The aim of this project is to provide recommendations to increase student involvement
and engagement in Peer-Facilitated Educational Workshops and the Leadership Development
Certificate Program held by the Center for Leadership Development and Campus Connections at
Montclair State University. College is a time for growth and development. Students are paying
thousands of dollars for learning both in and outside the classroom. From my experience, I have
seen people put less of a focus on development outside the classroom (co-curricular). We want to
avoid sending people out into the world without acquiring skills, such as how to write a resume
and how to manage their stress. One purpose of the LDCC is to help students hone these
essential skills. These skills may seem like common knowledge, however these are skills that
must be developed and don’t come easily to most people. We want to avoid having people
graduate from MSU and feel as though they did not grow as a person and felt uninvolved on
What We Know:
There are 15,885 undergraduate students and 4,137 graduate students at Montclair State
University, totaling to approximately 20,022 students. According to attendance records for the
2014-2015 academic year, 3,300 students attended Peer-Facilitated Educational Workshops. This
includes students that are required to attend workshops, which are students in fraternities and
sororities. The number of students who attended workshops consist of 17% of the student
population. In regards to the Leadership Development Certificate Program for the 2014-2015
academic year, 29 people applied for the program and 15 people completed the first year of the
In order to develop an intervention to increase student involvement and engagement in
workshops and the certificate program offered by the LDCC, I will be examining trends in what
may have influenced student involvement and what motivates students to be involved. My focus
will be on workshop type (professional vs. personal), time workshops are offered, and how
events were marketed. I will also be examining student self-reports on what motivates them to be
involved with the LDCC.
The objective of the Center for Leadership Development and Campus Connections office
is to help MSU students improve their leadership skills, enhance their professional and social
skills, and increase student involvement on campus. “We develop leaders today, while preparing
them for tomorrow” is the motto of the office. The LDCC is located in the Student Center room
Peer-Facilitated Educational Workshops: These workshops are created and
presented by student employees on a variety of personal/professional topics, such as
how to manage stress, tips on public speaking, resume building, etc.
The Co-Curricular Leadership Development Certificate Program: The purpose
of this program is to provide students with leadership development experience,
making them more marketable when searching for jobs on and off campus.
Roundtable Discussions: This is offered to student leaders on campus to discuss
challenges in their organizations. These discussions provide students with the
opportunity to brainstorm solutions together.
Leadership and Involvement Information Tables: Provides students with
information about organizations and resources on campus to promote involvement.
One-on-One Involvement Advising: Students are assisted with the process of
getting involved on campus based on their interests, career goals, past experiences,
Nature of Ownership:
Jillian Ploskonka is the Coordinator of Campus Connections and Leadership Programs.
She is responsible for organizing the efforts of student employees to deliver the services of the
The positions listed below are MSU student employment opportunities at the LDCC.
Students who are interested in pursuing a career in Student Affairs, I/O Psychology, Business,
Communications, Education, and Leadership Development are encouraged to apply for these
Peer Leadership Presenter (Undergrad & Grad): Develops and presents peer
Graduate Student Assistant: Runs the Leadership Development Certificate Program,
supervises undergraduate student employees, helps present peer educational workshops.
One on One Involvement Specialist (UG): The main focus of this position is to get
MSU students involved using creative strategies.
Marketing Internship (UG & Grad): Coordinates marketing efforts by making flyers,
utilizing social media, and getting the word out about services offered by the LDCC.
Graphic DesignInternship (UG & Grad): Develops online brochures and responsible
for website design.
Student Leadership Intern (UG): Presents and facilitates peer educational programs,
along with assisting in marketing efforts.
Student Office Assistant (UG): Completes administrative tasks, such as filing and
hanging up flyers. This person also assists in the walk-in service the LDCC has for
students seeking advisement.
Number of Programs and Workshops the LDCC held:
Academic Year Number of Programs Percent Increase from Previous
2011-2012 22 -
2012-2013 104 79%
2013-2014 113 8%
2014-2015 202 44%
The number of programs held by the LDCC has been increasing over the past four years.
