Welcome to the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Effectiveness (IRAE) webpage. We hope you will take a moment to view the available information as some new elements have been added and updated. Please contact us if you have any questions.
The Office of Institutional Research Assessment and Effectiveness, reporting to the Vice President for University & Legislative Relations, is a partner in the University's success and operates in a manner consistent with the mission of West Virginia State University. IRAE serves as the official source of institutional data to support strategic planning, budgeting, accreditation and assessment needs within the University.
IRAE Annual Calendar
The annual calender for the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Effectiveness (IRAE) includes activities that occur on a regular basis. We update this list as necessary. click here
The office assumes responsibility for the completion of all federal and state compliance reporting. The following are but a few of the key functions we complete.
Reports and Studies for External Agencies
IRAE prepares reports and studies for local and federal agencies regarding admissions, courses, enrollment, degrees awarded, student characteristics, tuition and fees, financial statistics, faculty salaries, faculty staffing and characteristics, and instructional costs. Regular reports include the National Center for Educational Statistics IPEDS suite of reports, HEPC data files, and the state of West Virginia Higher Education Master Plan Compact Report
IRAE also completes questionnaires from private agencies such as the American Council on Education, ACT Institutional Data Questionnaire, College Board Survey, NSF-NIH Survey of Graduate Students, U.S. News & World Reports, Moody's Investors Service, and Peterson's Surveys.
IRAE conducts special request research studies that support the planning, budgeting, and policy-making functions for executive administration. Areas of research and study that the office can offer for strategic plan decision making includes student retention and academic progress, peer institution comparisons, salary studies, and cost analyses.
Data Coordination and Institutional Reports
IRAE serves as the primary information center for both external and internal requests for official data, designs and distributes reports to all administration levels within the University on enrollment, credit hour production, enrollment, degrees granted, and faculty course load. The office provides support for the Title III grant through annual reporting using the National Student Clearinghouse. IRAE prepares the University Quick Facts
document, student profiles, and the annual Fact Book.
Data Policy Advisory Council (DPAC)
IRAE is charged with assuring the accuracy and integrity of WVSU’s officially reported data to the state board. DPAC serves as a source of networking and communication for those involved with file production at institutions. WVSU submits a specific set of files submitted each semester using the specifications laid out by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
Program Review and Academic Planning Support
IRAE assists Academic Affairs in the program review and academic planning process by providing program data and analyses on enrollment, majors, credit hours, student characteristics, faculty loads, assessment plans, and costs to facilitate assessment of program effectiveness. The Director serves as an ex officio
member of the Program Review committee.
West Virginia Higher Education Assessment Council
The Director of IRAE serves as a member of the West Virginia Higher Education Assessment Council. The council’s role is to establish polices which help campuses advance a robust culture of assessment using a variety of institutional assessment practices.
Accreditation support to the WVSU Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Liaison:
IRAE provides assistance to the HLC Accreditation liaison by staying current with Commission policies and procedures, providing oversight and direction for the institution’s Data Update Coordinator to ensure the currency, accuracy, and timeliness of information submitted to the Commission as part of the Annual Institutional Data Update (AIDU). The office facilitates responses to Commission inquiries as necessary, including complaints referred by the Commission staff to the chief executive officer.
Assessment at WVSU
The Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Effectiveness (IRAE) supports both academic and administrative unit assessment programs through consultation and feedback in the development of assessment plans and reports. It is the responsibility of IRAE to keep moving forward with progress that meets the standards of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) state board. At WVSU, we assess outcomes throughout the academic programs and administrative units.
At WVSU, assessment is driven by utility and practicality that involves gathering information for decision making and ongoing improvement. The institution’s process is well-planned, collaborative, transparent, sustainable, and evolving as a process that allows us to tell our story about educational experience and organizational performance. Assessment cultivates a sense of achievement across campus and compliments other ongoing academic and strategic planning processes. Engagement in assessment allows WVSU to demonstrate our commitment to excellence to our accreditors, governing bodies, and the community. Assessment is distinct from performance evaluation or faculty review. It is not used to judge individuals; instead it serves to guide program level innovation and excellence.
At WVSU, academic assessment of student learning outcomes occurs among four components that provide a comprehensive review of student learning and effectiveness of instruction. This process involves faculty directly working together to develop, implement, report, and utilize assessment data for program improvement. At the program level, faculty establish program learning outcomes, methods for measuring those outcomes, and collect and report data in an annual report. Each component listed below builds a comprehensive assessment picture of student learning while at the university.
