Student Achievement Assessment Committee
Bowen-Thompson Student Union
Please find listed below 7 assessment reports that reflect the work of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union this past year. These cover a wide variety of topics which fit into the mission of the Student Union: programming, student employment, and operations. The assessment titles are as follows:
*Bowen-Thompson Student Union Survey
*Student Employee Learning Outcome Rubric
*Student Union 2004 Fall Traffic Study
*Student Union 2005 Spring Traffic Study
*Customer Comment Card Assessment
*Facility Usage Assessment
*Student Employee and Intern Demographics
*Bowen-Thompson Student Union Survey
The first ever web based Bowen-Thompson Student Union general survey was conducted in the fall, 2004. This was an initiative spearheaded by the Union Advisory Board. The survey was designed to assess the frequency of use and satisfaction with specific areas in the Student Union, primarily focusing on all the food establishments and other general services in the Student Union. The survey, comments, and analysis follow. Discussion has ensued from the Union Advisory Board to expand this survey in the fall, 2005.
1. Learning (or Service) Outcomes assessed this Year:
*To receive feedback from customers who use the Student Union.
*To identify aspects of satisfaction as well as problems or concerns about the
facilities and services.
2. Assessment Methods and Procedures:
*A web based survey was used for this assessment (see below).
*It was advertised on the main page of the University web site and through the Student Union internal email memo, the BGNews, and various listprocs.
*Respondents were asked to fill out the survey by “clicking on the appropriate button. If
any item does not apply to you, simply don’t click any of the buttons for it.” At
the end of the survey, they were asked to fill in information regarding gender, status, and, if a student, class rank. A space for additional comments also was
*A free ipod giveaway was a marketing tool used to draw students to complete the survey.
*The institutional research office tallied all the responses and sent them to the Director.
*A total of 849 surveys were completed.
3. Inferences from Assessment:
*In general, the results of the survey showed a high level of satisfaction with most areas of the Student Union. Food is a major draw to the Union for all respondents with Wendy’s having the highest number of uses per person per semester. The Union Advisory Board believes the reason for this is due to speed of service, cost, and consistency of product. Sophomores and freshmen make use of the food areas most, followed by juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Since most of the students who live on campus are freshmen and sophomores, this convenience and use aspect make sense.
*The theater received relatively high frequency of use marks which can possibly be attributed to the UAO movie series.
*Juniors and seniors make the most use of event planning and the paint/poster room which can be attributed to their assuming an officer role in student organizations, and freshmen make the most use of the Photo ID area (first college ID). There are significant differences in frequency of use by males and females. Females make more frequent use of catering, ballroom, and the multipurpose room which are prime event spaces and functions. This could be attributed to a higher level of female run office holders in student organizations on campus than male and therefore females are also more satisfied with these areas than males.
*There is significant difference between class rank on satisfaction with appearance of the Union. Freshmen and sophomores are most satisfied with the appearance, followed by juniors and graduate students. Seniors are the least satisfied. This may be attributed to seniors remembering the old union and longing for some of those services no longer available, e.g. bowling alley.
*And last, there is a significant difference in satisfaction between males and females among retail use. Females are overall more satisfied with the retail in the Student Union than males. Women like to shop more.
*Summary of the comments section included the following:
Negatives included flex funds, fast food franchises, Student Union hours, speed
of service, and Bookstore prices. Lesser concerns included ATM machines (adding a fourth), computer lab (open later, add another lab, cleaner, staffing more knowledgeable in technology), more vegan and vegetarian offerings, Pub,security, parking, and theater times.
Pluses include great place, cleanliness, a hub of campus, good place to study and
eat, like this union compared to others that have been visited. Overall, a great place was mentioned more often than other comments.
4. Actions Taken/Program Improvements:
*Results have been shared with the Student Union staff, University Dining Services and the Bookstore.
*A representative from University Dining Services attended a Union Advisory Board meeting and discussed the findings of the survey. Action has been taken in certain areas, e.g. addition of Starbucks (Carnation Café received low marks on the survey), hours for the Nest will be expanded in the fall, service has been
addressed in the Greenery, food options continue to expand and a DDR machine was added to the games room.
*Discussion about the findings and future actions will continue in the fall with the Union Advisory Board. Special note: four members of the Union Advisory Board are students, representing two from USG, one from UAO, and one from GSS.
*Student Employee Learning Outcome Rubric
The information presented here summarizes the accomplishments of the Learning Outcomes project in the Student Union. The goals of the project are to accurately document the learning outcomes in several key positions of student employment, to measure the effectiveness of our current training, and then to use those results to tailor our student employment orientation and training programs to teach the skills necessary to achieve those outcomes. The results will be explained in each of the following areas.
