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Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Effectiveness

Welcome to the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Effectiveness (IRAE) at West Virginia State University. IRAE is responsible for the collection and dissemination of information concerning students, faculty, staff and other academic characteristics of the University. It directly supports the mission of West Virginia State University by efforts to clarify and evaluate the University's strategic plan, goals and its effectiveness toward the fulfillment of its mission.


The mission of the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Effectiveness (IRAE) at West Virginia State University is to support the achievement of the University mission by providing timely, accurate, and unbiased data and analysis for institutional decision-making, assessment, effective management, and strategic planning.


Institutional Research, Assessment and Effectiveness (IRAE) collects, organizes, analyzes and reports institutional and other data to support  the management, operations, strategic decision-making, and planning activities. This contributes to our effort to provide data and information related to projected needs, program objectives, and the efficiency and effectiveness in the use of institutional resources. 

As a unit within the Office of President, IRAE is charged to meet the  information needs of the University community aserves as the official source of data/information for the institution. IRPE oversees the institutional data governance and management processes. The staff coordinates data analysis, reporting activities and procedures designed to meet the needs of constituencies both internal and external to the University. IRPE provides timely, accurate and reliable information, analysis, implications, and recommendations for informed decision-making. IRPE is responsible for:

  • Data Warehousing and Analytics: Coordinates the day-to day management of the data warehouse and its related analytic tools for reporting.
  • External Reporting: Serves as the source for comprehensive, accurate and consistent information in response to requests from external stakeholders.  
  • Institutional Surveys: Manages dissemination of campus-wide surveys, including alumni, employees, faculty and graduating students. These include both national studies and institutional surveys requested by campus partners.
  • Internal Reporting and Research: Compiles, analyzes and interprets statistical data to support planning efforts by University administrators and committees.
  • Data Requests: Data requests and information should be certified through the Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness for acceptance as accurate. 

The following values reflect that Instituional Research, Assessment and Effectivness in accordance with best practice data integrity standards, upholds the principles with regard to confidentiality, personal integrity, professional development, and ethical codes within the field of institutional research and effectiveness professionals.
  • IRPE maintains strict confidence and security of all confidential information in our possession about West Virginia State University or any of its constituent parts.
  • We treat all participants with dignity and respect and weigh/risks/benefits in every study according to the generally accepted ethical standards as members of, and espoused by the Association for Institutional Research (AIR),  AIR Code of Ethics in the areas of Competence, Practice, Confidentiality, Relationships to the Community, and Relationships to the Craft.
  • We commit to conduct research in an objective manner utilizing the highest standards for accuracy in methodology, data quality, and the presentation of findings with professional responsible interpretation.


The specific prioritized goals for IRAE include the following:

  1. Serves as the certifying authority for all internal and external data reports and communication. 
  2. ‚ÄčAssist in planning appropriate assessment and evaluation as required in the guidelines for academic program and sector area reviews. 
  3. Provide timely assistance to the University's long-range and strategic planning, processes and outcomes assessment.
  4. Assist in providing timely information regarding enrollment and retention, financial aid, student development, engagement, residence life and student success data and outcomes.
  5. Track and serve as the University clearinghouse for responses to external agencies' surveys or other requests for data and information, to provide accuracy and consistency. Coordinate these activities with Marketing and Communications to communicate deserved recognition for the University. 
  6. Assist in appropriate preparations and responses to Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and other related accreditation activities for reaffirmation of accreditation.
  7. Coordinate data collection processes at WVSU, including development of appropriate software and computer applications for a systematic approach with Information Technology.
  8.  Provide assistance to individual faculty, staff, and students on their requests through the appropriate request process.
  9. Participate in the institutional and higher education research community, and engage in appropriate professional development activities, for sound practice and perspective in conducting the business of the institutional research.
  10. Participate in the appropriate evaluation and improvement of research and policy analysis and its functions, including recommendations regarding resources that might be needed.
  11. Fulfill other tasks as assigned by the Office of the President.
image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowIRAE Responsibilities
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
Institutional Research Assessment and Effectiveness (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, 

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.

Strategic Planning
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.

WV Data Policy 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.

Accreditation support to the WVSU Higher Learning Commission (HLC) :
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.
image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowAssessment at WVSU
The Office of Institutional Research,Assessment and Effectiveness supports both academic and administrative unit assessment programs in the development of assessment plans and reports. It is the responsibility of IRPE to ensure adherence 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.
Academic AssessmentAt 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.
  1. General Education Outcomes assessment,
  2. Major Core assessment of Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs),
  3. Institutional Learning Outcomes assessment (ILOs), and
  4. Comprehensive five-year Academic Program Review
Administrative Unit AssessmentEach 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:
  1. Strategic plan assessment and
  2. 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 IRAE will provide 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 Coordinator of IRPE 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 IRPE'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 academic database 

WVSU Assessment Plans and Reports- AY2014-15
Click on the sections below to view past plans or reports for Academic assessment.
Plans and reports AY2014-15 - click here
Plans and reports AY2015-16 forward - click here

image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowRelease of Data and Information

As a component of a state agency, the policy of the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Effectiveness  with respect to the release of data and information will be in compliance with the federal Freedom of Information Act, and the Freedom of Information Law of the State of West Virginia. Copies of these laws are available upon request. Requests for data or information from the office of a potentially sensitive nature must be requested in writing to the Office of Communications and Marketing. Upon the written approval of the IRAE will forward such information to that office for release to the person or persons making the request.

