Office of Institutional Research and Assessment


The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (IR&A) is an information source and repository for many of the college’s descriptive metrics.  IR&A advances the mission and values of Houghton College through commitment to

  •  generating, disseminating, and storing reliable evidence and analytical reports
  •  evaluating the institution through data analysis of  local survey and national benchmarking research
  •  reporting accurately and effectively to various internal and external constituencies
  •  collaborating with our institutional leaders to support decision-making, program assessment, and overall institutional effectiveness

    Two Major Purposes

    • Institutional Research focuses on facilitating the systematic collection, maintenance, analysis, and reporting of institutional information, including benchmark comparisons with other institutions, in support of the college’s planning, decision-making, and management processes. Working closely with the Offices of Academic Records. Alumni Relations, and Enrollment Management, we are primarily focused on developing accurate and meaningful information about students, faculty, courses, programs, alumni, and other non-academic operations.
    • Assessment encompasses student learning and operational outcomes in tracking our effectiveness in the academic and non-academic units, respectively. Extending from the college mission statement, our outcomes link down through the institution-wide Essential Learning Outcomes, to majors and programs, and individual courses. The IR&A office oversees the online course evaluation program, supports the periodic program reviews, and assists with annual student learning outcomes data collection. The operative questions are: How do we know what students are learning and what can they do upon graduation? How well does an office serve the campus community? In short, how effective are we being and how can we do better?

    These functions require communicating effectively the current and historical status and character of the college to all campus constituencies, our governing board, accrediting agencies, alumni, and the public. This office assists others internally and externally with ad hoc requests for information, in addition to over 50 annual surveys and reports for off campus agencies. IR&A takes a lead role in meeting accountability requirements by our regional accrediting agency and supports the processes expected by higher educational standards for improvement.

    Using the links at left, we invite you to explore this site. If you have further questions or needs, please contact us.


    Affiliated Staff

    John Wise, Ph.D.
    Executive Director, Institutional Effectiveness
    Phone: 585-567-9304

    Willis Beardsley, Ed.D.
    Research Associate

    Mark Alessi
    Director, Data Management

    Molly Spear
    Office assistant

    Kevin Kettinger

    Ryan Spear
    Director of Admission

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