. Basic learning outcomes identification and development of rubrics
. Research - New student employees pre-test, focus group sessions, and post-test to assess student perceptions and growth in knowledge and skill
. Inferences from work thus far
. Actions Taken/Program Improvements
. Future Work
Basic learning outcomes identification and development of rubrics
As of this writing, a basic rubric has been created to encompass the general student employee orientation program (see Appendix 2), which is required for each employee regardless of his or her work area within the Student Union. This rubric has its own set of learning outcomes, which is of a more general nature, and is applicable to all student positions in the Student Union, regardless of specific responsibilities. At this time, I have chosen to separate this rubric from each individual position rubric for easier reference, but in the future, it may appear as part of each position’s rubric.
Job-specific rubrics have been created for our Event Planning staff (see Appendix 3) and Information Center staff (see Appendix 1) positions. These have been created using the job descriptions for each position, training materials for each area, the list of transferable skills attained in each position, and supervisory input on each rubric. The rubrics focus on the key training points defined in the employee job descriptions and the levels of skills that make up each of these points. Additional rubrics will be created in the future for the Building Manager, Audio/Visual, Building Services, and Custodial staff positions. All of these rubrics have been developed and used as a guide for the development and continuous improvement of the overall employee orientation.
The student employee orientation program has been revised to match the general rubric for development of basic knowledge about the Student Union, its philosophy, staff, policies, and basic procedures. The student employee evaluation form was then created to match these rubrics to more effectively measure the effectiveness of the orientation-training program (see Appendix 4 & 9).
A. Focus Group Fall Semester 2004
Student employees pre-tested on the developed learning outcomes rubric at the beginning of the semester.
. Pre-tests completed at beginning of orientation program for all new employees of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union to measure their levels of knowledge prior to orientation. Twenty four students total were tested.
. Results were tabulated for pre-tests and it shows varying levels of knowledge with the highest percentages falling in the “Beginning Skill” category (see Appendix 5).
. Distribution list of all student participants created and students contacted to ask them to participate in further focus group discussions about orientation and the training they received during the semester so far.
Focus groups conducted during fall semester to assess student perceptions/opinions of the training program.
. Meetings with small student groups to discuss their current levels of skill and knowledge in their work areas (October/November, 2004). These same student groups were told that they would meet again in April.
. Results of each focus group discussions were compiled and results used to make recommendations toward revision of both orientation and in some cases, area-specific training, for certain positions (see Appendix 6-8).
. The results of these meetings have already been used to re-structure, if only minimally at first, the program and format of new student employee orientation for subsequent semesters, and have also impacted the evaluation process used by supervisors.
B. Focus Groups Spring Semester 2005
Post-tests administered to student group to assess perceptions of growth in knowledge and skill after one year’s time in employment at the Student Union.
. Post-tests were given at beginning of focus group sessions held in the spring of 2005 for all new employees of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union to measure their perceptions of growth in knowledge and skills after one year of employment in the Student Union. There were twenty-one students total that responded (3 less than in the fall.)
. These post-tests were identical to the original pre-tests and students were asked to complete them using the same instructions.
. Results tabulated for post-tests. Show varying levels of knowledge, but the highest percentages were found in the “Accomplished” and “Mastery” category (see Appendix 10).
. There was a significant shift from the results of the pre-tests.
Focus groups conducted during the spring semester to assess student perceptions of how well their training
throughout the course of the year prepared them for their jobs.
. Meetings with small focus groups to discuss their perceptions of the past year, and how well or poorly the training they received prepared them for their work.
. Results of each focus group discussions were compiled and results used to make recommendations toward revision of both orientation and in some cases, area-specific training, for certain positions (see Appendix 11-13).
. The results of these meetings have already been used to re-structure, if only minimally at first, the program and format of new student employee orientation for subsequent semesters, and have also impacted the evaluation process used by supervisor.
The results of the Student Union’s work throughout this year were presented at the Association for College Unions International’s national conference in Reno, NV on March 25, 2005. The presentation, entitled “The Rewards of Creating a Developmental Student Employee Model” featured a comprehensive overview of the entire student employment process (marketing, recruitment, training, recognition, evaluation) with an emphasis on the assessment of orientation and continuous training employees receive. This presentation was very successful, well evaluated, and considered innovative by many in attendance.
