Chapter One:  Administrative Affairs

Procedure Title:  Data Collection and Distribution
Based On:  Board Policies
Procedure Number:  1.08
Date Adopted/Revised:  May 24, 2010; June 16, 2014

Policy Statement:

In an effort to maintain the accuracy and consistency of information regarding South Arkansas Community College, standard procedures will be followed for the collection, release, and distribution of data concerning the College, its students, or its programs.


Four types of administrative information or documents are considered below, each with its own set of procedural guidelines.

  1. Results of Surveys of Individuals
  2. Regulatory Data
  3. Information Requests for Commercial and Educational Research
  4. College Documents

Unless otherwise stated, the approval noted below is through the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Advancement. Some data may need to be submitted to the South Arkansas Community College Institutional Review Board if data collection is from or about human subjects and intended for publication or presentation outside of the College.

I. Surveys of Individuals

Surveys will be conducted throughout the year at Arkansas Community College in order to better understand the students, faculty, staff, and the community. In an effort to protect the privacy of these parties, the following regulations have been put in place.

        1. External surveys conducted by South Arkansas Community College and its personnel for both internal and external usage require approval of the survey tool prior to its release. All surveys conducted through alumni are considered external.
        2. If data from an internally conducted survey is intended for use in publicly available documents, including but not limited to grants, accreditation documentation, or posting on the South Arkansas Community College website; approval of the survey tool must be sought prior to release of the data. In order to secure approval, the survey collection method must ensure the privacy of the respondents and must not include questions requesting restricted information. If potentially restricted information is needed, the approval process may require documentation of data storage and restrictions on usage. Following approval, the group conducting a survey is responsible for the management and release of the data collected.
        3. Results will only be released as summaries and respondents should neither be identified nor an individual response set published.
        4. Summary results may be made available on request to any persons who completed the survey with the exception of information related to personnel review such as course and performance evaluations.
        5. Summary results of surveys may be made available to members of the College community upon request with the exception of information related to personnel review and information deemed sensitive. Release of requested summaries for public documentation requires additional approval unless explicitly stated on the report cover page.
        6. Data files from surveys are not to be released either internally or externally except under special circumstances requiring the signatures of the executive cabinet and the Chief Institutional Effectiveness and Advancement Officer.

Personal Information Guidelines

Restricted (Never to be collected)
social security number
bank account numbers
driver license numbers
health and insurance policy numbers

Potentially Restricted (Requires prior approval)
college ID number
full names
phone numbers
vehicle identification numbers
salary, benefits, deduction information
transcripts, grades, test scores

II. Regulatory Data

Data requested by or submitted to federal, state, consortia, and accrediting bodies must be approved prior to release of said data with the exception of established yearly reports such as those requested from the registrar and fiscal affairs. In order to ensure the accuracy, documentation of the data collection procedure is required. Prior approval of the collection method will expedite the process. If notice is given of impending reporting dates, it is requested that they be submitted along with the collection method to minimize potential time conflicts. Release of data provided to these agencies is governed by their information release policies and dates. Much of this information is public and may be freely used and distributed following release by the requesting agency. Request for this data prior to its publication must be approved before its release or usage.

III. Information Requests for Commercial and Educational Research Purposes

South Arkansas Community College receives and responds to many requests from commercial organizations, such as publishers of guidebooks and journals.

        1. Due to their public release, any data entered into these surveys must be approved before submission and any narrative content must be approved by the SouthArk Office of Marketing and Communications.
        2. Requests from other institutions or educational organizations will require the same approval process as commercial surveys.
        3. Requests from individuals outside of the College concerning data for educational research should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Advancement. In the case of information requested from the Registrar, it is the job of that office to comply with FERPA guidelines. Questionable requests will be forwarded to the Executive Cabinet for a final decision.
        4. Requests from individuals outside of the College wishing to survey SouthArk students, staff, or faculty must receive permission and assistance from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Advancement. They will be required to submit a copy of the survey tool and demonstrate data collection practices consistent with the internal requirements of the College.

IV. College Documents

Reports and documents produced at South Arkansas Community College for public release will note a range of distribution on the cover page and should be referenced directly if content has been quoted. When referencing data from these reports, it is the intention of the compilers that anyone using the data will note both method of data gathering and timeframe. For example, if quoting a retention rate, it is important to note both the year to which it applies and the portion of the student population that was used to determine it.