Collecting Involvement Data for Annual Assessment


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Collecting Involvement Data for Annual Assessment of Outcomes

The Office of Student Activities at La Sierra University uses OrgSync to manage student co-curricular involvement and meet their department objectives.

The Office of Student Activities (“OSA”) at La Sierra University joined the OrgSync family in 2010 after looking for a better way to manage the student organizations on campus and track all student co-curricular involvement. After implementing OrgSync, the staff realized how valuable the platform would be for them to achieve their goals and serve their students.

Within one year, OrgSync has become an integral part of campus life at La Sierra University. It is being used to help Kim Canine, Director of Student Activities, and her staff meet department objectives and collect detailed involvement data for their Annual Assessment of Outcomes for Non-Academic and Academic Support Departments.

How OrgSync Meets Department Objectives

The OSA at La Sierra University has seven department objectives. OrgSync plays an active role helping the department meet each objective and allows them to collect supporting data for their annual assessments and WASC accreditation.

1. STUDENTS WILL BE ABLE TO EASILY JOIN AND MANAGE ORGANIZATIONS THAT THEY CHOOSE TO BE IN

OrgSync provides a centralized database for La Sierra’s students to search for and join organizations based on their interests. Students can centralize their organization involvement online, allowing them to more effectively manage organization memberships and stay involved on campus. The OSA has categorized each of their 125 student organizations into eight specific categories: Academic, Cultural, Service, Student Services, Student Governance, Residence Halls, Recreational, & Performing.

2. STUDENTS CAN TRACK AND MANAGE CO-CURRICULAR INVOLVEMENT

OrgSync’s Involvement Manager systematically tracks each student’s co-curricular involvement on campus including all memberships, leadership, service, participation from an organization, and University and Residential Worships. Students are also able to request additional participation credit from outside sources, which are validated using the approval settings in OrgSync. Now that the OSA is able to provide an accurate way to track student involvement, it has received the funding to provide Co-Curricular Transcripts for each student to showcase their out-of-classroom experiences. The Co-Curricular Transcript initiative is now part of the University’s strategic plan.

3. CAMPUS WILL BE INFORMED OF EVENTS THROUGH VARIOUS TYPES OF ADVERTISEMENT MEANS

The communication tools in OrgSync (news posts, text messages, OrgSync messages, etc.) enable the OSA to disseminate information quickly and efficiently, allowing them to promote upcoming activities on campus to students and staff. Organization leaders also have the ability to customize and target communication to members using their OrgSync portal. The OSA conducted a survey using OrgSync to learn what methods were best for reaching students and collected both qualitative and quantitative feedback to help maximize the impact of their efforts moving forward.

4. STUDENT LEADERS WILL BE MENTORED, TRAINED, SUPPORTED, AND GIVEN TOOLS TO FACILITATE SUCCESS

The OSA at La Sierra has created a special portal in OrgSync, called “Student Leadership OrgSync,” to provide resources for campus leaders. It has become a place for campus leaders to discuss ideas, share information, and get tools to help with managing their organizations and events. To ensure students are fully utilizing OrgSync, the office also hosts a mandatory workshop each year for each student organization’s leadership team to receive training on OrgSync and gain an understanding about the expectations for student organizations on campus.

5. PROVIDE A MANAGEMENT AND COMMUNICATION TOOL FOR STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS AND DEPARTMENTS

Registered student organizations are using the tools in OrgSync to create sustainable organizations, manage their organization and memberships, plan and schedule organization events, and communicate with members and campus staff. As of June 23, 2011, La Sierra has 1,462 users on OrgSync and has classified them into the following categories: Faculty/Staff, Senior, Junior, Sophomore, Freshman, Graduate Student, Alumni, and Non-Student.

Usage of OrgSync has expanded across campus and nine departments at La Sierra (Academics, Student Activities, Student Organizations, Residential Life, Spiritual Life, College of Arts & Sciences, School of Business, School of Education, and School of Religion) now have their own department Umbrella Portal to oversee and manage different aspects of their department. By leveraging multiple umbrellas on OrgSync, each department is able to operate with a separation of powers to improve communication and reporting.

6. ADVISORS WILL BE TRAINED, SUPPORTED, AND GIVEN TOOLS TO FACILITATE SUCCESS

The “Student Leadership OrgSync” portal has helped OSA advisors facilitate conversations, schedule appointments, and build positive relationships with their students. OrgSync has made it possible for advisors to spend more time with students and manage the development of their students. Some of the tools utilized include online forms, polls, discussions forums, and news posts.

“OrgSync has either been the answer or has helped with the answer. The system has fulfilled more of our needs than we could have imagined. Our department most certainly could not achieve our goals and serve our students without OrgSync.”

- Kim Canine
7. COMMUNITY-WIDE CALENDAR WITH INDIVIDUAL ORGANIZATION AND DEPARTMENT MANAGEMENT AVAILABILITY

OrgSync’s community-wide calendar allows students and staff to access all events available on campus from a central location. Student organizations can request for events to display on the community-wide calendar, and the campus administrators have the ability to approve or deny each request. Each user also has the ability to filter their calendar by department or organization, which makes it easy for students and staff to stay up-to-date on organization and campus-wide events.