Administrative Unit Assessment:
- General Education Outcomes assessment,
- Major Core assessment of Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs),
- Institutional Learning Outcomes assessment (ILOs), and
- Comprehensive five-year Academic Program Review
Each Administrative unit (AU) at the university prepares an assessment plan and annual report that outlines goals and objectives, sets targets, and measures related outcomes. These units measure their services which impact students outside of the classroom. AU
assessment occurs under two main structures at WVSU which offer a broad review of unit support for student growth, learning, and engagement:
- Strategic plan assessment and
- Title III B project evaluation
Through the strategic planning process, administrative and support units conduct evaluations of their objectives and goals and submit those evaluations in an annual progress report. Programs receive feedback from the Director of IRAE on plans and reports. All programs funded through the Title III B grant (from the U.S. Department of Education) conduct quarterly and annual evaluations of the goals and outcomes specified under the grant. Activity Directors of Title III B programs discuss these evaluations with their respective vice presidents which result in project activity modifications as necessary.
Institutional Assessment Progress:
The Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Effectiveness will give an annual of assessment activities and progress across all areas of assessment. This report will provide information about the current state of assessment across the university, assessment successes and challenges seen over the past year, and where we are heading next. This report will include a review of both academic and administrative unit assessment activities.
Academic Program Review
: IRAE assists the Academic Affairs office in the program review and academic planning process by providing program data and analyses on student enrollment, majors, credit hours, degree completions, faculty course load, assessment activities and program costs. The Director of IRAE serves as an ex-officio
member of the Program Review Committee.
Assessment support from IRAE
For specific informaiton on how WVSU works to create a culture of assessment, please click here
IRAE provides assistance to faculty and staff, academic departments and programs, campus committees and groups in the planning, implementation, and dissemination of student learning assessment. The following activities represent IRAE’s continual efforts to support academic and administrative unit assessment:
- Consulting with faculty groups and committees on all phases of assessment planning, implementation, data analysis, reporting
- Developing resource materials and campus presentations to help faculty and staff streamline and improve their classroom and programs assessment practices
- Coordinating, administering and reporting on university-wide assessment activities
- Communicating assessment results to internal and external constituencies
- Promoting the development of strategies to use university assessment results to foster educational improvement
- Coordinating, tracking, and projecting specified actions related to assessment and accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission
- Disseminating student learning and engagement focused surveys (e.g. Graduate Exit Survey, National Survey of Student Engagement, New Student Orientation, etc.) and communicating the results to the appropriate departments
- Assisting departments and programs with their accreditation and Program Review studies
- Training and assisting students, faculty, staff, and administrators in the use of the LiveText assessment system
- Maintaining and operating the LiveText database
Previous Fact Books
The links take you to PDF versions of past Fact Books
Reports and Data Resources
SIx-Year Graduation rates click here
Graduate Exit survey Results
As part of West Virginia State University's assessment process, the University request newly graduating seniors complete the Graduate Exit Survey. The purpose of the survey is to assess the students' perception of various aspects of the University at the point of degree completion.
For results after spring 2012, please contact The graduate exit survey analysis and administration is conducted through the Office of Career Services and Co-operative Education
The Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 Graduate Exit Survey was administered and analyzed by the Office fo Institutional Research, Assessment, and Effectiveness.
To view a specific semester, click one of the links below.
To view Graduate Exit survey Results for a specific college and semester click a link below, then choose a semester.
LiveText is the official assessment tool for the university that allows programs to effectively measure learning outcomes both in the major area and across institutional outcomes. LiveText provides a secure and accessible place to house course assessment data, curriculum maps, learning outcomes, and rubrics. While not mandatory in use, we encourage instructors to contact IRAE for training and other technical assistance. LiveText offers easy-to-use report features and stores helpful resources such as rubrics for use with assignments.
For account support contact: Michael Harris 304-766-3261 or Vicky Dueer 304-766-4189 for assistance
To log in to LiveText Click LiveText.com
The basics of Livetext use for faculty- an open access website created by Brenda Wilson, College of Professional Studies, Education department. Click here
Faculty Guide 09
Building an Assessment System
General Characteristics of an Effective Assessment Program.
How do we know we are creating an effective assessment program? Several characteristics defined by years of research offer some suggestions to keep in mind when creating an assessment program:
Common challenges in Assessment
- Create clear, specific, focused, and measurable student learning outcomes that fulfill the intent of the program goals.
