The official peer group that UW Tacoma uses for benchmarking institutional performance, both on quantitative metrics and
UW Tacoma Peer Group Institutions
The institutions listed below comprise the official peer group that UW Tacoma uses for benchmarking institutional performance, both on quantitative metrics and qualitative measures (e.g., best practices). This peer group was established after the creation of the University's Charting Our Course 2016-2021 strategic plan.
It is difficult to find institutions that match UW Tacoma on all significant characteristics because the University occupies a very distinctive niche in higher education. Salient characteristics of UW Tacoma include:
A distinctive size range (approximately 4,600 undergraduates and 800 graduate students), which is larger than most traditional liberal arts colleges and is an important scaling factor for institutional complexity
A primary focus on undergraduate education in a commuter campus setting
A combination of traditional liberal arts with professional programs in engineering and technology, business, urban studies, education, social work and criminal justice, and nursing
An urban serving campus with strong community engagement
Master's degree programs in a range of disciplines
A highly diverse, highly first-generation, and high Pell Grant eligible student population
Each peer institution combines some but not all of these key characteristics. The peer list encompasses institutions of different Carnegie Classification types and different control, and includes both traditional peers and aspirant institutions.
The table below provides a link to the main website for each peer institution as well as the office at that institution which is best able to answer institutional data questions.
We developed a methodology for the selection of this group using the following process:
We selected 19 IPEDS criteria (a few of which agregated IPEDS data)
We surveyed UW Tacoma Data Fellows to determine relative weighting for each data point
We did a deviation analysis (absolute) from the UW Tacoma number for each data point
We compiled an aggregate score from the deviation analysis to determine schools that most closely match UW Tacoma
This methodology was developed by the UW Tacoma Institutional Research 2019 Data Fellows Cohort and presented to Data Fellows on April 9, 2019. It was then presented to the Assistant and Vice Chancellors on April 15 and May 13, 2019, and to the Faculty Executive Council on April 22, 2019. Feedback was incorporated at each level. Feedback on the next selection process will be accepted through the link at the bottom of this page.
Benchmarking - as a benchmark when comparing UW Tacoma and for reporting outcomes and metrics that require data from comparable institutions
Practice Comparison - for anecdotal comparison of practices, policies, and programs at institutions that are similar
While this list represents a statistical comparison of UW Tacoma as a campus, individual schools and units may decide to have their own peer groups that have a closer resemblance to the makeup and operations at their level.
Calendar for Next Peer Group Review
This peer group will be reviewed on a schedule that allows for consistency in peer group comparisons over multiple years of surveys and instruments. As needs change, the 19 IPEDS metrics can be reviewed for appropriateness and weighting. Our next review period will be Winter Quarter 2022. (Then 2026, 2030...) If you have thoughts about IPEDS data points that should be considered next time, their weighting, schools that should be considered, or other input, please let the next review committee know by providing feedback through the link provided below.