Research and Assessment

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Upon entering the College Student Affairs program, I brought a keen understanding of assessment from my prior career in K-12 education.  As a special educator, I wrote learning objectives and assessed goals on a regular basis.  This provided a strong base from which to build my understanding of research and assessment in higher education.

Throughout the two years in the program, I have learned the connection between theory and research.  Theory grounds research while research gives credibility to theory as well as refining it through its ability to generate new questions.  CSA 504:  Research and Assessment in College Student Affairs taught me to not only understand, but also create, the key components of a research study.  The importance of statistical analysis to research design became clear and led to my seeking out a course to better inform my understanding of statistical methods. 

Work on the Research Assessment Team in my graduate assistantship office, the Division of Undergraduate Studies, allowed me to see the application of research in an effort to improve practice in a functional area.  Seeing the intricate steps the research team worked through to receive IRB approval was a valuable practical experience.
I have learned the important role both research and assessment play in program planning and improvement on both a large and small scale.  Being introduced to large scale survey instruments such as the NSSE and how the results are linked to strategic planning and mission development was enlightening. 

I will graduate from the CSA program with a broader and deeper understanding of the role research and assessment play in many important ways.  I have included my own research proposal written for CSA as evidence of my learning.

Intellect, Advising, and the College Major Decision Process.pdf

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