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Getting to Know Institutional Research

campus graphic with a technical design
Rebecca A. Eckland

What does the Office of Institutional Research Do?

If you have ever wondered about current (or past) enrollment trends, the demographics of our student population or headcount by major (to mention only a few data points), TMCC’s Institutional Research (IR) Office is a department—and a service—that you will definitely need to hear more about. IR is a part of a larger division that includes Web Services and Marketing and Communications. “The idea of bringing these three departments together has created incredible synergy,” said Associate Vice President of Research, Marketing and Web Services Elena Bubnova. “Marketing can help make IR’s data more user-friendly through the creation of infographics, and IR’s data makes the College’s messaging more powerful. IR also supports Web Services by diving deeper into analytics that can support our web presence and marketing efforts.”

Located in the oldest part of the Red Mountain Building (in the President’s Suite or RDMT 200), IR is a small but mighty team of research analysts who provide all the information required for external reporting and (perhaps more importantly) the many ways the data can answer the question: what—and who—is TMCC? 

Answers to that question can be found on the Data Dashboards (updated every Friday morning), in Focus Groups overseen by IR, and marketing materials that are created through the unique partnership within its division, which enables the college to articulate quantifiable success for the institution as well as for its students. 

TMCC Facts that Only IR Would Know

As the keepers and analyzers of all TMCC data, IR has unique insights into our campus community. How unique, you ask? 

Did you know that: 

  • 5% of TMCC students will have earned a prior Bachelor’s degree before coming to TMCC 
  • 50% of TMCC students are first-generation students
  • 44% of TMCC students are minorities, and, 30% are Hispanic
  • Over 50% of our credits are taught by Full-time faculty
  • 10% of TMCC students are in high school (a number that has doubled since Fall 2018)

These “fun facts” and many more are available in the TMCC Facts, a document created in collaboration with the Marketing and Communications Office that transforms data metrics into infographics for quick and easy reference. 

For more specialized inquiries, check out the Data Dashboards or create a customized data request by filling out the IR Project Request Form

How IR Can Help You

The Recruitment and Access Center promotes student success through a wide array of programs such as supporting the Nevada Promise Scholarship Program, facilitating Wizard the Lizard appearances across campus and in the community, as well as providing oversight to programs like the Jump Start Dual Credit and the Success First Program that encourage underserved populations to pursue and succeed in their college careers. 

According to Program Director Yuli Chavez-Camerena, data and reports provided by IR are vital to her department’s ability to successfully reach and support students. “Their reports allow me to make decisions based on accurate data. This goes for everything from recruitment, persistence, retention and the success of all of our RAC programs.” 

The value of IR’s reports are often paired with excellent customer service. “Anytime I need data, all I have to do is ask IR for it. As soon as they are able, they send me the data file. They are friendly and accessible,” said Chavez. 

However, IR can help more than just a department: its data is also useful to divisions and academic programs. For example, the Business and Social Sciences Division, under the direction of Dean Amy Williams, uses the IR dashboards for enrollment information in order to make scheduling decisions.

This has been especially helpful for this division, which recently spearheaded an initiative to revise the schedule and number of classes offered at the Meadowood Center so students can complete a degree program by taking classes offered exclusively at that learning site. “IR can create custom reports for me that can help me to evaluate where enrollment is, week by week,” said Williams. “We can also compare the data over time to see if this initiative is working.” 

Williams’ division also uses IR to communicate to specific groups of students about program updates, opportunities and for other marketing purposes. “For example, I can ask IR for a list of students who are undeclared majors, and email them about a new program,” Williams said. 

Specific academic programs, too, can benefit from the resources and data available through IR. “The IR staff are so knowledgeable, especially Director Cheryl Scott,” said Jody Covert, Director of the Nursing Program. “Cheryl and her staff are always available to help the nursing program with data requests. They are accurate, timely and so helpful! With all the data the nursing program must provide to outside agencies, she is the one who understands the complexities within the program and how to provide and/or analyze the data that is needed.” 

If You Need Data, Ask

The most impressive fact about TMCC’s IR office is their high commitment to serving our campus by crunching the numbers so you don’t have to. By all accounts responsive, timely and accurate, the next time you want or need to know something about TMCC, look no further than the Data Dashboards, TMCC’s Factbooks or the Project Request Form for customized data requests. 

For more information about the Office of Institutional Research, contact their office at 775-673-8239.