Research at WCTC

Institutional Review of Research (Human Subjects Review)

Research and evaluation studies may be conducted by college staff or by outside consultants under the direction of and with prior approval from the Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness (IRE). Such studies must be mindful of the rights of individuals and be conducted according to standards established by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in 45 CFR 46. Research is defined as any activity that obtains generalizable data or obtains data for any purpose other than measurement of student performance for the student's benefit. Examples of research that might require review for human subject compliance include:

  • Activities intended to improve the quality of instruction
  • Research of interest to instructors, especially when in pursuit of an advanced degree
  • Activities intended to provide material for presenting at a professional meeting or conference
  • Activities that provide a benefit to the instructor that is independent of the interests of the student, such as gathering data for use in a paper or thesis
  • Activities conducted at the request of a third party in exchange for some compensation, monetary, service or otherwise

Failure to obtain Institutional Research & Effectiveness approval prior to undertaking any research activity is a violation of WCTC Administrative Policy LEA-511 and in most cases will release WCTC from any indirect liability otherwise incurred by virtue of the fact that it "should know" that the activity has taken place, thereby leaving the researcher solely responsible for any liability incurred. For more information, see the FAQ on Institutional Review of Research at WCTC