ASU offers new graduate certificate in institutional research and policy analysis

Data is everywhere, and education professionals are increasingly being asked to interpret and make decisions about it. Whether working in schools, districts, nonprofits or other education-oriented organizations, it is essential for these professionals to become skilled in data analysis – and Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College is providing them a solution.

The college’s recently launched Certificate in Institutional Research and Policy Analysis offers degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking graduate students at Arizona State University the opportunity to increase their abilities to understand and analyze educational data and gain a marketable credential.

“People working in school settings are bombarded with data that they need to prioritize and decipher,” said Jeanne M. Powers, an associate professor in Teachers College. “This certificate offers them hands-on training in how to systematically analyze and interpret data to inform their practice.”

The program is designed to help participants present reliable and pertinent data to administrators, glean insights from that data to make effective decisions and improve student achievement and other outcomes.

Students in the program solve real problems by critically assessing education programs and policies, and engaging in data-driven decision-making. They are encouraged to draw upon data from their schools or organizations to make lessons more meaningful. 

This approach offers educators an important and relevant professional development experience. “It helps them understand and work with the massive amounts of data they encounter every day in their professional lives,” said David Garcia, an associate professor in Teachers College.

The certificate program, which is accepting applications for fall 2014, is offered on ASU’s Tempe campus. It may be completed within two semesters through a series of five hybrid courses that include both online and face-to-face instruction. It does not lead to a professional certification or endorsement by the Arizona Department of Education.