Office of Planning, Assessment, and Institutional Research Office of Planning, Assessment, and Institutional Research

Office of Planning, Assessment, and Institutional Research

The Mission of the Office of Planning, Assessment, and Institutional Research (OPAIR) is to support the College strategic plan, the "closing the assessment loop" efforts, and respond to internal and external reporting needed for Frederick Community College to be effective.OPAIR supports a culture of inquiry in which Frederick Community College (FCC) engages in sustained, evidence-based planning, assessment, evaluation, and decision-making. In addition, OPAIR facilitates the development of creative and effective methods to assess and improve student learning and institutional effectiveness by:

  • Completing and submitting federal, state, and accreditation compliance reports accurately and on time;
  • Managing research activities by providing meaningful and accurate data with  visualizations to tell the story for the overall effectiveness of the College;
  • Collaborating with the College community to support, coordinate, and provide directionality for FCC planning processes;
  • Ensuring the efficacy of College research and institutional effectiveness through "closing the assessment loop" efforts;
  • Facilitating the development, execution, and data presentation for College surveys

Research is prioritized by the following hierarchy:

  • Mandatory federal, state, programmatic accreditation, and institutional accreditation through the Middle States Commission for Higher Education reporting
  • Requests from the Board of Trustees, the President's Office, or Senior Leadership Team members
  • Grant related requests
  • Research and reporting that supports strategic planning or institutional priorities and their execution
  • Reports for evaluating academic programs and student support services
  • Internal requests from the College community
  • External Public Information Act requests
  • Requests that the FCC Institutional Review Board has approved
  • Urgent requests from the President or senior leaders may take precedence over the order of priority.

OPAIR Process:

The general process for most data, surveys, and research requests begins after receiving a virtual request form that is available to all staff and faculty via Communication Central. The process generally includes the following steps:

  • The submission is assigned to the appropriate researcher upon receiving the request form. Requests may be assigned to any member of the OPAIR team. However, internal requests are generally completed by the Senior Research for Institutional Effectiveness and external requests by the Senior Researcher for Institutional Research and Compliance.
  • The assigned researcher meets with the requesting party to determine a timeline and deliverable(s) for the request.
  • Once the deliverables are completed, they are provided to the requestor for review and feedback. Once agreed upon, the deliverables are finalized.
  • Where feasible and beneficial, depending upon the nature of the deliverables, some information may be placed on the OPAIR website or the IE intranet site on the  Communication Central page for external or internal consumption. The researcher and the OPAIR staff make this determination.

Reports that are routine, annualized, or required in periodic and predictable intervals are completed based on the External Compliance Reporting Schedule, which can be accessed by employees on the Institutional Effectiveness Team page on Communication Central.

Student Profile


person icon 7,650 Credit Students Served 5,041Continuing Education &
Workforce Development (CEWD) Student Served
pie chart 12,351 Total Students Served 59% Credit Only 38% CEWD Only 3% Both Credit & CEWD
graduation cap 921 Credit Program Graduate/Year
globe 39 Countries of Origin
Frederick County 91% of Students are from Frederick County


Credit Students, Fall 2022:


pie chart icon 29% Full-time Students 71% Part-time Students
male-female 56% Female Students 43% Male Students 1% Non-Binary Students
pie chart 25% First-Generation College Students (Self-Report)
dollar sign hand 33% of Students Receive Financial Aid
pie chart 30% of FCPS Graduates Attend FCC

Student Outcomes

Spring and Fall 2022 82%Course Completion Rate
Spring and Fall 2022
Within 3 Years of Entry First-time, full-time, degree seeking students, Fall 2019 - Spring 2022 33% Graduation Rate
Within 3 Years of Entry
First-time, full-time,
degree seeking students,
Fall 2019 - Spring 2022
Within 3 Years of Entry First-time, full-time, degree seeking students, Fall 2019 - Spring 2022 20% Transfer Rate
Within 3 Years of Entry
First-time, full-time,
degree seeking students,
Fall 2019 - Spring 2022
Fall 2021 to Fall 2022 61% Fall-to-Fall Retention Rate
Fall 2021 to Fall 2022



Associate Degree and Certificate Graduates by Fiscal Year FY19: 915 Graduates, FY20: 910 Graduates, FY21: 957 Graduates, FY22: 931 Graduates
Income Growth of Career Program Graduates FY16 Graduates: $17,052 / $43,392, 
FY17 Graduates: $19,200 / $44,968, 
FY18 Graduates: $22,752 / $44,552,
FY19 Graduates: $20,800 / $51,488

Institutional Effectiveness


Semester Credit Enrollment Student Profile

Health Indicators

Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC)

Department of Education

Transfer & Retention

Reports Archive

Frederick Community College is guided by a five-year strategic plan, FCC Forward, 2020-2025 that promotes, nurtures, and supports the mission, vision, and values of the College. The 2024 Annual Strategic Priorities are aligned with specific Goals of FCC Forward 2020-2025 and direct budgeted resources and attention to efforts that the College has prioritized to yield critical, measurable outcomes that will move the College forward in FY 2024.


Strategic Plan Cover Strategic Planning Process cover Strategic Planning Process cover



Frederick Community College supports research in higher education and the free exchange of ideas.

The purpose of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects for all research that is conducted at the College. The IRB reviews and approves all internal and external research requests that are not conducted as part of official College business. This Policy and Procedures does not apply to research conducted as part of class instruction, unless the research entails more than minimal risk to human subjects.

Institutional Review Board Policy and Procedure

Human Subject Participants Application


Contact Information

Gohar Farahani, Ph.D.
Executive Director of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness
Office: A 209 A
Phone: 301.846.2451

Cheoleon Lee, Ph.D.
Senior Researcher, Institutional Research and Compliance
Office: J-312 F
Phone: 240.629.7992

Kevin J. Martin, Ph.D.
Senior Researcher, Institutional Effectiveness
Office: A 208
Phone: 301.846.2621

Andrea Matthews
Research Analyst
Office: A 209B
Phone: 301-846.2665