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Student Orientation Assessment

Student Affairs practitioners, just like all administrators and faculty members in American Higher Education, are being asked to demonstrate how what they do affects student learning and development. Accrediting officials, policy makers, board members, presidents and members of their cabinets, parents, and even students are showing an increased interest in the learning outcomes of the programs and services offered on college campuses. For many, assessing these outcomes is a complex and time consuming task. Those involved in Orientation and First Year Experience offices have the opportunity to reinforce the values of their institutions and influence college student attitudes, beliefs, and behavior. But those involved in planning and coordinating the new student experience rarely have the time to measure the influence they have.

National Assessment of Student Orientation Programs (NASOP)

This assessment package offers college administrators a convenient and low cost way to assess the outcomes of new student orientation. Administrators at participating institutions send a simple email to students who have completed their orientation program. The student completes a short questionnaire that addresses the effectiveness of the orientation experience and assesses important learning outcomes of the process. The data are collected directly by NASOP and summarized in an annual report for the member institution. Most importantly, each questionnaire can be individualized to meet the additional needs of the institution and the results can be compared to national norms. The SOPQ focuses on the assessment of the processes, procedures, and learning outcomes associated with the student orientation experience and is comprised of 57 questions divided into five sections: (a) Communication, (b) Orientation Experience, (c) Learning Outcomes, (d) School Environment, and (e) the demographic characteristics of students participating in orientation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the NASCAP Project work?

First, a clients complete contracts for consulting services with the NASCAP Project and are assigned an individual consultant. This consultant will guide the client through the rest of the process. Clients assume responsibility for directing students who complete their hearings to the assessment questionnaire. Student data is captured on-line and stored by a data collection firm. At the end of the academic year, the data set is analyzed and an annual report is written. Descriptive statistics for each item on the questionnaire are provided in an easy to read report. National benchmarks for the same items are also included. The institution’s raw data set can be provided upon request.

What is assessed?

The Student Conduct Adjudication Processes Questionnaire (SCAPQ) consists of about 50 questions, including demographics. The first set of these questions concerns the effectiveness and efficiency of the hearing process. Outcomes of the hearing (e.g., understanding of institutional policy, likelihood of engaging in the same behavior, etc.) are also assessed.

A second set of questions addresses student perception of the campus environment (e.g., consistency in communicating student expectations, exhibiting high morale character, etc.). The final section of the questionnaire asks participants to provide demographic information about themselves.

The Educational Sanctions Outcomes Assessment Questionnaire (ESOAQ) consists of about 40 questions, including demographics. These questions focus on what is learned as a result of the educational experience. The effectiveness of the skills taught in these programs is also assessed.

Can the questionnaires be changed to fit my needs?

Individual items on the questionnaire cannot be changed. However, to make the language more familiar to survey participants, terms can be substituted (e.g., judicial affairs vs. student conduct vs. student discipline).

In addition, clients can add up to four additional multiple-choice questions using an appropriate Likert-scale on either the SCAPQ or ESOAQ . The fee for each additional question (up to 4) is $50.

NASCAP Project Consultants reserve the right to modify its assessment questionnaire from time to time based on the literature in the field, contemporary research interest, and the evolution of the psychometric properties of the instrument.

May I copy and use these reports for other research purposes?

The Student Conduct Adjudication Processes Questionnaire (SCAPQ) and the Educational Sanction Outcomes Questionnaire (ESOAQ) are copyrighted by the authors and cannot be reproduced, copied, or used in any way without written permission.

Will NASCAP obtain IRB permission to conduct research on my campus?

Clients assume responsibility for determining if institutional IRB approval is required. NASCAP consultants adhere to the highest research standards and ethical protocols regarding research and the use of human subjects. NASCAP is an independent consulting firm and is not affiliated with any institution of higher education, however. NASCAP consultants will not secure IRB permission from the contracting agent’s institution. If clients are required to obtain IRB from their own institutions, NASCAP consultants will help them complete the forms and obtain approval.

How is the data collected?

Once a service contract is completed, clients will receive instructions on how to direct students who have completed their disciplinary hearing to the electronic questionnaire. Student responses will be collected on-line by a data collection firm. These data are kept in an institutionally identified data file. Students who respond to the survey cannot be identified in any way.

Clients, or their designees, assume responsibility for inviting and reminding their students to participate. These email messages will be provided by your NASCAP Project Consultant.

How is my data handled and secured?

NASCAP Project Consultants are not responsible for response rates. Back-up files of institutional data will be made on a daily basis by the data collection firm used by the NASCAP Project . If in the unlikely event a data file is damaged or lost by the data collection firm, all reasonable attempts to recover the data will be made. Clients who agree to accept reports made on partial data, will receive a prorated refund of the fee paid for the annual report connected with the lost data.

From time to time institutional data will be merged to create national benchmarks, the name of institutions will not be connected to any data set. Institutional descriptors (e.g., type, size, status) may be added.

What kind of report do I get?

An electronic copy of the annual report in pdf format, based on the responses received, will be delivered within 14 days of the reports completion. This report may be reproduced or reformatted by the client for any appropriate reason. Appropriate attribution to the NASCAP Project and the individual NASCAP Consultant should be given.

Will the pricing structure change?

Once you become a NASCAP Member, the quoted prices are good for as long as you maintain continuous enrollment. Future prices are subject to change, however. Consult the products web page for the latest information on prices and discounts.

How it works

The National Assessment of Student Orientation Programs (NASOP) Project offers college administrators a convenient and low cost way to achieve this important goal. New Student and Orientation administrators at participating institutions send a simple email to students who have completed their disciplinary hearings. The student completes a short questionnaire that addresses the effectiveness of the hearing process and assesses important learning outcomes of the conduct process. The data are collected directly by NASOP and summarized in an annual report for the member institution. Most importantly, each questionnaire can be individualized to meet the additional needs of the institution and the results can be compared to a national reference group.

The process is simple, efficient, and cost effective. If you can send email, you can do outcomes assessment!

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