Director’s Corner: Creating Connections at the c3 Conference
On Saturday April 22, I had the distinct honor and pleasure of representing the work of the Bates IR office at the 2017 Creating Connections Consortium (C3) Summit, hosted by Williams College. The C-3 Summit gatherings offer a think-tank-like atmosphere for the presentation, critical analysis, and vigorous discussion of research concerning diversity and inclusion in higher education. To support this year’s theme of “The Transformative Power of Race in the Academy: Measuring Change, Charting Futures,” I spoke on an IR panel, alongside my dynamic IR colleagues at Middlebury, Smith, and Williams, about the current tools and techniques we are using to assess institutional transformation and climate.
In particular, I seized this moment as an opportunity to showcase the innovative research-based programming that Bates has recently developed to support the first-generation to college experience (Bobcat First!) and to promote and foster connections across differences on campus (The Dinner Table) and the data analysis the IR office has provided to support the assessment of each program’s efficacy. While I cannot discuss the specifics of the data points, what I can offer is the general advice that was the crux of the presentation, which is that virtually all institutions have the capacity to measure diversity-related outcomes by leveraging data that is already being collected. In our case, we managed to cross-tabulate data from student records, annual student surveys, and program participant records to produce a rich comparative analysis of participant vs. non-participant outcomes (in addition to pre- and post-participation outcomes).
It was a very exciting panel session and after a deeply engaging Q & A, in particular, I left feeling more energized and inspired about the work that Tom, Will, and I do here.
Senior Survey Campaign 2017
We are in our annual outreach campaign for our Senior Survey. This important event gives a voice to the student body and lets the college know how well it is doing. Our campaign uses email, electronic campus news bulletins, and, as you can see, dining hall napkin holders. Bates has a very engaged student body, which has consistently resulted in a high survey response rate. We would like to thank the class of 2017 for their contribution to this year’s survey and we wish them luck entering a new chapter of their lives.
Integrative Learning and ePortfolios
This is Tom, the associate director in the IR office, and this is my inaugural entry into the IR blog. Last week, I celebrated the two year anniversary of my dissertation defense. The dissertation explored the facilitation of integrative learning through a reflective ePortfolio process. By developing integrative learning, students are expected to be able to make meaningful connections of their experiences, synthesize their learning, and gain a greater understanding of how their skills and knowledge can help them achieve their academic, professional, and personal goals.
I’m always excited when I have the opportunity to apply what I have learned to about integrative learning and ePortfolios to my work at Bates. With its focus on helping students “identify and cultivate their interests and strengths and acquire the knowledge, experiences and relationships necessary to pursue their aspirations,” the Purposeful Work initiative is particularly interested in integrative learning as a student learning outcome. Recently, the Institutional Research team met with the Purposeful Work team to discuss assessment results related to Purposeful Work programs. Since its pilot year (2014), the Purposeful Work staff has diligently collected both participation data and survey data, while the IR team has provided consultation about data collection and research design. Having done our first deep dive into the analysis, it is exciting to see the results of this collaborative process come to life. (more…)
Facebook or Twitter
In 2015, we asked our alumni from as far back as the 1940s how they would like to communicate with the college: Facebook or Twitter. Their preference was clear, regardless of the generation. Follow the link to see more from our 2015 Alumni Survey.
Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Misconduct
Today, Bates released the results of its Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Misconduct. The Office of Institutional Research, Analysis, and Planning conducted the data collection process and provided the analyses and outcome statistics for this important work. The final report and data tables can be found on the Sexual Respect and Tiltle IX site.
International Women’s Day 2017
The United Nation’s theme for International Women’s Day 2017 calls for gender parity in the workplace by 2030. Since its founding, Bates has always been coeducational. Mary W. Mitchell was our first female graduate in 1869. Bates is committed to:
Preparing leaders sustained by a love of learning and a commitment to responsible stewardship of the wider world, Bates is a college for coming times.
—Bates mission statement
W. E. B. DuBois, Data, and the Liberals Arts
It is probably obvious to say we love data and the liberal arts. Sociologist and activist W. E. B. Du Bois shared our passion. In his 1903 book The Souls of Black Folk, Du Bois summed up the liberal arts:
And this course of study will not change; its methods will grow more deft and effectual, its content richer by toil of scholar and sight of seer; but the true college will ever have one goal,—not to earn meat, but to know the end and aim of that life which meat nourishes.*
Using a broad selection of demographic and census data, Du Bois created a series of visualizations for the Negro Exhibit at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle to illustrate the progress of African Americans since the emancipation in the 1860s. This work not only shows his ability to effectively communicate quantitative information to a public audience, but also to understand the new Modernist aesthetics of his time. Du Bois was indeed a scholar and seer.
American Talent Initiative
On February 22nd, 2017, Clayton Spencer, President of Bates College, Sean Findlen, Chief Communications Officer, and Ann Marie Russell, Director of Institutional Research, Planning, and Analysis, attended the ATI Presidential Roundtable in New York City to discuss the issues facing low- and moderate-income students in accessing higher education. The American Talent Initiative (ATI) is a Bloomberg Philanthropies-supported collaboration between the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, Ithaka S+R, and an alliance of colleges and universities to expand opportunity and access for students with financial needs. Bates is one of the founding higher-education institutions supporting this project. For more on the American Talent Initiative at Bates, see our announcement, or go to the ATI website.
Welcome to the Institutional Research Blog
Welcome to our blog. We will be posting updates to our activities as well as sharing stories we think you will enjoy and find helpful. Please visit from time to time to see what is happening.