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.

Institutional Effectiveness

Institutional effectiveness (IE) is a collaborative process in which Frederick Community College (“FCC” or “the College”) engages in sustained, evidence-based, and participatory assessment and evaluation to examine how effectively it is accomplishing the mission, goals, and objectives of the College strategic plan, and the desired outcomes of its programs and services.

The report highlights planning, budgeting, evaluation, and assessment activities across the College that are measured, documented, and confirmed annually through several general processes: Regional Accreditation, Federal and State Reporting, Academic Program Review, Course Level Assessment, Non-Academic Program Review, and assessment of the Goals in the College 5-year strategic plan. The report also includes examples of in-house assessment requests and reports that were completed for the requisite fiscal year.

The report is prepared annually. To review all available reports, please visit our Reports Archive.


Health Indicators

FCC Health Indicators

The FCC Health Indicators provide information on Institutional Effectiveness in key indicator areas for the College. This is a longitudinal overview of FCC. The report is prepared each year. To review all available reports, please visit our Reports Archive.


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2022 - 2023 Health Indicators

Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC)

Performance Accountability Report

The Performance Accountability Report summarizes the performance of the College in relation to the goals outlined in the Maryland State Plan for Postsecondary Education (MSP). Data reported in the latest evidence of progress towards benchmarks approved by the FCC Board of Trustees (BOT). The report is approved by the BOT and submitted to the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC).

The report is prepared periodically. To review all available reports, please visit our Reports Archive.


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2023 Performance
Accountability Report



Mission Statement Review Report

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) provide guidelines and set clear expectations related to mission statements, goals, and objectives that frame the strategic plans of accredited institutions of higher education. The summary below is a direct quote from the report submitted by the MSCHE visiting evaluation team to the Middle States Commissioners.

This report is updated periodically when the mission statement is reviewed. To review all available reports, please visit our Reports Archive.


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Mission Review Report



Cultural Diversity Report Report

Since 1957, FCC has prepared an increasingly diverse student body to complete their goals of workforce preparation, transfer, career development, and personal enrichment. As an institution, Frederick Community College is fully committed to the goal of inclusive excellence; that in order to be excellent—as an institution and as individuals—we must be inclusive. An inclusive institution promotes and sustains a sense of belonging. It values and practices respect for the talents, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of living of the members of the College Community. The Cultural Diversity Report outlines the significant diversity, equity, and inclusing achievements of the college.

The report is prepared annually. To review all available reports, please visit our Reports Archive.


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Cultural Diversity Report

Department of Education

Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)


"The completion of all IPEDS surveys, in a timely and accurate manner, is mandatory for all institutions that participate or are applicants for participation in any Federal financial assistance program authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. The completion of the surveys is mandated by 20 USC 1094, Section 487(a)(17).” This link provides more information.

The report is prepared annually. To review all available reports, please visit our Reports Archive.


Facilities Master Plan

Facilities Master Plan Report


The Facility Master Plan is the product of a planning process that is framed by, among other elements, the College’s Mission, Strategic Plan, and the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. The process looks back, takes stock of current circumstances, and makes recommendations projecting to the 10-year planning horizon and beyond.

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View the Facilities Master Plan

Transfer & Retention

Transfer Report


FCC regularly collects data from the National Student Clearinghouse on students who have transferred to higher education institutions nationwide. The Transfer Report Communicates the number of students transferring to Maryland or out-of-state institutions by gender and race/ethnicity.

The report is prepared annually. To review all available reports, please visit our Reports Archive.




Retention Rate Report


The Retention Rate Reports provide data on the number of FCC students returning year after year. Data showcases retention by enrollment status, gender, race, degree, reason for attending, and first time students.

The reports are prepared annually. To review all available reports, please visit our Reports Archive.



Fall 2022 Cohort -Tracking retention for students starting in Fall 2022




Fall 2021 Cohort -Tracking retention for students starting in Fall 2021



Fall 2020 Cohort -Tracking retention for students starting in Fall 2020


NACC Survey Results ​


Title IX Sexual Harassment Climate Reports

To review all available reports, please visit our 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.


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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