Inferences from work thus far:
The training model utilized by the Bowen-Thompson Student Union is now 3 years old and has improved steadily each year. The model is intentionally designed to provide learning in both job-related skills and in personal development, and we have made strides in improving our methods of training and formal assessment. It is our hope to continually refine the training and developmental experiences we provide for our student staff using more careful assessment based upon defined learning outcomes. At this point we recognize that while our program is far from perfect, we have certainly taken some steps in the right direction.
The value of this project’s results have already been beneficial to the student employment program, which is the backbone of the Student Union, in terms of giving direction to the supervisory group of professional staff. Through the focus group research process we have come to the following conclusions listed below:
An inference made in developing these rubrics is essentially that the student employment program is moving in the “right direction” with its commitment to front-end orientation training and continuous skill development. Prior to this project, the supervisory staff met to set goals for training efforts, discussed and processed training that occurred, and showed commitment to refining the training based on direct student feedback (program evaluations) as well as observed performance needs (daily job performance). These methods were essentially a “trial and error” process that we used in which we simply changed our plans after each orientation program. This research has been valuable because it has permitted us to look more critically at our program overall.
We have learned that there are some things we have done well, and some things need work. We have come to the following conclusions:
. Meeting professional staff and other employees was viewed positively, as was the Student Union’s commitment to customer service, because it helps students to feel comfortable working with the staff and with each other.
. The information on policies was long and boring, but many believed that it was necessary to “hear it once” and that orientation was the best place to do it.
. Team building activities were viewed positively because they promoted interaction between staff members.
. The program seemed long and somewhat disconnected from daily job duties. Most students did not remember the majority of the program, claiming that it had little impact on their daily job duties.
. It was said in several sessions that orientation was not effective because it was never reinforced or visited again throughout the year. Doing so may have made those messages more memorable.
. Area-specific training occurs under each supervisor, but to varying degrees ranging from an entire two-day session to a two-hour meeting prior to starting work. There is clearly not a standard for how this is conducted, and documentation of these efforts is weak.
. The greatest part of student employee learning takes place on the job, and happens best through repeated experience. Specific area training provides a basis for what each supervisor expects, but real learning takes place during the daily performance of job duties.
. This learning happens best when a new student is paired with an experienced student, and is the preferred method of most of the respondents.
. Area-specific training that students do receive is primarily task-based, and skills (such as dealing with angry customers) are rarely covered during that time nor later on throughout the year. While students reported that they always felt supported by their supervisors, they did report feeling overwhelmed at times by certain situations.
Perceptions of Professional Staff/Working in the Student Union
. Overwhelmingly, students reported that they felt the Student Union was a good place to work because of the positive experiences with their supervisors and with the rest of the professional staff.
. Students reported that they felt empowered to figure out the best ways to do their jobs provided that the end results fit with their supervisor’s expectations, and they feel comfortable in coming to the supervisory staff for assistance.
. The majority felt that the Student Union experience has been very positive, and that they are a valued member of the staff.
Additional Training Needs (not covered in their first year)
. Students reported a need for additional training in dealing with angry customers/difficult customers, as many experienced these situations either on the phone or in person at some point in the year.
. Likewise, they reported a general need for more training in advanced customer-service techniques.
. In general, members from different crews wanted to know more about major events going on in the Student Union throughout the course of each week to make sure that staff give correct information to customers.
. There seems to be a need for better cross-communication between staff, training last minute substitutes for other areas, and more cross-training between like-areas.
. Students recommended some team-building between areas that work together, because in many cases these students hardly know each other.
. In general, student felt that their area specific training prepared them for their first year, and that for the most part when any instances arose outside of their training, they felt supported by their supervisors.
Actions Taken/Program Improvements
This project, which is on-going and will continue to yield useful information, has lead to an increased awareness in the Student Union for more thorough and consistent training, policies, and procedures overall, and for more careful administration of the student employment program. From the information gained in the past year, we have already identified several areas of improvement, and have begun taking steps toward implementation. Specifically, this means:
Orientation program refined – The student employee orientation program has been further refined to achieve specific goals, namely an introduction to the staff, facility, and to the philosophies that guide the operation of the Student Union. The program will begin to tie in some of its concepts better to the daily work duties of each student employee. Concepts of orientation (Student Union philosophy, policies, etc) will be reinforced by supervisors throughout the year to keep this message fresh.
Student Employee Advisory Committee (EAC) - The Student Union has also created the Employee Advisory Committee, a student committee that focuses on the student employment program, which provides recommendations on policy, training, and student employee recognition. The Director is also a member of the EAC which provides direct communication from the student employees to that position and vice versa.