Overall Program Attendance:
Academic Year Student Attendance Percent Increase from Previous
2011-2012 376 -
2012-2013 3,317 89%
2013-2014 4,146 25%
2014-2015 5,136 24%
Program attendance has been increasing over the past four years.
The LDCC has been growing in regard to programs and attendance since 2011.
Therefore, the aim of the LDCC is to continue to increase attendance, along with quality and
quantity of programs. Increases in programs and attendance needs to be demonstrated each
academic year in order for the LDCC to receive the appropriate amount of funding needed to
function. The LDCC has been previously successful in doing this. The purpose of the current
project is to further examine program trends and attendance to continue to facilitate growth and
to motivate more students to become involved with the LDCC.
Collection and Analysis:
In order to increase student involvement, we have to understand why students attend
programs. Based on this information, programs can be better suited towards the needs of
students at MSU. OrgSync was used to gather this information. OrgSync is an online platform
that allows students to get involved on campus. Students can use OrgSync to search for on-
campus job opportunities, events, programs, workshops, select leadership positions, and connect
with campus offices and departments. The LDCC uses this online platform to track student
attendance at programs and involvement with the leadership development certificate program.
For every program/workshop that is held, feedback is collected from all attendees using
OrgSync. Students are sent a survey with the following questions:
How beneficial was this program/workshop/event for your personal and/or
Overall, how would you rate your experience with this program/workshop/event?
Please rate the effectiveness of the program/workshop/event.
Did the program/workshop/event meet your expectations?
How did you hear about this program/workshop/event?
Why did you attend this program/workshop/event?
Through OrgSync, a survey was sent out to all of those who expressed interest in the
leadership development certificate program within the last year. The survey was sent at the start
of the Fall 2015 semester. Below are the questions that were asked:
Why are you most interested in the Leadership Development Certificate Program?
Please be specific.
What is your availability like for the fall? (roughly) This would be for workshops
and programs you need to attend for the requirements of the program.
What will be your status for the Fall 2015?
Which leadership positions do you currently hold on campus?
How did you hear about this program?
A survey was also sent to students who applied for the LDCP. Below are the questions
that were asked:
What is your status with the certificate program?
Why did you NOTcomplete the program or its requirements? (your honest
feedback will help us make changes in the future) **Answer only if you did not
Why did you apply or enroll in the certificate program?
In your own words, what do you think engages students in the workshops offered
by the Center for Leadership Development at Montclair State University? (think
about yourself and your peers)
Program/Workshop Feedback: Analysis 1
I used the data from the programs/workshops that were held in the Fall 2015 semester. A
total of 864 student feedback surveys were used in this assessment. First, I examined differences
in ratings between personal and professional workshops/programs. The compare means function
in SPSS was used to compare ratings between professional and personal programming. Table 1
displays the results of this analysis:
Finding: There are no significant differences between ratings for professional and personal
workshops. This indicates that students receive the same level of benefit, effectiveness, overall
experience, and met expectations from both professional and personal workshops. Personal
workshops have slightly higher ratings, but this difference is not statistically significant.
Table 1: Professional vs. Personal Program Ratings
Type Benefit Experience Effectiveness Expectations
Professional Mean 4.4467 4.3660 4.3487 4.2161
N 347 347 347 347
Std. Deviation .81134 .84750 .88142 .86149
Personal Mean 4.4990 4.4352 4.4449 4.3056
N 517 517 517 517
Std. Deviation .76408 .79616 .80896 .81853
Program/Workshop Feedback: Analysis 2
The next analysis I conducted was used to examine if students rated the benefit,
effectiveness, overall experience, and their met expectations based on why they attended
programs/workshops (i.e. Greek requirement, LDCP, interest in topic, etc.). The compare means
function was also used for this analysis. Table 2 displays the results:
Table 2: Program Ratings Grouped by Why Students Attended
Why Benefit Experience Effectiveness Expectations
Greek Req. Mean 4.4798 4.4170 4.4212 4.3040
N 717 717 717 717
Std. Deviation .77582 .81047 .81261 .81683
LDCP Req. Mean 4.4623 4.3208 4.3019 4.0566
N 106 106 106 106
Std. Deviation .81853 .87882 1.02511 .92407
Interested in topic Mean 4.5000 4.5556 4.3889 4.0556
N 18 18 18 18
Std. Deviation .92355 .70479 .84984 1.10997
Not listed Mean 4.2000 4.1000 4.0000 4.1000
N 10 10 10 10
Std. Deviation 1.03280 .99443 .81650 .73786
Extra Credit Mean 4.6000 4.4000 4.4000 4.4000
N 5 5 5 5
Std. Deviation .54772 .89443 .54772 .54772
Mean 5.0000 4.0000 5.0000 4.0000
N 1 1 1 1
Std. Deviation . . . .
