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LDCC Project


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LDCC Project

  1. 1. 1 Problem Statement: Purpose: 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 campus. 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 program.
  2. 2. 2 Next Steps: 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.
  3. 3. 3 Organizational Analysis: General Information: 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 104. Services:  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, and major.
  4. 4. 4 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 LDCC. Student Employees: 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 positions.  Peer Leadership Presenter (Undergrad & Grad): Develops and presents peer educational workshops.  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.
  5. 5. 5  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. Trends: Number of Programs and Workshops the LDCC held: Academic Year Number of Programs Percent Increase from Previous Year 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 Year 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.
  6. 6. 6 Diagnosis Information: 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 professional development?  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?
  7. 7. 7  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 complete**  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)
  8. 8. 8 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
  9. 9. 9 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 Professor/ Supervisor 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.
  10. 10. 10 Marketing: 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? Frequency Percent OrgSync 684 79.2 Flyer 42 4.9 Leadership Website 21 2.4 Friend 83 9.6 In the loop 10 1.2 MSU Website 3 .3 Red Hawk News 4 .5 Supervisor 9 1.0 Twitter 1 .1 Facebook 7 .8 Total 864 100.0 Finding: OrgSync is the most common mode for how students hear about programs.
  11. 11. 11 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? Frequency Percent Greek Req. 717 83.0 LDCP Req. 106 12.3 Interested in topic 18 2.1 Not listed 10 1.2 Extra Credit 5 .6 Professor/Supervisor 1 .1 RA 6 .7 Advisor 1 .1 Total 864 100.0 Finding: The most common reason why students attend workshops is to meet their Greek requirements.
  12. 12. 12 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: Table 5:
  13. 13. 13 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 Under 10 Participants 11-20 Participants 21-30 Participants 31-40 Participants 40+ Participants Monday 5 6 4 1 Tuesday 4 4 5 1 Wednesday 2 2 4 1 Thursday 3 3 1 Friday 5 1 1
  14. 14. 14 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. Question 1: Why are you most interested in the Leadership Development Certificate Program? Please be specific. Table 6:
  15. 15. 15 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.
  16. 16. 16 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. Table 7:
  17. 17. 17 Table 8: 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
  18. 18. 18  Friday: 64 students  Saturday: 37 students Below is a summary of the number of students reporting their availability based on time of day:  Morning: 60  Afternoon: 68  Evening: 73 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.
  19. 19. 19 Question 3: What will be your status for the Fall 2015? Table 9: 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:  Freshmen: 22.2%  Sophomore: 21.1%  Junior: 34.4%  Senior: 13.3%  Graduate Student: 8.9%
  20. 20. 20 Question 4: Which leadership positions do you currently hold on campus? Table 10: 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%  Greek: 16.3%  Peer Advocate: 1.0%  Peer Advisor: 1.0%
  21. 21. 21  Student Info. Desk Leader: 1.0%  Resident Assistant: 16.1%  EOF Student Leader: 2.0%  Peer Leader: 1.0%  Campus Rec. Leader: 1.0%  Graduate Assistant: 1.0%  Service Assistant: 3.1%  Rec. Board: 2.0%
  22. 22. 22 Question 5: How did you hear about this program? Table 11: 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%  Email: 32.5%  OrgSync: 20.0%  Organization fair: 20.0%  Annual leadership institute: 2.5%
  23. 23. 23  Student: 5.0%  Greek/summer training: 2.5%  Supervisor: 2.5%  Red Hawk Day: 2.5%  Flyer: 5.0%  Info. Desk: 2.5%  Class: 2.5%
  24. 24. 24 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.
  25. 25. 25 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) Table 12:
  26. 26. 26 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 categories:  Networking opportunities: 11.1%  Free: 7.4%  Accessible: 3.7%  Food: 7.4%  Games: 3.7%  Interesting speakers: 7.4%  Interactive: 7.4%  Gain leadership experience: 11.1%  Important/useful information: 29.6%  Improve professional/personal skills: 7.4%  Getting involved on campus: 3.7%
  27. 27. 27 BestPractices: Literature Review Purpose: 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
  28. 28. 28 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 engagement: Figure 1: 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). Meaningfulness: Does what I do matter? Safety: Can I express myself freely? Availability: Do I have the resources to be successful? Student Engagement: How much of myself am I putting in to being a college student?
  29. 29. 29 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, 2016). 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
  30. 30. 30 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 al., 2008). 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.
  31. 31. 31 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
  32. 32. 32 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 development. 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.
  33. 33. 33 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
  34. 34. 34 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 al., 2011). 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
  35. 35. 35 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”. Conclusion: 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.
  36. 36. 36 Intervention: Implementation Below is a description of the tools and documents needed to implement the intervention outlined in the project plan. Summer 2016: 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. Thank you, [Insert name here]
  37. 37. 37 Fall 2016: 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
  38. 38. 38 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). Spring 2017: 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 programs/workshops.
  39. 39. 39 Summer 2017: 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)
  40. 40. 40 Fall 2017: 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  Email Etiquette 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
  41. 41. 41 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:  Greek Organizations  Resident Assistants (collaborate with RAs to deliver programs to their residents)  Active Minds  Debate Club  Any academic based club Spring 2018: 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:
  42. 42. 42 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.  Any Program 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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