Classification of Official Institutional Census Information
In mid-October, OIRAP conducts an official census of the student population. This includes a series of "snap shots" across many tables and views within the BANNER information system. We collect student characteristics to support both required federal reporting, like IPEDS, and major national publications, such as US News & World Report, College Board, Petersons, and Barrons. These data include most relevant student demographics, financial aid, and enrollment and admissions data. Some faculty data are also collected through the Provost's Office in order to support OIRAP's external reporting needs. The institutional Fact Book is largely an archival source of the official student and faculty census data, in addition to other information deemed important to the college community as a whole. These are the data one will also find in the Common Data Set, which has been designed to support the needs of major national college guides and similar publications.
OIRAP also conducts an unofficial spring census in mid-March. These data are rarely used outside the institution and serve to support the department's on-line web information presentations.
Although certain data are "frozen", it does not make sense to take census snap-shots of all BANNER information. For example, End-Of-Term data better reflect what really happened over the semester in terms of courses taught and student credit hours generated. Obviously, student grade and graduation data fall into this same category. A Monday-After-Drop/Add file may be constructed to alert enrollment management and financial affairs to the potential and likely drop-off in course enrollments and tuition. These key data are most frequently used to support OIRAP's Online Resources.
Access to Census and Other Information
OIRAP maintains an extensive web site which includes several years of Fact Books, Common Data Sets, a portal to the institutional planning software (Strategic Planning Online), and a complete suite of interactive and graphical presentations of admissions, enrollment, major profile, graduation, financial aid, grade distribution, and student credit hour reports. There is also a built-in facility to allow users to dynamically query ("slice and dice") student enrollment data in exacting detail. Data available on these pages are either official census data or "other data", as indicated. Generally, we find that about 80% of all information inquiries made to OIRAP can be easily gleaned from these on-line information resources. When inquiries cannot be met, this way, OIRAP provides an on-line Information Request Form to help document and process requests in a fair and efficient manner. However, this form is not a clearinghouse for requests for any and all institutional information. Requestors are referred to other offices and "data owners" on campus, when appropriate. This is most common with respect to programmatic,, student directory, human resource, alumnae, and funded research information.