RA Mean 4.6667 4.8333 5.0000 4.6667
N 6 6 6 6
Std. Deviation .51640 .40825 .00000 .51640
Finding: There are no significant differences in ratings based on why people attended programs.
This indicates that programs are serving students’ needs equally.
Table 3 is a frequency table displaying how often students heard information about
programs/workshops through different modes of communication.
Table 3: How Did You Hear?
OrgSync 684 79.2
In the loop
Red Hawk News
Total 864 100.0
Finding: OrgSync is the most common mode for how students hear about programs.
Why Students Attend Programs/Workshops:
Table 4 is a frequency table that displays how often students attend workshops/programs
to meet a requirement, personal interest in topics, etc.:
Table 4: Why Did You Attend the Program?
Greek Req. 717 83.0
Interested in topic
Total 864 100.0
Finding: The most common reason why students attend workshops is to meet their Greek
Time and Attendance:
For this analysis, I recorded the day and time programs were held and how many people
attended. This was done for 53 programs that were held in the Fall 2015 semester. The purpose
of examining this information was to find what days and times have the highest student attendance
at workshops/programs. Table 5 displays this information:
On the y-axis of the chart pictured above represents the number of programs/workshops.
The top horizontal label are the categories I used to label attendance (i.e. the first column
represents programs that had under 10 people attend). The bottom x-axis represents the days of
the week programs were held and the colors on the bars indicate the times programs were held.
Findings: Monday at any time appears to be the day with highest attendance, as demonstrated
by the fact that there was not a program held on a Monday that had below 10 people attend.
Monday also had the most programs with 11-20 participants and 21-30 participants. Fridays
appear to be the day with the least amount of attendees, regardless of the time.
Table 5.1 below demonstrates how many programs each day of the week resulted in attendance
of under 10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, and 40+ participants. In regard to time, the time slots that led
to the highest number of participants were: Monday 12:00-2:30, Monday 7:00-10:00, Tuesday
and Wednesday 3:00-4:30, and Thursday 12:00-2:30.
Table 5.1: Number of Programs
Categorized by # of Participants and Day of the Week
Monday 5 6 4 1
Tuesday 4 4 5 1
Wednesday 2 2 4 1
Thursday 3 3 1
Friday 5 1 1
Leadership Development Certificate Program Survey 1 Feedback:
This survey was sent out to anyone who expressed interest in the LDCP. 93 responses to
the survey were received. Below are the results. There are differing totals for each question
because some students did not answer all the survey questions or gave multiple responses to one
Question 1: Why are you most interested in the Leadership Development Certificate Program?
Please be specific.
Findings: On the y-axis of the chart above indicates the number of survey responses to this
question. The x-axis are the reasons why students want to become part of the LDCP. For this
question, I coded the responses and categorized them into five categories: improve leadership
skills, professional/personal development, resume building/marketability, get involved on
campus, and requirement for leadership minor. Responses that discussed wanting to improve
leadership skills for a current or future position were categorized under “improve leadership
skills.” Responses that discussed wanting to improve a certain skill, such as public speaking or
social skills, were categorized under “professional/personal development.” Responses that
discussed wanting to add the LDCP to a resume to improve marketability were categorized under
“resume building/marketability.” Responses that discussed wanting to be involved with an
organization on campus were categorized under “get involved on campus.” There was one
person that indicated wanting to join the LDCP because it was required for the leadership minor.