Area training refined – Each supervisory area within the Student Union now conducts area-specific training to provide hands-on training for each position within the Student Union. This training has, and will continue to be made, more standardized and connected to the learning-outcomes rubrics as each is developed.
Overall training manual refined – The Bowen-Thompson Student Union Employee Manual has been further refined to include all policies pertinent to student employees, Student Union operational policies, and customer service principles. This manual is also being revised by the Student Employee Advisory Committee to add the student employee perspective on Student Union policies.
Evaluation process refined/supervisor evaluations created - Student employees are evaluated (self-eval, supervisor eval) using an instrument based on the transferable skills outlined in the employee job descriptions. It is encouraging to see the commitment of the staff toward helping students achieve some learning outcomes even in the absence of formal rubrics for training and development. Students are also given the opportunities to evaluate their supervisors and their performance (anonymously) twice a year.
Continued focus in supervisory meetings – Bi-weekly meetings are held with all professional staff who supervise student employees in order to review policies and procedures related to employee training and supervision, to share best practices related to supervision, and to shape the future of the employee program. The results of the tests and focus group discussions have already been shared with the group, and have affected the way we look at how we work with our student staff. The results of our testing and focus group discussions have given the group a plethora of information to consider when creating future orientation programs and area-specific training.
Area manuals created/refined - In addition to the manual distributed to all employees, area specific manuals have been created for each position within the Student Union to document all procedures and processes necessary for each task that must be performed within that position.
Hiring process re-structured - In an effort to accurately convey the Student Union’s commitment to learning and on hiring students who wish to benefit experientially from student employment, the Student Union restructured its recruitment and hiring process to include information sessions that are mandatory for all students seeking to apply for a position in the Student Union. These sessions featured the following:
. Job descriptions reviewed from each area to list primary duties, requirements, salaries, and any prerequisites.
. General expectations and requirements outlined – For any and all potential employees, including attendance at training, dress codes, and behavioral expectations.
. Emphasis on learning-outcomes stressed – Transferable skills were highlighted as an important benefit of employment on campus.
. More stringent application and submission deadlines – Students could only pick up their applications at the information sessions, and had only one day in which to submit them.
. This process was successful in that it produced an interested, focused and invested pool of applicants that numbered over 225.
This project has only just begun. The work performed in this area in the past year has been valuable to the Student Union, but the work will only truly be valuable if it continues from here. We have set up a basic process for the operation of the student employment program. From here it is necessary to continue and improve our efforts at making sure our program is truly providing a meaningful experience for students. We look to:
. Continue to pre-test and post-test new employees as orientation continues to be refined. The orientation program will continue to change, as will our training throughout the year. It’s important that we continue to assess our efforts as we develop the program.
. Create rubrics and further develop and standardize area-specific training in each area. At this time, supervisors from each area conduct training for their areas separately, and without a standardized curriculum. Additional rubrics, which were far more difficult to develop for the remaining positions, will need to be developed and more consistent training must be created. The additional rubrics will be created for the Building Manager, Audio/Visual, Building Services, and Custodial staff positions. These rubrics will serve as the cornerstone of the training process, and will be the basis by which student employees are evaluated.
. Focus groups for all student employees will be held specifically within each employment area to receive more feedback on area specific training.
. Develop evaluation forms based on the rubrics designed for each area so that each employment position will have its own evaluation form.
. Continue to focus on assessment and evaluation of student employees.
*Student Union 2004 Fall Traffic Study
The goal of the fall traffic count is to see how many people entered the building, hourly, in a given day.
Data Collection Methods
The traffic count was conducted on Monday and Tuesday of the fifth week of the semester. This year’s study was conducted on September 20 and 21. Student organizations were paid to count traffic at each of the five main entrances from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. Hourly counts for each entrance were taken on both days and can be found below along with comparison information from the last two years. Total entrants to the building are a key measure of whether we have met our outcome.
Results and Conclusions
Total number of people entering the building continues to gradually increase each year for the last three years. It should be noted, though, that in previous years no major events occurred on the traffic count days. This year, however, there were some big events. We had the UAO Poster Sale in the Multipurpose Room on both days and a few major events on September 21 including the Administrative Staff Council Fall Reception and Ferrari Award announcement; a popular movie, “Harry Potter”; and an Honors Program event in 202A.
Also, traffic patterns are stable with most people entering the building through the main entrances (by the Bookstore and Information Center) followed by the northwest entrance (leading to Sorority Row), the Carnation Café entrance, and the Pub entrance. This traffic pattern has been consistent for the last three years.
