IT Services and Institutional Research


The HSSU Division of IT Services is committed to fulfilling its role in supporting the technology needs of the University’s faculty, staff, students, alumni, and administration. Our decisions and actions are rooted in the idea that we cannot complete our departmental mission if we are not contributing substantially the institution’s mission. To that end, our primary goal is to help facilitate the teaching and learning process of instructors and students in higher education. We do this by striving to provide excellent core technology and support for systems and processes we manage.
IT Services supports a number of technology initiatives, including the University's Internet and intranet presence, the University's email system, MYHSSU/eLearning, media creation, and various other services. IT Services is also the primary provider for campus networking, computer software and hardware maintenance for University-owned computers. Help Desk services for faculty, staff, and students may be requested by contacting us at (314)340-3327 or emailing helpdesk@hssu.edu.

Office of Institutional  Research
The Office of Institutional Research (IR) is a function within the Division of IT Services. The primary purpose of IR is to provide data to stakeholders which helps to better understand overall institutional effectiveness.
The duties of the Office of Institutional Research include (but are not limited to) the following: 
  • Development of reports that inform progress in the institution’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Submission of accurate data to federal, state, and local entities (e.g. The National Center for Education Statistics, The Missouri Department of Higher Education, The Higher Learning Commission)
  • Respond to internal inquiries that assist constituent stakeholders in making data-informed decisions

The Relationship Between Information Technology/Institutional Research and Assessment:

While the Division of Information Technology and the Office of Institutional Research consult on various aspects of the institution’s assessment activities, the primary role of IT/IR is to provide complementary data that support the institution’s assessment practices. Individual academic units, support units, and formalized committees develop and maintain assessment plans that are consistent with University assessment goals; IT/IR provide data that assists units in evaluating performance trends of those goals.

One of the largest areas of data collection focuses on student outcomes. Therefore, current students and graduates of HSSU are strongly encouraged to cooperate with the institution’s assessment efforts to improve  the quality of the education of future students. Student confidentiality is continuously and carefully maintained during assessment and data-collection efforts.

Harris-Stowe is committed to the use of evaluative processes to enhance the improvement of student learning. The institution, as a whole, as well as individual academic departments, has selected formal and informal methods to assess student performance and program effectiveness including:

  • Standardized tests
  • Standardized surveys
  • Institutional and departmental opinion surveys for current students, alumni, and employers of alumni
  • Content area exams
  • Performance-based or authentic assessment

Authentic assessment involves students in complex, open-ended tasks that have real-life problem-solving implications that require higher-order thinking and the integration of knowledge. Authentic assessments also model for instructors and students the expected standards by which the learning will be judged. The assessments may consist of:

  • Oral interviews
  • Journals
  • Portfolios of written works
  • Demonstrations
  • Presentations, group problem-solving tasks
  • Case-study reports
  • Videos

Authentic assessments can accommodate students with varying abilities, learning styles, cultural backgrounds and experiential backgrounds.

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