Below is a summary of the percentages of responses for each of the categories:
Improve leadership skills: 57.8%
Professional/personal development: 23.4%
Resume building/marketability: 6.3%
Get involved on campus: 10.9%
Leadership minor requirement: 1.6%
Based on these percentages, it is clear to see students want to become involved with the
LDCP to improve their leadership skills and for professional/personal development.
Question 2: What is your availability like for the fall? (Roughly) This would be for workshops
and programs you need to attend for the requirements of the program.
Findings: For this questions, I examined students’ availability based on day of the week and
time of the day. Below is a summary of the number of students reporting their availability for
each day of the week. For this question, students were able to put more than one response.
Therefore, there are more responses than participants in the survey.
Monday: 70 students
Tuesday: 74 students
Wednesday: 62 students
Thursday: 71 students
Friday: 64 students
Saturday: 37 students
Below is a summary of the number of students reporting their availability based on time of day:
These results indicate that the best days to have meetings/programs are Monday,
Tuesday, and Thursday. The best times to have programs are either the afternoon or evening.
However, it is important to keep in mind that this reflects the availability of the 93 students that
took this survey and might not be a completely accurate reflection of all students on campus.
Question 3: What will be your status for the Fall 2015?
Findings: These findings indicate that juniors are most interested in this program. Below is a
summary for the percentage of students who indicated what status they were:
Graduate Student: 8.9%
Question 4: Which leadership positions do you currently hold on campus?
Findings: It is clear to see that there are students in different leadership roles on campus who
are interested in the LDCP. However, half the students who expressed interest in the program do
not hold any leadership positions on campus. This demonstrates that the LDCP is appealing to
anyone on campus, current leaders or not. Below is the percentage of responses:
Admissions Ambassador: 4.1%
No leadership positions: 50%
Office Assistant: 10.2%
Peer Advocate: 1.0%
Peer Advisor: 1.0%
Question 5: How did you hear about this program?
Findings: Based on these results, the three most common ways that students heard about the
LDCP are through email, OrgSync, and the organization fair. Below is a break down by
percentage of how students heard about the LDCP:
Social Media: 2.5%
Organization fair: 20.0%
Annual leadership institute: 2.5%
Leadership Development Certificate Program Survey 2 Feedback:
This survey was sent out to students who applied for the LDCP. 26 students responded to
the survey. Although there were students who indicated that they did not complete the program,
no one responded to the question asking why they did not complete the program (Question 2).
Also, the third question on the survey asking why students applied for the program was very
similar to a question that was asked in the first survey that I analyzed. Therefore, for this survey
I focused on analyzing the last question because it gave valuable information that differed from
the first survey that I examined and most of the respondents of the survey answered the question.
Question 5: In your own words, what do you think engages students in the workshops offered
by the Center for Leadership Development at Montclair State University? (think about yourself
and your peers)
Findings: For this question, I coded students’ responses into the following categories:
networking opportunities, free, accessible, food, games, interesting speakers, interactive, gain
leadership experience, important/useful information, improve professional/personal skills, get
involved on campus. These are reasons students listed regarding what they think engages
students on campus. Based on the results, it appears that students think that obtaining
important/valuable information engages students the most, followed by networking opportunities
and gaining leadership experience. Below is the percentage of responses for each of the
Networking opportunities: 11.1%
Interesting speakers: 7.4%
Gain leadership experience: 11.1%
Important/useful information: 29.6%
Improve professional/personal skills: 7.4%
Getting involved on campus: 3.7%
BestPractices: Literature Review
The purpose of this literature review is to find previous research on student involvement
and engagement to further enhance student involvement with the LDCC and LDCP. Based on
my analysis, it was clear to see that students who are already involved on campus are more likely
to attend programs and workshop held by the LDCC compared to students not involved on
campus. Therefore, I will be examining how to engage students who are not involved on campus
to become involved.
Psychological Conditions for Engagement:
Kahn (1990) defined engagement as “harnessing oneself to their work”. The degree to
which one harnesses oneself is contingent upon environmental factors. Kahn (1990) proposed
that when one is working, they are fulfilling a role. The more a person brings themselves into
the role, the higher performance, satisfaction, and commitment a person will experience.
