By: Kimberly A. Piatt
Ah, the summer months. For most college campuses, it is a time of recovery and renewal; a chance to reflect on the successes and, dare I say it, failures of the year gone by. The relative quiet, and much more manageable inbox, allows student affairs professionals the chance to accomplish all the things they weren’t able to get to during semesters that never seem to have enough time. If your campus is anything like mine, there is an emphasis on using the assessment cycle to evaluate and improve programs – and summertime provides just the opportunity to spend some time “closing the loop.”
As is assuredly clear by now, any meaningful assessment doesn’t just stop once the numbers are tabulated, responses coded and results reported. The true impact of assessment is felt when it is used to generate improvements and future goals. Time spent in strategic planning takes the knowledge gleaned from the data to create a meaningful course of action. Recently, the Student Leadership Programs Knowledge Community (SLPKC) had the opportunity to engage in such a process while seeking to better meet the needs of its members.
In the early months of 2013, the SLPKC Leadership Team designed and implemented a Membership Feedback Survey, hoping to better understand if they were reaching members effectively and to assess overall satisfaction. The survey was designed through collaborative question development, with many team members contributing to specific questions and survey’s overall design, implementation, and analysis. The results not only provided information about our core audience, including position, years in the field, and forms of leadership development offered, but it offered insight into our impact as a knowledge community.
Upon reflection, the SLPKC Leadership team was able to identify areas of strength, particularly our newsletter and webinar series as professional development options. We were also able to determine that we need to do a better job of interacting with our members and promoting the wonderful things happening within the Knowledge Community. As a result, we have already begun the planning process for different initiatives that will allow us to have a direct impact on our members.
Yes, summer can be a time for rest and relaxation, but it can also be a time of revolution! So as the summer days are drifting away, take a second, or several, to reflect.
To view the full article on the SLPKC Membership Feedback Survey, be sure to check out the June issue of the SLPKC Newsletter!