Permission from the Central Director of Institutional Research and Assessment is required prior to collecting data from Central students or employees when Central databases are involved. Only the Director may permit access to Centraldatabases. Personally identifiable information either in the student’s record or in the employee’s record will be released only as permitted by laws governing access to those records. (In the event that the Director is unavailable, permission may be obtained from the Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs.) Only the Chief Human Resources Officer may release such information regarding employees. Correspondingly, only the Registrar may release information regarding students to faculty, administrators, staff, or consultants employed by the University that have a “legitimate educational interest.”

When seeking permission to collect data from an existing Central database for research purposes, the investigator must provide a copy of the research proposal and the human subjects review approval from the Central Human Studies Council to the Director of Institutional Research and Assessment. Depending on the nature of the request, the Director may consult with appropriate members of the campus community, such as the Chief Human Resources Officer or the Registrar. Generally, proposal reviews will be accomplished within a week.

When institutional research is being planned, consultation between the researcher and the appropriate campus designee is required to prevent duplication of effort, facilitate coordination with other research institutional activities, and protect members of the University community from unnecessary or inappropriate intrusions into the classroom, the workday, or campus facilities. In determining whether to permit a data collection activity, the University is pledged to respect academic freedom.

The mission of OIRA is accomplished only through a firm commitment to providing a complete and accurate picture of the institution; treating all individuals with respect, especially when they are subjects of research; and a desire to seek the truth.

In additional to subscribing to the Board of Regents for Higher Education Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Ethics Statement and all points in the Connecticut Code of Ethics for Public Officials and State Employees, members of OIRA also follow the Code of Ethics established by the Association for Institutional Research.

As a primary means for evaluating and improving the curriculum and learning process, academic assessment at Central is the ongoing activity of determining the extent to which students meet goals for learning outcomes and using findings to improve programs and services. The primary purpose of assessment is to provide faculty and staff with information that can be used to make improvements and adjustments; compliance with external mandates is a secondary, though necessary, purpose of Central’s assessment system. As such, each academic department implements an assessment program that clearly articulates outcomes for student learning, measures the extent to which students demonstrate these outcomes, analyzes the findings to identify areas of strength and areas for improvement, and uses the results for curricular or programmatic enhancements or adjustments.

As a part of their critical role in the teaching and learning process, faculty in each department have the primary responsibility for determining the scope and appropriateness of student learning outcomes in each credential-granting program in accordance with standards from their field of study. These outcomes should encompass what faculty deem most important for students to demonstrate in cognitive, behavioral and/or affective domains as a result of completing the program. Using primary measures that extend beyond final course grades, faculty in the department or other qualified professionals designated by the faculty (e.g. internship supervisors or external examinations, but not self-evaluation by students) evaluate the extent to which students demonstrate they have achieved each of these outcomes. In consultation with the Academic Assessment Committee, which is responsible for providing feedback about assessment in academic programs and coordinating the overall assessment program for general education, departments are also responsible for assessing student learning outcomes in general education courses they offer.

On an annual basis, departments provide either a Full, Interim, or Summary report to the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment. New programs will provide a New Program report in each of the first three years of the program. These reports will be placed on a password-protected website accessible to all instructional faculty, as well as Deans and the Provost.

Following the principle of peer review and to identify promising assessment practices, the Academic Assessment Committee will provide feedback and support to departments by reviewing these reports on a multi-year cycle.

The results from assessment of student learning outcomes may not be used for the evaluation of faculty or administrators.

Approved by the ad hoc Assessment Committee 2/28/2008

Approved by the Committee on Committees 3/31/2008

Approved by the Faculty Senate on 4/14/2008

The release of grade distributions requires approval at the Dean's level or higher. Provost's Council, April 22, 2010

In general, simple grade distributions for courses should be requested from the Registrar. OIRA can provide grade distributions for more complicated data requests and research projects that require population identification and segmentation. In all cases, grade and degree information from OIRA is unofficial and should not be used to monitor or verify performance of individual students. Official grade information can be provided only by the Registrar with appropriate approvals and under the guidelines of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

All academic programs are externally reviewed on a regular cycle, either by a discipline specific accrediting agency or by the University’s Program Review process where an external reviewer from another university evaluates the program. Please see the Academic Program Review Policy for further guidance. Questions regarding Program Review should be directed to Dr. Marianne Fallon at fallonmar@ccsu.edu.

Program Review Policy

Program Review Calendar