Institutional Research

The Office of Institutional Research at NMSU Carlsbad tracks longitudinal measures and supplies data for rational decision-making. This includes:

  • Applied Research – inform such relevant issues as course offerings, scheduling, and resource allocation
  • Evaluation of data – support program review, outcomes assessment, and policy analysis
  • Longitudinal tracking – derive student profiles, retention data, and campus climate
  • Problem Identification – under-performing programs, low enrollment trends, and student performance
  • Action Research – define, collect and interpret data for new projects

Where does IR get the data?
IR draws data from several different sources including the ODS (frozen data tables), the live BANNER database, COMPASS Internet databases, campus survey data and paper files. Depending on the type of data you need, the process to obtain it can be relatively quick or quite time consuming.

My report says that there are a certain number of part-time students, but this doesn’t match the IPEDS headcount. Why?
There are many ways to calculate student enrollment, and the concept of a part-time student has many different operational definitions. Students who take credits on multiple campuses carry a full-time load, but may be defined as part-time students by their credits at each institution. Some calculations consider students full time at 15 credits; others use 12. Whether or not students with different campus affiliations or dual credit students are included in the headcount will also affect the total. This is why it is important to meet with IR to clarify your research objectives; by communicating clearly we can provide data pertinent to your needs.

What is the difference between official and unofficial numbers?
Official numbers are those reported to IPEDS and to the state; files are drawn at specified times in the semester. Reports drawn before or after the deadlines may not match official reported numbers, but may be more appropriate for your specific research purposes. Generally, unofficial numbers are for internal use purposes only and should not be reported.

Why can’t I use COGNOS reports for all of my data needs?
COGNOS reports are useful for estimates and lists, but they do not supply official numbers. COGNOS draws from the ODS, which is updated nightly.