Annual Survey Reporting

The Office of Institutional Research responds to external survey requests and conducts internal surveys continuously throughout the year. Many of these surveys are are vital to meeting standards of compliance and accessment, while others are for commercial use.  Descriptions of these surveys and the organizations that request them are provided below. 

ACE (American Council on Education)

“Seeks to influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives.” Publishes a directory of information marketed to high school guidance counselors and librarians.


Administers the ACT college entrance exam and publishes resource information on colleges and universities for high school students.

AIR (Association for Institutional Research) 

AIR is the national association of institutional research professionals. SAIR (Southern Association for Institutional Research) is Lipscomb's regional association and TENNAIR (Tennessee Association for Institutional Research) is the state association. AIR comprises more than 3,100 institutional researchers, planners, and decision-makers from higher education institutions around the world. 


A well-known resource & guidebook on American colleges and universities. 

CCCU (Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities)

The CAP is conducted by CCCU each year.  Members (Lipscomb is one of their 102 members) can choose to offer various assessments through CCCU’s CAP (Comprehensive Assessment Program), a collaborative research effort.  CCCU members enjoy a 15% discount on Noel-Levitz assessment instruments. In addition, the CCCU provides executive summaries on each survey.


College Board

College Board tests include the SAT, AP, and CLEP. High School students can go to for general information on colleges and universities.

College Scope

Financial resource published by the Financial Publishing Company that includes university information on tuition, room & board, fields of study, entrance tests required, admissions policies, and contact info.

GSS (Graduate Student Survey)

Lipscomb’s internally developed survey administered 2x annually: in November for December graduates, and in April for May/August graduates.  In addition to the main GSS, there are shorter departmental surveys for each major.  This survey is conducted in lieu of the CSS (College Student Survey) that is offered by the CCCU. 

Higher Education Directory

Published by Higher Education Publications, Inc. This is a listing of administrative contacts in universities' departments and programs.

IPEDS (Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System)

Federal government report of highest priority. Sections due 3x annually:

· Fall – Institutional ID, Institutional Characteristics, Completions

· Winter – Employees by Assigned Position, Salaries, Fall Staff

· Spring – Enrollment, Finance, Financial Aid, Graduation Rates

IPS (Institutional Priorities Survey)

Linked to the SSI & offered through Noel-Levitz.


Graduation rates reported annually. John Ezell, in Athletics, fills out this report.

NCES (National Center for Education Statistics)

Provides IPEDS data for research purposes.


Administers the SSI and IPS. Provides benchmarking and national comparisons.

NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement)

Annual survey (begins in fall and runs through spring) administered by Indiana University. Used for benchmarking and national comparisons.


Thomson Peterson’s is a leading provider of information on higher education – colleges, universities, grad programs, test prep, scholarship programs and financial aid.

Princeton Review

The Princeton Review is a premier information provider to high school students. They also publish guidebooks and admissions test resources.

SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools)

The regional accreditation agency for an 11-state region that includes Tennessee.  Lipscomb responds to an institutional profile survey each winter and a financial profile each summer. It also goes through a re-accreditation process with SACS every ten years.

SSI (Student Satisfaction Inventory)

Offered through Noel-Levitz. An institution can opt to use the SSI as part of the CAP initiative with CCCU. Lipscomb administers the SSI each year through the CCCU. It serves as a benchmarking tool in SACS accreditation and provides important feedback to the university.

TICUA (Tennessee Independent Colleges & Universities Association)

Requires reports on enrollment 3x annually – fall, spring, summer.  Also requires an annual report on completions, due every June.  Especially important for tracking participants in the TELS (Tennessee Educational Loittery Scholarship) program. 

US News & World Report

The most widely publicized higher education guidebook and ranking of colleges & universities. Lipscomb is in the “Regional University South" ranking category. The latest edition of US News' America's Best Colleges ranked the Regional Universities South as follows:


1. Rollins College (FL)

2. Elon University (NC)

T3. James Madison University (VA)

T3. Stetson University (FL)

5. Belmont University (TN)

15. Union University (TN)

T18. Lipscomb University (TN)

T18. Queens Univesity of Charlotte (NC)

20. Harding University (AR)

21. Christian Brothers University (TN)

29. Tennessee Technological University

39. Freed-Hardeman University (TN)

T47. University of Tennessee-Chattanooga

T47. University of Tennessee-Martin


Ranking indicators include:

  • Peer assessment – greatest weight (25%).
  • Retention – freshmen and graduate retention.
  • Faculty resources – 6 factors: proportion of classes with 20 or fewer students; proportion with 50 or more; faculty salary; number of professors with highest degree; student-faculty ratio; and proportion of faculty full-time.
  • Student selectivity – freshmen scores, ACT, SAT, rank, acceptance rate, ratio of those applying and those admitted.
  • Financial resources – per student spending on instruction, research, student services, and related educational expenditures.
  • Grad rate performance – difference between actual grad rate and projected grad rate; if grad rate is higher, the school is doing well.
  • Alumni giving rate – an indirect measure of satisfaction.



Matt Rehbein
Director of Institutional Research

Computer Center, 153C