Results from the MAP-Works Survey of First-year Undergraduates: Fall 2009 -- Executive Summary

Philip Batty, Office of Institutional Analysis

GVSU Participated in the MAP-Works program in the Fall semester of 2009.  MAP-Works is a student retention tool consisting of an online survey that triggers a customized student feedback report and diagnostic information for university advisors.  In principle, the survey collects indications of students’ risk for dropping out of college at an early stage (3-4 weeks into the fall semester) that will allow students to change their trajectory with proper support.  Following is a summary of initial findings from the survey of first-year students.

Comparison to Other Institutions:  Comparisons are possible between GVSU students’ response and those of students at other institutions that participated in the Fall 2009 MAP-Works. In general, GVSU students elicited higher ratings than peers on measures of academic preparedness, confidence, and diligence.  Our students also indicate less distress related to homesickness, and our commuter students were more satisfied with their living arrangements than commuters elsewhere.  These differences were small but statistically significant.

 

GVSU

Others

Self-Assessment: Communication Skills

5.06

4.98

Self-Assessment: Analytical Skills

5.29

5.10

Self-Assessment: Self-Discipline

5.76

5.71

Self-Assessment: Time Management

5.24

5.17

Self-Assessment: Health and Wellness

4.45

4.34

Commitment to Higher Education

6.88

6.82

Basic Academic Behaviors

6.05

6.00

Academic Self-Efficacy

5.23

5.17

Homesickness: Distressed (higher means less distress)

5.72

5.65

Off-Campus Living: Environment

6.20

5.97


GVSU students scored similarly to peers on measures of “advanced” academic behaviors, commitment to the institution, and overall satisfaction.  However, GVSU’s first-year students scored slightly but significantly below peers on several measures of social satisfaction and integration:

 

GVSU

Others

Peer Connections

5.50

5.55

On-Campus Living: Social Aspects

5.08

5.27

On-Campus Living: Environment

5.71

5.75

Social Integration

5.48

5.54


These results point to a need to address issues related to students social adjustment to college, while maintaining their strong emphasis on academic engagement and growth.

Predicting Academic Performance:  The MAP-Works survey data lend a considerable boost to our ability to identify students’ risk for attrition or propensity for success.  Many of the questionnaire items are correlated strongly with fall grades, fall-to-winter retention, or both.  Furthermore, several of the MAP-Works variables serve to explain and predict grades and retention significantly better than the previously available data.  In particular, fall grades are related most strongly to performance on the “Basic Academic Behaviors”, and Academic Integration” scales.  Retention was strongly related to the “Commitment to the Institution” factor (which essentially asks students “Are you planning to come back?”) and the “Homesickness: Distressed” scale.   Students’ overall satisfaction is best predicted by their “Social Integration” and  “Commitment to the Institution”, followed by “On-Campus Liiving: Environment” and “Academic Integration”.

More detailed analysis is available at http://reports.ia.gvsu.edu/mapworks/firstyear_2009_report_020310.htm