The Texas A&M Division of Student Affairs has been an active participant in Texas A&M University Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) since it was established as part of the accreditation process with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS COC). A university committee was charged with developing the Quality Enhancement Plan, and according to the QEP website:
“The topic of the QEP will be centered on some aspect(s) of Aggies Commit which is based on the Aggie Core Values, our Teaching and Learning Roadmap of the Academic Master Plan, Action 2015: Education First, and nationally recognized student learning outcomes and high-impact education practices.” Additionally, the website explains the theme of the QEP “is Aggies Commit to Learning for a Lifetime. Our rapidly changing world needs people who can learn and keep learning, adapt to change, and create new opportunities for themselves and others. Learning for a lifetime requires curiosity, initiative, and independence, as well as the ability to reflect, transfer knowledge to new contexts, and integrate knowledge from more than one domain. Our QEP focuses our efforts on creating learning environments and a campus culture that foster these qualities and abilities.”
The Division of Student Affairs, and specifically the Student Leader Learning Outcomes (SLLO) project, is mentioned numerous times throughout the Aggies Commit literature. Furthermore, the website names the Division’s role by stating, “Student Affairs and other support units will participate in the QEP efforts by providing or supporting experiences that help students grow as lifelong learners.”
When addressing how the institution would assess progress and success of the QEP, as outlined in the frequently asked questions for Aggies Commit, “At the university level, we will evaluate student reflections and associated artifacts using the VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) rubric, Foundations and Skills for Lifelong Learning, developed by AAC&U. Additionally, results of college assessments will be used to evaluate the impact on student learning at individual colleges and collectively for the university.” In August 2012, the SLLO committee developed an assessment project that would gather student reflections based on prompts related to integrated and lifelong learning. The project would include student organizations from throughout the Division of Student Affairs. Residence Life is pleased to have 7 groups of student leaders participating this academic year. They include:
- Hullabaloo Hall Council
- Hullabaloo Resident Advisor Staff
- Aggie EcoRepresentatives
- Leadership Living Learning Community (L3C) Peer Mentors
- Freshman Leaders On-Campus (FLOC)
- Academic Peer Mentors (APMs)
- Residential Housing Association (RHA)
The assessment project involves student leaders reflecting on prompts provided throughout the 2016-2017 year through their student organization. The four months during the academic year included October, November, March, and April. Paper form surveys were created by Student Life Studies and distributed to advisors of participating organizations and then returned to Student Life Studies.
Living on-campus offers a plethora of student involvement and leadership opportunities. Residence Life’s commitment to this assessment project demonstrates our intentional development of Aggie leaders. We look forward to sharing findings from this project in the summer of 2017.
Special thanks to Student Life Studies within the Division of Student Affairs for their coordination of this project. Learn more about past findings from this assessment project at http://sllo.tamu.edu/reflection.