment, and continuous quality improvement.
The Research component of our office provides data and conducts statistical analyses for institutional decision making. The staff works closely with faculty and administrators to collect and analyze data regarding students, faculty, staff, programs, and resources. The office publishes an annual fact sheet that provides an overview of the College.
The office conducts a number of surveys in an effort to assess both student learning and student satisfaction at the College. Two of these surveys include: the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) and the Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory.
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.
Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory
This survey examines what is important to students and how satisfied they are with their college experience. With this information, the College is better able to target the areas most in need of improvement.
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 Performance Measures
The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education uses a Performance Measurement System for state and community colleges “in order to promote accountability for effective management and stewardship of public funds and to achieve and demonstrate measurable educational outcomes.” BCC provides institutional information that becomes incorporated into two reports- a Performance Measurement Report and a Key Performance Indicators Linear Trends Report.
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.
We provide leadership in the area of college-wide assessment. The Institutional 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 institution’s effectiveness. The Committee makes recommendations for assessment in the areas of Administration, Academics, Student Services, the Learning Resources Center, and Continuing Education and Community Services as outlined in the Final Report of the Outcomes Assessment Task Force (March 1993).
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 (both 5-year cycles and yearly reviews) The College has developed a timeline for 5-year reviews, and all other academic programs are subject to yearly reviews.
Administrative Area Reviews
The College has developed a timeline for administrative area reviews as well. Using Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS), several areas such as Academic Advising, Student Activities, Admissions, etc. are undergoing review
Also, the maintenance of Bristol Community College’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) is carried out in Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment. The IRB strives to ensure that the College meets the objectives of protecting people’s privacy, health, and safety, and people’s ability to participate voluntarily in human subject research.