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Institutional Research, Assessment, and Analytics

Institutional Effectiveness

Institutional Effectiveness leads, coordinates, and supports key institutional initiatives and projects related to examining, improving, and reporting designed to ensure mission and strategic objectives. Specific responsibilities include strategic planning, institutional assessment, institutional research, and accreditation. 

Each year numerous publishers of college guides and other information on colleges send lengthy surveys to colleges and universities. In an effort to standardize and reduce the amount of paperwork required, publishers and the educational community have collaborated to produce a common format (the Common Data Set) for much of the data requested.

Print-friendly PDF copies of weekly preliminary and official headcount/FTE enrollment data reports for the current and archived semesters are available on OIRAA’s Enrollment Data report page. 

The Fact Books contain relevant institutional data, both historical and current.  The Online Fact Book is divided into three sections:  the University System, USC Columbia, and the Palmetto College. 

The University of South Carolina Columbia has identified eight strategic priorities that reflect the academic, research, and community mission.  A list of the priorities, goals, and objectives are available on the strategic plan website

Fact Finder Survey

OIRAA annually collects information from across the university community as a part of its Fact Finder survey.   Information collected is used to prepare the University’s annual submission for U.S. News and World Report, the Common Data Set, and other industry publications, such as college guidebooks and rankings.


National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

OIRAA administers the NSSE in the spring semester of odd years to first year and senior students.   The results provide insight into how undergraduates spend their time and what they gain from attending the university. 

State law requires each state agency to submit an annual accountability report to the Governor and General Assembly that contains the agency’s mission, objectives to accomplish the mission, and performance measures that show the degree to which objectives are being met. The information contained in each agency’s report is used to aid decision-makers in their analysis of each agency’s budget.

South Carolina state law requires that OIRAA submit the institutional effectiveness report to the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education annually.  This report provides information on student performance in professional licensing or certifications. 

Each Fall term, the Office of the Provost identifies programs that are due for review.  A table listing programs by college, along with the timeframe for their reviews, is maintained and located on the website of the Office of Academic Programs.

OIRAA collects and compiles data on graduation rates, retention, and licensure exams to monitor student outcomes and success.   Also find IPEDS Graduation Rates and Student Outcomes reports on the student outcomes website

External Profiles

Each year Institutional Research participates in a variety of external survey reporting opportunities.  These surveys provide prospective students with crucial information such as admission requirements and academic opportunities, and also compare the University of South Carolina to other colleges and universities.

            U.S. News and World Report

            Peterson’s College Search Survey

BigFuture College Board

Princeton Review

Times Higher Education 


Peer and Aspirant Institutions

In addition to examining current and historical data from our own institution, the University of South Carolina Columbia's leaders also frequently compare our data, policies, programs, and outcomes to those of similar institutions identified as Peer and Aspirant Institutions


IPEDS Data Feedback Reports

The IPEDS Data Feedback Report is derived from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). IPEDS is a system of survey components that collects data from approximately 7,500 institutions of postsecondary education across the United States. These data are used at the federal and state level for policy analysis, peer analysis, and decision-making, and also by consumers of college information.


Active Degree Programs CIP Codes

For federal reporting needs, SACSCOC requires that the University maintains a list of approved academic programs with associated CIP codes.


Additional Resources


Institutional Research, Assessment, and Analytics

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