Assessment & Evaluation
One of the most influential experiences for Resident Advisors at APU is taking part in Walkabout—an eleven-day trek through the wilderness near Yosemite, designed to impart unity, perseverance, encouragement, sensitivity and other leadership skills to students. Through our Program Evaluation course (CSA 592) we analyzed several aspects of Walkabout including efficiency and effectiveness of the program. One great advantage of this program has been giving students the opportunity to step out of their comfort zones and lead uncomfortably in safe situations, which gives them the courage to do the same in real life situations in the future (Greenaway, 2009). Our conclusions, while numerous, were simply that programs need to adapt to their student populations. What worked for students ten years ago, will not necessarily work for students today. There were several aspects of Walkabout that, according to our study, needed to be addressed, but diversity issues and multicultural awareness training were most prominent.
Here is our Program Evaluation of Walkabout.
2. Program Evaluation
Throughout our Program Evaluation (CSA 592) course, we were regularly required to read articles on qualitative and quantitative studies, as well as write up reading responses to them. During each class, we would discuss the articles with the cohort and professor, in an attempt to better analyze their findings. By the end of the course we were much better prepared and trained in several different methods of evaluating programs and department activities on campus.
Here are examples of three of my Reading Responses to several program evaluation articles we read during the quarter.
3. Progress Notes
While working at APU LA-Term, each of the staff members were required to meet with students on a regular basis as well as fill out forms that summarized the meetings called progress notes. These forms included questions regarding homestays, site visits, class environment, personal development, spiritual wellbeing and academic rigor. For the most part the surveys served as a way to convey how each student was doing to the rest of the staff, but also served as an objective method to make sure students were handling the intensity of the semester in a healthy manner. During our staff meetings, the progress notes were a great resource in talking about how to better support different students throughout the semester (Sanford, 1967).
The progress notes can be found at: http://www.globallosangeles.com/progressnotes.