Converting Data to Information
The purpose of the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Institutional Research (OPEIR) is to support the University's planning, assessment, evaluation, and improvement efforts, maintain the integrity of institutional data, coordinate the flow of management information both within the University community and to external agencies, and coordinate the University's Quality Assurance Funding efforts.
Additionally, OPEIR provides UTC's students and the Chattanooga community with opportunities for admissions, college credit, and licensure/certification testing.
Through the UTC Testing Center, OPEIR administers both individual and group standardized examinations to enrolled students and residents of the region. The UTC Testing Center is an authorized site for tests administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), the American College Testing Program (ACT), The Psychological Corporation and other testing agencies.
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Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is committed to institutional effectiveness and continuous improvement. As part of these efforts, outcomes assessment processes have been established with the help of Campus Labs and Compliance Assist.
- Campus Labs (Planning) is used as a repository for student learning outcomes, service outcomes, program outcomes, assessment results, and strategic plans. By using the information captured in Campus Labs, UTC is able to provide evidence of outcomes being assessed and those results being used for programmatic improvement.
- Compliance Assist (Accreditation) is used for the SACSCOC Fifth-Year Follow-Up Report, the SACSCOC 10-year SACSCOC Reaffirmation Accreditation Report, and can be used for a program’s accrediting body report.
Factbook and Additional Data
The Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Institutional Research collects and publishes data regarding UTC’s performance on a wide variety of metrics such as enrollment, graduation, and finances. A brief overview of the most recently available information is located in the UTC Fact Summary. Current data can be found within the Factbook pages while the Data Archives contain historical information from earlier years. The Factbook also contains a general reference section with the following items:
- Common Data Set – An annual survey that is completed by colleges and universities and then made available for the public
- Data Dictionary – A repository of data terms and their definitions that are shared across the UTC campus
- Organizational Charts – Charts showing the different divisions and departments that make up UTC
- Peer Institutions – List of UTC’s comparable and aspirational peers with links to their websites
- THEC Academic Program Inventory – List of all available UTC majors by CIP code and degree type
The Estimated Cost of Attendance, produced annually by the Financial Aid Office, is an estimate of total academic and non-academic expenditures a student will accrue while attending UTC for one year full-time.
New Program and Program Change Consultation
The Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Institutional Research is involved with the planning and approval process for all new academic programs and existing program changes at UTC. We provide support from the planning and development stage through site visits and final approvals with THEC, UT System, SACSCOC, and program accrediting bodies.
Accreditation and Program Review
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states.
Student Outcomes and Satisfaction
UTC administers a number of tests and surveys to gauge student learning, engagement, and satisfaction with the University’s courses and environment.
- The ETS Proficiency Profile is used for General Education outcomes assessment, and performance scores are posted annually.
- Content-specific exams and licensure tests for selected majors are administered to graduating seniors each year. The results of these exams are used to plan program improvements as well as in THEC’s evaluation for Quality Assurance Funding each year.
- The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is an important tool for UTC to learn the extent to which its students are actively engaged in their undergraduate engagement and allows for comparison to peer institutions. Faculty and administrators use the results in academic program reviews and annual assessments.
- The Course Learning Evaluation (CLE) is an important method of feedback from students to faculty and administrators on the effectiveness of course design and teaching. The information it provides for faculty is essential to improvements in quality of instruction.
OPEIR conducts a variety of in-depth research projects, often motivated by requests from units across campus or from UTC leadership. The focus of these projects is typically to better understand UTC's students and to examine how the institution's programs and policies affect students and their academic outcomes.