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4 Posts authored by: Zac Bacco

Higher education researchers have long understood the role campus involvement plays in supporting student success. Extracurricular participation supplements the classroom experience by allowing students to grow and learn as part of their broader college experience. As such, ensuring our students engage in these experiences—and get the most out of them—is crucial. This research note explores the relationship between student activities participation and other educational outcomes. The findings, presented as five key insights, were drawn from a national dataset constructed from the responses of over 5,000 college students to the ACUI/Benchworks Student Activities Assessment.

Whether inside the classroom, in residence halls, or in student activities, opportunities for students to make meaningful connections are plentiful. These connections lead to a sense of community and belonging, which in turn support student success. Data from a variety of Skyfactor assessments demonstrate the prevalence and importance of positive connections across campus.

The positive impacts of student employees to our campus offices and departments are clear. They perform essential duties that allow the institution to function on a day-to-day basis. But, these employment opportunities also help our students to build valuable professional skills to support their post-graduation plans while providing them with a source of income while in school. Student employment programs are obligated to provide a safe and productive work environment to student employees in order to maximize their learning potential as well as their contributions to the institution.


This research note details findings from a national dataset constructed from the 2017-2018 Benchworks Student Employee Survey of over 1,000 student employees from 12 colleges and universities in the United States. In particular, this research notes details demographics of student employees, explores overall perceptions of the experience, and details concepts that have the strongest statistical relationships with overall perceptions of the experience.


Key Questions:

  1. Who are our student employees?
  2. How do student employees rate their overall experience?
  3. Which satisfaction factors have the strongest relationship with overall program effectiveness?
  4. Which learning factors have the strongest relationship with overall program effectiveness

Last week, our Learning Science and Insights team released a whitepaper, "Beyond the Hype of Big Data in Education". In it, our team of learning designer researchers and data scientists outline how data can be used responsibly to more effectively impact big data. The data mining and learning analytics processes outlined in the whitepaper demonstrate the type of deep analysis, consideration and empathy that Benchworks has been recognized for more than 20 years. With partnerships with more than 1,500 institutions of higher education, as well as with key program accrediting bodies for the departments that our assessments service, we remain committed to providing programs with nationally-normed assessments and benchmarking that help better understand what's working on their campuses and how to best facilitate improvements with innovative programs. One of the key takeaways from the whitepaper is that there is a difference between data and insights. Benchworks will continue to endeavor to provide robust, but accessible program insights - not overwhelm you with data. If you would like to learn more about how Benchworks program assessments can support your institutional and department initiatives, please reach out to your local Assessment Specialists.skyfactor - blog post