Student Life Studies administered an electronic survey with students in the spring 2017 semester. The survey focused on skills students gained through their college experience and what specific experiences are contributing to those skills.
According to its website (http://studentlifestudies.tamu.edu/about), Student Life Studies “provides leadership in assessment and planning to the Division of Student Affairs and to student organizations, maximizing program effectiveness and emphasizing student learning.” One goal for Student Life Studies is to educate and develop staff within the Division of Student Affairs about assessment. To accomplish this goal, the department coordinates assessment training for division staff members. The department hosted an assessment training that was held in the afternoon on both December 18 and 19, 2018.
While Student Life Studies offers assessment training regularly, this specific one focused on training participants how to write quality survey questions, effectively develop a survey, and utilize Qualtrics to create their own survey. Student Life Studies staff developed the following learning outcomes for this training:
• Recognize good practice and tips in survey development.
• Compose a survey using at least three different questions types in a logical order.
• Design the survey accurately in Qualtrics.
Student Life Studies wanted to assess the effectiveness of the training and the intended learning outcomes. While Student Life Studies has assessed previous training workshops, this was the first time this training was done or assessed.
Student Life Studies provides training and educational workshops on a variety of assessment topics for staff members in the Division of Student Affairs. In order to meet the needs of staff members, Student Life Studies conducts a survey every three years to understand staff members’ experiences and needs related to assessment. Student Life Studies uses this information to develop training programs and resources for the Division of Student Affairs. This is the fourth year Student Life Studies has conducted this survey; the previous surveys were completed in the summers of 2009, 2012, and 2015.
The Division of Student Affairs (DSA) Staff Wellbeing and Appreciation Committee worked with graduate students in the Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education (SAAHE) program in developing a survey to understand division staff’s current behavior in the areas of wellbeing and appreciation, as well as what they needed in these areas. Additionally, the SAAHE students worked with Student Life Studies for the administration and analysis of the survey. This is the first time a survey focused on these topics has been conducted with staff in the Division of Student Affairs and the first assessment for this division-level committee.
The Step IN, STAND Up campaign on the Texas A&M University campus invites Aggies to Step In and Stand Up against sexual harassment and sexual violence. Per its website, https://stepinstandup.tamu.edu/, the campaign proclaims, “It is up to us – students, faculty, and staff – to step in as active participants to end sexual harassment and sexual violence in our community, and stand up to support the survivors of these behaviors. What harms even one of us harms us all.” As an educational component of the campaign, the STAND Up workshop “is designed to assist individuals in learning positive and helpful ways to have conversations with individuals who have been involved in a traumatic event.”
The Offices of the Dean of Student Life (ODSL) Health Promotion trains the STAND Up workshop facilitators and coordinates the workshops. In the fall of 2017, ODSL contacted Student Life Studies for the second time to help develop an assessment for the workshops, in effort to measure its learning outcomes and participant satisfaction with the presentations. Workshops held for primarily faculty and staff and those held for students were assessed. The attached report summarizes the results of those assessments.
The GLBT Resource Center Mentorship program offers support and guidance to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning students (LGBTQ) within Texas A&M University. In 2016, this program was awarded a Division of Student Affairs College Completion Grant, intending to sharpen its focus on retention, persistence, and graduation of students involved in the program. By connecting these students with a mentor who is like them, the Mentorship program proposes that its student participants will gain efficacy in persisting to graduation at Texas A&M University. The attached report summarizes the results of an end-of-year survey sent to both participants of the mentorship program (mentees) and the mentors.
The Department of Student Activities was awarded a DSA College Completion Grant which funded the MaroonLink Student Engagement Support Graduate Assistant to support and market MaroonLink to students, student organizations, DSA departments and faculty. The assessment summary report attached highlights the Class of 2020 cohort's use of Maroonlink to record their connection, engagement and leadership from fall 2016 through the end of fall 2017.
The Student Experience in the Research University (SERU), a national survey provided to all Texas A&M undergraduate students in spring 2017. Students were asked about physical and mental health behaviors, impact on school work, and opinions about alcohol and drug use.
In 2016, MSC CAMAC was awarded a Division of Student Affairs College Completion Grant to fund two featured programs. Those programs include the current and growing Mi Casa es Su Casa, which provides a support system for Hispanic students through interaction with Hispanic professors as the latter prepares a home cooked meal in their home, and a new initiative, MSC CAMAC Amig@s. This new initiative is a mentoring program that pairs current MSC CAMAC members with first-year and/or first-generation Latina/o students, with the hope that participants will become engaged with MSC CAMAC and other programs/organizations/services on campus. MSC CAMAC Amig@s assists students in acclimating to campus life, becoming involved, and helps them find a home away from home. The grant money funds services such as retreats and trainings, and the MSC CAMAC advisor and leaders believe that involvement in the program will positively impact participants’ persistence to their second year of college and beyond to graduation. The attached assessment report summarizes assessments provided to participants attending the three Gatherings offered in the spring semester, which involved attendance at the theatrical & chorale performance, Conspirare: Considering Mathew Shepard, the musical film Chico & Rita and a résumé writing workshop and the year end reflection exercise.
The Department of Student Activities was awarded a Division of Student Affairs College Completion Grant which funds the MaroonLink Student Engagement Support Graduate Assistant service and support based position within the Department of Student Activities.The position focuses on supporting University constituencies (students, student organizations, DSA departments, and faculty) in their use of MaroonLink to further the mission, vision, and goals of the University and Division of Student Affairs. Features available in MaroonLink can be used by individual students and student organizations alike. Student Activities wanted to measure student engagement, connection and leading through their use of MaroonLink. Beginning with the fall 2016 Texas A&M freshmen (Class of 2020), various MaroonLink user data was to be analyzed to establish a baseline, and will be subsequently reviewed and compared at least in yearly intervals. Attached summary report provides the results of that attempt to establish the baseline during the fall 2016 semester.
In 2012,based on the University of Iowa's GROW (Guided Reflection on Work) program, the TAMU Division of Student Affairs (DSA) created Aggies RISE (Reflecting and Integrating Student Employment) to assess what students were learning from their student worker positions within the DSA. In 2012-2013 the Aggies RISE committee developed a pre- and post-survey to measure these identified outcomes. In addition, supervisors volunteered that year to be part of the pilot project to have conversations with their student workers using a structured interview protocol. The purpose was to have students reflect on how their on-the-job learning may have an impact on their academics and career choices.In 2016,
Aggies RISE wanted to continue assessing the student employees throughout the Division to look at these common learning outcomes, as well as opportunities for student employees to reflect on their employment, connections between students’ work and the classroom or their future careers, and how student employment positions fit the criteria for being considered a high impact practice. However the 2015-2016 assessment included only one survey sent out near the end of the 2015-2016 academic year to student employees with the DSA. The attached report summarizes the results of that survey.