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Institutional Research, Planning, Effectiveness & Technology

Institutional Research, Planning, Effectiveness and Technology

The Division of Institutional Research, Planning, Effectiveness and Technology (IRPET) maintains oversight and/or support of a variety of processes and content areas necessary for continuous institutional improvement.


Accreditation involves third-party review of educational programs to ensure standards of quality are met. Accreditation is important to College of The Albemarle (COA) for several reasons:

  • Supports continuous improvement
  • Provides access to public funding
  • Instills constituent/public confidence in the College
  • Makes transferring credits easier

COA is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC); the College also receives programmatic accreditation in several Health Sciences areas.

Substantive Change

SACSCOC defines substantive change as “a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution. Substantive change includes high-impact, high-risk changes and changes that can impact the quality of educational programs and services.” Some of the most common substantive changes include:

  • Offering programs and courses at new sites
  • Implementation of new programs
  • Termination of programs
  • Closing of sites

A complete list of substantive changes can be found on the SACSCOC’s Substantive change Policy and Procedures (PDF)

COA is responsible for ensuring compliance with SACSCOC policy by providing notification or seeking approval as warranted prior to the initiation of any substantive changes. COA Policy 1-8: SACSCOC Substantive Changes (Google document) requires area leaders to work with the SACSCOC Liaison to ascertain if the change is substantive and if it requires notification only or approval from SACSCOC. COA’s Accreditation Liaison is the Vice President of IRPET.

Mission, Vision and Values

The Mission, Vision and Values communicate COA’s purpose, aspirational goals and core principles. Per COA’s Institutional Effectiveness Procedures (Google document), these documents should be reviewed every three to five years.

Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan delineates the College’s goals and objectives and is reviewed and updated every three to five years. The current three-year plan has four major themes: Access, Success, Diversity and Relationships. As a part of the Strategic Plan, the Institutional Objectives set measurable targets using key performance indicators to help drive the continuous improvement process.

Policy and Procedures Manual

All policies of College of The Albemarle will be applied so as to comply with the laws and regulations of the United States, the State of North Carolina, the State Board of Community Colleges, the North Carolina Community College System, and all accreditation agencies to which the college is accountable.

Link to Policy and Procedures Manual


COA Policy 2.3.11: Grants, Contracts and External Agreements (PDF) authorizes the President and her or his designees to seek external funding. Approval must be received before a COA employee applies to the external organization. Applicants should review/complete the following forms to seek approval to apply for a grant:


The initiating department should determine feasibility and appropriate application of any grant request and should provide outlines, plans, rough drafts, and other appropriate materials necessary to produce a final proposal to present to PLT for their consideration and recommendation to the president for their decision.

Institutional Review Board

COA’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) is tasked with protecting the rights and welfare of human research subjects participating in research activities. Internal and external researchers wishing to collect data at COA as part of a study must submit the following documents:

Upon receipt of application materials, the Vice President of IRPET will convene the IRB.

Technical Support

Information Technology and several other offices work to meet technology needs across the College. Students and employees may complete a Technical Support request for help in a variety of areas:

  • Gmail™
  • MyCourses and other Distance Education elements
  • Microsoft Office™
  • Colleague – Datatel™
  • Hardware and software
  • Internet connectivity
  • Data reporting and requests
  • Room and course scheduling
  • Marketing
  • Maintenance

Once submitted, Technical Support requests are assigned to the appropriate office for follow-up.

Democratizing the Data

Several resources exist for obtaining data as a part of institutional continuous improvement processes:

  • North Carolina Community College System Data Dashboards — a set of public, interactive dashboards reporting state key performance indicators with multi-year data that can be disaggregated by a variety of factors and that can be used to make comparisons with other institutions
  • College Navigator™ — a public, searchable site maintained by the National Center for Education Statistics to provide institutional data such as tuition and fees, financial aid, enrollment, graduation rates, students outcomes, etc.
  • IPEDS Data Feedback Reports — annual reports produced by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) detailing data components such as student enrollment, graduation rates, student charges, program completions, faculty, staff and finances, which can be used to compare COA to other institutions and to help set benchmarks for institutional and departmental goals and objectives
  • Informer™ — an employee login-based platform for the retrieval of data/reports specific to COA
  • Standing data web pages — COA Student Body Diversity and COA Student Outcomes
  • Surveys — Institutional Effectiveness Procedures (Word document) require the Office of Research, Planning and Effectiveness to provide assistance in survey design and data collection and to review and coordinate all non-IRB surveys administered at COA

For assistance in getting data other than for research study purposes, submit a Tech Support ticket, or contact COA’s Institutional Researcher.


  • Roughton, Dr. Dean

  • Vice President, Institutional Research, Planning, Effectiveness and Technology

  • COA – Elizabeth City: A 103

  • 252-335-0821 ext. 2306