Institutional Research and Assessment


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.  

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES 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

  • Collect, analyze and disseminate data and information about the college.
  • 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

  • Conduct self-assessment studies such as student, alumni, faculty assessment of the college's academic program.
  • 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 Student Learning Outcomes assessment plans.
    • Providing administrative and technical support to the Academic Support units in designing, developing and implementing an assessment plan.
    • Facilitating dissemination of data from self-assessment studies to meet the SUNY mandate on assessment and the requirements of accrediting agencies

Improve and refine the office's management information system

  • Improve the flow and integrity of information and data within the college.
  • Improve and refine the system in response to the college needs and SUNY data reporting requirements
  • Provide administrative support to the design and implementation of an automated, fully integrated data base management information system.
  • 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  

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


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:  

SIRIS - SUNY Institutional Research Information System. The information organized and reported by the system are used to develop a number of annual descriptive statistical summaries used by the Office of Institutional Research for planning, academic and fiscal administration, budget process, legal obligations, and reporting requirements imposed by State and Federal agencies. The system consists of the following data submissions:  

SIRIS COURSE (CDS): A data system reported to SUNY includes the details of the institution's course catalog. These courses are linked to the SIRIS TERM SECTION submission.  

SIRIS STUDENT (Early (ESS) and End of Term (EOT) submissions). A data system reported to SUNY and maintained locally for various reports, includes enrollment, demographic, and other student information for a specific term. Official student headcount is based on the Early Student submission.  

SIRIS TERM SECTION (TSDS). A data system reported to SUNY and maintained locally for various reports, contains the details of the institution's course offering during a specific term. Official student FTE numbers are based on this submission.  

SIRIS DEGREE (DADS). A data system reported to SUNY and maintained locally for various reports, contains the details of the institution's degrees and other formal awards granted in the specified time period.  

SIRIS FINANCIAL AID (FADS). A data system reported to SUNY institution represents the details of financial aid offered, accepted, and disbursed within a specific academic year. The FADS data combined with the data from the Student Revenue Data Submission (SRDS) is used to prepare the Net Price Calculator required by the Higher Education Opportunities Act (HEOA).  

SIRIS Student Revenue (SRDS). A data system reported to SUNY represents the details of student charges for the specified time period. The SRDS data will be combined with the data from the Financial Aid Data Submission (FADS) to produce the Net Price Calculator required by the Higher Education Opportunities Act (HEOA).

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 provide appropriate support services/interventions to improve retention, graduation and student college experiences.    

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 Oswego Fact Book. Development of the college's 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.  

Strategic Planning Library. The on-line library serves as a resource to support the campus strategic planning activities.  It includes reports on enrollment, retention, graduation as well as both student learning outcomes assessment and institutional effectiveness assessment.  Reports are available at campus and divisional level.

Enrollment Management Resource Center. Enrollment Management resources offer admission counselor and staff the opportunity to explore characteristics of secondary schools and the students who attend them.  Use the databases to find schools with students who look promising.  Then take the next step and locate the schools on the interactive maps.

Instructional Workload of Academic Department. The data reported in this publication are based on the Term Section Data System (TSDS). The reports include only the teaching duties of all faculty for the fall semester. It is not a full faculty activity analysis as it does not include assignment for advisement, committee work, publishing, research, etc. which are included in the job duties of faculty.

Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activities. In order to report faculty scholarly activities beyond classroom teaching, IRA has developed an online system in which individual faculty may report their professional activities related to publications, presentations, performance, professional organizations and community engagement. Campus Profile. Campus Profile reports a 10-year trend of enrollment, majors, degree granted, Students Faculty ratio and FTE generation at department, division and campus level.    

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. 

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