Presentations and Publications  

Analysis of the 2013 U.S. News & World Report Rankings
OIRA Staff
Auburn continues to be rated one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduates. Going deeper, this analysis looks at each performance indicator and compares AU's ratings with those of 23 other Southern public flagship universities.

Analysis of the 2012 U.S. News & World Report Rankings
OIRA Staff
Auburn continues to be rated one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduates. Going deeper, this analysis looks at each performance indicator and compares AU's ratings with those of 23 other Southern public flagship universities.

Analysis of the 2011 U.S. News & World Report Rankings
OIRA Staff
Auburn continues to be rated one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduates. Going deeper, this analysis looks at each performance indicator and compares AU's ratings with those of 23 other Southern public flagship universities.

The Impact of First-Year Engagement on Retention to the Second Year
Drew Clark and Iryna Johnson
The purpose of this brief is to estimate the effect of factors measured by the five NSSE benchmarks on freshman retention at Auburn University. The analysis is based on results of NSSE surveys of Auburn freshmen carried out in the spring terms of 2008 and 2009. The NSSE results were merged with institutional information about students’ pre-college characteristics and college experiences. The analysis revealed a positive association between freshman retention and two NSSE benchmarks: Level of Academic Challenge and Supportive Campus Environment.

Core Curriculum and General Education Outcomes Alignment Study
Iryna Johnson and Julie Huff
This report assesses the alignment between the Auburn University Core Curriculum and the general education outcomes that the University identified in 2008. The assessment is based on semi‐structured interviews with 24 directors of Core Curriculum programs. As understood by these program directors, certain Core programs are closely aligned with a single general education outcome. For example, Core Science courses primarily address scientific literacy, while Core Fine Arts courses focus on aesthetic appreciation and engagement. Other Core programs address two or more outcomes: English Composition is well aligned with information literacy, analytical skills and critical thinking, and effective communication. Most Core programs are not formally assessing the extent to which students are achieving the intended general education outcomes. However, existing grading practices suggest opportunities for embedded assessment in the future. The most frequent concern expressed during the interviews is related to large class sizes in Core Curriculum courses.

The Usefulness of SAT/ACT Writing Sections in Predicting Success
Cara Mia Braswell
A recent exploratory study investigated the usefulness of the ACT writing section (ACTW) and the SAT writing section (SATW) in predicting student success for first time freshmen. Student success included first term GPA, and English 1100 composition grades. Writing sections were not required for admission consideration at the time of this study. Therefore, this study is considered exploratory with cautious interpretations allowing for potential self-selection phenomenon with only higher scoring students submitting the additional writing section. Presented at the Alabama Association for Institutional Research, March 30-32, 2009 in Opelika, Alabama.

First Year Retention: Is It Housing or Affiliation that Matters?
Sam Lowther and Jonathan Langley
Researchers attempt to determine how on-campus housing affects first year retention. Additionally, the impact of Greek affiliation on first year retention is investigated, leading one to question whether encouraging first-year students to form group affiliations may be as effective in increasing retention as requiring them to live on campus. Presented to the Annual Conference of the Alabama Association for Institutional Research, April 7-8, 2005, in Fairhope, Alabama.

College Math Performance and Last High School Math Course
Cara Mia Pugh and Sam Lowther
Only half of high school graduates take math during their senior year (Perkins, 2004) with just 18% going beyond Algebra II (Adelmen, 1999), while mathematics faculty at a large research university report poor performance in college level coursework. This study examines performance in first college math core courses in relation to time since last high school math course and level of high school math taken. Analysis assesses whether high school math GPA improves prediction of college core math grades in comparison to an institution-designed college math placement test, for all students as well as for a high risk group. The high risk group consists of students either not taking math their senior year in high school and/or not going beyond Algebra II. Findings have implications for advising, predicting college success and providing feedback to high schools. Presented to the Annual Conference of the Southern Association for Institutional Research, October 16-19, 2004, in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Raise the Question: Ethical and Design Issues Surrounding Web Surveys
Regina Eady and Robert Gottesman
Presented at the 2004 ALAIR Annual conference in Birmingham, Alabama, this presentation covers ethical issues, commercial and in-house solutions, and design issues regarding web surveys. Ethical issues include addressing user privacy, selecting a sample population, obtaining authorization to conduct a survey, coercing respondents through incentives, and ensuring accuracy of responses. Commercial and in-house solutions include a comparison of the pros and cons of utilizing a popular commercial product to implement surveys versus developing them in-house programmatically. Design issues include e-mail invitations, survey layout and implementation, user authentication, and data analysis and reporting.

Analysis of Factors Influencing Employment Migration of Recent Degree Recipients
Cara Mia Pugh and Robert Gottesman
Two graduate follow-up studies were analyzed for factors predicting likelihood that a graduate would stay in-state vs. migrate. Results indicated that the factors of work characteristics and environmental situations (Thomas & Dunkelburger, 1991) as well as original student source were significant in predicting location of first job after graduation. The graduate’s academic discipline did not contribute to the predictability of migration. The study also found that graduates who took their first job out-of-state earned higher average salaries, even though pay was not a reported factor in predicting migration. Although students who came to the institution from out-of-state were more likely to migrate, only 38 percent of these students returned to their home state after graduation. Results of this study suggest that all students (both in-state and out-of-state) graduate into a global marketplace and decisions that they make to migrate or remain in-state may be largely based upon which global players offer them opportunity first. In short, if a state wants to retain more of its graduates, it should put more focus on recruiting and developing economic opportunities for this skilled workforce. Presented to the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research, June 3-6, 2001 in Long Beach, California.

Last Updated: 02/04/2013

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