SAIR 2015
Hyatt Regency
October 10-13
Savannah, GA
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SAIR Pre/Post Conference Workshops

You will be able to sign up for pre-conference workshops once the registration site for the 2015 SAIR conference opens.

Workshop Schedules

Saturday

8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Sunday

8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Workshop Cost

$70 per 3 hour workshop
$30 Newcomer's Workshop

The registration desk will open at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday so you will be able to pick up the conference bags, program, etc.

A Primer on SACSCOC Accreditation for IR Professionals: Recent Experiences from Both Sides of the Table

Saturday 8:30 am - 11:30 am

Abstract: IR professionals both new and experienced may view the SACSCOC accreditation process and principles as baffling, redundant, and compliance driven. The presenter will clarify all things SACSCOC (or most all things) and present how to view the process and principles as value-added best practices. Special attention is given to how this is relevant to IR professionals' jobs. Wisdom gathered over 12 years as being the SACSCOC liaison for two universities AND having served on all three major review committees will be shared.

Learning Outcomes:

1) Understand the structure of the SACSCOC principles and the scope of their coverage of the university's functions.

2) Understand the reason and structure for the Fifth Year Interim Report and the decennial Reaffirmation of Accreditation narrative and strategies to successfully complete both.

3) Be knowledgeable about preparing well in advance for the data requirements that are specific to IR functions for the SACSCOC required reports.

4) Understand how the principles can be guides for best practices and assist universities to strive for excellence and not just for compliance for compliance sake.

5) Understand the role of regional accreditation and how the role of the federal government has grown over the years to influence how accreditors must function.

Presenter(s):
John M. Cornwell Rice University



Hyatt Regency Savannah - Scarbrough 3


A Strategic View of The Quality Enhancement Plan from Topic Selection through the Impact Report

Sunday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Abstract: Every 10 years, SACSCOC institutions have the opportunity and requirement to develop a new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) to improve an area of student learning or the student learning environment in a significant way through a multi-year initiative. This workshop will examine the QEP process strategically from topic selection through plan development and implementation, and the writing of the Impact Report, drawing from the experiences of a QEP Director and QEP Lead Evaluator. The workshop will also address participants’ questions and concerns about the QEP and provide opportunities to share ideas and best practices.

Presenter(s):
Julie G. Howdeshell University of Southern Mississippi



Hyatt Regency Savannah - Scarbrough 1

Analyzing Student Learning Outcome Data Based on Monte Carlo Simulation Method

Sunday 8:30 am - 11:30 am

Abstract: This workshop is intended for institutional researchers who are interested in learning Monte Carlo simulation via linear regression equation and specific activation function of artificial neural network. Live data files such as student licensure examination scores and recent U.S. county-level adult obesity rates are used to illustrate relationships among input and output variables and identify most influential factors. The workshop not only focuses on model construction and application, but also the IBM SPSS software demonstration on using simulation builder and dialog. The intended audiences are researchers with some experience in linear regression.

Attendees should bring a laptop computer with SPSS pre-installed. A free evaluation version is available from SPSS.

Learning Outcomes:

1) Become familiar with the simulation method.

2) Create and interpret tornado charts.

3) Perform and interpret sensitivity analysis.

4) Describe the robustness of simulation model.

Presenter(s):
Chau-Kuang Chen Meharry Medical College



Hyatt Regency Savannah - Scarbrough 1


Data Analysis for Newcomers

Saturday 8:30 am - 11:30 am

Abstract: Data analysis can appear as if the analyst is doing “magic math” because of the skill it requires to find meaning from a data set. It can be frustrating and overwhelming at first, especially when an analyst has never really completed an analysis from start to finish. One important aspect a new analyst needs to know is how to develop quick, accurate, and consistent methods to collect, analyze and validate data to meet strict and/or tight deadlines. If you are new to data analysis or needs to good foundation tips, this is a workshop for you!

Attendees will need to bring a laptop with Microsoft Excel.

Learning Outcomes:

1) Learn the steps an analyst takes in analyzing data.

2) Learn where to obtain data from IPEDS and other national databases.

3) Learn tips and tricks in Excel to analyze data into appropriate charts and graphs for reports.

4) Learn how to create “dashboards” in Excel for senior administrators.

5) Learn how to create templates for publications such as factbooks, term comparisons, etc.

