|Academics||Future Students||Current Students||Faculty/Staff||Alumni/Friends||Parents|
Action Project Three – Improving Student Life
2006 Annual Update Report to AQIP
Note: The AQIP explanation of each question is italicized blue at the bottom of the question.
#1. Describe the past year's accomplishments and the current status of this Action Project.
Action Project Three on Improving Student Life at Shawnee State University has a team of seven members (two faculty and three staff, and two students) who met regularly in the winter and spring quarters after the Action Project Kick-off event on January 6, 2006. The team spent the winter quarter gathering information about student activities on campus. The team also investigated the student life systems and structures at peer institutions with a focus on what kind of data is collected concerning student life activities and how is the data used.
The finding that stood out the most to the Action Project Team was the lack of available accurate information on student life processes. Most, if not all, of the data collected by the various student life departments simply tracked numbers of participants.
Another troubling finding involved the Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI) which is regularly administered and referenced by campus decision makers. The 2005 SSI was conducted on October 12. Approximately half of the respondents were 1st term freshmen. Since classes began September 7, 2005, it is the opinion of the Action Team that too many of the respondents lacked the necessary campus experience to make a complete and accurate assessment of long term student satisfaction.
On June 7th the team members participated in an Audio Conference entitled "Getting Started with Assessment in Student Affairs." This conference provided the team with information to put all of their interviews and data collection into a proposed assessment system.
The Student Activities Action Project concluded during the summer of 2006. A final report and set of recommendations are being prepared for submission to the President and campus community.
Describe concrete achievements: meetings, data
gathered and analyzed, plans made or
#2. Describe how the institution involved people in work on this Action Project.
With recommendation from the university-wide Budget and Academic Quality Improvement Planning Committee (BAQIP), the President appointed members of the Action Project Team and provided a charge and timeline for the project. Jared Shoemaker, Assistant Director of Athletics and Sports Information Director, agreed to Chair the Action Project Team.
Meeting minutes have been placed on the institution’s AQIP web pages. The Action Team members have met with numerous individuals and groups on campus as they collected information and data about student life activities. Information from peer institutions was helpful in examining how other campuses structure student life activities and collect and report data. Regular reports concerning the Improving Student Life Action Project progress were made at the monthly meetings of BAQIP.
AQIP wants Information about motivation and communication: how you kept this Project on the institution’s priority list, how you maintained general awareness of the importance and progress of the Project, and how you kept those working on it directly active and motivated.
#3. Describe your planned next steps for this Action Project.
This Action Project is near completion. The final report and recommendations are being prepared for submission to the President and campus community. One of the recommendations from the team is better assessment of student activities with information that goes beyond just collecting number of participants. This could lead to a subsequent Action Project. The process for retiring an Action Project and selecting another project has not been done yet at Shawnee State, so this will be an opportunity to develop processes for completing and reporting the results of an Action Project, followed by the establishment of the next project that will be reported to AQIP.
Be specific about the next critical steps you are planning to move the Action Project ahead. If your planning is vague or there is no planning at this point, explain why.
#4. Describe any "effective practice(s)" that resulted from your work on this Action Project.
One institutional change that has come out of the AQIP participation is the decision to create an Office of Institutional Research and hire a Director of IR. While not directly a result of this project, it is the hope of the Action Team that the soon to be hired Director of Institutional Research will make assessment in student life areas a priority. We plan to recommend that each Student Life department work closely with the new Research Director to develop and implement student life assessment inventories.
We have also developed a list of Student Life Quick Fixes and potential Student Life Action Projects. These recommendations will be submitted to campus groups including the President’s Cabinet. The response to these recommendations will show how serious the university is about making Student Life a priority on campus.
Share practices (or processes, policies, procedures, or initiatives) that could be adopted or adapted at other institutions. AQIP is most interested in practices that would give value (better educational services, cost-savings, improved morale, more satisfied stakeholders, etc.) to another institution if they copied your innovation. If you believe that your work on this Project has little or no value for other institutions, explain why.
#5. What challenges, if any, are you still facing in regards to this Action Project?
The challenge of communicating the Action Project progress to campus still faces the Team, even though the work of the Project has been completed. We must still report to campus and find a way to keep student life concerns as a priority. One idea discussed by the Action Project Team and BAQIP is to have another AQIP action project emerge from this Team’s recommendations.
This is an opportunity to get constructive, actionable feedback and advice from our review process. Use this question to specify where your blocks, gaps, sticking points, or problems are. If you have already fashioned strategies to deal with any challenge you face, share both the challenge and your strategy for meeting it.
#6. The optional question:
If you would like to discuss the possibility of AQIP providing you help to stimulate progress on this action project, explain your need(s), and tell us who to contact and when?