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An Introduction to Lehman College’s Interactive Fact Book


Effective institutions of higher learning define themselves through their mission, goals, interactions with constituencies, and in their internal and public documents. Reliance on data can serve as the glue that binds an institution to its promises and provides it with the agility to proactively respond to internal and external opportunities and challenges. In short, if it is leveraged and shared appropriately, data can connect an institution to its environment and stakeholders and the people within an institution to one another. Common references among the data—FTEs, retention rates, full-time/first-time freshmen, among others—can also promote clearer communication and greater understanding that spans departmental boundaries within colleges and universities.

Under the leadership of Director of Institutional Research & Planning, Dr. Susanne Tumelty, Associate Director Michael Goldberg, Senior Analyst Yajaira Alvarez, and Administrative Coordinator Alejandra Rodriguez, Lehman College’s Office of Institutional Research and Planning makes available an interactive version of its annual Fact Book.

The interactive fact book allows users to access information related to student enrollment, majors enrollment, student credit hours, undergraduate and graduate degrees granted, undergraduate and graduate graduation rates, faculty profiles, and staff profiles.

Once one clicks on one of the options, for example, “Majors Enrollment,” one is taken to a screen displaying a range of data relevant to that option. In this case, the default screen provides enrollment data for all undergraduate program titles that fall under the School of Arts and Humanities.

Users can then make changes in the categories (class level, school name, department name, and college program title) to customize their display. For example, one can select the undergraduate class level; the School of Natural & Social Sciences; the Economics, Accounting & Business Administration department; and, the Accounting and Economics college program titles. The end result is below:

As with the .PDF version of the Fact Book, users can print the data. However, users also have the options to share, download, or display the data in a full screen format. Data can be shared through an embedded code, hyperlink and over Facebook and Twitter. Data can currently be downloaded in .PDF format or saved as an image.

The publicly-available Interactive Fact Book provides concrete evidence that a range of vital and reliable data is available to the College’s internal and external stakeholders. Easy access to that data can facilitate the institution’s assessment practices and processes in promoting improvement in academic programs, student services, and overall institutional effectiveness.

Finally, the Interactive Fact Book is an ever-evolving document. The Office of Institutional Research and Planning is responsive to user data needs and incorporates suggestions that add value to the Interactive Fact Book.