Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment

Welcome to VIRO @ R-HIT!

Thank you for visiting the Virtual IR Office at Rose-Hulman!


Our office conducts/participates in various educational and institutional research projects/studies every year. We provide services in research area ranging from collecting data via customized online questionnaires/survey forms, conducting analysis to reporting findings. If you are interested in obtaining further information on research services or starting a new research project, please contact Dr. Julia Williams, Executive Director of IRPA to set up a service agreement.

Here are the highlights of some of the recent research projects:

Rose-Hulman Research Projects

  • First-Year Student Retention Task Force
  • Homework Hotline (HWHL) Service Evaluation
  • Challenge X Investigation of General Population Perception of Hybrid Technology

Joint Research Projects

  • NAE Grand Challenge Scholars (GCS) Program Workshop Assessment
    • The goal of this survey research is to evaluate the impact of the April 2010 Grand Challenge Scholars (GCS) Program Workshop on faculty, staff or administration members, college students and other affiliates at a variety of institutions and organizations across the nation in learning more about developing and implementing the GCS Program. Dr. Kay C Dee is the investigator for conducting this survey research work for the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenge Scholars (GCS) Program. She has developed assessment instruments for the workshop, which will be held immediately after the Boston Grand Challenge Summit. Mr. Timothy Chow administers the pre and post online surveys in support of Dr. Dee’s research efforts. The April 2010 GCS Program Workshop is supported by the National Science Foundation and led by workshop PI Dr. Lynn Andrea Stein. The Boston Grand Challenge Summit sponsors are Olin College, Babson College and Wellesley College.
  • ENGAGE – Engaging Students in Engineering
    • The goal of this NSF funded study is to increase the capacity of engineering schools to retain undergraduate students by facilitating the implementation of three research-based strategies to improve student day-to-day classroom and educational experience. The strategies include: integrating relevant examples into selected 1st and 2nd year engineering courses; improving student spatial visualization skill development; and building faculty knowledge and skill to better engage and interact with students inside and outside of the classroom. Stevens Institute of Technology along with WEPAN and other partners will work with 30 engineering colleges over five years to deliver an Extension Service project that will include professional development, materials, technical assistance and mini-grants.
  • Factors That Facilitate or Inhibit Enrollment of Domestic Engineering PhD Students: A Mixed Methods Study
    • The goal of this NSF funded study is to understand the factors that faciliate or inhibit domestic student enrollment in engineering Ph.D. programs, and to identify strategies for reinforcing positive factors or removing barriers. The overarching goal of the research project is to identify actionable strategies to increase domestic student enrollments.
  • Project to Assess Climate in Engineering (PACE)
        The goal of this Alfred P. Sloan Foundation funded research is to identify and address university climate issues to improve retention for all undergraduate engineering students. The action steps to achieve the goal are:


    • Provide data to participating colleges/universities that will help identify areas that require attention in order to improve the academic climate for all students;
    • Provide aggregated and institution-specific data to participating colleges/universities regarding student attitudes organized by sex and ethnic/racial categories for benchmarking purposes;
    • Supplement quantitative survey findings with aggregated qualitative data from interviews conducted with currently-enrolled majority and under-represented minority populations at select colleges/universities;
    • Supplement institutional climate analysis with qualitative interviews with students who have exited or are in the process of exiting engineering programs at participating colleges/universities; and
    • Conduct telephone survey with each participating college/university 6, 12 and 34 months after receipt of the PACE project report in order to track actions taken to improve the climate.

Our institution has received a grant through the Engineering Information Foundation to gather information on classroom practices reported by engineering faculty in incorporating communication assignments/tasks into their courses and learn about their perceptions regarding the factors that induce change in the teaching of communication in engineering programs.