About Us

The purpose of the Stanislaus State Office of Institutional Research (IR) is to provide university administrators, faculty and students with meaningful services and information in support of data-driven decision-making. The services and information provided by IR help to improve the university'€™s institutional effectiveness.

IR has staff that is knowledgeable in survey design, assessment, and data analytics and is available to provide support or assist with a diverse range of projects including the following services.

What we do..

  1. Support and provide data for evidence-based planning and decision-making
  2. Report detailed student characteristics (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, geographic origin)
  3. Supply national survey data (IPEDS)
  4. Provide data for college guidebook surveys (e.g., U.S. News & World Report, Princeton Review, and Peterson'€™s)
  5. Produce the Campus Data Portfolio
  6. Conduct student surveys (e.g., Alumni Survey, Exit Surveys, National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), etc.)
  7. Conduct staff and faculty surveys (e.g., Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE), Staff & Administrator Survey, etc.)
  8. Provide data and analysis for internal and external data requests
  9. Academic Planning Database (APDB) management and reporting
  10. Support the development of institutional and departmental assessment efforts
  11. Provide demographic and statistical profiles of students, supporting matriculation needs with selected program data and analyses
  12. Validate the accuracy and validity of college data submissions to the Chancellor's Office,
  13. Facilitate access to focused literature reviews and resources on particular topics of interest, and
  14. Periodically initiating specific in-depth, longitudinal studies of college programs and services.
  15. Serve as a consultant to campus departments, committees, and individuals.
  16. Assist in the development of clearly articulated educational outcomes.
  17. Assist in the identification of appropriate assessment strategies and the development of purposeful assessment plans.
  18. Study Design
  19. Assist with the development of studies to enhance student learning and improve institutional practices.
  20. Assist with identification, and use, of appropriate research methods.
  21. Assist in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data and the dissemination of results.
  22. Assist in the development of in-house survey instruments and qualitative data collection methods.

The roles and responsibilities of IR will evolve over time as needs arise with the university. If you require additional services not listed on this site, please feel free to contact our office at ir@csustan.edu or 667-3281.

Mission and Goals

The mission of IR is to support the university'€™s student-centered dedication to teaching and learning. IR provides client-centered services and plays a vital role in the provisioning of information for planning and decision making purposes. In practical terms, IR provides direct and value-added analytical support to the administration and the academic community in areas of program assessment, accreditation, Academic Program Review, and strategic planning, including the design and development of surveys, primary data collection, and the secondary analysis of data. Among the key objectives and services performed, IR has embarked on new direction and initiatives in fulfillment of its mission to serve the university community. During the normal course of its work, IR also executes ongoing studies in which the results are available university-wide as well as for each of the colleges, departments and academic units. In addition, IR is responsible for the delivery of various mandated reports and data files on a regular basis to oversight agencies such as the CSU Office of the Chancellor.

Roles and Responsibilities

This document outlines the role of institutional research at the university and the various responsibilities people have in conducting institutional research.


While €œinstitutional research€ is commonly understood to be a key function of the Office of Institutional Research, each academic department and administrative unit throughout campus also conducts some form of institutional research. Various quantities of data collection and analysis are a part of the academic and administrative culture of the university.

Data collection is the process of gathering information using university records, surveys, focus groups, or other methods. Data are the output of the data collection process and may be used as part of an overall Institutional Research project.

Within academic departments and administrative units, institutional data are collected when information is collected from students, faculty, staff, alumni, employers, and other internal and external groups of people for the overall purpose of improving institutional effectiveness and quality.

The purpose of institutional research is to support the decision-making process and decision makers. The range of decision makers extends from the president to a staff member in a support unit or academic department. Institutional research can be used to help anticipate possible outcomes from proposed actions or policies and to understand their impacts on programs or decisions after implementation. Research results may be used to show success or reveal areas where modifications are necessary to ensure success. The institution can also use research to help understand and illustrate how effectively it is fulfilling its mission.

Institutional Research includes the following functions, among others: (1) institutional planning; (2) policy formulation; (3) program development, review, modification, and discontinuance; (4) institutional decision making with regard to academic programs and administrative units; (5) accountability reporting; (6) accreditation and re-accreditation; and (7) assessment of institutional effectiveness.

