2021 Conference Presentations

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

10:00am – noon

Keynote Address
Sydney Leo, Vice President of Finance and Administration, Boston Architectural College


2:00 – 3:30pm

C1 – Higher Education Data with a Lens on Equity
Dr. Ruby Stevens-Morgan, Director of Strategic Planning and Analysis, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

An overview of various higher education data from an equity perspective. Dr. Ruby Stevens-Morgan shares insights into presenting and talking about data through an equity lens and discusses higher education data sources to identify trends associated with subpopulations. The discussion will provide IR professionals with ways to share student data with institutional stakeholders that may be instrumental in identifying educational equity opportunities.


4:00 – 5:30pm

C2 – IPEDS Peer Analysis Dashboards as Easy as 123
Preeti Tanwar, CEO HiED Success

Learn about publically available visualizations based on IPEDS designed to be used as benchmarks for institutional effectiveness Key Performance Indicators.


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

9:00 – 10:00 am

C3 – How much do we know about incoming student’s profiles and how can we make use of it?
Xiqian Liu, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Higher education institutions are in demand for information on entering cohorts’ profiles. Keeping track of student profiles and their outcomes is a great way to identify the characteristics of at-risk students, reflect on admission policies by comparing student’s profiles across time, as well as to link retention and graduation rates. This study used THECB certified CBM report data, operational system data from TAMU-CC, and National student Clearinghouse student tracker data to present first-time in college (FTIC) student’s profiles from fall 2016 to fall 2019. In addition, it also focused on comparing subgroups of students on their key profile academic and financial indicators, those student who were or were not admitted from the TAMU PSA program, still enrolled in second fall, did not enroll in second fall, and those left TAMU-CC but enrolled at other institutions.


11:00am – noon

C4 – Run, Process, Append: Teamwork and Organization in State Reporting
Amanda Merchant and AbdulHai Mohammed, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

State reporting is a like a relay race at our institution. This session details how our office handles CBM reporting and organization across our team units of business analysis, institutional research, and analytics. We will highlight the documentation, the handoffs, and the outcomes of each step in our process.
Using the CBM001 and CBM004 as a focus, the three presenters will discuss:
• How we run the CBM data files including our use of the Application Manager scheduler;
• How we process the CBM data files to find data discrepancies and create text submission files in MS Access;
• How we append the certified CBM data files to our SQL Server data warehouse for use in reporting and analytics.


2:00 – 3:00pm

C5 – Newly Improved: Transitioning Assessment Reporting to the Nuventive Improvement Platform
Mary Cheek, Alison Soeder, and Natalie Kistner, Texas A&M University-Commerce

Transitioning to a new assessment reporting system brings challenges and opportunities. In 2019, A&M-Commerce underwent an exploratory process of collaborating with campus assessment partners to research and select an online assessment tool for use in collection of annual outcomes assessment reporting. After selecting the Nuventive Improvement Platform, the IER team worked closely with Nuventive to configure their assessment solution into a platform that would increase the efficiency of annual reporting while also introducing an enhanced element of quality review. Key features of the improved process included consolidation of assessment plan and results entry, addition of an electronic review and approval process, use of a standardized rubric to structure feedback provided, and the creation of reports to actively monitor report submission and approval status. After one cycle of implementation, immediate gains in efficiency were noted at A&M-Commerce, and additional opportunities to use the platform to address quality improvement can be identified.


4:00 – 5:00pm

C6 – Exploring the Relationship Between Student Grit and Non-Cognitive Skills
Edward Hummingbird, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute

Considerable effort has been placed by colleges in understanding student “grit” (passion and perseverance to achieve long-term goals), and its impact on student success; yet little is known about how to improve student grit. At the same time, colleges are placing greater effort on measuring and understanding the impact of non-cognitive skill sets on student success, where non-cognitive skills are those that are not reflected in IQ or other measures of academic intelligence. This study examines the predictive capacity of non-cognitive skill sets in positively affecting grit. Using three years of student grit scores and non-cognitive factors, linear modeling is used to uncover those non-cognitive factors that directly affect grit. This presentation will not only uncover significant non-cognitive factors related to grit, but will also demonstrate how to use this data to plan and program noncognitive interventions throughout the student life cycle to increase grit, and consequently, graduation rates.


Thursday, February 25, 2021

9:00 – 10:00 am

C7 – Survival Analysis and Predictive Modelling on College Students’ Course Withdrawal Rate
Daniel Le, Dallas County Community College District-North Lake

Student on–time graduation is always one of the top priorities of every college and university. Understanding the effect of student course withdrawal on student on–time graduation rate, the esearcher applies survival analysis to study this precise issue. Data source is a real data set of a group of college students in Fall 2020. Using Cox proportional hazard regression, a researcher proposes predictive modelling to predict the probability of course withdrawal. Findings are expected to help academic advisors identify those crucial characteristics from the students who are likely to drop their courses in the future.


