James Madison University

Students Present at NASPA’s Annual Assessment & Persistence Conference

Five Psychological Sciences students traveled with faculty to Las Vegas, NV for NASPA’s annual Assessment conference. One workshop, three papers, and two posters were presented during the three-day conference held June 9th to 11th. These presentations were authored and co-authored by Psychological Sciences students and faculty members associated with the Quantitative Psychology Concentration.

Gerstner, J. J.1, Swain, M. S. 1, Sunde, S. A., McCoy-Ntiamoah, T. A., & Finney, S. J. 2 (2011, June). Why doesn’t my transfer orientation work? The importance of assessing program implementation. Invited workshop for NASPA’s annual Assessment & Persistence Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

McCoy-Ntiamoah, T. A., Swain, M. S. 1, Gerstner, J. J. 1, & Finney, S. J. 2 (2011, June). Yes, it is possible! Completing the assessment cycle in one year. Presented at NASPA’s annual Assessment & Persistence Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Rodgers, M. M. 1 & Jurich, D. P.1 (2011, June). What factors drive improvements in program Assessment? An exploration using mixed methods. Presented at NASPA’s annual Assessment & Persistence Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Rodgers, M. M. 1, & Stoloff, M. 2 (2011, June). Using transcript analyses for curriculum mapping, capacity building, and retention. Poster presented at NASPA’s annual Assessment & Persistence Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Swain, M. S. 1, Fulcher, K. 2, & Yang, S. (2011, June). Communicating expectations of good assessment:  An evaluation of trends across the Nation. Presented at NASPA’s annual Assessment & Persistence Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Waugh, T. 1, & Anderson, R. D. 2 (2011, June). ABQ Scale validation: Implications for assessing Alternative Break Programs. Poster presented at NASPA’s annual Assessment & Persistence Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

1Psychological Sciences student
2Psychological Sciences faculty

PHOTO: Matt and Jerusha

Jerusha Gerstner and Matthew Swain speak about their experience presenting an invited pre-conference workshop at NASPA:

Jerusha Gerstner: “It was an invaluable experience to have the opportunity to attend and present at NASPA’s assessment conference this year. Presenting a pre-conference workshop allowed me to interact more closely with assessment professionals from around the country, providing them with training, so they can better assess their programs. The opportunity to present both a workshop and concurrent session, as well as attend other NASPA events gave me insight into the assessment practices conducted at other higher education institutions, which gave me a clearer understanding about policies for assessment around the country.

Matthew Swain: “Teaching the pre-conference workshop attendees innovative assessment techniques was a wonderful experience. We were able to share our experiences with program assessment and hear about concerns from other assessment professionals. This collaborative format provided an opportunity to glean new ideas and learn of policy issues at other institutions”

Leaders in the field, such as the Executive Director for The New Leadership Alliance, David Paris, provided a keynote address as the NASPA conference.

PHOTO: Megan Rodgers

Megan Rodgers:  “Hearing from leading assessment professionals in the field, such as David Paris, really helped me to gain a perspective for the value of assessment at a national level. The push for assessment is widespread and growing, and hearing from other professionals in the field gave me a great appreciation for the assessment work we do at James Madison.  I was also enlightened on areas that still need improvement within the field at a whole; it was truly an eye opening and wonderful opportunity.”

Tanja Waugh, Megan Rodgers, and Matthew Swain comment on the overall experience of NASPA:

PHOTO: Tanya Waugh

Tanja Waugh:“The NASPA assessment conference was a great opportunity to engage with various student affairs professionals interested in developing assessment plans or improving their existing plan. The pre-conference AIR/IPEDS workshop I attended allowed me to learn more about institutional research and how university data is used. During the conference, I enjoyed my chance to share my research with many practitioners interested in assessing student outcomes of service-learning programs. The connections made at the conference are invaluable. Some of the sessions I attended were very informative and I gained some insight on how to improve assessment for next year, as well as how to begin an assessment plan for a program not currently being formally assessed.”

Megan Rodgers: “Giving a presentation at a national conference was an excellent opportunity. It allowed me to share the work I’ve done, hear feedback from professionals in the field, and learn where others are in their assessment endeavors by attending many sessions offered at the conference. I also learned about unique challenges within student affairs assessment that I had previously not been aware of. This conference helped me to develop professionally and connect to leaders in our field.”

Matthew Swain: “Attending the NASPA assessment conference made me feel proud to be a part of the assessment work at James Madison University. Our assessment specialists and consultants are truly vanguards in proper assessment practices in both academic and student affairs.”