The Office of Institutional Research, Planning & Effectiveness (IRP&E) is the primary depository and clearinghouse for institutional data and information. IRP&E collects data from both internal and external sources, and then analyzes and communicates this information for use in planning, decision-making, and policy making. IRP&E is responsible for the integrity of data in the student information database and works collaboratively with divisions and departments to ensure the consistency and accuracy of institutional data. IRP&E assists Academic Affairs with the Academic Program Review, Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes and Student Engagement. IRP&E supports the following efforts on campus:

  • Accreditation
  • Federal and State Reporting
  • Planning and Assessment
  • Institutional Research
  • Grant Administration


The Office of Institutional Research, Planning & Effectiveness provides support for the College's accreditation review process.

Accreditation is a process by which U.S. institutions of higher education undergo a peer review to assess and certify educational excellence. Institutions must meet a rigorous set of common quality standards established by the accrediting body.  Salem Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.  An institution must be accredited in order to receive federal loans and grants, including student financial aid.

    Status:  Member since 1979

    Last Reaffirmed:  June 23, 2016

    Next Self Study Evaluation:  2024-2025

    Next Periodic Review Report:  2020

    June 23, 2016 - To reaffirm accreditation

    Student Learning Outcomes Assessment (SLOA)

    Student learning is at the core of Salem Community College's mission. The purpose of assessment is to enhance the quality of student learning. All SCC academic and service units are involved in fulfilling this mission. Assessment provides a structure for determining how well an academic department is meeting its goals for student learning and gives specific guidance as to what changes or enhancements would improve performance in that area.

    To ensure that our programs align with the assessment requirements for critical state and national standards, Salem Community College uses the learning management system, Canvas. Canvas provides tools for faculty and administration to track and enhance students' learning, document the monitoring of student progress across learning outcomes and target pedagogical interventions to improve student learning. Canvas establishes electronic documentation for continuous improvement of our programs and provides direct assistance in meeting standards for accreditation mandated by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

      As required by New Jersey Administrative Code, Salem Community College includes a general education component in its programs of study. The general education component is designed to ensure students develop a broad base of knowledge, communicate effectively, and think analytically, critically and creatively.

      Salem Community College adheres to the New Jersey Community College General Educational Foundation’s philosophy that:

      Students are empowered to meet twenty-first century challenges through learning processes that lead to knowledge acquisition, skills mastery, critical thinking, and the exercise of personal, social, and civic responsibilities.

      Salem Community College maintains responsibility for offering a general education program, in which the learning objectives facilitate attainment of all NJCC General Education Learning Goals.  Gen. Ed. course-level learning objectives must be consistent with NJCC Gen. Ed. Learning Goals.

      To view documents related to General Education Goals & Objectives, you must visit the IRP Office 365 web page.

      (Critical thinking is embedded)
      Written & Oral
      Students will communicate
      effectively in both
      speech and writing.

      a. Students will explain and evaluate what they have read, hear, and see.

      b. Students will state and evaluate the views and findings of others.

      c. Students will logically and persuasively state and support orally and in writing their points of view or findings.

      d. Students will evaluate, revise, and edit their communication.

      Knowledge & Skills
      Students will use
      appropriate mathematical
      and statistical concepts
      and operations to
      interpret data to
      solve problems.

      a. Students will translate quantifiable problems into mathematical terms and solve these problems using mathematical or statistical operations.

      b. Students will construct graphs and charts, interpret them, and draw appropriate conclusions.

      Knowledge & Reasoning
      Students will use
      scientific method of inquiry,
      through the acquisition
      of scientific knowledge.

      a. Applying the scientific method, students will analyze a problem and draw conclusions from data and evidence.

      b. Students will distinguish between scientific theory and scientific discovery, and between science and its scientific technological applications, and they will explain the impact of each on society.

      Technological Competency
      Students will use
      computer systems or
      other appropriate forms
      of technology to
      achieve educational
      and personal goals.

      a. Students will use computer systems and/or other appropriate forms of technology to present information.

      b. Students will use appropriate forms of technology to identify, collect, and process information.

      Society & Human Behavior
      (Social Sciences)
      Students will use
      social science theories
      and concepts to
      analyze human behavior
      and social and political
      institutions and to
      act as responsible citizens. 

      a. Students will analyze and discuss behavioral or societal issues using theories and concepts from a social science perspective.

      b. Students will explain how social institutions and organizations influence individual behavior.

      c. Students will describe and demonstrate how social scientists gather and analyze data and draw conclusions.

      d. Students will apply civic knowledge both locally and globally and engage in activities that exercise personal, social, and civic responsibility.

