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Graduate Certificate in
Institutional Research

Courses

The graduate certificate program in institutional research is a 15-credit program designed to provide students with the skills that support institutional planning and policy formation. Enrolling in this program can greatly benefit in-career professionals, institutional researchers, graduate students, and persons employed in related fields. You can choose to take the courses for the certificate entirely online or by traditional means at Penn State University Park. In addition, individual online courses will be open on a space-available basis to those who are seeking to upgrade their skills but do not wish to complete the entire certificate program.

Required Courses (6 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Explores concepts, methodologies and research practices that support campus decision-making: national data sets, planning and budgeting, enrollment management and enrollment forecasting, faculty studies and instructional analysis, institutional effectiveness and accreditation, educational effectiveness and student outcomes assessment.

  • 3
    credits

    Teaches best practices and necessary skills in quantitative and qualitative research design, including sampling and basic measurement issues, research methods, survey research, interviews, focus groups, and selecting appropriate statistical tools.

Professional Electives (select 9 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Provides a working knowledge of strategic planning and resource management in higher education, especially in terms of pragmatic skills and decision-support tools relevant to institutional researchers.

  • 3
    credits

    Examines institutional effectiveness: evaluating academic programs, assessing student learning outcomes, coping with accountability and accreditation demands. Assessment topics include studies of students' basic skills, general education, knowledge in the major, personal growth, and alumni studies.

    • 3
      credits

      This course gives students an overview of administrative leadership within higher education institutions. Students learn about organizational structure, governance, leadership, decision-making, internal and external constituencies, culture, resources, and organizational change. Brief discussions of key organizational theories are included, but the course primarily focuses on administrative practice.

      • Note

        For doctoral or master's students who are taking courses residentially, HIED 842 can be substituted with HIED 552.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Numerous scholars, over many years, have explored a wide array of topics about college students — their preparation for college, their generalized and particularized characteristics, their behaviors in college, their attitudes about social issues, their relative success in achieving learning outcomes, their engagement (or lack thereof) with various components of the collegiate learning experience, their persistence, and the list goes on and on.

      • Note

        For doctoral or master's students who are taking courses residentially, HIED 846 can be substituted with HIED 556.

  • 3
    credits

    Topics include measuring faculty workload, evaluating faculty research productivity, the uses and misuses of student ratings, assessment for promotion and tenure, and methodologies for conducting salary studies.

  • 3
    credits

    Studies the three stages of enrollment management: (1) Pre-admission (attracting, admitting, and enrolling students), (2) The Initial Student Experience (orientation, advisement, curricular access, and student support services), (3) Student Success (persistence, academic achievement, graduation, and employment).

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

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