Academic Peer Mentors (APMs) offer weekly presentations related to study skills and techniques. Academic Support Initiatives (ASI) wanted to assess the effectiveness of these presentations offered by the APMs. The results will be used to ensure the identified learning outcomes for each presentation are being met and improve the presentations. This is the second time Student Life Studies worked with ASI to assess these presentations.
Academic Peer Mentors offer weekly topic-based presentations related to study skills and techniques; there are ten different presentations offered throughout the year. Academic Support Initiatives wanted to assess the effectiveness of these academic skill presentations offered by the APMs. The results will be used to ensure the identified learning outcomes for each presentation are being met and improve the presentations in the future. This is the first time Student Life Studies worked with Academic Support Initiatives to assess these academic presentations.
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.
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.
According to its website (http://venturecamp.tamu.edu), Venture: Base Camp is the “premiere outdoor extended orientation experience set to take place both on the Texas A&M main campus and in the Texas Hill Country. Base Camp is sure to provide you with many fun and exciting activities, including camping, hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, team building activities, and so much more.” Venture: Base Camp is a collaborative effort between Extended Orientation in the Department of Student Activities and Outdoor Adventures in the Department of Recreational Sports for admitted entering freshmen or transfer students starting in the fall semester. This was the fourth year of the program and Student Activities and Rec Sports working with Student Life Studies to assess the effectiveness of the camp experience.
According to its website, 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.” Furthermore, the vision of the department is to “create a culture in the Division of Student Affairs that values meaningful assessment, uses results to guide improvement, and articulates contributions to student success.” One goal for Student Life Studies is to provide quality assessment services to facilitate client planning and decision-making. Student Life Studies wanted to assess clients who utilized the department’s services to understand their satisfaction and use of assessment results in making program improvements. Student Life Studies has conducted various forms of a client assessment since 2005.
According to the Health Promotion website (http://studentlife.tamu.edu/hp), Sex in the Dark is a program hosted by the student organization The Sex Project. The Sex Project “strives to empower individuals to make informed decisions regarding sexual and reproductive health by providing awareness, education, and advocacy to the Texas A&M University student body and surrounding communities.” Sex in the Dark is a Q&A-style program that can be requested year-round by any student group. The attached report summarizes the program participants' learning and satisfaction with the workshops they attended within the 2017-2018 academic year.
According to the organization’s website, (http://spencer.tamu.edu/) MSC Spencer is a conference “that seeks to provide a unique opportunity to sophomores to enhance personal leadership skills in the pursuit of life long excellence in diverse environments.” The conference focuses on leadership development through the exploration of three pillars: Self-Aware Leadership, Innovative Leadership, and Selfless Leadership.
Aggie Allies is an organization at Texas A&M University whose mission is to provide visible support to and a safe environment for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in the Texas A&M community. The organization is composed of faculty, staff, students, and community members. In order to become an Ally, people must complete the three-hour educational Aggie Allies Workshop training session. The attached report summarizes the evaluations filled out by participants of the training sessions held during the spring semester of 2016.
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.
Assessment Boot Camp: Scaling Up Your Assessment (https://studentlifestudies.tamu.edu/learning-center/assessment-boot-camp-scaling-up-your-assessment/) was an advanced half-day professional development opportunity for division staff members. The training focused on determining the most appropriate assessment method, designing good questions, and interpreting analyzed results. Student Life Studies wanted to assess the Assessment Boot Camp participants to understand the effectiveness of the training and determine if the identified learning outcomes were met.