To help ensure the security of personal and institutional data, all persons providing temporary services to the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Effectiveness are required to read and sign an employment "Agreement to Maintain Confidentiality of Data and Information" form ().this form requires that providers of temporary service agree to maintain strict confidentiality of data and information during and after termination of their period of employment. Alleged violations of the principal of this agreement while employed with the office, will be reviewed with the possibility of ensuing action.




Consumer Information: Student Right to Know

The federal Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) includes a variety of federal reporting and disclosure requirements. This page provides easy links to this required information.

Student  Achievement, Outcomes and Diversity

Campus Security Report (LINK)
The West Virginia State University Public Safety department publishes a report that discloses relevant information about campus security policies and crime statistics that can be found on the Public Safety website.

Diversity of Enrollment
In the Fall of 2017, the overall enrollment at West Virginia State University in credit bearing courses was 3,879. Of these 58% were female and 42% were male. 3% were American Indian/Alaska Native, 3% were Asian/Pacific Islander, 10% were Black, 50% were Hispanic, 20% were White, 2% were Two or More Races, and 2% were Non-Resident Alien.

Diversity of Pell Recipients
Federal Pell Grant recipients comprised 59% of the full-time enrolled students in the Fall of 2016. Of these, 60% were female and 40% were male. 74% of the Pell recipients identified themselves as members of a racial or ethnic minority.

Retention & Graduation Rates
58.8% of the first-time, full-time undergraduate students who enrolled in the Fall of 2016 returned in the Fall of 2017. The 6-year graduation rate for full-time students entering in Fall 2011 was 26.3%.

WVSU Fact Book (LINK)
The Office of Insitutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness is pleased to present the West Virginia State University Fact Book. This annually produced book is intended to be a useful source of information about West Virginia State University. The information provided on these pages reflects much of what IRPE reports on behalf of the University, throughout the year. Most of the information included in the Fact Book is compiled from data sources developed by the office to respond to the planning, budgeting, and governmental compliance requirements of the University. In regards to the offices that assist with the development of this book, RIEA is deeply grateful for the assistance they have provided. 

Net Price Calculator
The Net Price Calculator is a tool designed to help students estimate what it may cost to attend West Virginia State Univresity annually. This broad estimate is based on the cost of attendance and the financial aid that was provided to full-time, first-time degree seeking students in Fall of 2017. Actual net price can vary significantly based on student eligibility and does not represent an actual award. Submission of the FAFSA is the only way to obtain a true and accurate determination of eligibility. Visit the Net Price Calculator website.

Additional Links
Academic Degrees



image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowIRPE Annual Calendar
The annual calender for the Office of  IRPE includes activities that occur on a regular basis. We update this list as necessary. click here 
image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowPrevious Fact Books
image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowReports and Data Resources
* Spring 2017- Thirty Day census click here
* Fall 2016- Thirty Day census click here
* Fall 2015-Thirty Day census click here
* Fall 2014- Thirty Day census click here

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.

FOR THE FALL 2011 AND SPRING 2012 RESULTS,  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.

IPEDS Intergrated Postsecondary Education Data System
The searchable PDFs contain federal compliance reporting data for Student, Finance, and Human Resources as released publicly for the National Center for Education Statistics.

IPEDS combined 2017-18 surveys
IPEDS combined 2016-17 surveys
IPEDS combined 2015-16 surveys
IPEDS combined 2014-15 surveys
IPEDS combined 2013-14 surveys

HEPC Annual Reports
The Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC), our state regulatory body, compiles several annual reports available to the public on their website. This includes the Report Card, Comprehensive Financial Aid Report, and the College Going Rates by County and High School. The link below guides you to those reports.

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
The university participates in ongoing institutional assessment to improve student learning. The latest Executive summary from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) can be found here;
Executive Summary NSSE 2014- click here
Supportive Tables- NSSE 2014- click here
image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowAssessment Resources
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:
  1. Create clear, specific, focused, and measurable student learning outcomes that fulfill the intent of the program goals.
  2. Create assessment methods that are reasonable and sustainable to use.
  3. Designate standards such as cutoff scores (or targets) for student performance on assessment methods.
  4. Select a good design to ensure that internal and external threats to the validity have been minimized.
  5. Monitor procedures for collecting assessment information within the context of the study deen.
  6. The assessment results or outcomes concerning student learning and development have been interpreted with regard to the program objectives.
  7. Evidence of curricular, instructional, and/or service modifications with subsequent follow-up of changes in response to the acquired assessment results exists.
  8. When relevant, compare traditionally and technologically delivered instruction with regard to student learning and development.
  9. The assessment report is written clearly, accurately, and objectively.
  10. Broad and ongoing staff and faculty discussions are evident throughout the assessment process.
Common challenges in Assessment:  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, 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. Document the discussions about data use either through a separate report, your annual assessment report, or meeting minutes. Such discussions of assessment efforts in your program. Keep the process moving.
Select assessment methods for intended learning outcomes with these aspects in mind;

Time: 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?
Responsibility: 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?


Resource Links
The following links provide documents and webpages with information and examples on best practices in assessment. 

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:

Our Team

Dr. Danny
Dr. Danny  Cantrell
Coordinator of Institutional Research
(304) 766-4183
Office of Institutional Research, Asessment and Effectiveness
325 Ferrell Hall
P.O. BOX 1000
Institute, WV  25112-1000
Phone: (304) 766-4189

Non-Academic  Plan & Report TemplateAcademic Assessment Report TemplateAcademic Assessment Plan TemplateAcademic Assessment Plans & Reports

WVSU Curriculum Map Template


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