The Role of the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness

Student Learning Assessment. Assessment of programs has always been valued at Blue Ridge Community College. As content experts, College faculty, with the help and support of the respective Deans and the Office of the Vice President for Instruction and Student Services, are ultimately responsible for the development of program purpose statements and objectives, appropriate instructional processes to accomplish objectives, as well as the selection or creation of appropriate assessment processes. It is an institutional expectation that student outcome assessment will involve significant direct measures of student performance supported by other indirect measures.  The purpose of student outcomes assessment is to provide valid and reliable data for program improvement.  Through assessment, feedback is provided to the academic programs and the College about how well and in what context outcome objectives are being met and areas in need of improvement are identified.  Student outcomes assessment and related context measures generate aggregated data and by nature are not designed to assess individual students or instructors.

The Office administers annual graduation assessments of core competencies, collaborates with faculty and administrators on the development of program assessment, and facilitates the processing and use of results for the improvement of student learning.

Program Review Support. Program Review is one of the main components of planning that will not only lead to better utilization of existing resources, but also lead to increased quality of instruction and service. Each associate degree, diploma and certificate program at BRCC is reviewed once every four years, based on a number of program review considerations. The Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness prepares an end of cycle report at the end of each academic year.  This report serves as the annual review of progress towards accomplishing stated goals and objectives and documentation of all institutional effectiveness activities for the current year. The report is a compilation of reports submitted by the various units and divisions at the end of the annual institutional effectiveness cycle.

Research. The college community depends heavily on reliable information to support strategic planning and evaluation as well as academic program reviews and assessment of student learning outcomes. The research function of institutional effectiveness provides critical information to the college-wide community in support of their institutional effectiveness efforts through the gathering and analysis of data, coordination of research studies, and the provision of research support.  The office is also responsible for reporting requirements at the federal (IPEDS) and state (SCHEV and VCCS) levels.