Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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MAP-Works (Making Achievement Possible) - Fall 2010 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.
Western's Fall 2010 residence hall Map-Works program again saw exceptional response, with 98.5% of the freshmen agreeing to participate. In addition, for the first time, Western will be including a Spring 2011 comparison where students will be able to see the progress they have made in their social, academic, and overall transition to college.
Comparison with Last Year (FY11 - Fall 2010 vs. FY10 - Fall 2009)
In each of the following graphs our comparison with last year's MAP-Works fall semester results are statistically compared. The additional color coding demonstrates the statistical significance of the results as indicated below, with green representing a statistical improvement, red representing a statistical decline, and yellow indicating a non-statistical change.
Western's residence hall staff provide a great deal of focus on helping students adapt to their new living environment, with RAs continuously reaching out to students. In fact, in past surveys, students have overwhelmingly indicated that their RAs are the individual they feel most comfortable with in taking about personal or academic problems. Thus, no major change was expected in the social integration of our new residence hall freshmen for Fall 2010. However, while not statistically significant, there was a modest increase in overall social integration. In addition, there was very substantial improvement in our new freshmen on-campus living integration, especially in terms of roommate relationships. However, on the negative side, we did see a decline in our ability to combat homesickness issues felt by our new freshmen, and disturbingly, there was less of a commitment to Western expressed by our Fall 2010 freshmen.
While there was not overall change in the academic integration or this year's freshmen class, there was substantial improvement in advanced academic behaviors, as well as self-assessed community and time management skills. Western's RA and residence hall staff have established numerous academic-related workshops and hope that these will show improvement in retention as well and Spring 2011 assessed academic integration factors.
Unfortunately this year's freshman class showed a statistical decline in overall satisfaction with the institution, led by financial factors, homesickness, and commitment to the institution. During the Fall semester, RAs and housing staff worked to help students overcome initial feelings of homesickness and provided numerous activities to help them feel part of the institution as well as making them aware of financial assistance opportunities. Hopefully these efforts will show fruition with Fall to Spring retention, and with Fall 2010 to Fall 2011 retention.
Comparison with Other Institutions
From the 80 other school nationwide who were participating in the Fall 2010 - Spring 2011 MAP-Works effort, Western selected 6 peers to be compared with: Ball State University, Indiana State University, Northern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University - Carbondale, Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville, and University of Northern Iowa. Our benchmark results are shown below, as well as our benchmark with all 27 other Master's Carnegie Class institutions and all 80 other participating schools.
Compared to Western's direct peer institutions, our Fall 2010 freshmen demonstrated better social integration, including better peer connections and better social aspects of on-campus living. However, our freshmen were below our benchmark comparison in terms of commitment to the institution, roommate relationships, and homesickness.
Compared to Western's direct peer institutions, our Fall 2010 freshmen were lower in terms of academic integration, including being lower in self-assessed analytical and time management skills, as well as being lower in basic academic skills and in academic self-efficacy. However, our freshmen excelled compared to our peers in their self-assessed communication skills.
Unfortunately, compared to our peer institution, our freshman class show a lower satisfaction with the institution, with commitment to the institution, separation homesickness, distressed homesickness, financial means, and roommate relationships contributing to this attitude. Other problematic areas, particularly on the academic side, were self-assessed analytical and time management skills, basic academic skills, and academic self-efficacy. However, our students excelled in peer connections and the social aspects of on-campus living, as well as self-assessed communication skills which will hopefully give the RAs and hall staff a good foundation on which to build.