Showcasing interesting findings from recent projects completed by the Office of Institutional Analysis.
The Office of Institutional Analysis recently analyzed admissions test taking trends among undergraduate students at the University at Buffalo. The percentage of domestic, first-time, full-time, enrolled freshman taking the ACT test has considerably declined, whereas the percentage of students taking the SAT test has increased. Many students continue to take both tests, but the pronounced decline in ACT test taking is most likely due to the student’s increasing familiarity with the redesigned SAT test that was instituted in spring of 2016. The more familiar the students became with the redesigned SAT, the more inclined they were to take that test over the ACT.
The Office of Institutional Analysis, in conjunction with other offices on campus having related UB engagement data, is working on models/methods that might help in improving UB’s retention/graduation rates. This past month, the Office of Institutional Analysis, in collaboration with the Department of Informal Recreation, analyzed recreation usage data to identify what time of day our recreation centers are most frequently utilized.
Student engagement has proven to be a particularly elusive concept for institutional researchers, because engagement is hard to define and measure. Recently, however, the Office of Institutional Analysis began to tap into a several pieces of this important aspect of student life; using housing and recreation center data. More specifically, with our partners in Campus Living and Informal Recreation, we started to explore what impact housing choices and recreation usage has had on academic success and student retention.