About Institutional Research, Analysis, & Assessment

What do we do?

Data Requests

We frequently fulfill requests for data. If you are interested in obtaining college data, please first check the data available on our site (more coming soon!). If you are not able to locate what you need, contact our department via a Data Request. If we can’t fulfill your request we will help direct you to the proper resource.


Planning a survey and need help developing it? We can help! Institutional Research is primarily involved with coordinating and administering large scale, centrally focused surveys, such as the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE). We also conduct our own surveys and our experts can assist in the design of surveys for a variety of purposes.


OIR is responsible for providing official college statistics and data definitions. We also contribute to the broader search for knowledge and policy analysis in an effort to continuously improve student success, institutional performance, and equitable outcomes ay SCTCC.


Our staff consists of highly trained and experienced professionals who are experts in data extraction, data collection and analysis, policy analysis, and research methods. We utilize and analyze data provided by internal and external sources to answer important questions about how our institution is performing and serving students.

Who are we?

Dr. Christopher A. Thoms

Director of Institutional Research
HSB 142B
Phone: 320.308.5382
e-mail: christopher.thoms@sctcc.edu

Christopher earned his B.S. in Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Management from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point in 1995, his M.S. in Forest Sciences at Colorado State University in 1997, and his Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environment from the University of Michigan in 2004. His interdisciplinary background is best summed up as environmental sociology. In 1997-98 Christopher served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal and later decided to conduct his Ph.D. dissertation research in Nepal. After completing his Ph.D., Christopher taught sociology and environmental studies at a variety of colleges including SCSU and CSB-SJU. During that time he published several articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented at numerous conferences. Before joining the Office of Institutional Research, Christopher was a research associate at the University of Minnesota. Our Director of Institutional Research has many years of experience in higher education and extensive experience in research design and data analysis.

Apurva D. Desai, Data Analyst

Office: HSB 142C
Phone: 320.308.5032
e-mail: apurva.desai@sctcc.edu

Apurva earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering with a major in Telecommunications from the University of Mumbai, India in 2012 and his M.S. in Information Systems at California State University, Fullerton in 2018. From 2012-2016, Apurva served as a Business Intelligence Analyst for Accenture Services, India. Before joining the Office of Institutional Research, Apurva was a SQL developer assistant at California State University, Fullerton. Our Data Analyst has 5 years of experience in Technology, Retail and Higher Education and expertise in SQL, Data analysis, Machine Learning Algorithms, and Artificial Intelligence.