Institutional Research and Assessment

Word cloud of institutional research termsInstitutional research is research conducted within an institution of higher education to provide information which supports institutional planning, policy formation and decision making. Assessment is the term used at Elon to represent the process of systematically and regularly collecting and interpreting empirical evidence to determine program and institutional effectiveness in the areas of student learning and development.


Elon first-year students and Elon seniors participate in the National Study of Student Engagement (NSSE) survey. The data from this survey confirms what our students engage in and learn from in their Elon career (The 5 Elon Experiences – Study Abroad, Internships, Service, Leadership, and Undergraduate Research). This survey informs committees on how to improve programming on campus to help our students get the best experiences possible.

Students also participate in a number of other surveys that the office conducts:

  • National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
  • Your First College Year (YFCY)
  • Exiting Senior Survey (CSS)
  • HERI Faculty Survey
  • Great Colleges to Work For
  • Graduation/Alumni Surveys


Our office provides reports both internally and also to a variety of different institutions on both the state and national level. Some examples of current reports are:

  • Enrollment Forecasting
  • Faculty Dashboard
  • Gender Equity
  • Faculty & Board of Trustees
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Student Achievement and Success
  • Retention / Graduation

College Guides

The Office of Institutional Research provides data on faculty, students, enrollment, retention, graduation and student life to college guides for regional and national rankings. The US News and World Report ranks Elon as the #1 university in the south.


Our Dashboards provide data dashboards for academics – the Provost Team, the Deans and Department Chairs to show retention and graduation rates along with students, courses, and faculty information.

Institutional Studies

The purpose of the office is to conduct research by collecting data for analysis that will improve student programming and provide funding to help make students more successful. Through their research, the office can help to better student life and experiences at Elon while also providing data for institutional reporting and committee initiatives.