11:00am – noon

C8 – Closing the Gap: Using Data Analytics to Support Closing the Equity Gap on College and University Campuses
Morris Thompson, Wayland Baptist University and Vicky Morris-Dueer, University of Dallas

As enrollment continues to diversify in higher education, colleges and universities are working to identify and close the equity gaps within student success. Studies show that these equity gaps have a negative effect on student success especially among minorities, first-generation, and low-income students. This presentation aims to discuss the methods used at two private universities in the state of Texas to utilize data analytics to support closing the equity gap and increasing student success. In this context, equity gap is defined as any disparity in a metric, such as retention rate, GPA, semester-to-semester persistence, graduation rate, or student finances; along a major demographic grouping.


2:00 – 3:00pm

C9 – Painless Peer Review
Joy Row, Temple College

Is your peer review process useful or just an activity to check the box? The goal should be honest, constructive feedback that improves the process for all involved.


Friday, February 26, 2021

9:00 – 10:00 am

C11 – Learn How College of the Mainland is Helping to Get 300,000 Texans Back to Work in 300 Days
Sarah Flores and Alisha Lyon, College of the Mainland

College of the Mainland (COM) is on a mission with other Texas community colleges to help 300,000 Texans get back to work in the next 300 days (300×300 Initiative). Because of this, COM needed to be more agile and data-driven to increase enrollment, retention, and completion. In this session, you will learn how COM: 1. Increased enrollment by 22% by optimizing the course schedule 2. Raised completion by 26% by getting Advisors and others the data they needed 3. Improved retention by proactively nudging students before they fall through the cracks.


11:00am – noon

C12 – Predictive Analytics Process using Machine Learning for Students’ Retention
Luciano Boas, Rohan Patil, and Abhishek Kumar, Texas Tech University

Predictive Analytics can be used to understand retention and other important metrics in Higher Education. In this experiment, we take advantage of some Machine Learning (ML) techniques to study the predictors of retention for Texas Tech University. While ML is a very technical field, and there is no “one size fits all” solution, the goal of this presentation is to leverage the conversation of how advanced analytics can be used in Institutional Research.


2:00 – 3:00pm

C13 – Interactive Common Data Set: Increasing User Engagement and Data Availability with Tableau Dashboards
Bechor Barouch, The University of Texas at Austin

The Common Data Set (CDS) is an invaluable source of data for both internal and external consumption, and as such is widely underutilized. By investing time in arranging historical CDS data in a Tableau-compatible data structure, the wealth of data is now easily accessible for all users via a dynamic, interactive dashboard that increases user engagement and data availability.


4:00 – 5:00pm

C14 – Quickly Create Infographics
Laura Wichman, McLennan Community College

Last year, McLennan Community College set out to explore a diverse way to share data with its community and quickly discovered the effectiveness of infographics with employees and students. This presentation will share with attendees the data shared, how it shared, and how to easily create infographics for your institution.


Monday, March 1, 2021

9:00 – 10:00 am

C15 – Cluster Analysis and Predictive Modeling on Transfer Students’ Success Rate
Daniel Le, Dallas County Community College District-North Lake

Many college students have attended multiple institutions throughout their academic career. A smooth transfer process plays an important role on the successful attainment of a degree or other credential. “Change is not pleasant, but change is constant. Only when we change and grow, we will see a world we never know.” To support the transfer students to overcome challenges in their new school, it is necessary to conduct a research project to study and identify barriers to success of those students. The researcher applies cluster analysis and predictive modeling to analyze students’ data and expect to gain a deeper insight to support on planning pedagogical approaches and strategies in the future.


11:00am – noon

C16 – Examining Variation in Online Credit Hours and the Cost of Instruction – Preparing to Investigate the Impact of COVID-19
Marcia Preston, The Cost Study at the University of Delaware

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of online learning in higher education was steadily growing at both the undergraduate and graduate level across a wide range of academic disciplines and institutional types. Specifically, the period from 2015 through 2019 represents a time of gradual implementation and growth in online courses and serves as an important benchmark for the spring of 2020 where the use of online instruction became nearly universal and is likely to play an oversized role for some time to come. Using data from The Cost Study at the University of Delaware, we developed productivity metrics for the 2018 and 2019 study cycles in conjunction with three-year average benchmarks. We will describe regional differences and those observed across Carnegie classifications in addition to exploring the variability found among academic disciplines. We will also explore the relationship between the proportion of online student credit hours and instructional costs.


