FSU and USF Researchers and IR Experts Present at 2024 AIR Forum

College of Communication and Information Research Specialist Dr. Faye Jones traveled to Denver, Colorado, to co-present at the 2024 Association for Institutional Research (AIR) Forum Conference from May 28-31.

Dr. Faye Jones
Dr. Faye Jones

The AIR Forum Annual Conference is the largest global gathering of higher education professionals who build and support data-informed decision cultures. After several years of attending and participating in conjunction with FSU’s Institutional Research (IR) Office, this year marked the first time Jones presented in a panel, titled “IR to Inform Funded Research and Evaluation Projects.”

Accompanying Jones were Dr. Rick Burnette, FSU Associate Provost for Strategy and Analytics, who moderated the panel; Heather Epstein-Diaz, FSU Director of Data Governance and Analytic Services; and Dr. Will Tyson, Professor of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences at the University of South Florida who served as project evaluator. The team discussed the U.S. National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Advanced Technological Education ATE project (#2000799). Titled “Backtracking CTE Pathways: Identifying and Investigating Pathways and Critical Junctures in Two-Year Information Technology Programs,” the grant was awarded to Florida State University in partnership with Tallahassee Community College (TCC,) now Tallahassee State College. The project is informed by institutional research that explores the outcomes of alumni and the facilitators and hindrances in the pathways of computing and technology majors.

Photo by Lee Howell

Jones led two parts of the panel, highlighting the backtracking technique they used to explore pathways for alumni at TCC to get into Information Technology and Computer Science-related degrees. She detailed the four layers of her research, including the process of collecting IR college data, surveying alumni to gather transfer and employment data, conducting interviews to understand exploratory pathways, and the analysis of this data using a comprehensive dashboard.

FSU project team members include Principal Investigator Dr. Marcia A. Mardis, Senior Personnel Dr. Rick Burnette and Associate Dean Ebe Randeree, and Project Coordinator Michelle Kudelka. The TCC project team consists of Provost Calandra Stringer, VP of Institutional Research and Effectiveness Dr. Lei Wang, and Project Coordinator Dr. Arlisha F. McQueen.

Congratulations to the Backtracking Teams at FSU and TCC for their successful panel presentation at the AIR Forum 2024.