The Institutional Research Office serves the SMC community by providing reliable, timely data and information in support of planning, decision making, and policy formulation.
Functions of the Institutional Research Office include:
- Conducting campus-wide surveys in areas such as student engagement, student experience, and campus climate.
- Providing assistance to SMC faculty and staff in assessment of academic and co-curricular programs.
- Conducting special research studies as required by campus administration.
- Responding to data/information requests from the SMC community, state and federal agencies, and higher education organizations.
- Developing and maintaining longitudinal databases to monitor student progress and success.
SMC regularly collects basic statistical information about our students, staff, faculty and administration for internal and external reporting purposes. We are required annually to provide data for the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). This is the data we use as our official campus data which is found in our SMC Fact Book and which is used as our Common Data Set.
Data elements in the IPEDS data collection include:
- Institutional Characteristics
- Degrees Completed
- Staff and Faculty demographics
- Student Financial Aid
- Graduation Rates
In addition, SMC annually participates in the following national student surveys:
- National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
- Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP)
- "The Freshman Survey" (TFS) - New First Year Students are surveyed at the beginning of their freshman year. Saint Mary's College has been administering the TFS for over 25 years.
- "College Senior Survey" (CSS) - Saint Mary's uses the CSS to gather input from graduating Seniors about their experiences and perceptions of the College. All graduating seniors are asked to participate in this survey during their final semester.
- "Your First College Year" Survey (YFCY) - New first year students are surveyed at the end of their freshman year. Responses from the YFCY are especially helpful when used in conjunction with the TFS and later with the CSS.