AACU 2010: Connecting Assessment Data to Understand Underserved Student Learning Experiences


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In this session, facilitators from Portland State University’s University Studies program will describe the
ways in which they are combining existing assessment methods to identify underserved students, explore
their learning experiences, and inform programs to support student success—all with few additional resources. Specifically, the facilitators will: (a) describe how results from student surveys, university data,
and student portfolio data were combined to create a rich source of information on student learning and the academic experience; (b) share a holistic model of the student experience developed using the
findings; and (c) discuss strategies for sharing the findings that have led to increased collaboration between the general education program and other areas of campus and that have helped inform wider
campus conversations about underserved student success. Participants will discuss the types of assessment data at their institutions that might be combined to create deeper understanding of the student learning experience. They will also consider ways in which assessment findings can be used as leverage to create conversations regarding underserved students and improve their success.

Rowanna L. Carpenter, Assessment Associate and Sukhwant Jhaj, Director, University Studies—both
of Portland State University

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AACU 2010: Connecting Assessment Data to Understand Underserved Student Learning Experiences

  1. 1. Triangulating the Student Experience:  Connecting Assessment Data to Understand Underserved Student Learning Experiences<br />Sukhwant Jhaj, Rowanna Carpenter<br />University Studies<br />Portland State University<br />February 19, 2010<br />
  2. 2. Outline<br />What we will focus on:<br /><ul><li>Evolving assessment structure.
  3. 3. Model of Student Success
  4. 4. Communicating the results. Examples of slides from campus presentations.
  5. 5. Leading the campus conversation.</li></ul>What we won’t focus on:<br /><ul><li>Discuss results from our examples. Statistical methods.</li></li></ul><li>Program Structure<br />Program Goal<br /><ul><li>Freshman Inquiry: A year-long, thematic course, (15 credits).
  6. 6. Sophomore Inquiry: Three 4 credit courses selected a set of thematic clusters, (12 credits).
  7. 7. Upper Division Cluster: Three 4 credit courses within a single thematic cluster (12 credits)
  8. 8. Senior Capstone (6 credits)
  9. 9. TOTAL of 45 credits</li></ul>• Inquiry and critical thinking<br />• Communication<br />• The diversity of human experience<br />• Ethical issues and social responsibility<br />
  10. 10. Underserved Students<br />Portland State University Students with lower first year academic performance and retention than their cohort.<br />
  11. 11. Evolving Assessment Structure<br />Prior Learning Survey<br />--Student background characteristics<br />--Student rating of academic skills<br />--Student current life situation <br />End of Year Survey<br />--Course evaluation<br />--Academic Plans<br />--Satisfaction<br />E-Portfolio Assessment<br />--Student learning re: UNST goals<br />
  12. 12. Evolving Assessment Structure<br />Prior Learning Survey<br />End of Year Survey<br />E-Portfolio Assessment<br />University Student Data Warehouse<br /> - Student Retention<br /> - Academic Performance, Fin. Aid<br />
  13. 13. More Meaningful Questions<br />Unconnected<br /><ul><li>How many underrepresented students are enrolled in FRINQ?
  14. 14. What are students’ plans for the following year?
  15. 15. How well do students meet our learning goals?</li></ul>Connected<br /><ul><li>Are some groups of students less successful than others?
  16. 16. Do students who plan to return actually return?</li></li></ul><li>Focus on First-Time Freshmen in FRINQ<br /><ul><li>2708 Freshmen
  17. 17. 1274 Fall 2007, 1434 Fall 2008
  18. 18. Enrolled in a FRINQ course Fall term
  19. 19. Includes both full-time and part-time students
  20. 20. NOT
  21. 21. Honors, Liberal Studies, Pre-nursing or others not required to take UNST
  22. 22. 2256 completed the Prior Learning Survey
  23. 23. 83.3% response rate</li></li></ul><li>Student Success<br />
  24. 24.
  25. 25. Student Success<br />Low Entering HS GPA<br />
  26. 26. Low Entering High School GPA<br /><ul><li>Students who enter PSU with a high school GPA below 3.0 make up about 29% of FRINQ students each year.
  27. 27. Students who have high school GPA below 3.0 tended to have lower retention and academic success than groups with high school GPAs above 3.0.
  28. 28. Term GPA almost 1 point lower than those with HS GPAs above 3.5
  29. 29. Earn approximately 2-3 fewer credits per term
  30. 30. More likely to be on academic warning</li></li></ul><li>FRINQ First-Time Freshmen* Retention at PSU Fall 2007-Fall 2008<br />
  31. 31. Student Success<br />Financial Concern<br />
  32. 32. Financial Resources<br /><ul><li>There appeared to be no difference in retention based on income status (Pell Grant and other need-based aid eligible v. Not eligible)
  33. 33. Students who report finances as a top concern tended to have a lower retention rate than those who reported academics as a top concern.</li></li></ul><li>FRINQ First-Time Freshmen* Retention at PSU Fall 2007-Fall 2008<br />
  34. 34. Student Success<br />Housing Type<br />
  35. 35. FRINQ First-Time Freshmen* Retention at PSU Fall 2007-Fall 2008<br />
  36. 36. Sharing the Story<br /><ul><li>Open invitation to campus presentations
  37. 37. Attendance by a wide representation across campus
  38. 38. Presentations to multiple campus committees
  39. 39. Presentation to Deans, Provost, President
  40. 40. Participation in the Give Students a Compass grant.</li></li></ul><li>Framing the story<br /><ul><li>Consistent message
  41. 41. Consistent framing: Student Success Model
  42. 42. Focus on serving students
  43. 43. Acknowledge collaborators
  44. 44. Segmentation as a strategy
  45. 45. Assessment to action: Highlight our actions and ask others to take action</li></li></ul><li>Leading the conversation<br /><ul><li>Segmentation seen as a strategy for improving student success.
  46. 46. Presidential and institutional focus on students with GPA below 3.0 and those living on campus.
  47. 47. Created space for collaboration.
  48. 48. University Studies program seen as providing leadership on student success.</li></li></ul><li>Assessment to Action – Student Support<br /><ul><li>Early identification of students at risk.
  49. 49. Ongoing communication with all students.
  50. 50. Biweekly emails
  51. 51. University Studies’ U.Connect Student Support web site http://uconnect.unst.pdx.edu/
  52. 52. Quick intervention when needed.
  53. 53. Course Progress Notification</li></li></ul><li>Thank You<br />Rowanna Carpenter<br />Assessment Coordinator<br />University Studies<br />Portland State University<br />carpenterr@pdx.edu<br />Sukhwant Jhaj<br />Director<br />University Studies<br />Portland State University<br />jhaj@pdx.edu<br />