The Office of Institutional Research & Assessment provides information to Indian Hills Community College employees to aid in data-informed decision-making. The information on the Institutional Research webpage comes from benchmarking activities (SENSE, CCSSE, CCFSSE, & VFA), internal data collection efforts (enrollments & graduate surveying), and state & federal reporting (IPEDS & the Iowa Department of Education). It is an on-going effort to look at our institution and investigate the impact of initiatives and identify areas for improvement.
The Iowa Department of Education provides analysis of data from the 15 community colleges and produces both state and individual community college reports. One standard report is the Annual Condition of Iowa's Community Colleges which contains information on academic programs; enrollment data; student outcomes and measures of success. This report also contains information about the cost of attending and operating Iowa's 15 community colleges. This report is designed to help Iowans understand the multitude of opportunities and services provided by Iowa's 15 community colleges as they strive to meet the demands of their diverse students and communities.
The Condition of Community Colleges is produced by The Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation and the included link directs you to a variety of reports.
The Education Outcomes Report is prepared through a partnership between the Iowa Department
of Education’s Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation and Iowa Workforce
Development's Labor Market Information Division.
Iowa’s community colleges are the state’s largest postsecondary education sector, offering a plethora of education and training programs designed to meet state and regional economic needs. Due to their responsiveness and commitment to workforce training, these institutions are well-positioned to prepare the skilled workers of the future. To inform their academic planning, the Education Outcomes Report provides information about community college awards, time-to-degree, retention, migration, transfer to four-year institutions, employment and wages, and career clusters. This information can assist institutions with program development and improvement, particularly with career and technical education programs.
As part of our desire to provide quality services, teaching, and learning for our students, Indian Hills developed a Graduate Survey which was administered to graduates starting in the Spring of 2008. For the first two years, this survey was sent to six-months after graduation. In 2010 as we worked to find a way to receive more feedback from students who were soon to graduate, we moved this survey to an electronic version and asked those students who were applying for graduation to complete it. This format – eliciting responses from students who intend to graduate at the end of the term they are registering for – has been in place ever since.
The survey asks questions concerning courses, faculty, academic services, financial aid, health services, maintenance & grounds keeping, residence hall life, library services, county service centers, and cafeteria services. We also ask for information on the students’ future educational plans, career plans, and provide space for written comments.
The responses to this survey are then tabulated and available to IHCC decision makers to aid in their improvement of programs, departments, and services. IHCC is committed to integrating student feedback into its decision making processes and this is just one initiative used to collect feedback.
The Intent to Graduate Survey flipbook contains graphical representation of the most recent five-years of responses.
IPEDS is the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. It is a system of interrelated surveys conducted annually by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). IPEDS gathers information from every college, university, and technical and vocational institution that participates in the federal student financial aid programs. The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, requires that institutions that participate in federal student aid programs report data on enrollments, program completions, graduation rates, faculty and staff, finances, institutional prices, and student financial aid. These data are made available to students and parents through the College Navigator college search Web site and to researchers and others through the IPEDS Data Center.
Each term, IHCC "captures" data at a state determined count day. The numbers of students are then reported to the Iowa Department of Education as part of our MIS Reporting requirements. Using that capture data, the Institutional Research & Assessment Office prepares an institution profile and a profile for each of its programs. The programs use this informatio as part of their Program Review which is on a three-year rotation. The demographic information provided here are the most widely asked for pieces of data concerning student demographics.
The information provided on the Master Enrollment by Program is a running total of the fall term capture information. It provides a quick overview for programs to compare their enrollment trends over time. The Master Enrollment by Division is a summary of the Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer enrollments. The Master Credit Hour by Division provides a summary of the Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer credit hours.
At IHCC, programs have varying starting terms. This makes term-by-term comparisons of graduates complicated. Programs have access to their historic term-by-term graduation counts and also demographic information concerning their graduates in order to discuss policies and procedures that may impact graduation overall and by individual groups. Traditionally, spring term graduation has been the largest overall, with many programs completing at the end of this timeframe. Also, many programs have their students recognized at this spring commencement, knowing they will be finishing their studies in the summer term. Fall and winter commencements are also held to recognize students completing their programs at these times. The following tables list programs with a 5-year mean number of graduates greater than or equal to 5 students.
The Institutional Roadmap gives an overview of assessment at Indian Hills Community College (IHCC) and the connections to Plans for Excellence, Program Review and our Strategic Planning processes.
The Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE), is a service provided by the Center for Community College Student Engagement. SENSE asks students about their earliest experiences with the college. This survey explores student expectations, aspirations, academic plans/pathways, college readiness, engaged learning and academic & social support networks. For more information go to http://www.ccsse.org/sense/aboutsense/.
The Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) asks mostly returning students about their college experiences — how they spend their time; what they feel they have gained from their classes; how they assess their relationships and interactions with faculty, counselors, and peers; what kinds of work they are challenged to do and how the college supports their learning. For more information go to: http://www.ccsse.org/aboutsurvey/aboutsurvey.cfm.
Indian Hills CC participated in SENSE during the Fall terms of 2012, 2014, 2017 and 2021. The companion CCSSE surveying was conducted in the Spring terms of 2011, 2013, 2015, 2018 and 2022.
The Community College Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (CCFSSE) asks “faculty about their perceptions regarding students' educational experiences, their teaching practices, and the ways they spend their professional time—both in and out of the classroom.” For more information go to: http://www.ccsse.org/CCFSSE/CCFSSE.cfm. IHCC first participated in CCFSSE in 2015 and, most recently, 2018. Both administrations were completed in the Spring term.
The Community College Transfer Report (CCTR), created by the Iowa Board of Regents, provides outcomes data (e.g., university GPA, retention, awards, credits earned) for Iowa community college students who transferred to an Iowa Regent university. The report started in 2015 and is updated annually around April. Reports are customized to each Iowa community college, and colleges are free to distribute any part of their report (Jason Pontius, Associate Chief Academic Officer, Board of Regents, State of Iowa). These reports allow the institutions (Regents and Community Colleges) to identify areas of strengths and for potential improvements. Information in the report is broken out by 1) number of credit hours transferred in, 2) institution, and 3) a combination of both. The tables also provide data on first term and first year GPA, credit hours earned, retention, and graduation rates for these students. Overall, the reports have shown that community college students transferring to a Regent institution perform well, are retained, and graduate in a timely manner.
The VFA is the principal accountability framework for community colleges with measures defined to encompass the full breadth of the community college mission and the diversity of students' goals and educational experiences.
As stated on the Iowa Department of Education website, “The VFA system provides the opportunity for internal, inter-college, and state-wide comparisons and benchmarking, both in pre-set and customized groups of colleges or states. The VFA Measures are subdivided into three major categories: credit Student Progress & Outcomes (SPO), credit and noncredit Career and Technical Education (CTE), and Adult Basic Education Outcomes (ABE). SPO is based on two-year and six-year cohort tracking, while CTE and ABE track only one year cohort progress during the year and one year past the cohort’s formation.”
More than 60 community college leaders guided the 18-month development of the VFA resulting in the release of more appropriate measures. The VFA gauges student progress and outcomes including pre-collegiate preparation (such as developmental education and Adult Basic Education), academic progress and momentum points, completion and transfer measures, and workforce outcomes for career and technical education.
Stephanie Holliman-Ginkens, Director, Institutional Research & Assessment
Indian Hills Community College
Lori Faybik, Assistant, Institutional Research/Arts & Sciences
Indian Hills Community College