      Humanistic Perspective
      Students will analyze
      works in fields of art,
      music, or theater;
      literature; philosophy
      and/or religious studies;
      and/or will gain competence
      in the use of foreign language.

      a. Students will describe commonly used approaches and criteria for analyzing works*.

      b. Students will analyze works* and applying commonly used approaches and criteria.

      c. Students will demonstrate a value added competence in the production and comprehension of a foreign language.

      in fields of art, music, or theater; literature; philosophy and/or religious studies; and possibly within the context of studying and using a language other than English.

      Historical Perspective
      Students will understand
      historical events and
      movements in World,
      Western, non-Western
      or American societies
      and assess their
      subsequent significance.

      a. Students will state the causes of a major historical event and analyze the impact of that event on a nation or civilization.

      b. Students will discuss a major idea, movement, invention or discovery, and how it affected the world or American society.

      c. Students will demonstrate how writers' interpretations of historical events are influenced by their time, culture, and perspective.

      Global & Cultural Awareness
      (Diversity courses)
      Students will understand
      the importance of
      a global perspective
      and culturally diverse peoples. 

      a. Students will link cultural practices and perspectives with geographic and/or historical conditions from which they arose.

      b. Students will explain why an understanding of differences in people's backgrounds is particularly important to American society.

      c. Students will recognize and explain the possible consequences of prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory actions.

      d. Students will recognize and asses the contributions and impact of people from various nations and/or cultures.

      Ethical Reasoning & Action
      Students will understand
      ethical issues and situations.

      a. Students will analyze and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different perspectives on an ethical issue or a situation.

      b. Students will take a position on an ethical issue or a situation and defend it.

      Information Literacy
      Students will address
      an information need by
      locating, evaluating and effectively using information.

      a. Students will identify and address an information need.

      b. Students will access information effectively and efficiently.

      c. Students will evaluate and think critically about information.

      d. Students will use information effectively for a specific purpose.

      e. Students will use information ethically and legally.

      Program-level learning outcomes for academic programs of study are measured to ensure that students are meeting the learning objectives. Typically, programs with more than 15 students enrolled are assessed each academic year. Lead faculty for those programs design assessment plans and tools (e.g. assignments and rubrics) and share these documents with the Outcomes Assessment Coordinator, who then disseminates these plans and tools to all other faculty teaching the assessed courses. Faculty who teach courses that are being used to assess academic programs are required to assign/administer the identified assignment during the semester and submit their students’ scores to the Outcomes Assessment Coordinator.​​ As of Fall 2016, outcome assessment plans, rubrics and continuing the loop reports are warehoused in SCC TK20.

      The following steps outline the Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Process at SCC.

      STEP 1: DEVELOP AN ANNUAL ASSESSMENT PLAN (full-time faculty only)  ​


      STEP 3: ANALYZE THE DATA (full-time faculty only) 

      STEP 4: CONTINUE THE LOOP (make improvements based on data analysis)

      Student learning outcomes assessment is an integral part of SCC's mission to provide excellent learning opportunities for students. With this in mind, outcomes assessment cannot be a meaningful part of student learning without the participation and ownership of faculty. Over the last decade, the College has made great strides in developing and implementing a college-wide assessment plan. The effort is led by the Outcomes Assessment Committee (OAC), which was formed in 2005. The OAC's membership includes faculty members, staff, and administrators who provide strong leadership by ensuring that student learning outcomes assessment remains a faculty-driven process.

      OAC Agendas and Minutes

      OAC meetings are held monthly. Agendas and minutes from OAC meetings are shared with the administration through the College Coordinating Committee. Agendas and minutes are stored on SCC's Office 365.

      OAC Goals

      The OAC will continue to focus on the implementation of a comprehensive plan that incorporates general education, program, and course-level assessment. The Committee has identified the following priorities at the center of its mission: 

      1. Continue to improve communication about outcomes assessment efforts to the entire college community.
      2. Provide stimulating and meaningful professional development opportunities on assessment for full and part-time faculty members.
      3. Validate the content and quality of assessment tools through faculty peer review.
      4. Assess the overall process of student learning outcomes assessment.
      5. Collaborate with IRP&E to explore new technologies for efficient data collection and analysis.

      Grant Administration

      The Office of Grants Management at Salem Community College is a resource for the College and assists faculty, staff and administration in identifying and procuring federal, state, county and in some cases foundation grant opportunities that support the strategic plan and advance the mission of the college.  The funding obtained from the grants, may be utilized to supplement existing academic, student and college resources, as well as to allow for innovation program development and research.    

      The role of the Director of Grants Management is to provide assistance and direction for programs funded by federal, state, and private funds.  

      Essential tasks:

      • Ensure compliance with the rules and regulations administered by the grantor;
      • Oversee audits by the grantor;
      • Assist with preparation and timely submission of grant applications and reports, development and adjustment of associated budgets, coordination of budged funds, screening and processing requests for expenditures and ensuring the timely application for reimbursement from the state.;
      • Serve as the liaison with all departments on issues regarding the grants;
      • Monitor interventions and programs funded by grants to ensure compliance and grantor guidelines;
      • Assign certain grants and/or related responsibilities to individual budget analysts and coordinate their activities related to the grants assigned;
      • Assist in evaluating the fiscal administration of grant programs.


