We are spending this week preparing for the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research, which begins May 18 in our backyard of Long Beach. I wanted to highlight several of presentations at the annual forum that draw from CIRP data. You can see the full schedule of presentations using CIRP data here.

I arrive on Saturday to present a pre-conference workshop with my colleague Dr. Jessica Sharkness from Tufts University. We use 2004 CIRP Freshman Survey and 2008 College Senior Survey data as a teaching tool in a half-day workshop on linear and logistic regression. The workshop is designed to provide participants with hands-on instruction for using SPSS for regression analyses. (Saturday, May 18, 12:30 – 4 p.m.)

On Sunday, CIRP Director John Pryor is joined by Erin Knepler from the University System of Maryland for a masters seminar on national surveys. John and Erin will discuss the need for national surveys and address recent criticisms. (Sunday, May 19, 12:15 – 2:30 p.m.)

On Monday, John is joined by HERI Director Dr. Sylvia Hurtado and UCLA doctoral candidate Adriana Ruiz Alvarado in a presentation that examines first-year student retention using validation theory. John, Sylvia, and Adriana use CIRP Freshman Survey and Your First College Year survey data to explore how students’ sense of validation from faculty and staff during their first year of college contribute to their intention to return to their native institution in the second year. (Monday, May 20, 10:30 – 11:15 a.m., 201A)

Tuesday is by far the busiest day for CIRP-related presentations. The day begins early with a presentation by Arnold Hook from the University of Louisville. Arnold leads a discussion group that examines possible links between TFS data on measures of self-concept with student retention. (Tuesday, May 21, 8:30 – 9:15 a.m., Grand Ballroom Table 4)

Sylvia and I are joined by Tanya Figueroa – a doctoral student at UCLA and member of our research team – to present findings from a study that uses data from the 2004 CIRP Freshman Survey and 2010 National Student Clearinghouse to examine the predictors of earning a bachelor’s degree in the biomedical sciences. We have been presenting findings from our project for the last eight annual forums, and we are now beginning to break down our STEM completion data into sub-disciplines. (Tuesday, May 21, 9:30 – 10:15 a.m., 103A)

CIRP Assistant Director Dr. Laura Palucki Blake joins C. Ellen Peters from the University of the Puget Sound late Tuesday morning for a presentation on how to use survey data for campus improvement. Laura and Ellen focus on strategies for presenting findings from analyses of survey data in a straightforward, easily digestible way for audiences that include administrators and faculty. (Tuesday, May 21, 11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m., 202A)

Be sure to stop by Rachel Krug’s (Franklin Pierce College) poster during the lunch break as she presents findings from a cluster analysis on CRP’s Habits of Mind items. (Tuesday, May 21, 12:45–1:45 p.m., Hall B-Poster 42)

I wrap up the CIRP-related presentations for Tuesday with Adriana Ruiz Alvarado as we present findings from a three time-point structural equation model analyzing experiences that serve to accentuate or mitigate students’ academic disengagement throughout college. Analyzing data from the CIRP Freshman Survey, Your First College Year survey, and College Senior Survey, we can talk about particular college experiences that lead to greater academic disengagement (e.g., frequent drinking in the first year) or mitigate the extent to which students disengage in the classroom (e.g., getting enough sleep in the first year of college). (Tuesday, May 21, 3–3:45 p.m., 203B)

We have two presentations on Wednesday. Sylvia and I are joined by two of our graduate student researchers – Juan Garibay and Bryce Hughes – to present findings from our seven-year follow-up survey of the entering freshman cohort from 2004. We focus on students who earned a STEM bachelor’s degree and examine the undergraduate experiences that prompted these individuals to pursue graduate degrees in STEM, professional work in STEM, or non-STEM post-college pathways. (Wednesday, May 22, 9–9:45 a.m., 202A)

While we present our findings on STEM, Dr. Laura Palucki Blake will deliver a presentation focused on how to use survey data to improve student learning. Laura will touch on ways to partner with faculty to make meaning from survey data to connect with evidenced-based decision making on campus. (Wednesday, May 22, 9–9:45 a.m., 203A)

Again, you find the full schedule of CIRP-related presentation here. Be sure to stop by our booth in the exhibit hall during the day on Monday (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) or Tuesday (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.). We look forward to conferencing with you!