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2021 Student Affairs Assessment Conference

Eighth Annual Student Learning Assessment Conference | June 22, 2021

Program Descriptions

Data Dashboard Showcases

A new feature in the Student Affairs Assessment Conference this year, Data Dashboard Showcases are just how they sound: an opportunity to show off sets of visualized data related to a common thematic area. The Assessment and Planning area supports numerous departments with a variety of data sources. This is an opportunity to understand the scope of these data sources and how they relate to the decisions administrators make every day toward the continuous improvement of the out-of-classroom student experience. 

Abstracts for Concurrent Sessions

Masculinity, Allyship, Reflection, and Solidarity: How NU’s Healthy Masculinity Organization is Impacting its Students and the Campus at Large 

Saed Deryck Hill | Center for Awareness, Response & Education (CARE)

Masculinity, Allyship, Reflection, Solidarity (MARS) is an all-masculine identifying peer education and violence prevention student group supported by the Center for Awareness, Response, and Education (CARE), and supervised by the Assistant Director of Prevention and Masculine Engagement. MARS promotes healthy masculinity as a means of combatting rape culture and restrictive masculinity around campus through self-reflection, peer-led discussion, outreach, and advocacy. In Fall of 2019 MARS underwent a name change to better reflect the values and goals of the organization. This name change prompted a desire to better understand not only what attracts students to MARS, but what MARS members are learning during their time in the organization.  As a result, this project aims to develop learning outcomes associated with MARS membership.  A series of structured interviews were conducted with current and graduated members of MARS to examine four main areas of interest and learning outcomes: MARS’ impact on interpersonal relationships and social justice, application of MARS concepts, limitations of the organization, and professional development beyond the MARS experience. Interviews were coded and based on Social Norms Theory (Berkowitz, 2005) and Edwards and Jones (2009) College Men’s Gender and Identity Development Model. Student learning, potential campus impact, and programming implications are discussed. 

Related Divisional Learning Outcomes: Interpersonal Competency, Social Responsibility

Starting to Dig Deeper into Data: What Does Data Say About the Black Student Experience in Campus Housing?

Paul Hubinsky | Residential Services

Residential Services, the Division of Student Affairs, and Northwestern University regularly collect data from residential students. Examples of instruments include departmental surveys (Annual Resident Satisfaction Survey, bi-annual Skyfactor Resident Survey), divisional data collection (Student Engagement Database), and institutional instruments (COFHE Enrolled Student Survey). Even with all of this data at our fingertips, we do not always dive deeper into the results after an initial analysis. This past year has brought increased focus to racial justice initiatives and the Black student experience. Paired with the two-year residency requirement and the growth of the Residential Area Concept, we wanted to look further into what our data says about the Black student experience. Working with Student Affairs Assessment and Planning (SAAP), we identified data sources, reviewed questions, and looked for information to find initial trends that will lead to further exploration through a longer-term assessment plan. In this presentation, we will talk through our process for this project, how SAAP can assist in similar work, and next steps.

Related Divisional Strategic Planning Components

Strategic Themes: Enrich the Northwestern Community; Advance Social Justice; Foster Student Wellness; Further Student Learning 

Divisional Priorities: Student wellbeing; impact the campus climate for diversity, equity, and inclusion; two-year live-on requirement

Assessing Student Employee Learning in Relation to Higher Education Competencies

Coretta Lynn King | Norris University Center

The Norris University Center boasts a robust student employment program that in non-pandemic years averages well over 200 plus students who co-facilitate the operations of each unit of Norris and 8 satellite spaces throughout campus. In years past, Norris would conduct two formal trainings (Jumpstart Late Summer for student supervisors and Jumpstart Winter for all student roles) that were used to immerse students in the learning necessary for community building, operational leadership, and emergency preparedness. Each respective unit would engage throughout the fiscal year in technical expertise learning for continuity of operations. Each year, the department captured self-reported learning reflections from students in relation to on-the-job experiences and formal training through a mid-year assessment. This assessment process was halted in Spring 2020 at the onset of the pandemic outbreak for organizational wellness purposes. During the past year, we decided to recalibrate our learning model in phases. Phase One involves evaluating what our student employees learn from formalized training and analyzing those results to eventually move into Phase 2 next fall: an overhaul our learning design to include learning outcomes, learning foundations, curriculum, delivery and continual assessment. This presentation will be an analysis of the data gathered from student employees during Spring 2021 regarding their reflections on what is learned through formal training at the Norris University Center. The assessment pulled key areas of competencies provided through the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) and encompasses the areas of social justice, planning, organizational leadership, event management, and supervision where applicable.