Presenter(s):
Barrie D. Fitzgerald Valdosta State University
Dani Sutliff South Georgia State College


Hyatt Regency Savannah - Scarbrough 1


Data Governance Workshop

Saturday 8:30 am - 11:30 am

Abstract: Many institutions struggle with ensuring that their data is accurate, well-defined and secure. There are data silos all over campus. There is no consistency in data entry among departments. No one takes responsibility for correcting data entry mistakes. Data governance can solve many of the problems that plague reporting. This workshop will prepare you to begin a data governance initiative to address these issues on your campus and more.

Learning Outcomes:

1) Develop a greater understanding of the importance of data governance.

2) Learn strategies to gain executive support.

3) Learn the components of data governance.

4) Learn options for designing a data governance structure.

5) Learn ways to support data governance including building a university data dictionary.

Presenter(s):
Patricia White Belmont University
Tracy Rokas Belmont University


Hyatt Regency Savannah - Scarbrough 2


Data Warehousing, Visualization and Analytics Using SAS Visual Analytics: Hands-on Approach

Sunday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Abstract: This workshop focuses on various steps involved in the development of the true decision support analytical data warehouse from an institutional research perspective. With users ranging from non-technical to advanced analysts, greater effectiveness lies in the ability to get traditional reporting as well as performing advanced analytics (decision trees, regression, word cloud, forecasting, etc.). The hands-on portion will focus on the easy-to-use, drag-and-drop, web-based application to develop routine reports as well as performing fairly advanced analytical applications using student, faculty, and survey data for institutional research.

Attendees will need to bring a laptop computer.

Learning Outcomes:

1) Understand the basic foundations of analytical decision support systems in higher education.

2) Identify and apply appropriate reporting and analytical techniques for institutional research applications.

Presenter(s):
Thulasi Kumar University of Connecticut
Tom Bohannon SAS


Hyatt Regency Savannah - Scarbrough 1


Demystifying Administrative Assessment

Sunday 8:30 am - 11:30 am

Abstract: Assessment of administrative and academic support units is of vital importance to institutional quality. This workshop takes a pragmatic, hands on approach to administrative assessment and aims to demystify the assessment process for those who must write or evaluate plans for administrative and support units. This workshop, which will provide participants with a foundational understanding of administrative assessment, offers a timely and relevant exploration of an important component of institutional quality and improvement.

Presenter(s):
Mary Wearn Middle Georgia State University



Hyatt Regency Savannah - Scarbrough 2

Designing Effective Tables and Charts: Theory and Practice

Saturday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Abstract: Creating tables and charts is easy – all you need is software and some data. But DESIGNING them for maximum effectiveness is much more complicated. This workshop will present and demonstrate research-based best practices in the design of analytical tables and charts with a focus on clarity, comprehension, and communication. Participants will gain an understanding of what table/chart design techniques work and what don’t work and why. The workshop will include a combination of presentation, small group activities, and hands-on exercises.

Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop computer with Microsoft Excel, and also their own content for evaluation and feedback.

Learning Outcomes:

1) Learn which charts are most appropriate for displaying various types of data

2) Be able to identify and implement best practices in designing tables and charts

3) Recognize strategies for most effectively communicating IR data to diverse audiences

Presenter(s):
Mary Harrington University of Mississippi



Hyatt Regency Savannah - Scarbrough 1


Designing Student-focused Curriculum through Academic Pathways

Sunday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Abstract: In this highly interactive session, participants will simulate the mapping exercise that St. Petersburg College deans, faculty, and advisors engaged in to redesign curriculum to meet institutional standards of student focus, academic quality, and articulation assurance. Participants will experience the process and conversations that must occur to design effective Meta Major Academic Pathways. Participants will leave with a template for creating prescriptive Academic Pathways for students to follow, which include specific general education courses identified by curricular relevance to Meta Major areas.

Learning Outcomes:
This informative and engaging session will leave you eager to “try this at home”, as you will leave better prepared to:

1) Identify appropriate college-level math classes for your academic programs based on meta-major area.

2) Analyze the “flow” of your academic programs from your students’ perspective.

3) Identify common curriculum design flaws (and resolutions) that negatively impact students’ progression and completion of degree programs.

