Statistical Tools for Higher Education in a World of Accreditation, Assessment, and Accountability

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The importance of conducting educational research and gleaning accurate data from programs and processes in higher education is on the rise, thanks in part to accreditation, assessment, and accountability movements. In light of the advancement of these concepts in the postsecondary education environment, it is necessary for administrators, faculty, and staff to collect quantitative and qualitative data and, more importantly, conduct appropriate statistical analyses and present the data and subsequent results to various constituencies. Although many who are asked to conduct such research may not have received a broad statistical training, there are many programs available to aid in their data analysis endeavors. This paper will compare several programs, including SPSS, Statistica, and Mathematica, and provide recommendations for use within the realm of higher education.


Keywords: Higher Education, Statistical Software Packages
Stream: Technology in Education
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: , Statistical Tools for Higher Education in a World of Accreditation, Assessment, and Accountability


Assoc. Prof. Lori A. Wolff

Associate Professor, Leadership and Counselor Education, The University of Mississippi
University, Mississippi, USA

Dr. Wolff is an associate professor at The University of Mississippi within the Department of Leadership and Counselor Education. She is a faculty member within the Higher Education graduate program, but teaches several statistics and research courses. During her more than fifteen years in higher education, she has been a faculty member and student affairs administrator. She has bachelors and masters degree in mathematics from Creighton University, and PhD in higher education/student personnel, as well as a J.D., both from Saint Louis University.

Deborah Worley

Graduate Student in Higher Education, The University of Mississippi
University, Mississippi, USA

Ms. Deborah Worley is a second year doctoral student in Higher Education in the Department of Leadership and Counselor Education at The University of Mississippi. She works closely with faculty members in her academic department providing course support and assisting with research initiatives. Her research interests include technology in student affairs, assessment and evaluation, and career pathways of student affairs administrators. Ms. Worley holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Science degree from the University of Georgia and the University of Tennessee, respectively. Prior to attending The University of Mississippi, she worked for six years as a student affairs administrator at Cornell University and Bowling Green State University.

Ref: T08P0031