Reflections from the Institute for IPEDS Educators 2019 • Institute for Effectiveness in Higher Education
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Reflections from the Institute for IPEDS Educators 2019

IPEDS Education

Reflections from the Institute for IPEDS Educators 2019

I’m heading back to work today after spending two great days in DC with 29 other incredible IPEDS Educator colleagues. This was my 11th IIE, and true to form, it didn’t disappoint.

Here We Go Again!

As I shift my focus back to my daily responsibilities and emails (always SO. MANY. EMAILS!), I’m thinking a bit more about the cyclical nature of all things IPEDS. In reflecting on my IIE experience this year, I’m reminded of the importance of planning ahead for a successful IPEDS year. I know what you are thinking:

“Back off Kristina, its summer! Sun on my face. Feet in the sand. Fun to be had. IPEDS isn’t on the agenda.”

Beach, ocean, pier to a cabana. IPEDS nowhere to be seen.

And I get it, I really do. But the 2019-2020 IPEDS year begins next month. (BTW, I can get that sunshine and sand year-round here in San Deigo :P)

Ready, Set, IPEDS!

So I’m just going to leave some tips for preparing for a successful IPEDS cycle right here. Waiting for you. Whenever you’re ready.

Planner, calendar, planning tools for August, when IPEDS planning should begin.
  • No Sneaking Deadlines: Put the due dates on your calendar and others’ calendars. Add reminders. Start looking for meeting times that will work with everyone’s schedules.
  • Plan to Be Flexible: Build in some wiggle room time. Even though there may not be changes to a particular survey, the data changes each year. Sometimes the people who are involved in creating and/or pulling the data also change. In fact, the one thing you can probably can count on is that something will be different every year. Building in some wiggle room for the unknown means you can still meet the deadline. Best case scenario, you finish early (and add that your performance review). Worst case scenario, you adjust and prevent the institution from missing a federal deadline (and add THAT to your performance review).
  • Meet and Greet: Meet with new people at your institutions who will be involved in IPEDS. Introduce yourself and your department. Share the upcoming requirements and the process you use. Even if the person is familiar with IPEDS, they aren’t familiar with your institution’s process. Discuss the existing process, their role, how you will work together, the importance of the surveys and beginning early, and ask if they have any questions.

Also—just going to throw this out there—California is a big place; there are lots of IR positions out here. You too could have sun, sand, and IPEDS fun year-round!

Have other pre-IPEDS tips? Please do share!

  • Rhonda Gabovitch
    Posted at 14:29h, 18 July

    I love your suggestions, Kristina. Being on the opposite coast, in Masachusetts, I factored in potential bad weather when setting due dates. Surveys were due to IR two weeks in advance of the deadline, giving us a little wiggle room in case we were marooned with FEET of snow. The federal deadlines are pretty stringent (barring national disasters!) so we needed this cushion. As part of this, I customized our calendar with the names of individuals helping with each survey, if they were not in IR. We stressed completing the surveys in two cycles rather than three and loved getting that congratulatory letter which I hope NCES will continue to send. It’s been interesting to see the evolution of the forms. When I first started in IR, we were using the HEGIS forms! There were fewer as I recall. I retired last month and have handed the IPEDS torch over. . I know it’s in good hands. Lots of great data comes out of these surveys. I am so glad you wrote about your experience and encouraged others to do so. Good luck in 19-20.

    • Institute for Effectiveness in Higher Education
      Posted at 08:45h, 07 August

      Rhonda, I’m so sorry! Your comment got trapped in the moderation system. Thanks for your thoughts. I really like your idea of doing the reports in two cycles rather than three. And what a great way to position it with contributors! Totally agree that it is important for IR professionals to continue to cross share. Thanks for joining the conversation!