Institutional research is distinguished from data and data collection. Institutional research is the process of conceptualizing a research question. This is followed by the development and implementation of data collection activities, manipulation of data with appropriate techniques, analysis of resulting information, and finally, a summary of what was learned from the whole process.

Procedures for Review of Institutional Research Projects

As stated above, institutional research is conducted by many different units at this campus. This decentralization of research activities offers wonderful opportunities for individual units to design research projects that meet their specific needs. It also means that those in units control the research process.

The following offices are available to provide support and coordination for university-related institutional research.

  1. Assistance with assessment of student learning: Faculty Coordinator for the Assessment of Student Learning in the Faculty Development Center.
  2. Assistance in the preparation of print surveys as well as surveys for on-line, web-based administration: Office of Institutional Research
  3. Support for data collection and analyses: Office of Institutional Research
  4. Archival data as part of the academic program review, support unit review, and accreditation processes: Office of Institutional Research
  5. Assistance with designing assessment methods in administrative units: Office of Assessment
  6. Modest funds to support assessment projects: Office of Assessment

Responsibilities for Institutional Research Studies

The following offices have responsibility for ensuring review and approval of institutional research studies involving human subjects that are conducted under their jurisdictions and for providing financial and staffing support.

Office of Institutional Research

The Office of Institutional Research is the primary support unit with regard to institutional research at Stanislaus State.

  1. Administers and processes the university-wide Graduating Senior Survey, Graduate School Exit Survey, and Alumni Surveys.
  2. Coordinates university responses to external surveys.
  3. Serves as important resource for academic and support units as they conduct their research.
  4. Provides survey design and processing support.
  5. Facilitates data collection from various university databases.
  6. Provides support for university-wide surveys, interviews, or focus groups requested by the Office of Assessment as part of the university'€™s commitment to the quality of student learning and university-wide assessment.
  7. Supports the various accreditation and re-accreditation activities across the campus.
  8. Archives information so it serves as library for campus groups to use for research projects
  9. Submits institutional research reports as required by the CSU system.
  10. Responsible for maintaining complete archival records of studies involving human subjects (a minimum of ten years in order to ensure documentation for regional accreditation and possible audits).

Office of Assessment of Student Learning

The primary responsibility of the Faculty Coordinator is to provide faculty leadership for achieving the highest level of attainment in fostering, evaluating, and documenting student learning at Stanislaus State.

  1. Provides assistance to faculty for improving student learning. 
  2. Provides assistance with the design of methods to assess student learning and program quality.
  3. Develops and supports faculty development related to assessment of student learning as an important function of the Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

Office of Assessment

The primary purpose of the Office of Assessment  is to provide leadership in the coordination of university-wide efforts related to improving student learning and enhancing institutional effectiveness.

  1. Serves as a resource for the university community in its collective commitment to quality.
  2. Works in consultation with the campus community to establish, coordinate, and monitor the university'€™s assessment program.
  3. Provides assistance for assessment conducted by academic departments as part of Academic Program Review.
  4. Provides assistance for assessment conducted by administrative units as part of the Support Unit Review processes.

College Deans

Within the context of institutional research, the overall responsibility of the college deans is to provide leadership and advocacy in support of improving and assessing student learning, program quality, and educational effectiveness.

  1. Provide leadership and works with the department chairs to ensure completion of the Academic Program Review, with special attention to the use of assessment results for continuous quality improvement.
  2. Provide leadership for completion of the Support Unit Review and other unit initiatives in support of the assessment of effectiveness of administrative support units within the college.

Unit Administrative Officers

Within the context of institutional research, the overall responsibility of the administration throughout campus is to provide leadership and advocacy in support of improving and assessing student learning, program quality, and educational effectiveness.

  1. Provides leadership and works with administrative officers and staff in support of assessment
  2. Provides leadership for completion of the Support Unit Review and other unit initiatives in support of the assessment of effectiveness of administrative support units and their contributions to institutional quality.
  3. Responsible for maintaining complete archival records of studies involving human subjects (a minimum of ten years in order to ensure documentation for regional accreditation and possible audits).