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Student Development Outcomes 2014

Co-curricular Contributions to Students’ Overall Educational Experience

DI V I S I O N O F S T U DE N T DE VELOP MEN T


STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES 2014

Denison University

Mission Statement Our purpose is to inspire and educate our students to become autonomous thinkers, discerning moral agents and active citizens of a democratic society. Through an emphasis on active learning, we engage students in the liberal arts, which fosters self-determination and demonstrates the transformative power of education. We envision our students’ lives as based upon rational choice, a firm belief in human dignity and compassion unlimited by cultural, racial, sexual, religious or economic barriers, and directed toward an engagement with the central issues of our time.

Guiding Principles Our curriculum balances breadth with depth, building academic specialization upon a liberal arts foundation in the arts, the sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. Responsive to new ways of learning, we continue to develop interdisciplinary integration of the many forms of knowledge. While our students pursue specialized learning in their chosen majors, they also develop the framework for an integrated intellectual life, spiritually and morally informed. Our faculty is committed to undergraduate education. As teacherscholar-advisors, their principal responsibility is effective teaching informed by the best scholarship. Faculty members place a priority

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on close interaction with students, interactive learning, and partnerships with students in original research. Our low student/faculty ratio allows for close supervision of independent research and collaborative work in small groups and classes. We seek to ensure an ever-broader range of racial, ethnic, international and socioeconomic backgrounds in a student body of about 2,000 students. We offer different kinds of financial aid to meet the different needs of our students. The focus of student life at Denison is a concern for the whole person. The University provides a living-learning

STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES \\ DENISON UNIVERSITY

environment sensitive to individual needs yet grounded in a concern for community, in which the principles of human dignity and ethical integrity are paramount. Students engage in a wide range of co-curricular activities that address the multidimensional character of their intellectual and personal journey. Denison is a community in which individuals respect one another and their environment. Each member of the community possesses a full range of rights and responsibilities. Foremost among these is a commitment to treat each other and the environment with mutual respect, tolerance, and civility.


M I S S I O N S TAT E M E N T S

Division of Student Development

Mission Statement Denison University’s Division of Student Development promotes our students’ growth and self-awareness as individuals and as co-creators of our living-learning environment. We challenge students to both act and reflect, to respect self and others, and to apply their education and talents for the good of local and global communities. We advance and apply knowledge of student development to improve learning, growth, and collegiate experiences. We cultivate collaboration and engagement on campus and beyond in support of Denison’s mission of educating students to live, work, and lead in a complex world.

left \\ Members of two a cappella groups, Tehillah and the Hilltoppers, perform at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation below \\ Students enjoy a masquerade-themed evening at the annual Denison Gala

DENISON UNIVERSITY \\ STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES 2014

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CHAPTER 1

what we do above \\ Sazon performs as part of D-Day Festival

WHAT IS THIS BOOK ABOUT?

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n his October 2013 speech at the inauguration of our 20th President, Dr. Adam Weinberg, our esteemed alumnus Dr. David Bayley ‘55 spoke of the value of a Denison education. Pointing to debates about whether a liberal arts education makes sense in the competitive world our graduates will enter, Dr. Bayley argued that Denison equips our students not just to win jobs, nor even just to adapt nimbly to rapidly changing organizations and industries— although both are important outcomes.

The value of a Denison degree, he said, comes from supporting the ambitions of our students to change the world, by providing depth of knowledge, creative problem-solving capacities, and the clarity of thought that produces corresponding clarity in communication. These elements of education converge to yield graduates who serve as “transformative voices” that lead meaningful change in their communities and their professions.

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STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES \\ DENISON UNIVERSITY


C H A P T E R 1 \ \ W H AT W E DO

The value of a Denison degree comes from supporting the ambitions of our students to change the world, by providing depth of knowledge, creative problem-solving capacities, and the clarity of thought that produces corresponding clarity in communication.

IT WAS DR. BAYLEY’S very last point that is at the heart of this volume. No single course can take responsibility for such transformation, nor any single experience outside the classroom. This education happens in the spaces between—between what happens in the classroom and what happens in a hundred other experiences each day:

“In dance and in athletics and in all the clubs, Denison provides experimental space to learn how to communicate what is on your mind and to enlist others in your cause. It teaches you how to be successful in action and not just in words. Denison provides you with a place where you can fail, but in a relatively costless way. That kind of experimenting is valuable because it transforms your voice into action and mobilizes other people.” In the pages that follow, we focus on learning that occurs outside the classroom, and on how the cocurriculum contributes to students’ preparation for lives of personal,

professional, and civic success. This includes the learning that occurs in student organizations, through programs offered by Student Development departments, from Academic Support & Enrichment to Religious & Spiritual Life, and in residential spaces. In particular, we set out to answer three questions about the Denison student experience:

1. In what specific ways does the co-curriculum complement and extend the curriculum in achieving the mission of the University? 2. How effective are our co-curricular learning initiatives in achieving the outcomes we identify? 3. How do the learning outcomes of a Denison education correspond with the needs of our students as they leave Denison and begin their adult lives? To answer these questions, we report the findings of a multitude of assessments conducted for co-curricular programs and experiences. The diverse experiences students weave together during their time at Denison contribute to the dynamism of the University. This volume explores the diversity of co-curricular learning opportunities that students might engage and shows how a few students have arrayed those in rich and interesting ways. The final section relates these learning experiences to students’ preparation for lives of personal, professional and civic success. Across the breadth of these opportunities, we show not just that students are developing in the ways we hope, but that their educational experiences do converge to produce students who embody the Denison legacy and serve as “transformative voices” in their communities and their professions.

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CHAPTER 2

how we do it above \\ Campus organization leaders engage new students at the Involvement Fair

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hile every institution of higher education has, at its heart, the mission of preparing students to contribute to their communities and their professions through academic disciplines, there has been growing understanding both that students learn in many ways, and that learning outside the classroom contributes vitally to students’ post-collegiate success. As a small, residential college, Denison provides an education that weaves together learning experiences that address students holistically. Learning in the classroom, studio, and lab is complemented by leadership development programs, athletics, organizational leadership, and residence hall programs. STUDENTS’ CO-CREATION of their living environment, their social opportunities, and their commitments to service or sport all provide life skills that they carry with them beyond college. So too does establishing and upholding a shared standard of student conduct, which engages students in both practicing their ethical beliefs and negotiating the consequences when values and behavior diverge. Living in community requires managing differences among individuals with varying and evolving perspectives, experiences and beliefs. These are

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STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES \\ DENISON UNIVERSITY

challenging propositions and life-long learning opportunities. But they underscore how academic learning is both broadened and deepened at Denison by a rich and robust co-curricular program. Denison’s assessment effort began by distilling the lofty language of the University Mission into four over-arching learning goals. Expected of all students, these complement the depth of knowledge associated with a student’s major.


C H A P T E R 2 \ \ H O W W E D O IT

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Our challenge was to identify and document the kinds of learning that occur across a whole range of settings. Critical thinking is developed not just while working on a research paper, but also while leading a student organization through an internal conflict, or reflecting upon the unmet needs of low-income residents of our county. Students grapple with diversity in academic courses that focus on the subject, but also as neighbors in a residence hall, as competitors on intramural teams, and while encountering the campus social scene.

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While it is our expectation that all Denison students will fulfill the core elements of a Denison education, the way each does so will be shaped by that student’s interests, talents and goals. Graduation requires 127 academic credits, but those will be composed differently for each student, and the overall experience will be further personalized by individual choices of co-curricular involvements, experiential learning opportunities, and a myriad of other factors.

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The image here illustrates the learning outcomes associated with a Denison education. The four core learning goals described above are at the center. From these emanate a number of more refined learning outcomes. We describe in greater detail each of these primary learning outcomes of a Denison education and discuss the assessments our staff members have conducted to ensure that the programs are fulfilling those objectives.

The following pages show how learning occurs. We examine how the learning outcomes on the “Outcomes Wheel” are achieved through different programs. We asked Student Development departments to articulate for every program the specific learning outcomes they hoped to achieve, and to assess their effectiveness in achieving those goals. These assessments collectively show the diversity of ways that students encounter opportunities to develop critical thinking skills, to build the skills essential to civic life, or to apply their knowledge to real-world problems. For purposes of this presentation, we especially rely on student voices, in order to illustrate the depth of student insights and observations.

DENISON UNIVERSITY \\ STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES 2014

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CORE STUDENT LEARNING GOAL

Active Engagement Civic Life, Global Perspectives, Difference Among Persons, and Issues of Power and Justice

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central theme of Denison’s mission and legacy is “to inspire and educate our students to become…active citizens of a democratic society.” Through involvement in service, leadership development programs and social-justice groups, students gain perspectives and develop skills to prepare them to be engaged civically in local and global communities. Many co-curricular programs provide opportunities for students to work effectively with others, understand interdependence, engage in principled dissent, resolve conflict, collaborate, demonstrate active listening skills, respect different views and experiences, demonstrate intercultural competence and maturity, and understand issues of power and justice.

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The programs and experiences highlighted here challenge students to understand social, political, economic and humanitarian concerns, to understand how power functions in society, A R E N L ING O T DEN UT to develop and exercise leadership skills, CO M e ES tiv and to apply their knowledge and ec ion Eff icat n u talent to community concerns. They mm co provide students with opportunities ce e to dialogue with and learn from den nc s pen e e d r r e t e n E L A n I f RN NT IN peers about issues of diversity. DE Dif Perso G TU g G n Collectively, these programs mo ous En Ac A m t gag o ing ork r suggest different ways that k Ability to whers f Powe o ot s ith e w u s e Is ic t s & Ju students of divergent interests STUDENT encounter opportunities to Developm develop civic-mindedness. e of person nt E a s l autono te Pe r f o accountamy & n ci Age bility s ncy es an r T G T NS

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DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES \\ DENISON UNIVERSITY

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C H A P T E R 2 \ \ H O W W E D O IT

Big Brothers Big Sisters Big Brothers Big Sisters is a program in which a Denison student (“the Big”) meets with a child (“the Little”) several times a month— mentoring the child during the school day or after school and participating in activities together. Denison Bigs help their Littles build confidence by providing opportunities for academic and personal accomplishment and meaningful discussion. Through this program, Denison students develop an understanding of the emotional, social, and educational needs facing children and the ways in which privilege functions in society. Our assessment of this program invited students to reflect on how their involvement in Big Brothers Big Sisters has contributed to their understanding of civic engagement. In particular, we sought demonstration that students could articulate why civic participation is important and what determines the impact of civic engagement on a community’s health. Students’ responses were consistently thoughtful, reflective, and substantive:

“After participation in this program, I am going to be looking for ways to serve my whole life. Specifically, I will look for long-term, consistent service opportunities. Through participation in BBBS, I have developed a deeper understanding of and appreciation for volunteers who are, for example, present at soup kitchens every day. Anyone can volunteer once a year, but it is those with the highest service ethic who will do the most good and be the greatest catalysts for change.”

“I realized that sometimes privilege is earned (through hard work), but that in some cases in society, it is inheritable. In the case of my Little, she was not given the same opportunities to grow and develop as other children.”

“My participation has seriously reinforced to me the importance of consistency and reliability in performing service. These were concepts that I previously had not developed a full appreciation for in the context of successful and meaningful service.”

Religious & Spiritual Life at Denison Through structured opportunities offered by Denison’s Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, academic coursework, and unstructured conversations and interactions with others, Denison students are challenged to think about diversity and power and justice. While at Denison, students report:

In addition, students report that coming to college has helped them:

»» having a discussion with someone of another worldview that had a positive influence on their perception of that worldview (93%),

»» learn to appreciate others’ perspectives on religion and spirituality (67%),

»» having class discussions that challenged them to rethink their assumptions about another worldview (92%),

»» understand values that different worldviews hold in common (64%),

»» having felt challenged to rethink their assumptions about another worldview after hearing someone explain his or her worldview (89%).

»» learn to think critically about their religious/ non-religious orientation (63%), »» rethink pre-existing notions of religion and spirituality (54%).

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ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT

America Reads Denison students serve as America Reads tutors for elementary students in the surrounding community, while also providing extra individual attention and serving as role models. This assessment asked the AR Tutors to reflect on how the tutoring experience impacted their civic perspectives and affected their choices for what they want to pursue after Denison:

“Working with children…has given me tremendous insight into what it means to be human. I have learned much about the things that motivate and inspire both myself and others. Each one of these children will one day be an adult who hopefully will be lastingly and positively influenced, as I have, by the great personal growth, social and academic, that we have mutually undergone through participation in these programs. Working with children in these capacities has allowed me to recognize the importance of a quality education, and the immeasurable difference that…patience and compassion can make. I admire most the passionate zeal and simple excitement of those with whom I have worked, teachers, tutors, volunteers and others. In beginning my search for something to do post-Denison, my experiences with America Reads have had significant influence on the various paths that I have considered. A vast majority of the positions that I have applied for and considered in some way have an educational and/or outreach component. In the end, I am excited to be joining an organization, Teach For China. This is perhaps the most direct way that I can apply all of the skills I have acquired at Denison, chief among them the experience [of] working within the education system. I will continue to pursue my interest in the plethora of issues faced by educators and the youth for whose futures they work.”

“I can’t even count all of the ways this program has been a vital part of my education at Denison. This past summer, I landed an internship opportunity with the literacy team at a small company that sells education products. Fall semester I completed an independent research project on Fountas and Pinnell’s leveled reading system. This semester, I am completing a senior research project in which I’ve compiled feedback from literacy coordinators in our community. I hope to restructure our tutor training to assure that we are as effective as possible during our oneon-one tutoring sessions. As I plan for my future, I continuously find myself attracted to jobs that focus on literacy learning or instruction. In my opinion much of this interest has stemmed from my involvement with America Reads. My experience with this program has truly made an impact on me as a college student, a mentor, an educator, a leader, and a member of the Denison community.”

far left \\ Denison students assembling backpacks full of school supplies for students in the local community during the MLK Day Service Challenge left \\ Students making bag lunches at the Salvation Army during the MLK Day Service Challenge

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STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES \\ DENISON UNIVERSITY


below \\ Participants in the Denison Elect Her: Campus Women Win Workshop

C H A P T E R 2 \ \ H O W W E D O IT

Elect Her CAMPUS WOMEN WIN Elect Her-Campus Women Win is a program that exposes the gender gap in political representation and promotes the participation of women in elected positions. Elect Her encourages students to develop skills by seeking roles in student government and guides them through the campaign process, including developing strategies for formulating and disseminating their message. The program addresses civic engagement through the lens of electoral politics while cultivating skills, strategies and awareness to boost confidence for political participation. After the workshop, respondents report: A S A RE SULT OF ATTE ND ING TH E E L E C T H E R W O RK S H O P, I …

P E RC E NT

Learned about the gender gap in political leadership

93

Learned about the process for running for office on Denison’s campus

90

Saw the possibility of running for office from the stories the women shared

90

Gained awareness of existing resources to utilize if I choose to run for office

80

Gained strategies for disseminating my message if I choose to run for office

73

Began to develop the skills necessary to run for office

70

Gained strategies for formulating my message if I choose to run for office

70

Have been inspired to run for office someday

63

Ana Morales, Class of 2014 and President of the Denison Campus Governance Association reflects on how the Elect Her Workshop affected her:

“Being part of Elect Her did two things for me. First, it helped me feel confident as a future student leader. It was at Elect Her that I envisioned my DCGA campaign and first ‘announced’ my interest to be DCGA president. Second, this program helped me understand the studentrun political institution more (which provided me with a rough outline and game plan of the people I needed to strategically get to know in order to eventually run for DCGA president). Lastly it provided me with a mentor who understood the pressures of running a well-organized campaign and with a group of female allies who were in support of my campaign and who personally helped me a lot. From Elect Her I learned that there is true power in numbers and in an aligned vision to create and nurture new leaders who will positively lead and meet the needs of a campus community such as ours. [The Elect Her program] gives us a crash course on grassroots organizing, and for someone who has learned this by practice I know that there is so much value in being able to get things done from a very practical and intentional perspective. I personally think all students should get some type of grassroots organizing training because I believe we can literally change the world like that.”

DENISON UNIVERSITY \\ STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES 2014

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ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT

Posse Plus Retreat The annual three day Posse Plus Retreat challenges students to reflect on, engage with and dialogue around a specific topic each year—ranging from class and privilege, gender and sexuality, or social and political movements. In a recent Posse Plus Retreat focused on gender and sexuality, students were prompted to think critically about the origins of their values and beliefs, to dialogue with peers about the topic, and to reflect on issues of identity and perceptions of self and others. As a result of attending the Posse Plus Retreat, 90% of students increased their understanding of the difference between the terms “gender,” “gender expression,” and “sexual orientation” and 88% were prompted to think about the power of language. Students report the retreat prompted them to learn something that changed how they think about gender and sexuality in the world (81%), think critically about their own identity (78%), think about their own beliefs and values (78%), and gain tools to help them intervene in situations as a bystander (71%). Participating in the Posse Plus Retreat challenged students to think about the origin of their values related to gender and sexuality (80%), reflect on how others perceive them and their own self-perceptions (80%), and think about the relationship between their political and religious beliefs, and gender and sexuality (61%).

Denison Religious Understanding In this student organization, students from many different religious traditions (including students with no religious interest) gather for dialogue around a different topic each week in an open, respectful and trusting environment. Denison Religious Understanding (DRU) helps students to improve their skills in dialoguing, to learn about religious traditions and worldviews other than their own, and to gain clarity on their own beliefs and practices. Students report that their participation in DRU improves their skills in dialoguing across difference, in understanding others and being able to communicate their own beliefs to others.

“I’ve become a more sympathetic listener. Listening to perspectives that three or four years ago would have made me angry, now makes me curious. I no longer see liberalism and conservatism as binarily opposing world views; not that I would have admitted this even to myself several years ago, but by sitting down and listening to views that often differ widely from my own I’ve grown to see the flaws and cracks in the truths that I once blindly accepted as true. Through practicing dialogue once to twice a week for the past three years of my life it’s now much easier for me to hold widely varying worldviews in mind, seeing the pros, attractiveness, and cons of others’ perspectives in relation to my own, and others…The changes to my thought, to the types of people that I want to surround my life with have profoundly changed over the course of the past three years. I want to see others’ perspectives before I judge them.”

“My participation in DRU this year helped me to appreciate the differences in people’s opinions. I feel that I can talk more freely about my opinion with others rather than speaking for my whole religion.”

“It has made me think about how to approach others’ experiences and beliefs in an interested and non-threatening manner even when I may think they are wrong or mistaken.”

“I feel I’m stronger in my faith. Being asked where my beliefs come from has helped me understand them better for myself, too.”

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“It has helped me think about how to phrase and word my own beliefs to others and think more deeply about where they come from and what they really mean to me.”

STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES \\ DENISON UNIVERSITY


below \\ Residents work together on a community art project; First-year students discuss the career exploration process during a residence hall program

C H A P T E R 2 \ \ H O W W E D O IT

Living in the Residence Halls One of the most powerful learning opportunities Denison offers is its residentiality. Our residential nature means that the entire campus functions as a living-learning community. The experience of living in the residence halls teaches students how to live in community with others with different values, beliefs, backgrounds and goals. Residence halls are sites for educational programs, moments of reflection, and dialogue in which students learn about themselves and others. Living in the residence halls provides students with opportunities to negotiate conflict, to collaborate and build consensus, and to negotiate needs and interests. Students reflect on how living in the residence halls has taught them to live with others while also observing how residential living has helped them develop skills and abilities they will use after college:

“For the first three years (the years spent having to share one room with another person), it was really difficult learning how to coexist with a different person each year... Getting used to fitting into a different living situation defined by new habits, tendencies, eccentricities, etc. so regularly has forced me to find ways to be comfortable with a constantly shifting living situation/accepting every quirk that people have whether I like it or not.”

“I have no siblings and so I’ve had to alter my behavior in order to live with people my age. Living with others in such close quarters has improved my social skills a lot.”

“Learning that you are not going to love everyone you live with/around but to still get along with them.”

“I am able to listen to diverse perspectives and open myself up to situations that I normally may not have engaged in.”

“I am better able to accommodate others in their living situations, and I have better discernment for knowing when I should change my habits so that others may live more comfortably, as well as ask others to change their habits so that I may live more comfortably.”

“In the past, I’ve been very passive and submissive when I have experienced conflicts with roommates regarding our living spaces—I often chose not to say anything, hoping that the problems would go away on their own. However, now I am more willing to confront and resolve those conflicts and talk things out with my roommates, and I’ve learned a lot about compromise and responsibility in the process.”

“Learning how to interact with a large group of individuals I did not know before has helped me become more comfortable starting conversations with strangers and networking.”

“Being able to identify and converse with people who are very different from me is an important tool to have beyond Denison. I will be able to understand and relate with people outside my normal circle.”

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ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT

below \\ Several Leadership Fellows at a national leadership conference in San Antonio, Texas

Leadership Fellows Leadership Fellows are peer educators who plan major leadership programs (e.g. LeaderShape, Catalyst, DU Lead) and are responsible for creating new leadershiprelated workshops for fellow students. Through these leadership positions, Fellows gain skills in interpersonal communication, consensus building, and working collaboratively through differences (among many other positive outcomes). For this assessment, Leadership Fellows reflected on how serving in the role has increased their ability to work effectively with others:

“Because we’re non-positional (there’s not a person in charge of us), we really have to work at building consensus and asking for help and collaborating with each other… Everyone’s responsible to collaborate, to work on that one task together. We have to work a lot with each other and develop those meaningful relationships. Sometimes… a lot of differences arise, but in the end, we have to come to one agreement, which probably makes our decision better in the end because everyone’s behind it fully.”

“This year we worked to collaborate with other organizations. We always try to, but we definitely made a conscious effort to this year in some of our programs. That’s always very rewarding, but it can be challenging when the org has a different mission than you, or different goals. So really trying to compromise and see how you can both benefit each other. I’ve definitely learned how to do that this year.”

“We have co-coordinators for a lot of leadership programs… so you have to be responsible for someone else too and you have to coordinate with them. I definitely think I made sure I was more organized and planned better just because I knew I also had to work with [another student] on it so I didn’t want to let her down.”

In addition, Leadership Fellows report that their interpersonal skills increased as a result of their involvement with this program: SKILL

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P E RC E N T

Understanding the skill set of the membership and utilizing it effectively for engaging them in accomplishing the group’s goals

100%

Creating formal and informal networks with other student leaders to build awareness of the issues facing their organizations

100%

Illustrating the effective use of listening skills

100%

Establishing mutually trustworthy and rewarding relationships with students, faculty and staff members, friends, and colleagues

86%

Recognizing the values and contributions of others

86%

Seeking opportunities to understand the belief systems of others

86%

STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES \\ DENISON UNIVERSITY


C H A P T E R 2 \ \ H O W W E D O IT

Sustainability Fellows Denison Sustainability Fellows are student leaders who educate first-year students on issues related to sustainability with the goal of helping first-year students understand sustainability and its interconnectedness to issues of social justice, the environment, and the economy—three aspects of sustainability that are not always obviously related. Our assessment of this program focused on acquisition of knowledge about sustainability and on developing the capacity to see sustainability issues as integrated. Pre-test and post-test surveys revealed that first-year students, on average, articulated stronger definitions of sustainability at the conclusion of the academic year than they did at the beginning of the year. They were also more aware of the connections our program builds between social justice, the economy, and the environment. In addition, most firstyears reported knowing how and where to recycle and compost on campus (97% and 76%, respectively). Reflecting on what they learned from the Fellows, first-year students provided examples of sustainability issues:

They were also able to identify strategies for making less of an environmental “footprint”:

»» “the harmful effects of most beauty products”

»» “It is important to live responsibly and it really isn’t hard to change little things that really help.”

»» “In the United States, we are privileged enough to have more than ample water. However, in the rest of the world, this is not the case.” Other students articulated how interacting with the Fellows inspired them to become more involved with environmental issues: »» “[The Fellows] are all just like me, and I really became more involved with helping the earth because I saw their passion.”

»» “Buy local.” »» “There are many products that we can substitute with more environmentally friendly products or products with less chemicals that are better for your body.”

below \\ Denison Sustainability Fellows take first-year students to the Granville Farmers’ Market

DENISON UNIVERSITY \\ STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES 2014

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Many programs help students develop agency, an ability to advocate for oneself, to manage well-being (financial, social, physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual), to manage their personal affairs, and to be responsible for themselves and their actions. Appointments at the Health Center focus on helping students develop autonomy, agency, and accountability. Other programs such as $tart $mart provide students with skills that enable them to become economically self-sufficient, while internships and externships provide students with key experiences to help them identify potential career paths and prepare them for professional success after college. These programs support the development of the skills that help students lead purposeful and satisfying lives during and after college.

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STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES \\ DENISON UNIVERSITY


C H A P T E R 2 \ \ H O W W E D O IT

$tart $mart In this workshop focusing on the gender wage gap, students are taught how to formulate budgets, establish salary needs, benchmark salary information and negotiate fair and equitable compensation. As a result of this program, all students were able to identify at least one step in benchmarking a salary and were able to identify important elements to developing a budget. Students reflect on what they learned from the program:

“$tart $mart provides young women on the cusp of entering the work force an opportunity to learn effective ways of navigating a fair wage. Women on average make considerably less money than men, and one aspect of our society that greatly contributes to that is the lack of an urge to negotiate. During the workshop, we learned how natural it is for men to negotiate their wage upon beginning a job, and even throughout their duration at the job. Women are less likely to negotiate their wage, further increasing the wage gap that exists between men and women. Through mock interviews and a series of interactive workshops, $tart $mart offers professional ways to ensure that you are being paid the amount of money that you deserve. It was a very enlightening program to attend because I’d never actually thought about negotiating a fair wage; I was under the impression that I was to accept the salary that the employer offered. Those skills will undoubtedly help me in the long run once I enter the work force in the not so distant future.” \\ MAYA WA S H INGTON - Z E IG L E R ’ 15

“What I liked most about $tart $mart was that you left the program with critical skills, such as how to negotiate a starting salary as a young professional and how to create an appropriate, personal budget. I had never really considered the importance of negotiating a salary; this workshop forced me to reflect on the skills that I have gained at Denison, what I can offer my future employer, and then how to confidently, yet professionally, assert myself in negotiating a salary and benefits. This is all especially critical to understand earlier rather than later in our professional careers, because the gender wage gap will continue to grow further apart if women and men are not paid equally for the same positions at entry level positions.” \\ LAURE N TY G E R ’ 14

DENISON UNIVERSITY \\ STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES 2014

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PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION

The LeaderShape Institute The LeaderShape Institute is a 6-day, living-learning experience in which students are challenged to lead with integrity while working towards a vision grounded in their deepest values. The LeaderShape Institute is widely recognized as a premier leadership program for young adults in the nation. Participants explore not only what they want to do, but who they want to be. Dynamic, challenging, and exciting, the week is intended to produce a breakthrough in the leadership capacity of participants — benefiting them individually, as well as their respective communities and the organizations they will go on to lead and serve in the future. Students reflect on how The LeaderShape Institute has transformed them:

“I am a different person because of Leadershape, mainly a more aware and inspired person. I feel that after my week at Leadershape that I have a new purpose in life…Before Leadershape I thought I knew my values. I thought that my family, friends, and sorority have helped instill values that are deeply a part of who I am. However, I have never written down my values concretely…Since [LeaderShape], I have seriously tried to live my life in accordance with these values. I’ve spoken up against small injustices, and have tried to live every day with love and hope. Since I am more aware of my values, I try to find others who share my values….I can’t tell you how relieving it feels to have done some real soul searching work before graduation. I feel more emotionally equipped to leave…My self-awareness has deepened and has already helped me in everyday situations. I feel that I have led organization meetings more attentively, and lived more honestly. I know that I am a stronger leader now thanks to the training that I received during LeaderShape.”

“I have always tried to make introspection and reflection an integral part of my daily life. However, LeaderShape offered me an unparalleled opportunity to examine who I am in the context of my social group memberships and my relation to society as a whole. I learned that I can never count on my own experience to lead a group; my own unique perspective can never be enough to effectively find solutions that will be the best for the whole of the group. While I have always intrinsically known it, I was able to learn through dialogue and action that what I think and what I have seen and experienced over the course of my life can never be the same as what another person has experienced. Through LeaderShape, I learned that I must always take into account the viewpoint of both those who I am leading and the people that I am leading with. In order to create systems where everyone has an equal chance to learn, grow, and enact their visions, I must make a concerted effort to enter into concerned dialogue with all people that I meet, so that I can learn their background, their views, the way that they think. I must learn who they are as a person, no matter where they may come from or how they might be viewed in society. To place my experience above that of others is to deny the inherent humanity of every person that I meet. I must start with the simple task of listening: hearing the stories of others and not glossing over them, but really, truly, feeling them, so that I may understand what is important to a culture other than my own. As LeaderShape taught me, only then can I create truly inclusive communities and lead with integrity. Only then can I create a society where one person has the value of all.”

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STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES \\ DENISON UNIVERSITY


C H A P T E R 2 \ \ H O W W E D O IT

left \\ Students at The LeaderShape Institute

“I learned that I used to see myself as above others. I would judge someone based on their looks, or the way they talked, or even the way that they walked. These judgments became fact in my own head because I never got to know the person so I just thought my assumptions were correct. I couldn’t have been more wrong...I learned that I am not defined by the groups that I’m a part of, but that I should define myself by how I treat others. And when that dawned on me, there was no way I would go back to my old state of mind. That self-awareness allowed me to begin

to let people in, feel comfortable around them and in return, they would do the same. This mutual respect and awareness between me and the other person let me get to know them in such a personal way that it was as though we had been friends for years …To say LeaderShape was a life-changing experience is an understatement. The people I met, the things I learned, they are forever on my mind, and more importantly, in my heart. The boyish minded person I was when I walked into that LeaderShape left a man with a vision and ‘a healthy disregard for the impossible.’”

“The most solidifying and centering effect that LeaderShape had on me was helping me articulate my vision in accordance with my core values and how I envision the future to be. It was the most satisfying feeling to articulate what I felt was already inside me, undefined, and unclear. It also gave me the feeling that now that it is out there, in a blueprint, that I can take ownership of it. I have goals that I need to work towards with the risk of feeling incomplete if left unaccomplished. This has given me a different perspective on my purpose not just being on the planet, but being in college, with the opportunities that are available to me here to make the most of. I also got a sense of the challenges that we face when it comes to values, especially when the battle between core values is within ourselves. I know that there will be plenty of challenges like these to come, but having learned about them and realizing how it feels, I hope that this has made me better able to deal with the situation when it does arrive. Most of all, being able to identify my values and to see others for what their values are, reminded me of how at the end of the day, we all boil down to what is most important to us and that all those values are pure and good, that we all have these ideals that we strive for, even if we fall short of them sometimes. It gave me a better sense of self as well as a feeling of being grounded in a group of people that want so much more for the world and feel empowered to work for it. This, to me, is what LeaderShape was about, of learning about ourselves and others, of finding out what we want in life and for the world, and having the character to make the journey worthwhile.”

DENISON UNIVERSITY \\ STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES 2014

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PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION

Personal Health and Wellness Practices The Whisler Center for Student Wellness treats students’ well-being holistically. In many cases, students’ appointments at Whisler might be their first time managing their mental and physical health without the company of their parents. Whisler works to help students manage their care. To that end, staff members assess whether students can articulate their medical diagnosis, their understanding of the treatment plan they co-developed with the medical provider, and any wellness behaviors and strategies they can incorporate into their life to decrease the likelihood of similar illnesses recurring. Most students (over 90%) are able to articulate such information after their appointment at Whisler. The Whisler Center for Student Wellness and the Office of Alcohol, Drug & Health Education also host monthly “DeStress Fests” in the student union. Through activities such as pet therapy, chair massages, reflexology, crafts, and gratitude exercises, students have the opportunity to reduce current stress levels, while also practicing techniques they can employ in the future to reduce stress. Of the students who attended these events, 78% report having experienced an immediate reduction in stress levels and 42% report learning healthy strategies they could use in the future to decrease stress levels.

below \\ Students paint pumpkins during the Fall De-Stress Fest

In a related effort, the Office of Alcohol Drug & Health Education partnered with Academic Support & Enrichment to promote a “Stick to It” anti-procrastination campaign. The acronym STICK was used to highlight different tips for reducing tendencies to procrastinate. The campaign featured “Sticky” notes stuffed in all Slayter mailboxes, flyers posted across campus, table tents in the dining halls, and a feature article in the Denisonian. The campaign aimed to help students identify the academic and health consequences of procrastination (decreased academic performance, reduced sleep, increased stress). It also addressed how procrastination most impacts their life as a student, and tips or tools to help combat procrastination. As a result of their interaction with the campaign: »» 70% identified something they learned from the campaign, such as strategies for being efficient with time, making more effective schedules, and remembering that procrastination leads to reduced sleep and lower academic performance. »» Students were able to identify how procrastination most affects their own life—experiencing increased stress (46%), sleep deprivation (36%), and decreased academic performance (15%). »» 100% of students were able to articulate a tip or tool to address their tendency to procrastinate. »» 90% were able to identify specific campus resources to help them avoid procrastination, including: Academic Support & Enrichment, Counseling Services, professors, friends, sorority sisters, Resident Assistants, the Writing Center, the Library, departmental tutors and faculty advisors.

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STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES \\ DENISON UNIVERSITY


C H A P T E R 2 \ \ H O W W E D O IT

SophomorExplore The career exploration process begins early at Denison, ideally during students’ first weeks and months on campus. SophomorExplore, a six-week workshop-based program, guides sophomores through an exploration of their interests in relation to their strengths. At the conclusion, students were asked to articulate something they learned about themselves, identify skills that employers seek and resources available to them in Career Exploration & Development, and formulate goals for the rest of the academic year, especially steps they intend to take to prepare for professional success beyond Denison.

“I’ve developed a better sense of what I might want to pursue in the future, and I’ve also learned about a number of potential career options I might be interested in that I never considered before.”

“I’ve learned that my skillset is unique and valuable, and I can choose an academic path as well as a career path that will make me happy.”

“My goal is to get more involved on campus, bring up my GPA, and hopefully start connecting with alumni, or maybe looking into internships.”

“To perfect my resume and start applying for internships that are related to my areas of interest.”

far left \\ Alumnae reviewing students’ resumes as part of the “Consulting Boot Camp” left \\ Students networking with a consultant during the “Big Red Networking Event”

DENISON UNIVERSITY \\ STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES 2014

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PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION

Internships and Externships Career Exploration & Development offers a robust program of off-campus experiences to develop professional skills and acumen. Through internships, students have the opportunity to spend an extended period of full-time work in a particular field and organization. In these experiences, students gain and develop skills that prepare them for professional success—skills specific to their field of interest as well as general professional skills. Career Exploration & Development asked students to reflect on what they learned from their internship experiences:

“I learned how to contact, communicate with, and acquire donations from potential donors. I have had the responsibility of collecting all gifts and donations for an upcoming charity golf outing, which taught me how to align donations and gifts with the interests of a specific audience in a successful way. My experience has truly taught me the value of creativity and innovative thinking when an organization relies solely on donations and fundraising.”

“I learned how to conduct market research…. I also learned how to do some development work using the Java-swing platform.”

“I participated in and observed loan committee meetings ... and learned about pre-screening loans and closing loans. Also, I analyzed and spread the rent roll, updated loan reports and conducted informational interviews.”

“I screened and helped enroll participants into a research study, collected focus group data from patients, and analyzed qualitative data using NVivo software and quantitative data using descriptive statistics. I wrote a scientific presentation and an abstract, scrubbed audio data and transcript data for identifiers and verified their precision in English and Spanish. I also translated documents to Spanish and made sure the translation was accurate. Also, I presented in front of my entire program and members of the institute.”

“I aided brokers with research reports and details on recent activity in the commercial real estate market. In addition, I created queries in Excel to retrieve data from the external database and condense it into charts and graphs to analyze trends.”

above \\ Students articulate what they learned from their summer internship during the Internship Poster Fair

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STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES \\ DENISON UNIVERSITY


below \\ Denison intern at the New York Department of Parks and Recreation

C H A P T E R 2 \ \ H O W W E D O IT

INTE R N S H I P S A N D E XT E RN S H I P S ( C O N T ’D)

Denison’s ExternsEverywhere program is designed to help students explore their potential career paths by providing exposure to the “real world,” through a one-day job-shadow experience. Through their externship experience, all externs report having a better understanding of the industry or organization, a better understanding of the potential career paths within the industry or organization, and at least one new connection with an alumnus or professional in the field. In addition, 94% report having a better understanding of the specific internship or job opportunities within the industry or organization. For many students, their externship was an opportunity to confirm or disconfirm that a particular field or career is what they want to pursue and also provided them with networking opportunities with professionals in the field:

“Going into this externship I was really unsure as to how my major in psychology could relate to work at a company. However, [it] showed me how applicable psychology is to what they do every day, analyzing data and learning how to best present it to clients. This experience showed me a career completely outside of the health field (which is what I’m currently considering), but this really presented a different but interesting path my career could take.”

“I have always been interested in the publishing industry and completing an externship in this field helped me to gain a better feel for what working in this industry would be like. I realized that [this] may not be the best fit for me, but I met so many wonderful people and learned so much about why jobs make people happy. Also, I was surprised that I was really interested in HR. I never thought that was something I would find interesting, but meeting with the HR representative for the company really opened my eyes to that career.”

“I learned so much about healthcare advertising and was able to ask all of the questions I wanted to, from day to day activity to what values guide their work. I felt such a good energy from the company and from the people we get to meet. I also connected more with a Denison alum in the office and am planning on meeting up with her and asking more questions about the company. I feel like it was an excellent networking opportunity and an amazing way to learn about all of the different components that go into advertising.”

“I learned more about the fields of physical, occupational, and speech therapy. During my externship I was able to watch six different cases and see how their therapy was helping to improve their lives. It was also very interesting to see how the different therapies were used to treat the same issues. During my externship I saw a speech therapist work with a child who had Down Syndrome, and then later in the day, I saw an occupational therapist work with another child with Down Syndrome. I also learned about the flexibility that a career in this field offers and what kind of schooling I would need to pursue this career path.”

“The #1 benefit I received from this experience was the opportunity to affirm that child psychology is most certainly the field I want to pursue. I learned a lot of new and useful information about graduate school, the process to applying, what to expect while in grad school, what are some graduate schools in Ohio and so much more! She informed me of different career options that I would be able to pursue right out of Denison. Finally, I feel like I benefited through gaining a person/resource who I can always contact to ask questions or advice. This was an amazing experience and I am so thankful for the opportunity.”

DENISON UNIVERSITY \\ STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES 2014

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below \\ New members of Delta Delta Delta sorority celebrate on Bid Day

C H A P T E R 2 \ \ H O W W E D O IT

Sorority & Fraternity Life The sorority and fraternity experience provides students with a variety of opportunities to lead—within their chapter, across chapters, and within the local community as well. When discussing the contributions that their fraternity or sorority involvement has made to their skill development, many students described growth in their ability to communicate, particularly as it relates to oral communication and their ability to voice their opinion:

“Helped my communication skills greatly. I have learned how to send appropriate emails not only to my peers but also to administration, faculty, staff and alumni members of my organization.”

“Holding an executive board position has given me strong skills in public speaking, organization, and task delegation.”

“I have learned to better communicate my ideas to a group of people who may disagree with what I have to say. Also, I have learned to solve problems and facilitate resolutions in moments of disagreement and inefficiency.”

“I have been able to increase my comfort with addressing large groups of people, increase my organizational skills and time management, and practice professional interpersonal communication. I have also learned how to cooperate with others who may be difficult to motivate.”

“It’s forced me to be more articulate with my ideas. [My fraternity] is a culture of leaders, and thus we all are prone to wanting our voices not only to be heard, but to be followed. I’ve had to hone my ability to propose ideas. It’s made me a much better listener; it breeds humility.”

“As a member of my sorority’s Standards Committee, I have had the opportunity to develop interpersonal skills specific to handling sensitive and/or awkward situations that involve other members. The mission of this committee is to ensure the wellbeing of members within the chapter and also that members faithfully adhere to chapter expectations.… I’ve been able to develop empathy and learn how to convey it in an appropriate way. I’ve had to learn what can sometimes be the difficult balance of holding one of my sisters responsible, while trying to understand deeply her circumstances and perspective.”

DENISON UNIVERSITY \\ STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES 2014

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GENERAL EDUCATION COMPETENCIES

Campus Employment Student assistants in the Campus Leadership and Involvement Center were asked to think about the skills and competencies they had developed from their campus employment. Many responses centered on written communication, their ability to communicate a message to others, and their problem-solving skills:

“As the web assistant in CLIC, I am responsible for maintaining and updating the website… I think that it is crucial that I develop a fluency in HTML and Freestyle, the web editor that Denison uses. I have pushed myself to learn how to navigate Freestyle and fully take advantage of its functions…While exploring Freestyle, I have also learned its limitations… I now know how to make hyperlinks and add pictures by directly editing the code. I am particularly proud of the Facebook and Twitter widgets that I attached to the webpage. I learned how to make them by looking at a code written earlier in the summer for the CLIC web page.”

“Sometimes I feel I can be too candid, and I may already know the people I am communicating with, so I might not be as professional as I should be. I have to remember I am representing an office of Denison University, not just myself or a campus organization. I also have trouble sometimes explaining concepts and directions to people in a clear and concise manner. [This month] I felt I demonstrated both of these competencies well. Although I knew both people I contacted, the email was professionally written and also explained what I wanted from them and what purpose it would be used for.”

“This month I worked on communicating a message through my work on various promotional materials, specifically the handbill to promote the Campus Organization Handbook. I strived to create something that had interesting copy and visually appealing graphics in order to convey my message effectively. I brainstormed different layouts and played around with wording, which helped me develop different methods of communicating to my audience.”

Student assistants in the Student Development Assessment Office reflect on how their jobs have provided them with opportunities to gain tangible skills and abilities that will benefit them beyond college, especially as they relate to written communication skills and quantitative abilities:

“I have learned a lot about assessing data and analyzing the results which will be helpful for me in the future since I want to continue in research. I have learned more about Excel and making graphs that will be a beneficial skill to have for post-college life and working.”

“Working here really helped me improve my stats and data analysis, which will be useful for grad school. I also have learned how to use Excel, Word and to analyze data in different ways!”

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“Being able to collectively summarize research studies (comments and ideas), therefore preparing me for my post-college life as a child psychologist.”

STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES \\ DENISON UNIVERSITY


C H A P T E R 2 \ \ H O W W E D O IT

far left \\ A student assistant in the Campus Leadership & Involvement Center left \\ Students studying together in the library

Students serving as peer tutors in our Academic Support & Enrichment Center reflect on how their role helps them practice skills in oral communication, particularly as they explain complex processes and concepts to their peers:

“I have found that my tutoring experience has been very helpful in growing as an individual.  Through tutoring, I have learned to manage my time effectively and have found a heightened motivation to learn.  I believe that tutoring has increased my ability to relay information in different ways in order to be most effective to each individual.  It also encourages constant learning for the tutor and increases my own general understanding of the subject.  In addition, I believe that this experience has prepared me for professional success after Denison by improving interpersonal and communication skills.”

“Critically, I’ve developed interpersonal skills that enable me to better understand the perspectives of others. Consequently, I have gained insight into how to weave through difficulties by illuminating a new way of thinking about challenging concepts. It has made learning a more flexible process and has even changed my own approach to studying. By offering suggestions and specific strategies to help students develop proper study habits, I inadvertently enhanced my own. I do believe tutoring within chemistry and biology will help me with the MCAT, medical school, and beyond. Tutoring requires that you stay fresh with the key concepts, and if you forget something, you are immediately forced to obtain that missing knowledge. In this way, tutoring has helped to fill in any gaps in my understanding, while also solidifying and revealing aspects of proficiency. In addition, the leadership that one develops through tutoring will prove essential in the future. It is a subtle development, but as the months go by, you emerge as a leader who can seamlessly guide others through their journeys.”

“As a language tutor, I learned how to communicate with people professionally and effectively, for example, by organizing my emails and tutee schedules. I learned how to design my tutoring sessions to be more creative, interesting and engaging. I learned to share my learning techniques with others and test them with the tutees. By articulating what I learned repetitively, the knowledge also leaves a deeper impression in my mind and helps my memory. Having decided to pursue a PhD, it helps me to prepare for my teaching of undergraduates in future.”

DENISON UNIVERSITY \\ STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES 2014

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Autonomous Thinking Analytical, Creative, Ethical and Critical Thinking Knowledge Acquisition, Integration & Application

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very Student Development program at Denison provides students with substantive content and knowledge, with the intention that students can integrate and apply that knowledge to solve problems or generate new ideas. Our orientation programs introduce students to campus, conveying information essential to their collegiate success. Three examples are explored here: June Orientation, Pre-Orientation for Students NT LEARNIN LOPME Coming from Abroad, and Paving the Way. We also explore EVE D NT DE U programs that offer opportunities for students to ST exercise and improve cognitive skills—not only to think critically, but to engage in reflection, analysis, synthesis, and reasoning, and NT LEARNING O Cr UDE T i S tic to consider the ethics of their ideas. E al thi OR nk C ing Leadership positions like the University Re fle cti ve thi Programming Council, Head Residents nki ng Effe ctiv e re and Restorative Justice Facilitators aso Cri nin g tic T Intell challenge students to exercise and h ink al Flexi ectual NT LEARNI bility ing NG DE U T refine their critical thinking skills— S Emotio ous En Ac cognitivnal/ e m to solve problems, to innovate and integra gag t o ing tion Analytic k create, and to reason. Thinkin al Identity/ g

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below \\ The Inaugural Ball, an event planned and executed by the University Programming Council

C H A P T E R 2 \ \ H O W W E D O IT

University Programming Council The University Programming Council (UPC) is a group of students who plan, develop, and execute an array of student programming on campus. The group oversees one of the largest student-organization budgets and has tremendous responsibility for providing engaging events. Council members are challenged to explore creative solutions to problems and to make resource allocation decisions after examining the available information.

As a result of their involvement with UPC, 67% of its members report increases in exploring creative solutions and in applying previously understood information and concepts to a new situation or setting, 50% report increases in using complex information from a variety of sources to form a decision or opinion. UPC members reflected on how this role has helped them develop critical thinking skills:

“Definitely decision-making has improved and become stronger. In my first years on UPC I just felt very indecisive about my own event and what things I had to complete but because I was given this new role I had to make sure I was more decisive. I definitely feel like I’ve grown in that respect.” “It’s been thinking about what are all the logistical things that go into operations, what goes into planning the [event]. It’s really evaluating how best to go about doing things.”

“I definitely grew in terms of my creativity. I came into the role with some PR experience, but … from specific internships and very differently focused. In UPC, I pushed myself to think of out-of-the-box ideas and try new things and take risks and sit down with the directors and have brainstorming sessions to do something unique and new. I pushed myself but I definitely saw rewards as well because it was really well-received by the community. I personally grew a lot in my PR skills through that.”

International Student Orientation The Pre-Orientation for Students Coming from Abroad introduces incoming international students to the academic culture of Denison and provides them with resources for navigating their time at Denison. The four day Pre-Orientation Program is designed to educate students about academic life in the United States, with the overarching goal of encouraging students to begin imagining, exploring and creating their unique path at Denison. The program helps students understand immigration regulations and procedures and the value of curricular and co-curricular opportunities that enhance integration into the campus community. After attending orientation, nearly all students (98%) could articulate valuable information conveyed during the program, from important government regulations to available campus resources. The program also introduced the foundations of the liberal arts tradition, a distinctly American type of institution. Most students (96%) understood that learning extends beyond the classroom at a college like Denison, and 74% reported having begun thinking about how they would make use of this college experience. The knowledge students acquired during orientation helps ease the transition to college as well as the transition to living in an unfamiliar culture.

DENISON UNIVERSITY \\ STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES 2014

29


AUTONOMOUS THINKING

Head Residents Head Residents lead teams of Resident Assistants to foster a living-learning community within our residence halls. These student leaders run meetings, manage conflict, and assist residents in navigating college and accessing campus resources. Because the position of Head Resident forces student leaders to manage complex issues, it has helped them exercise and refine their skills in critical thinking. Two Head Residents reflect on their experience:

“As an HR, my critical thinking has developed because I am called to reconcile different viewpoints on a frequent basis.  In this role, I have learned to consider the positioning of students, RAs, myself, and our administrative support/partners.  Often, each of these different entities has its own investments and goals.  Even if common ground is found, the situation is complicated as different people offer different suggestions on how to enact change.  This year, I have been challenged to consider these multiple perspectives and act for the greatest (foreseeable) good.  In other words, this position has increased my ability to reconcile and integrate conflicting information (synthesis).” \ \ TOM S N E E , ’ 14

“Working as an RA for two years and as an HR for my third year on staff, I definitely believe that my work has impacted my critical thinking skills. In developing programs, bulletin boards, and other community development materials, it is important to be creative and in touch with the needs of your community in order to be impactful and educational. It also takes a lot of practice in thinking on your feet, evaluating situations based on context, and knowledge of Denison policy to do our jobs. This is particularly true in high stress situations such as documentation, conflict management, and mediations. I know those skills have become much more easily accessible for me since joining staff as a sophomore.” \ \ KATE G AG N ON, ’ 14

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STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES \\ DENISON UNIVERSITY


C H A P T E R 2 \ \ H O W W E D O IT

Restorative Justice Facilitators Several students were trained in the practices and principles of restorative justice, a new approach to resolving student conduct violations. In this model, student and faculty/staff teams facilitate dialogue to help offending students recognize the impact of their actions upon others and begin the process of restoring the relationship with community members. Student facilitators reflected on how their training and facilitation experiences changed them. Many responses show evidence of their ability to think critically about campus culture and relationships:

“Facilitating circles builds your public speaking skills, makes it easier to talk to people. But from the emotional point of view, it’s given me a new perspective on how to approach being wronged by people I know. I learned a lot about people and how people react to hearing what other people have to say about them. Watching other people react to a Whisler nurse who’s been working here for thirty years say, “You made me angry, you made me feel embarrassed, and you made me question why I work here” that was pretty strong. Just goes to show that you really need to think about how your actions affect other people. Your actions, regardless of how hilarious you might think they are, can have a lot of impact on a lot of people, not just the people there, but the people who hear about it, the people who have to clean it up. I’ve learned that actions have a lot of consequences.”

“Once you have this restorative justice idea in your head about the interconnectedness between everybody in the campus and how everyone seems to be accountable for everything, then you really become much more self-aware of your own actions on campus and the implications of those actions. You become very aware of the anonymous people who kind of work behind the scenes at Denison, and the things stop being faceless and start taking on an actual identity, so you’re a lot more aware of your actions and the impacts that they have.”

“It’s given me, personally, a sense of awareness. It definitely makes me think before I do things. Even though I am a restorative justice facilitator, I’m still a normal student on campus, and I see things happen the same way other people do, and now, being in the position, having the kind of training, I can see it from a different standpoint and it helps me think about what I do before I do something and the effect [my actions] have on other people. That’s the main thing; it has given me a sense of awareness. I might use my training as a facilitator to resolve problems— whether it’s arguments in a room with my roommates, using our words to talk things through. I definitely have used those tactics to help my argument. ‘Look how it affects us.’”

DENISON UNIVERSITY \\ STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES 2014

31


AUTONOMOUS THINKING

June Orientation Entering students attend June Orientation the summer before their first semester of college. June Orientation provides students with the opportunity to learn about Denison’s academic program, to connect with other students and faculty, and to identify the resources available to them so that they can begin owning their Denison educational experience. Students who attend June Orientation are able to articulate what a liberal arts education at Denison means, the role of a faculty advisor, and the breadth and depth of a Denison curriculum: »» 97% were able to articulate what a liberal arts education at Denison means.

»» 93% were able to articulate the role of the faculty advisor.

“To help the student understand how the schedule system works, how to balance a number of classes, fill the requirements and also enjoy the subjects. They explain the goal of Denison and also how learning is part academics, part experience and being involved with a community.”

“A liberal arts education at Denison means that students will develop their skills and abilities beyond simply what their specific major requires in order to be an autonomous thinker, more involved citizen, and a valuable member of society.”

»» 97% were able accurately to describe the Denison curriculum.

“The Denison curriculum is divided into three roughly equal parts: general education, major, and the electives. The GE requirements have to be met with classes from different areas so that the student takes a variety of courses. The major and GE requirements overlap, which allows for a good amount of flexibility. In order to graduate, a student needs to have taken 127 credits.”

above \\ June Orientation Student Staff Members talk with parents and new students right \\ Alumni speak with students in roundtable discussions during the Paving the Way Pre-Orientation

Paving the Way Multi-Cultural Student Affairs invites all entering students to participate in this program, although the program’s primary focus is to assist traditionally under-represented students in transitioning to the academic, cultural, and social climate at Denison University. This program begins three days before August Orientation and extends throughout the academic year. Sessions address academic success, ethnic and cultural identities, personal development and available resources to build stronger relationships at the college. After attending Paving the Way, students could identify a variety of University resources, in addition to a multicultural student organization, that foster student success. Nearly every respondent was able to cite something specific they learned from their conversations with alumni—including the importance of study strategies, maintaining high grades, and the value of the cocurricular experience. A majority of students (76%) retained advice from a faculty panel—such as how to take advantage of faculty office hours, what faculty expect from students, how to find assistance when needed, and how to fully engage in collegiate life while balancing study demands.

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STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES \\ DENISON UNIVERSITY


below \\ Denison Jazz Ensemble performs at the Inaugural Ball

C H A P T E R 2 \ \ H O W W E D O IT

The discussion of programs and outcomes suggests the many ways that students might encounter opportunities to achieve common learning goals. It underscores that learning can occur in many different settings and experiences. Each student will array his or her learning in unique ways, devoting greater attention to certain arenas and less to others. By mapping learning experiences to intended outcomes, the following section explores how personalization occurs and how, despite the differences in their experiences, their educations cohere around distinctly Denison learning goals. The students’ reflections on their learning make evident how the rich opportunities at Denison speak to different students in different ways. The observations of several recent alumni, all just a few years out of college, provide insights into the skills, knowledge, and capacities they found most salient as they launched their post-collegiate lives. The final section of the volume examines quantitative data on postgraduate outcomes, and on how a Denison education supports the launch into adult life.

DENISON UNIVERSITY \\ STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES 2014

33


CHAPTER 3

how they did it above \\ A student staff leader during International Student Pre-Orientation

DISTINCTIVELY DIFFERENT, DISTINCTIVELY DENISON

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tudents are encouraged to personalize their Denison experience in accordance with their interests, talents, and goals. While all students must select a major and fulfill the requirements of our general education program, Denison offers great flexibility for how a student might choose to do so. In addition, students’ selection of courses, co-curricular involvement, and experiential learning opportunities allows them to achieve the outcomes of a Denison education in varied ways. To illustrate the uniqueness of a Denison education, three current seniors described their involvement on campus and articulated how each educational experience contributed to their overall learning. We also asked a number of recent graduates to reflect on how their Denison educations had prepared them for life after college.

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STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES \\ DENISON UNIVERSITY


C H A P T E R 3 \ \ H O W T H E Y DID IT

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WHEN TALKING TO ANA MORALES ABOUT HER DENISON EXPERIENCE , the integration of academic coursework and cocurricular experience is apparent. She reflects on taking information learned in one class and applying it to another. While concurrently taking a Spanish course on Latinos in the United States and a Political Science course on Immigration in the United States, she was prompted to think about policy and culture at the same time from different yet interconnected lenses. Ana also applied the concepts from these courses to her internships in the offices of two United States Senators. Her Spanish major provided her with the skills to translate materials from English to Spanish during a political campaign, while her knowledge of culture and policy allowed her to create different campaign messages targeted to the communities to which she was speaking. These internships prompted her to practice and refine her liberal arts skills through her work on immigration cases, communication with constituents, and problem-solving on the spot, while facing tight deadlines with life-changing implications for those whom she served. Ana has already utilized the skills learned through specific Denison programs in tangible ways. She attended the $tart $mart program, which teaches women the skills to benchmark and then negotiate a salary. When offered a position on an election campaign, she was offered the same wage as other interns with less rigorous positions, so she negotiated a salary and won!

35

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Lauren Tyger M AJ OR :

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WHEN LAUREN TYGER DISCUSSES HER DENISON EXPERIENCE,

Within her first months on campus, Lauren was elected to serve as Public Relations Chair of DCGA, a position that required her to be conscious about the messages communicated to fellow students. She wanted her work to be informative and inspiring, fresh and exciting enough to grab attention. Communicating to various groups of people is something Lauren has honed during her Denison experience, as June Orientation leader and as Admissions Senior Interviewer, where she communicates to prospective parents and families the value of a Denison education.

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While these contributions have left a lasting impact on our Denison community, they also have prepared Lauren for professional success beyond Denison, as she plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Student Affairs. These programs she has created and executed as well as the positions she has held have provided her with a foundation for work she will continue in graduate school and her career.

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C H A P T E R 3 \ \ H O W T H E Y DID IT

Danny Persia M AJ ORS :

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WHEN HEARING DANNY PERSIA SPEAK ABOUT HIS DENISON EXPERIENCE, one notices first his immersion in and service to local

and global communities. He speaks deeply of his service experiences and involvement working with young people. Danny’s connection to service at Denison began before he had even taken his first class, with the Denison Service Orientation. He continued his engagement with this program in following years as DSO site leader and co-coordinator. When he reflects on these experiences, you hear him discuss the ethics of being a student leader, the responsibility to connect with students on multiple levels and to help them adjust to being away from home, while also creating an educationally purposeful experience, both on an individual and collective level. Danny’s immersion in local and global communities continued during the Fulbright Summer Institute at the London Olympics. He describes this experience of learning about different cultures and the local impact of the global Olympic games as an “unparalleled intersection of language and culture.”