“Bringing themselves” can be described as one’s level of energy, passion, and interest that a
person uses or exerts towards a particular action.
Kahn (1990) found that there are three basic conditions an organization (or a school)
needs to provide in order for people to feel engaged: meaningfulness, safety, and availability.
Meaningfulness is the degree to which one is contributing or making an impact on their
environment. Safety is the degree to which one feels that they can be themselves in their work
environment without be ridiculed or judged. Availability is the degree to which one feels that
they have the resources to be engaged in their environment.
These three conditions can be contributing factors to the lack of motivation and
engagement amongst students. Students may not be bringing themselves into the student role
because they don’t feel meaning, safety, or availability of resources. Therefore, to motivate and
promote engagement in students, the three conditions of meaningfulness, safety, and availability
must be fulfilled. Figure 1 demonstrates Khan’s theory applied to student motivation and
What is Student Engagement?
Along with other constructs and concepts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, there
is no one universal definition for engagement. Kahu (2013) classified the different definitions of
engagement into four perspectives: student/institution behavior, psychosocial process,
sociopolitical context, and process/outcome. Engagement as behavior focuses on what
institutions do to engage students and what students do to be engaged. Engagement as a
psychosocial process focuses on behavior, along with the cognitive and affective dimensions of
an individual. Sociopolitical context hones in on the culture of the institution. The
process/outcome or the “holistic approach” encompasses the above three perspectives.
Engagement is the process of the institution and results in the outcome of students devoting time
and effort (Kahu, 2013).
Does what I do matter?
Can I express myself
Do I have the resources to
How much of myself am I putting in to being a college student?
For the purposes of the current project, I am going to use Kahu’s behavior classification
of engagement. Kuh’s (2009) definition exemplifies this perspective and is formally defined as
“the time and effort students devote to activities that are empirically linked to desired outcomes
of college and what institutions do to induce students to participate in these activities.” This
definition is utilized by the National Survey for Student Engagement (NSSE) in Northern
America (Vuori, 2014).
Why is Student Engagement Important?
Students face many challenges throughout their collegiate careers, such as choosing their
academic and career paths, balancing their courses, work, family obligations, social life, and
financial burdens. In regard to choosing their academic and career path, Arum (2016) found that
students often choose pathways with the least amount of academic challenges and minimum
engagement. Arum (2016) studied a cohort of students throughout their four years of college at
twelve different universities in the U.S. Students’ academic and social experiences were
examined, along with their performance on the Collegiate Learning Assessment (measures
critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing ability).
Arum (2016) reported minimal improvement in the CLA from the time students started
college to the time they graduated and attributed this to students not getting the most of their
college experience. An interesting finding of this study was that there was more variation
between students within the same college rather than across colleges. This demonstrates that
what students do in college can be even more important than what college they go to (Arum,
Kuh, Cruce, Shoup, Kinzie, and Gonyea (2008) examined first-year college students’
GPAs and return rate for their second year in relation to engagement. Data was collected from
students from eighteen different universities in the U.S. The authors found that the students who
spent more time studying and involved in complementary co-curricular activities were more
likely to perform better academically, to be more satisfied, and to persist and graduate (Kuh et
Participation in co-curricular activities has been shown to positively impact students’
persistence to degree. Hanks and Eckland (1976) reported that involvement in co-curricular
activities influences persistence to degree in the following ways: involvement psychologically
connects students to the campus and involvement helps students develop professional and
personal competencies that help them achieve success. Research has demonstrated that
involvement in co-curricular activities is beneficial to all students, however, students who have
lower commitment to their institutions and have low academic goals tend to benefit the most
from co-curricular activities (Pascarella and Chapman, 1983 and Pascarella and Terenzini, 1979).
These findings demonstrate the importance of encouraging students who are not involved on
campus to become involved.
What are the Challenges of Student Engagement?
One challenge of promoting student engagement is making students aware of the
resources available on campus. In a pilot study conducted at Illinois State University, Achen
(2015) examined the use of social media in engaging students in activities held by the
university’s recreation center. Achen (2015) surveyed 257 undergraduate students and found
that the majority of the students did have Facebook and Twitter accounts, but were unwilling to
connect with the recreation center through social media. This indicates that although students
are on social media, it still might not be the best way to market resources on campus. Therefore,
marketing is a significant challenge to student engagement.