- Create assessment methods that are reasonable and sustainable to use.
- Multiple assessment methods have been carefully selected and/or developed to properly address each of the student learning objectives in the program.
- Evidence supporting the reliability and validity of assessment methods have been scrutinized.
- Staff and faculty have designated standards such as cutoff scores (or targets) for student performance on assessment methods.
- A proper design has been chosen and implemented to ensure that internal and external threats to the validity of the assessment study have been minimized.
- Procedures for collecting assessment information within the context of the study design have been carefully planned and monitored.
- Suitable statistical procedures have been chosen.
- The assessment results or outcomes concerning student learning and development have been interpreted with regard to the program objectives.
- Evidence of curricular, instructional, and/or service modifications with subsequent follow-up of changes in response to the acquired assessment results exists.
- Evidence that resources are moved or reallocated in response to the acquired assessment results exists.
- When relevant, traditionally and technologically delivered instruction has been compared with regard to student learning and development.
- The assessment report of the statistical findings has been written clearly, accurately, and objectively.
- Broad and ongoing staff and faculty discussions and involvement occur throughout the assessment process.
- The persons conducting the assessment study should be trustworthy and competent to perform the study so that the findings achieve maximum credibility and acceptance.
: Conducting assessment and using assessment results can sometimes be separate acts. A well-developed assessment plan may appear to focus a great deal on collecting data. However, responding to the data is the key to a successful assessment process. This vital process of using results to celebrate success or identify areas for improvement is often referred to as “closing the loop.” (Maki, 2004; Bresciani, Zelna, & Anderson, 2006).
After data have been collected according to plan, programs must document how they are using the results to identify strengths and make program improvements. Some examples of how programs make use of assessment data include, but are not limited to:
- Regular reports on the assessment data at faculty or staff meetings.
- An assessment committee or the curriculum committee may be charged with reviewing the data and facilitating a discussion about the results.
- Students or external constituencies may be offered a chance to respond to the findings.
- Program administrators support the assessment process by requesting evidence of improvements.
Your program’s intended uses of data should be shared with faculty, staff, administrators, and students. Also document, through a separate report, the Annual Report, or meeting minutes, the discussions that have occurred as a result of assessment efforts in your program. Keep the process moving.
There are other considerations when selecting assessment methods that match with intended learning outcomes
When can students be expected to demonstrate their knowledge on the intended outcome? At what intervals is it appropriate and manageable to collect information from a wide range of students? Does the timing of data collection allow your program an opportunity to make adjustments or improvements that could benefit students prior to their graduation?
While assessment is the responsibility of all faculty in a program, the preparation and collection of data may be assigned to a smaller group. Who will handle these tasks and when are key tasks expected to be completed?
Validity and Reliability:
Are the measures of assessment valid? Do the assessment methods measure what we want them to measure (i.e. our outcomes)? Do these assessment measures allow us to make strong conclusions about our outcomes? Are they reliable? Will they generate consistent results from year to year?
The following links provide documents and webpages with information and examples on best practices in assessment. For other questions, please contact the Director of IRAE for assistance.
The Assessment Commons
webpage provides a wide range of resources related to higher education outcomes assessment. It contains everything from discussion posts on assessment issues, assessment handbooks, and best practices among disciplines, assessment examples, and institutional reports.
Measuring Quality is a website devoted to compiling instruments, resources and tools useful for academic, administrative unit, and institutional assessment. The inventory is divided into categories of instruments, software tools and platforms, benchmarking systems and data resources. The inventory serves as an update to the joint monograph, “Measuring Quality: Surveys and Other Assessments of College Quality
” (Borden & Owens, 2001), published jointly by the American Council on Education and the Association for Institutional Research.
National Institutes for learning Outcomes (NILOA) seeks to discover and disseminate ways that academic programs and institutions can productively use assessment data internally to inform and strengthen undergraduate education, and externally to communicate with policymakers, families and other stakeholders. The website contains many occasional papers, assessment briefs, presentations and a monthly newsletter.
The Field Tested Learning Assessment website provides a variety of field-tested classroom assessment measures which are discipline specific for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics areas. While an older site, many useful tools are available for free and range from attitude surveys, concept mapping, concept tests, interviews, mathematical thinking, minute papers, to multiple choice tests. http://www.flaguide.org/cat/cat.php
What new faculty need to know about assessment- click here: