Student Achievement Assessment Committee
Multicultural and Academic Initiatives
The learning outcomes and the corresponding criteria addressed in the CMAI department’s assessment of the Freshman Development Program were:
Social Integration and Participation
Connecting with the University and Comfort with the University
Degree Attainment Focus
Academic Excellence and Achievement
The assessment instrument, titled the ‘Initial and Final Assessment Interview’, see Appendix 1, was given to 255 students participating in the Freshman Development Program. The first assessment was taken early fall 2004 during a one-on-one advising session with a CMAI staff member. The same assessment was administered at the April 2005 Partners in Excellence (PIE) meeting to 70 students attending the meeting. The remaining students took the final assessment during their last Freshman Development Program appointments with a CMAI staff member.
The levels at which students were being assessed were Beginner Level (1-2 points), Middle Level (2-3 points), and Advanced Level (4-5 points). The aggregate average scores fell within the Middle or Advanced Levels for both the Initial and Final Assessments. An analysis of the data for each learning outcome is below.
Social Integration and Participation: Building connections with faculty and staff and their overall satisfaction with their current connection and comfort with the BGSU community was at the Advanced Level and went up slightly from 4.19 in the fall to 4.26 in the spring. Connections/relationships with peers became less important as a component of their success and went from a high of 4.02 in the fall to a low of 3.89 in the spring. The participants’ satisfaction with their current connections was at 3.75 in the fall and rose to 3.81 in the spring. The average scores for this learning outcome ranged from a high of 4.26 to a low of 3.81. The importance of participants’ connections to peers experienced the most significant change, becoming less important in the spring than it was in the fall.
Self-Awareness: The learning outcome remained fairly consistent for both terms with students’ scores decreasing slightly due to the more challenging academic environment found at BGSU than what was typically encounter at their high schools. Participants’ satisfaction with grades and test scores accurately reflecting their academic strengths and weaknesses went from a high of 3.38 in the fall to a low of 3.21 in the spring. Participants’ examination of their academic strengths with their chosen major went up slightly from 3.56 in the fall to 3.61 in the spring. However, they were less satisfied in the spring that their demonstrated academic performance was closely matched with their career choice because the scores went from a high of 3.62 in the fall to a low of 3.57 in the spring. The scores in this area ranged from a high of 3.62 to a low of 3.21.
Degree Attainment Focus: This learning outcome ranged from an average high of 4.66 to a low of 3.15. This area demonstrated that students benefited from learning the BGSU academic policies in the more structured environment of the Freshman Development Program. However, participants’ scores deceased slightly in the spring from a high of 4.32 in the fall to 4.25 in the spring because of an increase of their awareness that some cases, participants would fall short of the 30 hours required to be a sophomore at the end of the spring term. However, participation the program gave the participants a very clear understanding of alternate plans to get back on track for attainment of their degrees such as attending summer school, transient student work, increasing credit hours during next term, etc. should they drop or fail a required course. This was demonstrated by the scores going from a low of 3.18 in the spring to a high of 3.52. This was the most significant change seen among all the areas assessed in the program with a gain of .34 points from fall to spring.
Academic Self-Esteem: This area had overall the lowest scores of the entire learning outcome assessed with an average high of 3.65 and an average low of 2.28. The spring scores demonstrated that the participants were becoming more self-reliant and less influenced by their personal feelings about their peers or instructors with regards to achieving their academic goals. There was a steady decrease in the scores that examined their perceived influence of faculty, peer, and family expectations on their academic performance. However, participants’ personal feelings towards their family and the influence this had on their grades rose in the spring, going from a 3.57 in the fall to a 3.65 in the spring. But their feelings toward their peers and the influence this had on their grades fell from 2.37 in the fall to 2.28 in the spring. The analysis of the data revealed that family connections and their personal feeling about those connections carries a significant amount of influence on their perceived academic performance, with faculty being more influential than the perceived influence of their peers.
• Revise the learning outcomes and rubric to better assess the more of the multiple layers covered during the Freshman Development Program
• Provide more and earlier opportunities for students to interact with their peers at the PIE meetings to help build more collegial connections among peers
• Engage students in more virtual discussions, peer support, and exchanges on Blackboard by creating a more cohesive support group per individual advising caseload to facilitate building a community among participants outside of the PIE meeting
• Investigate further the influence of family on the participants’ academic success and how the Freshman Development Program can involve the family with the community service component of their participation
• Investigate further the influence of the faculty and how the Freshman Development Program can enhance this connection
• Increase the influence of the Freshman Development Program’s expectation of their success by revising the Units to communicate this expectation more clearly
• Continue to provide the personal support and mentoring component because the data revealed that pressures from the participant perspectives and experiences as African, Latino/a, Asian, and Native American students influences their success here at BGSU