If you have not already heard, Student Life Studies has become Student Affairs Planning, Assessment & Research (SAPAR) to reflect more accurately what we do. Here are some of the highlights and resources for you. In a nutshell, SAPAR helps people answer big questions so they can continually improve.
In terms of planning, we are here to help departments, units, and programs plan for the future. That includes assisting with strategic plans, connecting the Division of Student Affairs strategic plan to department plans, and ultimately connect to their assessment plans. We can also help people examine their assessment planning process to ensure purposes, timeframes, and decision-making align with their needs. The Comprehensive Program Review process not only helps departments assess, it helps them plan for their future directions and needs.
Assessment is probably the most common resource we provide. We help department staff and student organizations define an assessment purpose, collect and analyze data, and make tangible recommendations for improvement (which connects back to planning). This includes developing web-based and paper-based assessment instruments, developing and running focus groups, creating rubrics, and much more. We partner with staff and students to move through the entire assessment cycle. We commonly focus on student learning, satisfaction, and needs. In addition to helping people with assessment projects, we also do a fair amount of training and provide resources on our website.
For research, we are looking at bigger picture questions to understand the student experience at Texas A&M. This includes what students are learning in their employment, leadership, or high impact experiences; sense of wellbeing and belonging; and retention of students participating in Student Affairs programs. We partner with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness & Evaluation for campus-wide surveys, such as the New Aggies Student Survey, Student Experience in the Research University, and the Graduating Senior Survey. Based on those surveys, we communicate about issues specific to students and the Division of Student Affairs.
If you would like to learn more about our services, check out our website. From there, you can access our Learning Center for educational resources (blogs, podcasts, training videos and more), review our summary reports, and better understand our services. If you have any questions, please reach out to us. We are always here to help.