Contact Us


Fax: 202-885-1195

Froslid Jones, Karen
Assistant Provost, Institutional Research and Assessment

Leonard, Room 1st floor on a map

Institutional Rsch / Assessmt 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016-8059 United States

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OIRA Surveys

The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment has developed a comprehensive survey program designed to gather information about student backgrounds, and their experiences while enrolled and after they graduate from American University. In addition, student satisfaction and evaluation information is also collected. Under Results, you can find information from across the different surveys. Below that, there are descriptions of each of the surveys that are a part of the program.

Here is an report on the most recent survey results, entitled Building an Inclusive Campus Community at American University (pdf). There is also an infographic (pdf) on this topic. You will need an AU login to access these document.

All first-time full-time freshmen are asked to complete the Freshmen Census during their first week at American University. This national freshmen survey, affiliated with the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at UCLA, gathers information on many different aspects of previous experience as well as expectations for college. Because the survey is administered to thousands of freshmen across the country, it provides valuable comparative information as well. Traditionally, the results of this survey receive attention in the national media. American University is a charter member of the HERI Cooperative Institutional Research Project and participated in this survey every year since its inception in 1973. AU last participated in this survey in fall 2018.

The Campus Climate Survey has been conducted by the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment since 1992. The survey is used to collect data about student satisfaction with various aspects of campus life. The survey was substantially revised in 2017. It was last conducted in spring 2019.

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) asks students at hundreds of colleges and universities to reflect on the time they devote to various learning activities. The topics explored are linked to previous research on student success in college. The survey is administered to new freshmen students and seniors.

What is engagement, according to NSSE?

Student engagement represents two critical features of collegiate quality. The first is the amount of time and effort students put into their studies and other educationally purposeful activities. The second is how the institution deploys its resources and organizes the curriculum and other learning opportunities to get students to participate in activities that decades of research studies show are linked to student learning.

American University participates in NSSE every other year, most recently in Spring 2018. You can contact the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment at for more information, or visit

The Graduation Census is administered to all students who apply for graduation. It asks students for information regarding their employment and graduate school plans. The Graduation Census also asks to what extent the AU experience developed student skills and abilities in a number of areas. Finally, the survey asks about the student's level of satisfaction with academic program and overall experience at AU.

For more detailed results, see the We Know Success, which allows you to filter results at the school and program levels.

Surveys @ AU

The Assistant Provost of Institutional Research and Assessment, Karen Froslid Jones, coordinates survey research activity on campus. If you are interested in surveying members of the AU community, please contact Karen at (202)885-6155 or as soon as possible prior to conducting your research.

If your survey is for research purposes, as opposed to assessing your services or program, you may need to submit your proposal to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to conducting your research. To learn more about the IRB, what types of research require IRB proposal or to submit a proposal, please go to the Institutional Review Board.