Changes, Responses and/or Actions Taken Based on Assessment Findings
Knowing traffic patterns has aided us and our clients in marketing events to those who are coming to the Student Union. Given our traffic patterns, we were able to purchase and install way finding signage which helps people navigate the building. Future analysis of traffic count data might also aid in programming ideas or retail usage/contracts.
*Student Union 2005 Spring Traffic Study
The goal of the spring traffic count is to get a snapshot of what rooms and lounges are being used along with what retail traffic is taking place. Hourly counts were taken for each meeting space and lounge area as well as hourly customer transactions for each retail unit in the building.
Data Collection Methods
Hourly counts were taken by Student Union staff as described above. The room &
lounge counts for the day were totaled to give a usage total for the day along with a total
of customer transactions at each retail unit. These totals were then compared to similar
totals from previous years. In the future we will reevaluate the data collection method for
the spring traffic count. We do not feel it is the most accurate snapshot. However, for
consistency, we carried out the traffic count in this manner for one more year.
Changes, Responses and/or Actions Taken Based on Assessment Findings
To the extent that this is an accurate reflection of traffic in the building, this snapshot of building usage shows some pretty interesting changes as compared to the previous year. Customer transactions in the Peregrine Shop, the Bookstore, and Stampers continue to increase. Likewise, Food Court sales showed a healthy increase, hopefully a sign that the new management and subsequent changes implemented by Dining Services are having a positive impact. This year, contrary to previous years, there were some major events in the building, namely, Communication Studies Week speakers and programs, a blood drive, the Arts & Sciences Forum, and a History Colloquium. This in turn may explain why usage of room and lounge space increased. We do know that more and more events are taking place in the Student Union during April, pushing some events back to earlier dates than in past years.
*Customer Comment Card Assessment
Assessment Item: Customer Comment Card Results
1. Learning Outcomes assessed:
• To receive feedback from customer at the time of an event or meeting.
• To identify aspects of satisfaction as well as problems or concerns about the facilities and services of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.
2. Data Collection Methods:
• Blank customer comment cards are left in each meeting room to allow customers to provide feedback on:
1. Room set-up
3. Equipment operation
4. Catering service
5. Staff helpfulness
• Customers are asked to rate items 1-5 on a 5 point scale, with 5 being ‘excellent’ and 1 being ‘needs improvement.’
• Customers can also provide the date, time and place of the event, and the name of the sponsor and contact person
• Completed cards can be brought to the Information Center, or left in the meeting room so our staff can collect them.
• Completed cards are reviewed by the event planning and operations staffs.
• Results are tabulated through the course of the year so overall numbers or comments can also be assessed.
• A total of 134 comments cards were received between July 2004 and June 2005.
3. Results and Conclusions:
• In general, the results of the comment cards showed a very high level of satisfaction with the facilities and services of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. The average scores were as follows:
1. Room set-up 4.86
2. Cleanliness 4.92
3. Equipment operation 4.58
4. Catering service 4.70
5. Staff helpfulness 4.90
• The results showed Cleanliness and Staff Helpfulness were the mostly highly rated items, each with an average rating of 4.92 and 4.90, respectively, on a scale where 5 was Excellent. There were also numerous comments expressing satisfaction with staff helpfulness, both in planning the event and on the day of the activity.
• The lowest rated item was equipment operation, although that item was still very highly rated at 4.58.
• In all, there were 60 comments. Forty-six of these comments were very positive, expressing a high level of satisfaction with the building and arrangements, and generally thanking the staff for their help. My favorite comment was: “The student union is awesome! I am so proud that is why I host events here!”
• Fourteen comments expressed some level of dissatisfaction with the event arrangements. The comments included feedback about equipment problems (6 responses), the door being locked when they arrived (3 responses), room set-up problems (2 responses), and markers not working (2 responses).
• In comparing the 2004-05 results to the 2003-04 results (below), it should be noted that the average rating increased in every category except Catering Service.
1. Room set-up 4.73
2. Cleanliness 4.89
3. Equipment operation 4.56
4. Catering service 4.89
5. Staff helpfulness 4.80
4. Actions Taken/Responses:
• If a problem at an event or meeting was indicated on a comment card, a staff member followed up on that problem to get more information and see if there was some resolution step needed.
• Comments have been shared with staff, both student and professional, to reinforce good service and provide feedback on areas which could be improved.
*Facility Usage Assessment
Monitor usage of meeting and event spaces in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union to:
• maximize space availability,
• ensure proportions of funding are correct based on types of groups using spaces,
• make marketing decisions based on space availability and current funding,
• prepare long-term building expansion recommendations based on space utilization and campus needs,
• update applicable policies as necessary.
