Graduates should be able to evaluate both the processes and desired outcomes of student affairs programs and services. Specifically, students should possess the skills necessary to
- gather and analyze quantitative and qualitative data from students and programs;
- read with understanding the published research on higher education;
- conduct and write a program evaluation report.
To Enroll or Not to Enroll: A Look Behind Students and Their College Choice
During CSA 592 Program Evaluation in College Student Affairs, I had the opportunity to investigate one institution’s admission yield rate and what types of factors affected students enrolling into the university. By conducting both quantitative and qualitative analysis via focus groups and running SPSS tests from more than 7,000 pieces of data, I was able to reach several conclusions about the yield rate at this institution for high school students who lived in California and attended high school in California.
Quantitatively I used Academic Placement Index (API) scores, distance from students’ hometowns to the University, SAT scores, GPAs, race, sex and other factors. In addition, I was able to conduct several focus groups with current students attending the university. The students were able to provide me with data I was not able to find with the numbers I was calculating with SPSS. Their words provided me with reasons as to why they wanted and did not want to attend the University; as Patton puts it (1990), it allowed me to study selected issues “in depth and detail.” Despite my in depth look at the students, Patton suggests that since I am also the interpreter of the data I collected in the focus groups, my findings may not be completely objective (1990). Regardless, between the two studies, I was able to make several assumptions as to why students chose to enroll in the University. See the final paper for the entire in-depth report.
Admitted Student Questionnaire
The Admitted Student Questionnaire (ASQ) is detailed survey developed by College Board (LINK to ASQ site) to be utilized by universities to get an idea on what they can do to improve and enhance the admission process, courses, facilities, and financial aid. The admission office at my institution decided to reinstate the ASQ after its absence of many years. I had the goal to collect as many completed ASQs from admitted students on a confidential basis as possible. The average response rate for private doctoral institutions was 57% – I wanted to beat that and find out just how effective our efforts had been with these students.
I utilized a number of ways to collect these surveys, using both hard copies and online surveys. A bulk of the completed ASQs came from our admitted student day where a raffle was conducted to encourage students to fill out and return the surveys. I also kept hard copies of the survey at the office’s front desk for any admitted student that was visiting our campus to fill out. In addition I conducted e-mail blasts with a link to an online version of the survey. Overall, we received a 62% response rate. After the surveys were collected they were sent in to a research company that compiled all statistics and created a detailed report for us to analyze results from – these results also had overall comparison statistics for institutions in the same category as us. Click here for an ASQ sample survey and an executive summary of our findings (LINK).
Five Star Tour Evaluation
The Five Star Tour encompassed an all-expenses paid tour of six colleges, The Ritz Carlton accommodations, top notch meals, flights and transportation for 30 high school counselors from around the globe. It was the University of La Verne’s turn to plan the event and I was the lucky one to take charge. Without having experienced the event myself, I was able to plan the event with a tremendous success, however, I knew there is always room for improvement and I included a two-page evaluation form for all guests to complete.
Since a majority of the guests were flying, I inserted an evaluation with an expense reimbursement form in a postage paid envelope in hopes they would have time to kill at the airport. I received all 30 evaluations in a timely manner from the event and photocopied each evaluation to send to each college that participated in the tour as guests left specific comments for each college. I will utilize these evaluations when planning next year’s tour as will each respective college for their own part of the tour. In addition to these evaluations I was also able to track how many students applied from the visiting counselors’ schools.