Presenter(s):
Margaret Bowman-Pensel St. Petersburg College
Sabrina Crawford St. Petersburg College


Hyatt Regency Savannah - Scarbrough 3


Enter the IR House....If You Dare (Newcomers' Workshop)

Sunday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Abstract: This workshop is designed for practitioners who are new to the field of institutional research. The workshop will provide an introduction to institutional research and the principal components and practices of institutional researchers. The workshop addresses how institutional research offices function, and how to be an effective institutional researcher. Additional topics include assessment, accreditation, accountability, communication and reporting, project management, resources and more.

Presenter(s):
Lisa Lord University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Lynne S. Crosby Florida State College at Jacksonville


Hyatt Regency Savannah

Exploring Predictive Analytics: An Examination of Methods and Actionable Outcomes

Saturday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Abstract: This workshop will focus on various aspects of integrating predictive modeling and methods into various areas of the college/university setting, specifically the areas of retention, graduation, recruitment, credit hours and financial projections. Participants will gain a broader understanding of the methodologies traditionally utilized and when to use the appropriate method to predict a desired outcome. This workshop will also discuss how to design, scope, and carry out a project on the participant’s home campus. Various software packages and college/university policy changes based on predictive analytics will also be discussed.

Learning Outcomes:

1) Gain a broader understanding of the analytical methods utilized in predictive projects vs. exploratory projects.

2) Be able to articulate the positive and negative aspects of utilizing predictive analytics in college/university policy development and decision making projects.

3) Be exposed to various software and statistical packages available to assist in predictive projects.

4) Develop an initial project plan for their home college/university.

5) Understand how predictive analytics can be integrated into enrollment management, retention, and financial planning.

Presenter(s):
Bart A Swecker The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Sean Kerins The University of Alabama at Birmingham


Hyatt Regency Savannah - Scarbrough 3


Hands-on Introduction to Benchmarking Common Indicators and Providing Analyses to Stakeholders

Saturday 8:30 am - 11:30 am

Abstract: Benchmarking helps community colleges and universities provide meaningful metrics about the institution against their peers. Common measures are a standard for creating a set of evidence based outcomes and indicators that can show improvement over time. These measures can include academics, testing, admissions, financial assistance, core demographics, enrollment, retention, graduation rates, and much more. The workshop will focus on key common measures that can be utilized to benchmark against peer institutions and to provide ways to research for data using a variety of databases, importing the data, and providing meaningful analysis for stakeholders within the institution for decision making purposes.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a laptop computer with Microsoft Excel and the free plug-in, Power Pivot, pre-installed.

Learning Outcomes:

1) Learn to identify common indicators.

2) Learn to identify peer comparison groups.

2) Learn techniques of downloading comparative data from various databases to form analyses.

Presenter(s):
Suzanne Simpson University of Alabama in Huntsville
Jennifer Moore Mississippi University for Women


Hyatt Regency Savannah - Plimsoll


Increasing Awareness and Monitoring Substantive Change Activities

Saturday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Abstract: This interactive workshop focuses on identifying and implementing strategies to recognize, monitor, and track Substantive Change. Monitoring and reporting substantive changes in a timely manner can be challenging in an institutional culture of innovation and rapid response to community needs and in large, multi-campus institutions. Participants will engage in quizzes and scenario discussions, analyze class schedule reports and examples of potential substantive changes, discuss common challenges, and share institutional strategies. Participants will be provided resources and templates for increasing awareness of substantive change through the development of institutional workshops, quizzes, automated alert mechanisms, tracking spreadsheets, and partnerships with key departments.

Learning Outcomes:

1) Recognize the basic types of Substantive Change.

2) Discuss the benefits of conducting Substantive Change training of employees at their own institution and developing strong relationships with other departments on campus.

3) Be able to analyze potential institutional changes to determine if they constitute a Substantive Change.

4) Determine effective ways to monitor Substantive Change activities.

5) Discuss common challenges in monitoring institutional substantive changes .

6) Make recommendations for increasing awareness of substantive change at their own institution.

Presenter(s):
Lynne S. Crosby Florida State College at Jacksonville



Hyatt Regency Savannah - Scarbrough 2


Introduction to Qualitative Methods

Saturday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Abstract: Qualitative methods are often underutilized in institutional research, effectiveness, and assessment. Used alone, such methods can provide new insights for IR. When combined with traditional quantitative methods, qualitative research can provide IR staff a more complete understanding of their campuses. This workshop will introduce the core ideas of qualitative research, the various types of qualitative research, and the methods used to perform such research.

Learning Outcomes:

1) Understand the differences between quantitative and qualitative research.

