Institutional Research and Assessment

Mission Statement

Goals and Objectives

Activities and Strategies


The mission of the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (IR & A) is to provide administrative and technical support for policy and decision making, and to assist the process of long-range planning at the State University of New York College at Oswego.
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In order to fulfill its mission, the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment is committed to achieving the following principal goals and their related objectives:

Timely and accurate response to the informational needs of various constituencies

  1. Collect, analyze and disseminate data and information about the college.
  2. Conduct policy-oriented research to support short- and long-term institutional planning and decision-making.

Design, develop, and conduct institutional self-assessment studies and undertake a coordinating role in the college's assessment programs:

  1. Conduct self-assessment studies such as student, alumni, faculty assessment of the college's academic program.
  2. With regard to the campus wide assessment activities, the office is expected to provide direction on the following aspects:
  • Providing administrative and technical support to the departments in designing, developing and implementing an assessment plan.
  • Facilitating dissemination of data from self-assessment studies to meet the SUNY mandate on assessment.

Improve and refine the College's management information system:

  1. Improve the flow and integrity of information and data within the College.
  2. Provide administrative support to the design and implementation of an automated, fully integrated data base management information system.
  3. Plan, design, implement, and modify on an ongoing basis an automated data reporting system

Contribute to the advancement of post-secondary education at the College, state, regional and national levels:

  1. Enhance the College s reputation as a viable, high quality institution of higher education.
  2. Develop external information networks to keep abreast of changing approaches and new techniques.
  3. Make external sources aware of the many successes of the College.

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In order to accomplish the broad goals and objectives of the office, a wide range of activities are performed and evaluated on a periodic basis to assess the extent of progress made in each area.

Timely Responses to Information Needs

One of the basic functions of IR & A is the generation, organization and dissemination of timely and relevant information to support institutional planning and decision making. As a research office it depends upon other units for base-line data. The office functions to provide "analytical reports" or information to assist the College's planning effort. It is therefore recognized that the goals/objectives of the office can only be realized through the cooperative efforts of administrators, faculty, staff and students. IR & A vigorously seeks to obtain input from these groups. In order to improve the efficiency and the effectiveness of the Office in providing timely and accurate information , a substantial portion of the office work has been directed toward coordination and maintenance of the following systems:

  • Course and Section Analysis (CASA) System Increased public awareness and concern about the accountability of individual institutions has inevitably resulted in an increase of external reporting requirements and procedures. In order to accommodate these needs SUNY Central has developed the CASA System to facilitate routine data maintenance and the updating of information about students, personnel, and facilities.
  • CASA Master File (CASM) One of the activities in this area is the annual maintenance and submission of the Course and Section Analysis (CASA) to SUNY Central. CASA is a data collection and information system designed to provide succinct and consistent data and information about participating SUNY campuses on an annual basis. Essentially it is through this mechanism that SUNY Central collects information about faculty instructional activities.
  • CASA Personnel The office also maintains responsibility for coordination and maintenance of the CASA Personnel System (CASP). This system is used to help construct the CASA Master File (CASM). It is therefore critical that the data collected through this system be both timely and accurate.
  • Physical Space Inventory (PSI) and the Building Characteristics Inventory (BCI) Two additional data collection systems required by SUNY Central Administration and employed to help construct CASM, include the PSI and BCI. In order to facilitate the maintenance of institutional data required by these systems, IR&A seeks to keep abreast of all facilities changes that occur to ensure the accurate and timely reporting of these data.
  • Student Data File Another major external reporting activity administered by the office is the Student Data File (SDF) System. This activity was developed at the Central Office level with input from the campuses. The purpose of the SDF System is to define the basic characteristics of the student population. Functionally SDF enhances the ability of all segments of SUNY, both centrally and locally, to respond flexibly to reporting requirements, and to deal with escalating information requirements to facilitate the realization of budgetary and fiscal matters.
  • Student Retention Tracking System Two important needs prompted the development of this system: (a) the need for an accurate and timely analysis of student retention for enrollment planning; and (b) the need to improve our capacity to respond efficiently to Central Office requests for longitudinal retention/attrition data.
  • Longitudinal Degree Granted Data Base Longitudinal Degrees Granted Database. The automated degree file that was originally developed for our local use and had been modified to electronically report records of the graduates to SUNY Central has been further modified and expanded to include data regarding records of Education Certification. This modification has significantly improved the efficiency of this data reporting requirement.
  • Faculty Instructional /Assigned Time Activities In 1992, the responsibility of collecting, updating and maintaining Faculty Instructional Assigned Time Activities was given to OIRA. The purpose of this exercise is twofold (a) accurately reflect instructional activities in each department and (b) establish a central point of contact to optimize the college database and reporting. The process is initiated at the beginning of each semester (Fall/Spring) with the downloading of Faculty Instructional information from the mainframe to PC formats and the collection of faculty release time and extra service data provided by deans. Reports are generated and distributed to all college faculty for review. The database is then updated, summarized and reported back to the dean of each school.
  • SUNY College at Oswego Fact Book Development of the College Fact Book is another major activity of the office. Compilation of this document takes place during the summer months and continues into late Fall. The Fact Book presents a broad spectrum of descriptive information about the College. Its objectives are to provide a ready and convenient source of information to answer systematically and consistently the most frequently asked questions about the College, and to improve the level of internal and external knowledge about the institution. The document is scheduled for distribution during the Fall semester in order to respond to the increased demand for information about the College during this period.
  • Internal Ad Hoc Requests As an administrative service unit of the College, the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment is committed to responding in an accurate and timely manner to internal requests for data and information. This aspect of the work of the office is significant throughout the year since various units are required to complete periodic surveys from external organizations including local, state and federal agencies. Also, as need arises, various units will request data and information to meet a particular current need. In order to facilitate the management of internal ad hoc requests for data and to anticipate the information needs of the College community, the office has developed a system to document each specific request. The system enables IR &A to prioritize its workload based on the urgency of the request and current activities of the office. All offices/individuals seeking data and information about the College or a particular unit are asked to email your request to Please be very specific with what information is required, (e.g. departments, semesters, and/or student level, etc). Please also let us know the approximate time frame in which you need the data.

    Special Reports:

  • Other:

Management Information System

The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment is also responsible for the refinement of the College's information system. The ultimate objective however, is to design, implement and modify as necessary, a comprehensive, computerized data base management system to support administrative decision making. IR & A works closely with the College's central administration, the Administrative Computer Center, the Registrar and other administrative support units. The development of an automated data base management information system has been acknowledged by the College's administration as one of its top priorities.

Assessment Program

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