Data Collection Methods:
Database programs are used to track events. Pre-determined reports produce quantitative data regarding utilization, including numbers of events in each space, as well as types of groups using those spaces. These reports are run on a monthly basis and summarized in an excel spreadsheet. Other reports are produced on an as needed basis.
While it is not surprising that events at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union are increasing, there are a few interesting items to highlight. April 2005 is the first month when total events in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union exceeded 1000. Total events in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union increased 12% from the previous fiscal year. This is especially notable because the previous year’s increase was 2%. Total events processed by Event Planning and Reservations increased 4% from the previous fiscal year. The previous year’s increase was 6%.
In terms of organization types utilizing the Bowen-Thompson Student Union, the percentage of events sponsored by administrative departments has increased. It should be noted that the art galleries in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union have been fully scheduled by the programming area, and spaces reserved for programming sponsored by the Bowen-Thompson Student Union have increased by one-third. The percentage of events sponsored by registered student organizations has increased 7.52% from last year and they are now the second most frequent users of space in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. It appears that the percentage of off-campus client events has decreased. However this can be attributed to a significant decrease in usage of the facility by Conference Programs (68%). Use of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union by off-campus clients has actually increased by 25% from 2003-2004 to 2004-2005, if Conference Programs events are not included in the calculation.
Actions Taken/Program Improvements:
We continue to use this information to streamline our Master Calendaring process, which gives student organizations preference during the academic year, as well as “filling in” availability with revenue enerating events (specifically increased usage from the off campus client). Times have now been identified during the week and throughout the year, when University usage routinely decreases, to market our facilities to the off campus client and alleviate the drastic decrease of usage, and therefore revenue, from Conference Programs.
The yearly review is also taken into consideration when updating the policy manual.
Ultimately, we hope to identify the types of rooms that should be included in a building expansion plan. This data allows us to identify the most popular sized rooms and the type of audience that utilizes these spaces.
*Student Employee and Intern Demographics
Assessment Item: Student Employee and Intern Demographics
1. Learning Outcomes assessed:
• To have a census of student employees and interns within each supervisory area in the Student Union (includes areas which are organizationally a part of the Student Union; does not include the Bookstore, Dining Services, etc.).
• To use the census information to determine student employee retention rates.
2. Data Collection Methods:
• A form was developed for data collection, including information suggested by Student Union staff members. Information requested included name, gender, date hired (added spring 2005), numbers of semesters worked in the Student Union, academic major, class standing, and expected date of graduation.
• In the fall, each supervisor was given a blank form and asked to have their student employees complete the information. Thus, the information was self-reported.
• In the spring, each supervisor received a copy of the report from fall, and was asked to have their student employees update personal information, or write in information for new student employees. Again, the information was then self-reported.
• Supervisors turned their forms in to the Senior Associate Director, who compiled the report.
• Data was collected approximately 10 weeks into each semester.
5. Results and Conclusions:
Student Employee Information
• Overall numbers - employees:
o The Student Union employed 127 students in fall 2004 and 116 students in spring 2005. The reduction in the number of employees was primarily in the custodial area; all other areas varied only by 1 from fall to spring. (Note: there are 8 work areas overall).
o The largest staff was in Custodial: 50 students fall, 40 students spring.
o The smallest staffs were Event Planning (5 fall, 4 spring), and Office (5 both fall and spring).
o The average staff size was 16 in the fall, and 14.5 in the spring.
• Gender - employees:
o The total number of employees by gender was about equal in the fall (65 female and 62 male, or 51% female and 49% male), but the proportion of females increased in the spring (64 female and 52 male, or 55% female and 45% male).
o Event Planning and the Office staffs were exclusively female both fall and spring.
o The areas with the highest proportion of male employees were Audio-Visual (80% fall, 75% spring) and Services (72% fall, 78% spring).
• Ethnicity – employees:
o Overall, the student employees represented 5 categories of ethnicities, as shown below. The highest percentage of students identified themselves as Caucasian, followed by international students, then African-American. No student employees identified themselves as Asian-American or Native American.
o The most ethnically homogeneous staffs were Building Managers (fall: 89% Caucasian; spring: 87.5% Caucasian) and Services (fall: 89% Caucasian; spring 94% Caucasian).
o The most ethnically diverse staffs were Custodial and Audio-Visual.
• In the fall, the Custodial staff was 48% Caucasian, 34% International, and 22% African American. In the spring, the Custodial staff was 45% Caucasian, 37.5% International, and 17.5% African American.