2) Learn how qualitative research is applicable to institutional research and assessment.

3) Comprehend the basic methods for conducting qualitative research.

Presenter(s):
Christopher Broadhurst University of New Orleans



Hyatt Regency Savannah - Scarbrough 4


Pivot Tables: A hidden gem in Excel

Sunday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Abstract: Is there ever a simple answer to a question? Is there ever one way to interpret something in which everyone in a room would agree, with no follow up questions? In a world where there is more data collected than ever before, it has become essential to be able to analyze and present information in a way that is both dynamic and interactive. Learning and mastering the use of pivot tables can do just that. The presenters will share how this readily available tool can help you drill down, filter out, group together, and provide multiple summaries for just about any data set.

Presenter(s):
Kimberly Harvey Louisiana Board of Regents
Donald Boeckman Louisiana Board of Regents


Hyatt Regency Savannah - Scarbrough 2

Planning and Executing Peer Institution Identification and Analysis

Saturday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Abstract: The goal of identifying peer institutions is to allow for meaningful benchmarking with other institutions. Unfortunately, the process of identifying peer institutions can become quite political on college campuses. In this workshop, participants will walk through the process of conducting an objective peer identification study involving the entire campus community. From deciding which variables matter to seeking out ways to access requisite data on other schools, we will work with sample cases and our own institutions. Participants will leave with an increased understanding of the value of peer benchmarking and navigating the waters to assure a truly objective process.

The workshop will feature small group discussion about the value of peer identification, how to begin a peer identification process, how to combat campus cross-pressures, how to determine key variables of interest, and how to select meaningful datasets to use. The group will then engage in a full case study that will allow participants to undergo the entire process before turning to an initial design and for such an analysis on their home campus. Ultimately, peer identification and benchmarking will be examined from both a theoretical and applied lens.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a laptop computer.

Learning Outcomes:

1) Identify why peer benchmarking is effective on college campuses.

2) Identify and describe the stakeholders to consult during a peer identification process and ways to conduct a successful campus-wide dialogue.

3) Identify datasets and data points to use when conducting peer identification analyses.

4) Conduct a mock peer analysis for an institution

5) Develop a plan and design for an objective peer identification study on their own on campus.

Presenter(s):
Will Miller Flagler College



Hyatt Regency Savannah - Plimsoll


Quality Over Quantity: Valuing and Practicing the Science and Art of Qualitative Research through Focused Conversations

Sunday 8:30 am - 11:30 am

Abstract: Too often professionals in within higher education shy away from conducting institutional research informed by qualitative methodologies from which the data inform the development of policies and programs needed to support our students’ academic and transitional success. Grounded in theory and designed for systematic analysis, qualitative research adds richness to data, provides opportunities to explore the *gray* areas of human learning and growth, and are as valid and reliable as quantitative data.

Learning Outcomes:

1) Participate in and experience leading focus-group conversations.

2) Practice systematically analyzing data gathered.

3) Develop a personalized plan for conducting a manageable research process at YOUR institution designed to uncover what YOUR students, faculty, administrators, and community members perceive as primary issues at YOUR campus

4) Gain knowledge regarding how to apply qualitative data collection processes among small (8-12) teams, as well as large (15 - 250) groups of constituents.

Presenter(s):
Lisa Kerr Auburn University at Montgomery
Kelly Birchfield Auburn University at Montgomery


Hyatt Regency Savannah - Scarbrough 3


What is Workforce Data?

Sunday 8:30 am - 11:30 am

Abstract: In this age of accountability and the increasing need to document student outcomes, we often encounter the use of “workforce data” as an important resource. But what exactly is Workforce Data? In this workshop, two seasoned state workforce and higher education professionals will describe the different types of workforce data, where they are located, the important variables that can be used for documenting outcomes, and demonstrate how these data can be used in accountability and consumer reporting. Access to workforce data provide higher education a glimpse of the heretofore little known programs that are providing services to college students and contributing to their success.

Learning Outcomes:

1) Understanding Labor Market Information data.

2) Inform the audience where the workforce data can be found.

3) Inform the audience how workforce data can be used to respond to the questions posed by legislators and students.

4) Limitations of the existing data

5) How the connection between education data and workforce data works

Presenter(s):
Ruben Garcia Texas Workforce Commission



Hyatt Regency Savannah - Scarbrough 4


SAIR 2015