MAP-Works (Making Achievement Possible) - Fall 2009 Results
MAP-Works is an assessment system that enhances a student’s ability to make a successful transition to college. MAP-Works enables student success by providing customized, relevant information to students and by alerting faculty/staff so that they can initiate proactive intervention to reduce a student’s risk of failure and to help students get the most out of their college experience. Begun at Ball State University more than 20 years ago, MAP-Works provides a proactive approach to help students better transition to college life and meet both their academic and personal goals. In 2007, Ball State partnered with Educational Benchmarking to pilot a fully integrated online version, taking advantage of technology to provide immediate feedback, both to the students themselves, as well as to professional support staff who could initiate early proactive efforts. Fall 2008 debuted Map-Works as a nationally available tool and benchmarking instrument to help colleges work with at-risk students early in their first semester and address their college transition issues.
- Academic Success: Improve students' ability to succeed academically by realigning behavior with grade expectations and focusing on elements of academic success.
- Retention: Minimize percentage of capable students who drop out due to issues that could have been addressed by self-awareness or timely intervention by professional staff.
- Student Development: Facilitate the establishment of relationships, address homesickness, and identify residence hall living issues.
- Student Involvement: Connect students with campus resources to facilitate involvement with students organizations and campus programming.
The Big Picture
Between our first involvement in 2007 and our 2009 involvement, the MAP-Works effort has undergone some impressive reporting changes that help better understand the issues facing our first-year students, and provide recommendations for improvement in helping them transition successfully to their new world as a college student.
The new focus of MAP in 2009 highlights 3 major indicators of success: Social Integration, Academic Integration, and Overall Transition.
As can be seen in the figure below, Western's first -year freshmen achieved the nationally established goals of satisfaction across all 3 of these areas, indicating that our freshmen are generally doing quite well in terms of adapting to both the social and academic challenges of being a colleges student and are satisfied with their Western experience.
In Comparison with our Peers
This positive note regarding the successful integration of our 2009 first-year freshmen is also apparent when compared to our peer institutions, a comparison which became available with the increasing interest in participating in the MAP-Works program among 4-year institutions nationwide. As can be seen in the figure below, Western's 2009 first-year freshmen exceeded the social integration scores for our 6-school peer group, across the 21 schools in our same Carnegie classification of larger master's colleges and universities, and all 77 of the 4-year institutions who participated in the 2009 MAP-Works program. In addition, Western's 2009 first-year freshmen exceed the academic integration scores of the all institutional group, although there was no statistical difference with our peer group or like Carnegie class institutions. In terms of institutional satisfaction, there was sufficient variability that no statistically significant differences were apparent compared to any of our peer groups. (As a note, our 6-school peer group was comprised of Ball State University, Northern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University - Carbondale, Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville, the University of Illinois - Chicago, and the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater.)
In Comparison with our 2008 Results
When comparing Western's 2009 results to those of our 2008 first-year freshman, the following figure shows that the efforts that have been taken to ensure our first-year freshmen successfully integrate both socially and academically have been successful, with the 2009 freshmen reporting better satisfaction with their social and academic integration. However, there is cause for concern as our 2009 freshman also report considerably less satisfaction with the institution in terms of their overall transition. This is clearly an area that needs to be investigate more closely as lack of institutional satisfaction may lead to students not continuing their academic pursuits at Western, and thus negatively impacting our ongoing retention efforts.