Kuh (2007) examined students’ expectations going into college regarding involvement on
campus. It was found that between 40 percent and 50 percent of first-year students did not take
advantage of career planning, financial advising, or academic tutoring services. In addition, 32
percent of the first year students surveyed that were expecting to be involved on campus did not
participate in any co-curricular activities. Lack of understanding between students’ expectations
and their actually behavior is another challenge to student engagement.
Another challenge to student engagement is serving different types of students (e.g.
student athletes, Greek organization members, transfer students, commuters, residents, first-
generation students, international students, and minority students). This is a challenge because
the needs of students differ. For example, Kuh et al. (2006) discussed how Greek students and
student athletes are more likely to be engaged compared to transfer students and first-generation
college students. Differences in students’ characteristics and needs are important to keep in
mind when trying to promote engagement.
As mentioned above, one aspect that influences students' growth and learning is whether
or not they live on campus (residents) or live off campus (commuters). All students face the
same challenges in college of engaging in the classroom, performing well academically, and
"persisting to degree". However, a student's motivation to rise to these challenges can differ
depending on if they are a resident or commuter student. Using results from the 2001 National
Student Engagement survey, Kuh, Gonyea, and Palmer (2001) found that commuter students
tend to have less contact with their professors and do not take full advantage of campus
resources, such as campus organizations. Likewise, Alfano and Edulgee (2013) concluded from
their study of a private college that approximately 66% of commuter students did not engage in
any on-campus activities, while 21% of resident students did not engage in on-campus activities
in a given semester (data from Fall 2011 semester).
In addition, the socioeconomic status of students can be a challenge to student
engagement. MSU has taken great interest in helping students who may be experiencing food
insecurity. In a recent survey that was distributed on campus, over half the students who
responded (170 total responses) indicated that they cannot obtain food for themselves or that they
know someone on campus struggling with food insecurity (Albanese, Kogut, Kucuk,
McDermott, and Van Clef, 2016). Food insecurity is another challenge to student engagement
because students don’t have basic necessities to survive, which limits the amount of co-curricular
activities that they can focus on.
How can Student Engagement be Improved?
In a study conducted by Kuh, Nelson, and Umbach (2004), the authors found that when
institutions place a strong emphasis on certain activities, students were more likely to engage in
them. This indicates that is not only important on the part of the student to devote time and
effort in their own engagement, it is also the responsibility of faculty and staff to inform students
of the importance of participating in activities to enhance personal and professional
In a literature review conducted by Kuh, Kinzie, Buckley, Bridges, and Hayek (2006), the
authors discussed how interactions with faculty and peer interactions influenced students’
involvement and engagement on campus. These interactions motivate students to dedicate more
time and energy to professional and personal development activities. In addition, interactions
with faculty and peers exposes students to diverse experiences, which fosters learning. These
findings emphasize the importance of interactions both inside and outside the classroom.
Helping new students adjust to the campus is another way to improve engagement. In
2005, the National Survey for Student Engagement reported that first-year students who attended
an institution-sponsored orientation were more likely to participate in educational enrichment
activities, perceive the campus environment as supportive, reported greater developmental gains
in their first year of college, and were more satisfied with their overall college experience (Kuh
et al., 2006). In 2005, the NSSE also emphasized the importance of first-year seminars and
reported that students who experienced first-year seminars benefited in the following ways:
more interaction with faculty, greater utilization of campus resources, were more challenged
academically, and perceived the campus environment as supportive (Kuh et al., 2006).
Kuh et al. (2006) identified Student Success Initiatives as another way to foster
engagement on campus. These initiatives can focus on a variety of campus resources and help
with both academic development and skill development (e.g. time management, goal-setting).
Student Success Initiatives can be used by institutions to show students the importance of
personal and professional development.
