The Institutional Effectiveness, Planning, and Assessment Department at Essex County College is dedicated to supporting the College in its mission to serve the needs of the community through comprehensive educational programs and services.


The Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning, and Assessment (IEPA) provides leadership and guidance on continual quality improvement efforts throughout the College at both institutional and until levels.  IEPA consists of four core areas of the College’s operations: institutional research, strategic planning, assessment, and accreditation.  In addition to providing leadership in these core areas through evidence-based practice, IEPA simultaneously seeks to ensure that all planning and improvement processes are simultaneously designed to produce clear, demonstrable evidence of this work to external constituents such as accreditors, State and Federal governing bodies, and the public.  To this end, IEPA serves both an internal and external function:

  • To ensure Essex County College is a data-informed institution that is able to make well-informed, evidence-based decisions that continually improve institutional effectiveness, program effectiveness, teaching/learning processes, and the whole of the student experience [internal function]
  • To ensure Essex County College is a data-integrated institution that collects, organizes, and records planning and assessment activities in a manner that produces clear and demonstrable evidence of this work for accreditors, State and Federal governing bodies, and the public [external function]


In support and advancement of the Mission, Vision, and Values of Essex County College, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning, and Assessment (IEPA) exist to meet the following goals:

  1. provide decision-makers with timely, accurate, and relevant information through the use of data analytics, targeted research methods, and leadership in data governance; [Institutional Research]
  2. serve as the official source of census-based institutional information for external reporting to stakeholders such as accreditors, State and Federal agencies, and the public; [Institutional Research]
  3. facilitate continuous institutional improvement by providing leadership in the development and implementation of strategic planning efforts and initiatives; [Strategic Planning]
  4. provide leadership, support, and systematic processes for the assessment of student learning, programmatic effectiveness, student support units, administrative areas, and all other aspects of the College related to the student experience; [Assessment]
  5. provide leadership and oversight that ensures compliance with regional accreditation standards and support for professionally accredited programs; [Accreditation]

AIR Code Of Ethics

Essex County College’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning, and Assessment adheres to the Association for Institutional Research’s (AIR) Code of Ethics. The code of ethics can be found below:

We act with integrity:

  • We recognize the consequences of our work. The analytic algorithms and applications we build and/or implement, as well as the policy decisions incorporating information we analyze and disseminate, impact people and situations.
  • We acknowledge that the individuals whose information we use have rights, derived from both legal and ethical principles that can cross national borders.
  • We make intentional efforts to protect their information from misuse or use that could cause them harm. We protect privacy and maintain confidentiality when collecting, compiling, analyzing, and disseminating information.
  • We act as responsible data stewards. We secure the data and information over which we have control, following generally accepted guidelines and professional standards for physical and electronic security and data sharing.
  • We provide accurate and contextualized information. We do not knowingly or intentionally mislead the consumers of our information.
  • We deliver information and analyses appropriate to the questions being asked, to the quality of the data available, and to the context in which the questions are asked.
  • We seek to be fair and transparent, minimizing our own personal biases in our research assumptions, methodologies, and conclusions.
  • We avoid conflicts of interest, and disclose them when unavoidable, particularly with third parties and vendors. We act in the best interests of our institutions, students, and stakeholders.
  • We strive to make our work accessible to those who need data, information, and analysis to generate insight and make decisions.
  • We share knowledge of the Institutional Research field and its application so we may facilitate insights and promote common understanding to our institutions and stakeholders.
  • We value lifelong learning and the enhancement of our field. We draw on and contribute to relevant and emerging scholarship and educate ourselves on developing trends. We utilize those methods and techniques for which we have, or can obtain, appropriate knowledge and capabilities.


Institutional Effectiveness, Planning & Assessment
A. Zachary Yamba Building, Room 4172
303 University Ave.
Newark, NJ 07102

Main Phone: (973) 877-1879

John Runfeldt
Executive Director, Institutional Effectiveness, Planning & Assessment
Room 4172F
Phone: (973) 877-3078
Email: [email protected]

Noushig Ohanian
Associate Director, Institutional Research
Room 4172E
Phone: (973) 877-3086
Email: [email protected]

Alexa Kirkpatrick
Research Coordinator, Institutional Effectiveness, Planning & Assessment
Room 4172D
(973) 877-4345
[email protected]

Lisa Padilla
Senior Assessment Coordinator, Institutional Effectiveness, Planning & Assessment
Room 4172
(973) 877-1879
[email protected]