• The Audio-Visual staff in the fall included 53% Caucasian, 27% International, 13% African American, and 7% Latino. In the spring, the Audio-Visual staff was 31% Caucasian, 31% African-American, 25% International, and 12.5% Latino.
• Semester Hired - employees:
o Beginning in spring 2005, the student employees were asked to report the semester in which they had been hired.
o The highest proportion of employees (31%) was hired in fall 2004. The next largest group (15%) was hired in spring 2004, followed by spring 2005 and fall 2003 (each 13%). There were 14 students, or 12% of the total staff, who were hired in spring 2002, which was the first semester the Student Union was open.
• Number of Semesters - employees:
o As a measure of the students’ employment tenure, they were asked to report the number of semesters they had worked for the Student Union. The number reported included the current semester. Fall, spring, and summer each counted as one semester.
o The average Student Union employee has worked in the department for 2.8 semesters as of fall 2004, and 3.4 semesters as of spring 2005.
o In the fall, the largest proportion of students had worked for the Student Union 1 semester (39%), followed by 3 semesters (17%).
o In the spring, the highest proportion of students had worked for the Student Union 2 semesters (32%), followed by 3 semesters (16%).
o The area with the most experienced students was the Building Managers, who reported having worked for the Student Union an average of 6.9 semesters as of fall, and an average of 7 semesters as of spring.
o The area with the least experienced students was Custodial. Both fall and spring semesters, just over one-half of the student employees were in their first or second semester of employment in that area.
• Major by College - employees:
o Approximately one-third of the Student Union’s student employees were enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences both fall and spring (33% fall, 34% spring). Education and Human Development was the next most frequently reported college (25% fall, 31% spring).
o Overall, student employees reported enrollment in 64 different majors.
• Class Standing - employees:
o Both fall and spring, the most frequently reported class standing was senior (36% fall, 31% spring). Sophomores and juniors were equally represented fall semester (each 22%), while there were slightly more sophomores (29%) than juniors (26%) in the spring. The least frequently reported class standing was graduate student (4% fall, 5% spring).
o The Building Managers had the highest class standing, overall. In the fall, 89% were seniors, and 11% were graduate students, while in the spring, 62.5% were seniors, 25% were juniors, and 12.5% were graduate students. This result is consistent with the information that the Building Managers had the highest tenure of all student employees, as noted above.
o In the fall, the Event Planning and Offices staffs had the highest proportion of sophomores with 40% each, followed by the Custodial staff with 24%. In the spring, the Information Center had the highest proportion of sophomores, with 41%, followed by the Office staff with 40% and Custodial with 37.5%.
o It should be noted that the Student Union typically does not hire many first semester freshmen, since the main hiring takes place in the spring for the following fall. Thus, very few freshmen are reported in the overall demographics. In the fall, 6% of the student staff reported themselves as freshmen, while 9% of the staff were freshmen in the spring. Most of these students were second or third semester freshmen. The Custodial staff was the only staff to have more than two freshmen on its staff each semester (5 in the fall, 4 in the spring, representing 10% of its staff each of those semesters).
• Expected Graduation Date - employees:
o May was the most commonly reported graduation time. In the fall, 25% of the students each reported either a May 2006 or 2007 expected graduation date, while 19% expected to graduate in May 2005. In the spring, 29% of the students expected to graduate in May 2007, followed by 25% expecting a May 2006 graduation, and 20% reporting a May 2005 graduation date.
• Overall report – interns:
o The Student Union staff includes interns in the Program and Marketing areas. The students in these areas typically hold a one semester internship for academic credit. There were 4 interns in the Program area both fall and spring, while Marketing included 2 interns both fall and spring.
o The demographics information for the interns is not included in the student employee section of this report.
• Gender - interns:
o In the fall, there were 3 female and 1 male Program interns, while there were 4 female interns in the spring.
o In the fall, the Marketing interns included 1 male and 1 female, while both interns were male in the spring.
• Ethnicity – interns:
o All interns reported themselves as Caucasian in both intern areas, both fall and spring.
• Semester Hired - interns:
o All 6 interns were new to their positions in the fall. One Program intern continued in the spring, while the other 5 interns were new.
• Number of Semesters - interns:
o Of the 11 students to hold an internship with the Student Union this year, 10 were interns for one semester, while one held a two-semester internship.
o One of the fall Program interns was also a student employee who was then in her fifth semester as a Student Union employee.
