The Office of Institutional Research and Planning is a support department serving College employees, mainly administrators and committee chairs. Institutional research, program evaluation, and strategic and tactical planning are the Office's responsibilities. The Institutional Research and Planning Office is involved in professional activities and external service.
Institutional research involves the collection and dissemination of information to decision makers about the College's internal and external environment. At times this information is from primary sources. At other times the information has been gathered by others (secondary) but is organized and presented by Institutional Research. Both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies are used to support planning, policy development and evaluation. The Office does not produce recurring reports from the College's administrative systems, e.g. enrolment submissions to the provincial government, but serves as a broker for such data and studies that other departments in the College cannot conduct on their own. Generally, institutional research involves answering a variety of questions and providing assistance and advice to others regarding data collection.
The Institutional Research Office supports the College in evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of its program and services, but not the evaluation of individuals. Primarily, this includes unit review and the Institutional Self-Study. Generally, the program evaluation responsibility of the Office involves providing process advice for review committees and data collection on their behalf to facilitate the work of others.
Strategic and Tactical Planning
Institutional Research's role with strategic and tactical planning is to support and monitor the planning process, not to plan on behalf of others. The Office has little involvement in short term, operation planning. To assist the College in its planning activities, Institutional Research conducts environmental scanning, facilitates decision-making regarding strategic and tactical planning processes, writes the strategic plan based on input from others, and consolidates tactical plans into a single document.
Professional Activities and External Service
The Institutional Research and Planning office is actively involved with BC Institutional Researchers and Planners (BCIRP) and the Outcomes Working Group (OWG).
It also participates in organizations which are based outside BC, most notably:
- Pacific Northwest Association for Institutional Research and Planning (PNAIRP)
- Association of Institutional Research (AIR)
- American Evaluation Association (AEA)
- Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)
- Canadian Institutional Research and Planning Association (CIRPA)