Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

CSE survey: Student life participation high

About 94 percent of freshmen and nearly 70 percent of sophomores regularly participate in extracurricular activities, according to University survey results released Wednesday – data that will help steer student life staff’s interactions with students.

The informal assessment, which was the first at GW to gauge student involvement outside the classroom, falls in line with broader efforts in higher education to assess the overall value of a college degree, Tim Miller, director of the Center for Student Engagement, said.

“I had always ‘known’ that our students were incredibly active both on and off campus and this information provided us the proof of that fact,” Miller said in an e-mail.

Having a clearer picture of each class year will help community directors and house staff

Media Credit: Source: Center for Student Engagement

tailor their support to students they are directly working with, he said. For example, Miller will encourage CSE staff working with sophomores to offer leadership training, as 54 percent of second-year students have a leading role in a student organization.

It focused on freshmen and sophomores – the two classes that are required to live on campus – because they interact most with the CSE’s services.

About 50 percent of sophomores spend time at a job or internship, compared to 30 percent of freshmen.

A greater portion of freshmen engage in service – about 68 percent – compared to 45 percent of sophomores. Emphasis on community service has been a hallmark of University President Steven Knapp’s tenure with the expansion of the Freshman Day of Service and Martin Luther King Day of Service.

“For years we have only guessed about student engagement levels on campus,” Miller said. “This is an incredibly worthwhile project that we will continue to do annually in order to get a snapshot of our students.”

The CSE launched this fall as a new campus-life umbrella organization that will personalize services for each class year of students. This year, Miller and his team have prioritized student feedback about the campus experience, efforts that included hall tours by administrators in October for every residence hall on campus.

Dean of Students Peter Konwerski said the University is “working hard to research the best ways to use this data.” He said it may take several years of collecting data to notice a trend but said this year’s results alone will facilitate a broad look at the CSE’s efforts.

“We want to step back and look at the whole of how students get involved,” Konwerski said.

The University has made a recent effort to “evaluate the value of the GW experience,” Konwerski said, paralleling a trend at universities nationally toward quantifying the outcomes of education.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities published a report last year emphasizing the need for higher education institutions to “document the quality of learning in college.”

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