• Major - interns:
o In the fall, the four Program interns represented four different majors: Journalism, Accounting, and Sports Management (one student each, Recreation and Tourism (2 students). One intern reported a double major in Sports Management and in Accounting. In the spring, 3 students reported majoring in Journalism, while the fourth was a Recreation & Tourism major.
o The two marketing interns reported VCT as a major, both fall and spring.
• Class Standing - interns:
o In the fall, both Marketing interns were seniors, while in the spring, there was one junior and one senior.
o All of the fall Program interns were seniors, while there was one junior and three seniors in the spring.
• Expected Graduation Date - interns:
o Of the fall Program interns, two expected to graduate in the 2004-05 academic year, and one each in 2005-06 and 2006-07. Among the spring interns, one expected to graduate in August 2005, and the other three during the 2005-06 year.
o The fall marketing interns both expected to graduate in the 2004-05 year, while one of the spring interns expected to graduate in August 2005, and the other in December 2006.
o The expected graduation dates for the interns support the observation that internships are generally an academic requirement for upper class students.
Student Employee Retention Information
• The student employee demographic report was used to prepare information on student employment retention. A student was considered eligible to continue employment if were s/he were a continuing student. The student was not considered eligible if s/he graduated, was on an internship, or if they left the University.
• Based on this report and historical Student Union data, retention statistics were determined for:
o Fall 2004 to spring 2005 retention.
o One year retention rates, from 2003-04 to 2004-05.
o Two year retention rates, from 2002-03 to 2004-05.
• Overall, 86% of the student employees were retained from fall 2004 to spring 2005. Several areas had 100% retention, including Building Managers, Event Planning, Office, and Photo ID. Custodial had the lowest retention rate, with 80%, followed by Union Services with 81%. We believe these numbers are very positive, overall.
• From 2003-04 to 2004-05, the Student Union retained 60% of its eligible student employees. Several areas had 100% retention, including Building Managers, Information Center, Office, and Photo ID. Custodial had the lowest retention rate, with 37% of the students continuing from one academic year to the next.
• From 2002-03 to 2004-05, the Student Union retained 57% of its eligible student employees. Several areas had 100% retention, including Building Managers, Event Planning, Office, Photo ID, and Union Services. Custodial had the lowest retention rate, with 23% of the students continuing from one academic year to the next.
• Insufficient records were available to determine retention rates from spring 2002 (the first semester the Student Union was open) to 2004-05. However, 14 of the spring 2005 student employees had been hired in spring 2002. An additional 2 students were hired before the Student Union opened. Thus, 14% of the spring 2005 student employees were working in the Student Union since the first semester it was open, or longer.
6. Actions Taken/Responses:
The Student Union student employee demographics report is used in a number of ways.
• Supervisors are able to compare the demographics characteristics of their student employees to gauge if their employees are generally representative of the BGSU student population. This knowledge often influences later hiring decisions.
• Supervisors use the report to project staff retention and turnover, and thus again influence hiring decisions.
• Training strategies may be affected by the projected level of staff retention. A supervisor of a staff with a high level of retention and tenure may begin to look for creative ways to tap into the high level of experience and knowledge in the staff. On the other hand, if a supervisor has a high level of turnover due to graduation, for instance, s/he may adapt training strategies to give new staff more extensive training to compensate for losing people with more experience.
• The demographic information is used for budget purposes. Student staff with certain levels of longevity receive a pay increase, based on University Student Employment policies. Students with certain levels of tenure at the Student Union are eligible for certain incentives, as well.
• Some supervisors may seek employees majoring in specific areas because of the close relationship between a student’s academic work and Student Union job responsibilities. This has been particularly true in the Audio-Visual area, and with the Marketing area, both of which use a high number of VCT majors.
• Retention statistics allow us to have one measure of student satisfaction with their employment in the Student Union. Correspondingly, if one or more areas begin to have low student employment retention rates, it may be an indicator of a problem within that area. We then need to ask additional questions about reasons for students’ satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their employment experience. For instance, the Custodial area has had the lowest retention rates over the last three years. A large factor in this is attributed to the nature of the job itself, which many student find unappealing.
• Retention information also allows the Student Union to compare student employment retention with overall student retention at BGSU. Research has shown that involvement on campus, such as through an on-campus job, can be a positive retention factor for students. We can use our retention figures to support the importance of on-campus employment.
This is the first year that the Student Union has collected extensive information about our student employees. Last year, we only collected information on work area, gender, and ethnicity. As we continue to collect, analyze, and use more extensive demographic information, we will have a better idea of our internal success with student retention, our student retention compared with the University’s level of student retention, and strive to have a student employment force that reflects the overall BGSU student population.