Related Divisional Learning Outcomes: Personal Development, Interpersonal Development, Social Responsibility, and Cognitive & Practical Skills

The Case For Both and Not Just One: A Longitudinal Study of a Program that Centers Leadership Development and Black Identity Development 

Alyscia Domonique Raines | Multicultural Student Affairs

Association of Black Leaders (ABL) is a series-based program, sponsored by Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA), that serves the leaders of Black student organizations on campus. This collective was birthed out of a need to provide a space for student support that meets the intersections of Black racial identity development and leadership development, understanding the unique needs for Black student leaders at Northwestern. This study seeks to establish data-informed and data-supported learning outcomes for such as space as ABL by utilizing previously collected survey data.  The three main sources of data for this project were the Consortium on Financing Higher Education (COFHE) Enrolled Student Survey, the COFHE New Student Survey and the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership (MSL).  Incoming student expectations, perceptions of leadership, and engagement opportunities were gleaned from the black respondents of the New Student Survey (2011-2021) which focuses on rising First Year students.  Northwestern-specific experiences of black student leadership development and climate were gathered from both the MSL (2015-2017) and ESS (2015-2019). In addition to developing stronger programmatic learning outcomes for ABL going forward, our secondary aim was to establish a roadmap of metrics for departments across the division to reference and utilize in their own strategic planning around leadership development and the black student community.  Findings, implications and limitations will be discussed.

Related Divisional Strategic Themes: Advance Social Justice, Foster Student Wellness, Further Student Learning

Need, Connection, and Perception: Assessing the Impact of Non-Programmatic Interactions on Student Experience

Mike Masters | Student Enrichment Services

Student Enrichment Services (SES) has been dedicated to the enrichment and support of first-generation, lower-income, and/or undocumented/DACA students at Northwestern since it’s inception in 2014.  SES works with students to foster identity development, navigate campus resources, and build community. As such, SES acts as the "First-stop Shop" for FGLI and undocumented/DACA students, connecting them to resources and community so they can thrive while at Northwestern. To fulfill this mission, SES has a range of programmatic and non-programmatic offerings. For the purposes of this assessment, we will be defining Programmatic Services as any SES service that 1) center’s the student’s commitment to their community and 2) includes continuous programming or interactions with SES staff either throughout an academic year or over the course of their Northwestern career. These programmatic offerings are currently Ryan Scholars, Compass Mentoring Program, and the Knight Community Scholars. Non-Programmatic Services are any interactions or events that are stand-alone which provide resources, guidance, or other aspects of supports. These non-programmatic offerings would include interactions from our interest form, work with Purple Pantry, our speaker series, and as well as other services or events. Students who were in Compass but also used the Interest Form would be primarily grouped in the Programmatic Services category, as that categorization likely influences with non-programmatic ways they engage with the office.

While both Programmatic and Non-Programmatic students who interacted with SES over the past year were included in this assessment, the focus of this project is aimed at the impact SES has on Non-Programmatic interactions with students. This assessment will allow the unit to understand the scope and depth of impact these interactions are having on FGLI/DACA student experience as it relates to perception, connection, and resources. The presentation will provide an overview of the survey, highlights from the data collected, and implications for the future.

Related Divisional Strategic Themes: Foster Student Wellness, Further Student Learning

“I Didn’t Know About This Policy”: Assessing Where and How Students Came to Learn About the COVID-19 Student Conduct of Conduct & Expectations

Ronald Alexander | Office of Community Standards and Residential Services

In an unthinkable year of many “pivots” within the Division of Student Affairs due to the global pandemic, the Office of Community Standards (OCS) and the department of Residential Services (RS) at Northwestern was tasked with designing and implementing new policies and expectations for students returning to campus. In a typical year, the Office of Community Standards and the department of Residential Services publishes their polices on their websites and in the Student Handbook. With the many changes to CDC, State, and local guidance, OCS and RS had to implement a COVID-19 Student Code of Conduct and subsequently became the two offices who engaged with students when the evolving policies were violated. Given the shifting nature of COVID-19 related information available to students over the year, this assessment aimed to understand where students learned of the multi-layered policy changes related to COVID-19.  Policies of interest included guest policies, Wildcat Wellness expectations, face-coverings, capacity limits, testing compliance, social gatherings and the consequences associated with infractions. We surveyed students who engaged in the Office of Community Standards conduct process related to COVID-19 violations to better understand their knowledge of COVID-19 on-campus policies prior to engaging with the office versus after their engagement.  We also sampled a subset of students who did not engage with the conduct process to establish a community baseline of knowledge and learning sources. Lastly, the survey included a short quiz to directly assess all student’s knowledge based on current and updated COVID-19 policies at the university.  Student learning, impact, and educational implications are discussed.  

Related Divisional Learning Outcomes: Personal Development, Cognitive and Practical Skills

Previous Conferences