The national organization dedicated to campus engagement, Campus Compact,
emphasized the importance of service learning and “active and collaborative learning” in
predicting self-reported learning gains and GPA. Students report high levels of learning when
engaged in projects dedicated to helping the campus community. These projects can be assigned
through a course, such as freshmen seminar. Campus Compact is based on the premise that civic
engagement can foster students’ campus engagement.
In a literature review conducted by Taylor and Parsons (2011), the following elements
were identified as being important for student engagement: stimulating activities, institution
transparency, and relevant information. Students need to view what the campus has to offer as
being applicable to their lives and challenging their current ways of thinking. A culture based on
learning and facilitating interactions between students and faculty fosters engagement (Taylor et
Goal-setting and contingency planning are other tools that can be utilized to promote
student engagement. Locke and Latham’s Goal-Setting Theory has been greatly supported by
research findings throughout the years. Setting goals influences one’s choice, effort, and
persistence for a course of action. Goal-setting can be used to motivate students. If students set
goals for their performance and engagement in college, both performance and engagement are
likely to be increased. Goal-setting can be a tool used to offset impulsiveness. If one has a
specific goal they are striving for, they may be more likely to not give in to instant gratification.
Golliwitzer and Oettingen (2011) acknowledge the importance of goal type and
commitment to a goal and have provided a method in order to sustain one’s persistence towards
achieving a goal. This method involves making plans consisting of goal intentions and
implementation intentions. Goal intentions are having structured goals with a clear desired
outcome. Implementation intentions are situation based and are used to overcome obstacles that
may prevent one from completing the goal (Golliwitzer et al., 2011).
Constructing implementation plans can aid students in their goals and enhance the goals
that they are striving for. For example, a student’s goal might be to only miss two classes in a
given semester. The positive outcome for achieving this goal would be the opportunity to
engage in the majority of the class and to benefit from the information provided in class.
However, obstacles such as inclement weather and off-campus jobs can get in the way of
attending every class. The student can make an implementation plan similar to this: “If I am
unable to go to class because of bad weather, I will then email my professor and contact
classmates to ensure that I have gathered all of the information presented in class”.
Based on my review of the literature, below are common factors that influence student
engagement in college:
Perceived institution commitment to students.
Messages institution communicates to students regarding what is important.
Positive relationships with faculty and peers.
Service learning and participative learning.
Challenging activities and opportunities.
Smooth transitioning for freshmen and new students.
Goal-setting and contingency planning.
Below is a description of the tools and documents needed to implement the intervention
outlined in the project plan.
Summer 2016 can be utilized to reach out to freshmen seminar instructors regarding
having peer presenters deliver programs in their classes and offering freshmen extra credit for
attending programs/workshops outside of class. The purpose of this is to send the message to
students that MSU values the benefits of the LDCC, make it easier for students to access the
benefits of the LDCC, and to teach students the importance of goal-setting. Below is an example
email template to contact freshmen seminar instructors:
Dear Professor [Insert name here],
In an effort to promote the benefits of the Leadership Development and Campus
Connections Office to first-year students, we would like to have student presenters
deliver a program during class time. If you are in agreement, we would send one peer
presenter to one of your classes to discuss the benefits of getting involved on campus
and goal-setting. Our aim is to engage students in attending more programs/workshops
offered by the LDCC. In addition, based on a review of student engagement literature,
we have found that goal-setting can be a useful tool for encouraging students to follow
through with becoming involved on campus. If you are able to collaborate with us,
please contact [insert name here and contact information here] and we will choose a
date to come to your class. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or
suggestions you may have.
[Insert name here]
Peer presenters can go to freshmen seminar classes to deliver a workshop about getting
involved at MSU and goal-setting. If students know the benefits of the LDCC and they set goals
to become involved, students will probably be more likely to engage in the LDCC. Below is an
example goal-setting worksheet that can be used:
*This template is a product of
The Fall 2016 semester can also be utilized to establish the refer-a-friend program to
encourage student involvement in LDCC programs/workshops and the LDCP program.
Research on student engagement has emphasized the strong influence of peers on students’
behavior. Therefore, if uninvolved students are encouraged to become involved by other
students, they might be more likely to engage. Below is a breakdown of the program:
At the start of the Spring 2017 semester, involved students will be encouraged to bring
uninvolved students to programs/workshops and apply for the LDCP program.