2:00 – 3:00pm

C17 – Our BCSSE Student Story in Tableau
Regina Gonzales and Abdul Mohammed, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

A picture is worth a thousand words. This session discusses are how are office prepares, communicates and houses our BCSSE survey data. We will briefly touch on our process of using Tableau Prep to connect to our state reported data tables, pivot data and incremental refresh. We will highlight the process of creating a diverging bar chart in Tableau to communicate sentiment more effectively.
Using Tableau, our presenter will demonstrate and share how to:
• Extract and update BCSSE data in SQL
• Quick summary of how our office uses Tableau Prep to create an extract
• Create a Diverging bar chart to communicate sentiment


4:00 – 5:00pm

C18 – A Look at How One University Fine-Tuned Their Administrative Effectiveness
Morgan Carter, Tarleton State University

Typically, institutional effectiveness is a leading standard for non-compliance. Many sessions focus on institutional effectiveness as it relates to student learning but very few sessions focus on the administrative functions that are just as critical to the mission of the university.


Tuesday, March 2, 2021

9:00 – 10:00 am

C19 – Task Management System Using Office 365 Suite
Rohan Patil, Texas Tech University

At Institutional Research Office where deadlines are critical and resources are scarce, having a system to track all incoming requests, assign requests to appropriate personnel, ensuring all requests are handled in timely manner and distribution of workload becomes very crucial for success. Using Office 365 suite, there is a way to streamline requests and bring them on a common platform for tracking and documentation using power automate (Flow).


11:00am – noon

C20 – Metrics that Matter: Making a Difference in Student Success via the PDP
Lisa Stich, National Student Clearing House and Paul Turcotte, Texas A&M University-Central Texas

The Postsecondary Data Partnership (PDP) is a nationwide effort to help colleges and universities gain a fuller picture of student successes and areas to target for improvement. With the PDP Tableau dashboards, you can measure whether students are on track, and where to intervene, access data on all new students, save time and resources on reporting requirements, identify where to focus your resources, and assess the effectiveness of your reforms.

This session will begin with an overview for participants unfamiliar with the project. Participants will explore the utility of the PDP from two perspectives: viewing case studies within the dashboards that explore insights for needed reform and/or the impact of reform, and the practical applications of a Texas University PDP participant.


2:00 – 3:00pm

C21 – Developing a THECB Benchmarking Dashboard in Power BI
Holly Cook-Heines, Caroline Haring, and Mauricio Garcia, Palo Alto College

The THECB benchmarking dashboard was created in August 2020 to provide insights on Texas’ public 2-year colleges and how the institutions compare to others. This interactive dashboard provides student performance data on various measures including graduation and transfer rates, developmental education versus non-developmental education graduation rates, graduate debt, and FTIC dual credit measures. The data can be filtered by specific almanac years and peer group size to allow for various comparisons. This publicly available dashboard was created with Power BI.


4:00 – 5:00pm

C22 – Introduction to Data Science, Machine Learning and Decision-Making for Higher Education
Luciano Boas, Texas Tech University

Data Science and Machine Learning still top trends in many industries. As the amount of data grows exponentially, the need for human resources and top-notch technology will continue to increase. To make sound decisions, a hybrid decisionmaking process between man and machine are paramount. For that to be successfully accomplished, a data-driven culture has to be nurtured and the decision-makers must have a better understanding of their needs and what is available today.


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

9:00 – 10:00am

Annual Business Meeting


10:00am – noon

Keynote Address


2:00 – 3:00pm

C23 – Round Table Discussion on THECB CBM00T Transfer Report
Kate Proff, Texas State University

A discussion of the benefits and challenges of submitting the transfer report introduced by the THECB in Fall 2020. The session includes a brief overview of the report, the challenges one institution faced in submitting the report, and the benefits of reviewing the data in preparation for submission. Attendees are encouraged to share their experiences.


4:00 – 5:00pm

C24 – Strategic Planning in Higher Education
S.J. Sethi, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Obtain the basics of higher education strategic planning during this overview of the planning process from external scans to an annual strategic plan assessment.


Thursday, March 4, 2021

9:00 – 10:00 am

C25 – National Student Clearinghouse Premium Student Tracker
Andi Liner, National Student Clearinghouse and Christina Zavala Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board


Friday, March 5, 2021

11:00 am – 12:30 pm

C29 – THECB Update
Victor Reyna, Melissa Humphries, John Dinning and Julie Eklund, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Join the staff from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) Strategic Planning and Funding Division for an update on legislative activities, state-level data and reports, the 60x30TX plan, workforce-related data, and other issues of interest.