The Memorial Student Center (MSC) Freshmen Leadership International (FLI) coordinates one major international travel experience for its members each year over spring break. MSC FLI went to Costa Rica again this year from March 7-13, 2020 for this international travel experience. MSC FLI indicated the following outcomes for participants:
• Participants demonstrate a willingness to step out of their comfort zone to try something new.
• Participants use reflection as a tool to examine their leadership skills and privilege in a global context.
• Participants experience teamwork within a diverse group of peers.
• Participants will explore, question, and empathize with other cultures.
Trip participants were assessed at different points during the experience to gauge how well the outcomes were met and the overall impact of this experience. Student Life Studies has worked with MSC FLI to assess this Costa Rica trip since 2013.
The Department of Student Activities wanted to better understand students’ experience as it relates to their membership in one of the Freshman Leadership Organizations (FLOs). Specifically, Student Activities wanted to look at students’ expectations from their FLO experience, if students actually received what they expected, if there were any unexpected benefits due to their membership, and if students would recommend their FLO to new incoming students. Additionally, the department wanted to learn how supported students felt by their FLO and if this changed as the university moved to a remote environment. Student Life Studies worked with Student Activities last spring for the first time to assess students’ experience in Freshman Leadership Organizations.
The Utilities Challenge (U-Challenge) is a project where teams of students utilized data about the residence halls to learn about the proficiency of the buildings and propose ways to increase the efficiency in the buildings (https://reslife.tamu.edu/living/sustainability/u-challenge/). As part of the project, 4-6 students make up a team, and each team gives a 15-minute presentation about their research and findings discussing the utility systems of the residence halls and suggestions for improving these systems. The Department of Residence Life wanted to assess the students involved in this project to understand their experiences, what they gained from participating, and gather ideas to improve the project in the future. While this was the fourth year for the project, it was the first time Student Life Studies assisted in the assessment.
Memorial Student Center (MSC) Abbott Family Leadership Conference (AFLC) sponsored two separate conferences, one in San Antonio (January 23-27, 2019) and one in Houston (March 20-25, 2018). MSC AFLC also sponsored additional pre-conference events that included all delegates. Different students attended each conference. MSC AFLC addresses four “pillars” in their pre-conference events and at both conferences: ethics, importance of family, service, and values. Evaluations of each conference and surrounding pre-conference events also included assessing delegates’ awareness, knowledge and application of the four pillars as a result of their participation. The following report details the results of those evaluations.
Each spring the Memorial Student Center (MSC) Student Conference on National Affairs (SCONA) hosts a conference to provide “programs for students across Texas, the nation, and the world to exchange ideas and discuss the role of the United States in the global community.” The theme for SCONA 64 was “Extinguishing the Flames of Fury: U.S. Strategy and Response in the Face of Global Terror” and was held February 14-16, 2019. SCONA 64 utilized speakers and team facilitators with first-hand experience in the topic to guide delegates in the creation of a policy paper. The following report summarizes the results of a survey assessment completed by student participants of the conference.
The MSC Spencer Leadership Conference focuses on leadership development through the exploration of three pillars: Self-Aware Leadership, Innovative Leadership, and Selfless Leadership. Held in Dallas, approximately 44 student delegates attend programs and small group discussions featuring leaders in business, industry, education and public service. The following report summarizes the results of a survey intended to measure the delegates learning and satisfaction from attending the conference.
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://fishcamp.tamu.edu/), Fish Camp “welcomes the freshmen class to Texas A&M each year with the purpose of giving them an opportunity to have fun, make friends, and learn more about life at Texas A&M.” Furthermore, Fish Camp “is led by A&M students who are passionate about making the first year of college a success for freshmen!” Fish Camp, a four-day extended orientation camp through Texas A&M University, provides a transition from high school to college for about 6,500 incoming freshmen, out of the approximately 11,000 students in the freshman class. Freshmen attend various programs to learn about campus life, Aggie traditions, and a variety of services and resources to help students succeed. Additionally, freshmen are divided into smaller Discussion Groups (DGs) to meet other students and have the opportunity to ask questions in a smaller environment.
This year, the seven sessions ran from July 27th through August 17th, 2018. Fish Camp has partnered with Student Life Studies to assess participants’ camp experience since 2000.
The Division of Student Affairs (DSA) Committee on Student Learning in the Co-Curricular (CSL) promotes the understanding, implementation, assessment, and improvement of transformative learning student experiences ans provides resources for DSA staff who facilitate co-curricular learning experiences for students. As the Division of Student Affairs is committed to providing High Impact Practice (HIP) experiences and assessing students’ learning through their involvement in these experiences, CSLAT wanted to assess students involved in one or more division High Impact Practice to understand their learning and skills developed through these experiences. The committee developed assessment questions to be included on the existing Texas A&M Graduating Senior Survey, administered through the Office of Institutional Effectiveness & Evaluation (OIE&E). This report summarizes the results of responses to those questions included in the Graduating Senior Survey.
Residence Life wanted to explore how living on-campus contributed to students’ experience at Texas A&M University. These results will be used by Residence Life to make improvements to the on-campus learning experience. This is the third time that Student Life Studies and Residence Life have worked together on this project.
As part of the DSA College Completion Grant, identity-conscious programs and mentoring opportunities were planned throughout the 2017-2018 academic year for these student populations. Programs included topics such as academic connections, money management, stress management, and finishing the semester strong. Through these events, AFAM and Aggie Familia students were able to connect with faculty, staff, and other students to establish and build a community with people, programs, and resources.
The grant planning committee worked with Student Life Studies to understand students’ experience over the 2017-2018 academic year. While several assessments have been conducted as part of the Aggie Familia/AFAM initiative, this was the first time for assessing the students’ overall experience at the end of the academic year.
Trip participants were provided a pre-trip assessment, trip assessment, and post-trip assessment at different points during the experience in order to gauge how well the outcomes were met and the overall impact of this experience.
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 their weekly activities, the tasks they perform in organizations, the importance of their experiences, and the gains they have made in their leadership skills.
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 their time spent volunteering, the importance of participating in community service, reasons they participate, and reflection on their individual responsibility for service.