Students who bring a new student (new meaning the student has never attended a LDCC
workshop/program) will be entered into a raffle to win a prize.
o Prizes can include: t-shirts, gift cards, meal vouchers, coupons, or whatever else is
realistic for the LDCC to provide.
In addition, if the student who brings a new student to the LDCC is part of an
organization (e.g. Greek), that will be recorded. A tally will be kept to assess which
organizations encouraged the most students to attend the programs or apply to the LDCP.
At the end of the semester that organization will be formally recognized (e.g. certificate).
The refer-a-friend program will be marketed and put into effect. Below is an example of
a flyer that can be used to market the program. In addition, information about this program can
be emailed to all students and peer presenters can share information about this program at their
In addition to contacting freshmen seminar instructors, instructors for classes with topics
related to the LDCC can also be contacted regarding having peer presenters come to their class to
deliver a program/workshop. Below is a list of potential classes:
Psychology of Leadership for Emerging Leaders: Theory and Application (PSY- 120)
Cooperative Education in Leadership Development (LEAD- 400)
Public Speaking (CMST- 222)
Organizational and Group Leadership (CMST-270)
Nonverbal Communication (CMST-362)
Career Management (CMST- 410)
The focus of the Fall 2017 semester should be to have peer presenters go to a variety of
classes to present related programs/workshops. Below is a breakdown for what programs are
applicable to the classes listed on the previous page:
Class that can benefit from LDCC programs LDCC Programs
Psychology of Leadership for Emerging
Leaders: Theory and Application
How Awareness Makes You a Better Leader
Leadership 360 degrees
The Process of Becoming an Effective Leader
What is Leadership?
Cooperative Education in Leadership Development How Awareness Makes You a Better Leader
Leadership 360 degrees
The Process of Becoming an Effective Leader
What is Leadership?
Public Speaking Public Speaking Tips and Tricks
Organization and Group Leadership How Awareness Makes You a Better Leader
Leadership 360 degrees
The Process of Becoming an Effective Leader
What is Leadership?
Nonverbal Communication Understanding Social Cues
Career Management Tips for Interviewing
How to Build Your Resume
In addition to going to various classes to present programs and workshops, peer
presenters can also go to club and organization meetings. This will make the benefits of LDCC
workshops and programs even more accessible to students and it might make students more
likely to attend programs and workshops on their own time. The Fall 2017 semester can be
utilized to reach out to clubs and organizations and offer to have peer presenter go to their
meetings. Below is a list of MSU clubs and organizations that can benefit from having peer
presenters deliver programs/workshops:
Resident Assistants (collaborate with RAs to deliver programs to their residents)
Any academic based club
Students join clubs and organizations to develop skills and grow as individuals.
Therefore, clubs and organizations could benefit immensely from having LDCC peer presenters
deliver programs/workshops at club and organization. Not only will it make the benefits of the
LDCC more accessible, it might make students more likely to attend LDCC programs/workshops
on their own time. On the next page is a breakdown of what programs might benefits
clubs/organizations the most:
Org. that can benefit from LDCC programs LDCC Programs
Greek Organizations Leadership programs
Time and Stress Management
Understanding Social Cues
Tips and Tricks for Public Speaking
Resident Assistantscan collaborate with peer
presenters to deliver programs to their residents.
Active Minds Time and Stress Management
Debate Clubs Tips and Tricks for Public Speaking
Understanding Social Cues
Academic Clubs Tips for Interviewing
How to Build a Resume
Time and Stress Management
Summer 2018: Bringing It All Together
Contact instructors from various classes, along with clubs and organizations to
collaborate with peer presenters. The purpose of this intervention is to show students the
benefits of the LDCC by having peer presenters go to classes and club meetings to deliver
programs and workshops. By making programs easily accessible, students will realize the
benefits of being engaged in the LDCC and might be more likely to attend programs and
workshops on their own time. Also, the refer-a-friend program would be beneficial because
peers have such a significant impact on student behavior. Therefore, if students encourage other
students to attend programs, it might make uninvolved students more likely to become involved.
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