      The individual seeking the grant is the proposer/grantseeker.  Once a suitable grant is found, the proposer/grantseeker becomes the grant writer.  The Director of Grants Management may assist the proposer/grantseeker with the application guidelines, resources, data, budget, etc.  However, the proposer/grantseeker is the expert and can develop the proposal with the knowledge and skill needed to tell a compelling story and methodically describe the need.     

      Anyone seeking grant opportunities should start by answering these questions:

      1. Does the proposal fit the college mission and vision?  Does it align with the Strategic Plan?
      2. Is there a clear and documented need (community and/or internal)?
      3. Does the organization have sufficient staff in place to ensure it can deliver on its stated goals and objectives?  Can it do what it promises?
      4. Does the College have the resources – i.e. space, renovations, IT resources, other personnel, partner matching funds, etc. to meet the goals and objectives of the grant request?
      5. Is the organizational leadership prepared to do what it takes to meet the requirements that come with receiving grant funding, which may include producing quarterly, semiannual, or annual progress reports; conducting ongoing program evaluation; participating in special training; and attending conferences and meetings?  Meeting grant expectations might also include expanding its services, increasing office space, and supporting staff expansion.
      6. Is there a cost sharing or matching?  If yes, can the College provide funds, in-kind contributions, or a combination of both, from sources other than funds provided through the grant?   
      7. If applying via, does the proposer/organization have a full understanding how to manipulate the website and complete all necessary forms?
      8. How will the College effectively sustain the project?
      9. Are there enough staff to effectively develop a strong and credible proposal.  Who will write the proposal? 
      Grant Administration

      Institutional Research

        Please use the SCC institutional Web Help Desk to submit your request for data. Make sure to use "Institutional Research and Planning" as the Request Type.

        Submit your data request 5-10 days prior to the date data/reports are needed to help you meet your deadlines. Please be aware that some data requests may take longer due to the complexity of the request or data. Data Requests are approved by the Dean, Provost or President and are then prioritized according to institutional need. 

        Visit the Tableau website to view information.

        SCC's Finding and Reporting Effective Data (FRED) functions as the Institutional Review Board for the purpose of conducting research on human subjects. In accordance with federal guidelines it monitors all research activities which involve people, including surveys.

        Some research activities require a formal IRB review and approval process, and some may be "exempt" from review, instead requiring just a form identifying the project and which conditions (from a checklist) apply that may make the research exempt.

        While survey research is often conducted in a way that makes it exempt, this is not always the case, and so the IRB requirements should always be carefully reviewed. It is your responsibility to submit the proper forms to the IRB concerning your research.

        Often when we conduct surveys we are asking our subjects to trust us with information that is personal, ranging from demographic information about themselves to opinions or information about activities that they may not wish others to know. We have a responsibility to protect the identities of respondents and the information they provide. Especially in a small college community it may be possible to ascertain a respondent's identity with very little information.

        There are federal regulations in place that help us to understand how to protect private information.

        • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) - These are the federal regulations that protects the privacy of students and parents. 
        • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA, Title II) This is the law that addresses the privacy and security of health records and individually identifiable health-related information.


        Also, when you submit your survey for IRB approval or exemption, they will discuss any concerns they may have about ensuring the privacy of data.

        In addition to the subject protection requirements of the Institutional Review Board, all surveys must be discussed with Institutional Research, Planning & Effectiveness. This allows IRP&E to track and collect all surveys completed on and off campus.

        The goal is to provide high quality and meaningful data with usable results and one that minimizes the potential for error (Meredith J. Dean, Ph. D, Virginia Commonwealth University).


        To submit your survey idea for approval, submit a Web Helpdesk Request and include the following information:

        Survey Name

        Research Question - what is the primary question you are trying to answer?

        Sponsor - What person or group on campus requires the survey?

        Timing - When do you plan to administer the survey?

        Population - Who will be surveyed?

        Description - Write a brief description of your survey.

        Contact - Who should be contacted with questions about the survey?

        Participating in this communication effort is extremely important! It benefits both those conducting and those receiving surveys if we do our survey research in a coordinated way.


        Alternatives to Surveys

        Due to SCC's small student population, over surveying can lead to Survey Fatigue. This happens when participants are asked to complete meaningless survey questions and/or asking participants about routine behavior or actions they probably don't track.

        IRP&E Staff

        Marc Roy
        Assistant Dean of Institutional Research & Planning
        P: 856.351.2680

        Samantha Brewer
        Coordinator of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment
        P: 856.351.2608

        Elivin Mendez
        Institutional Analyst
        P: 856.351.2614