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What is also apparent in talking to Danny is how his Denison experience laid the groundwork to become an educator. Through a summer internship at La Plaza teaching mathematics to Latino youth, service on the Writing Task Force, participation in the Reynolds Young Writers Workshop, and Ab str ac contributions to the Denison Community S tA lge en ior bra Association (DCA), Danny developed Wr itin Ma gP RE t h a deep interest in teaching and roj Sen CO ec ior t Res learning. Danny applied his findings Goth ear ch ic L iter atur from a past summer research e Sem iotic Cr s: Th project (“Building a Network for e So Th itical cial ink L if ing e of Educational Success”) to the Summ Sign er Res s earch DCA, modifying the structure of Introductio Analyti n to Litera c ry Studies the organization and rethinking Thinkin al g how groups interact and 18th/19th Century British Lit. collaborate with one another variable) Calculus II (Multi n to make the organization even Writte unication uting m of Comp m ns o io at C d stronger and more educationally Foun ns quatio bra/E purposeful. These experiences, r Alge a e in L utor nt T curricular and co-curricular, tme r a p ues h De niq Mat taught Danny that education ech T f o Pro ling is deeply personal, based on ode o to Intr al M c i t CO individual circumstances and ma RE is the lys Ma na A l interests, something he will carry a x v e i l v mp ur Co with him into his post-Denison plans fS eo r ltu to be an educator. Cu

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REFLECTIONS FROM RECENT ALUMNI

Reflections from Recent Alumni

T

he examples of students like Ana, Lauren, and Danny illustrate the myriad ways in which Denison prepares students for professional, personal, and civic success, both through their academic coursework and their co-curricular experiences and involvement. Reflections from recent alumni provide yet another lens into how a Denison experience prepares graduates to lead, live and serve in a complex, global world. We queried four recent alumni about how Denison prepared them for professional, personal and civic success after college. Here are their responses.

Betsy Fisher ‘10 B AC H ELO R’ S DEGREE FROM DEN ISON

CURREN T ROLE

Political Science Arabic & the Middle East

J.D./M.A. Candidate at the University of Michigan

(individually-designed major)

Mark Heckmann ‘11 B AC H ELO R’ S DEGREE FROM DEN ISON

CURREN T ROLE

Sociology/Anthropology Communication

CEO of Student Intuition, Inc.

Rob Moore ‘12 B AC H ELO R’ S DEGREE FROM DEN ISON

CURREN T ROLE

Philosophy

Policy & Research Coordinator for Project Extra Mile

Caitlyn Battaglia ‘13

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B AC H ELO R’ S DEGREE FROM DEN ISON

CURREN T ROLE

Sociology/Anthropology

Nielsen Analyst

STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES \\ DENISON UNIVERSITY


C H A P T E R 3 \ \ H O W T H E Y DID IT

On Professional Success: “Because of Denison’s small class size, interdisciplinary focus, and intensive focus on academic writing, the transition into legal writing and critical analysis in law school was fairly natural. Many of my classmates, even from prestigious Ivy Leagues, had never engaged with their professors as peers in the ways that I had been able to. All of this meant that reading legal texts critically, learning a new style of teaching, writing in a new style, and being willing to approach professors with questions were all things that came to me more easily, I think, than my peers. In turn, that has translated to success academically and a fairly relaxed law experience. I should add, too, though, that my network of mentors from Denison - staff, faculty, and colleagues - continue to make themselves available to me for advice and encouragement.” \ \ B E T S Y

“The writing skills that I developed at Denison have prepared me very well for my work. I also know how to navigate organizations from my extracurricular activities at Denison.” \ \ RO B

“My Denison education has allowed me to excel in my first job as I brought a valuable set of liberal-arts skills to my career. The most tangible aspects of my Denison education that have been effective in my work-life are my ability to problem solve, conduct research, write professionally, and express myself in a clear and concise manner. My Denison education provided me the space and opportunities to develop my professional skills in a variety of different settings which has set me apart from my peers in the workplace.” \ \ C A I T LYN

“Denison’s many opportunities for students to author their own intellectual and social collegiate experience translated into a number of concrete outcomes that helped prepare me for my adult life. A few specific outcomes include: 1) The confidence to contribute meaningfully to a larger debate: Denison’s cultivation of the mind allows its students to feel as though no problem is too complex for a student to study, mull over, engage further, and contribute meaningfully to throughout their career. Few colleges are equipped to offer a learning environment that stimulates action the way that our curriculum and faculty facilitate. 2) The intellectual curiosity to challenge long-standing assumptions: so many of my courses demanded that I respond thoughtfully to an issue or text with particular attention to how we can redefine the constraints surrounding it. Suddenly, a student’s work isn’t just an exercise in working within an established system of rules and procedures, but rather an exploration of what change could look like and the residual effects that could come from it. In a world fraught with standardization and compliance, it is an entrepreneurial spirit that can generate some of the most captivating solutions to economic and social problems. 3) An academic program that demands rounded skill sets, emphasizing both “hard” and “soft” skills: a Denison student is hardly able to confine their professional interests to one area alone. Our social and academic lives are intermingled in such a way that one cannot succeed in one without the development of the other. Employers continue to look for candidates with a mastery of skills that augment job performance as well as relationship-building, and Denison students are uniquely situated to develop each dimension cooperatively… My Denison experience allowed me to feel comfortable failing at times so long as the pursuit of a particular end provided perspective or value. Professionally, a willingness to fail with a favorable attitude and an earnest inclination to do better is a mark of leadership.” \ \ M A RK

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REFLECTIONS FROM RECENT ALUMNI

On Personal Success: “My time at Denison allowed me to better understand who I am as a person and what I need to do to take care of myself (mentally, physically, emotionally, etc.). By the time I left Denison I better understood what it meant to care for myself and the tactical actions I needed to take to support my health and well-being. I attribute a large portion of this to the resources that were available to me through [the Whisler Center for Student Wellness]. Additionally, Denison provided me a safe space to explore who I am and what I am passionate about. This has allowed me to develop interests in and connections to similar communities outside of Denison. The best example of this is the fact that I grew into myself as a member of the LGBT community through my involvement in Outlook and I have since established myself as a member of LGBT-related groups in both my work-life and community.” \ \ C A I T LYN

“Denison alerted me to the oftentimes unpleasant complexity of the world...That even as we progress towards so-called normalcy as we get settled with families and careers, the world around us increasingly demands critical thought and engagement. That perspective, I would argue, is a gift the liberal arts instills best. That lifelong learning is not a slogan, but a challenge that very few truly take on. Our relationships, our work, our institutions are so infinitely complex that the curious and critical mind is a near-requirement for achieving our personal ends.” \ \ M AR K

“At Denison, I worked very hard to excel academically, but I was also engaged in service learning and student leadership, while also maintaining outside interests and personal relationships. My three roommates and I had four different majors and sets of activities, but we always made sure we had time for family dinner at least once a week. We took road trips. Everyone came to my concerts in the Bandersnatch. I went to almost every women’s basketball game. Good friends off the hill would have me over several times a month. I learned that academics are most valuable when they stand alongside community experience - while I was studying political theory about systems of power, I was also learning about access to justice by volunteering at the Legal Aid office in Newark. Those lessons have carried through. At law school, I knew that I was there to study refugee law, but I also started a pro bono project representing refugees. Once again, in-class and out-of-class learning proved complementary. Just as importantly, though, I learned that I can do better work when I have maintained my relationships and hobbies. No one can work all day, every day for any sustained period of time, and when you’re surrounded by fun and intelligent people, no one should want to. I have also carried those lessons through to my law school career. I attend as many sporting events as I can, and instead of the Bandersnatch, my friends and I go to karaoke every week. I spend time with my neighbors and roommates and let myself take breaks. Those little things keep me happier and healthier, and ultimately more successful in a high-pressure environment.” \ \ B E T S Y

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STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES \\ DENISON UNIVERSITY


C H A P T E R 3 \ \ H O W T H E Y DID IT

On Civic Success: “My time at [Denison] gave me the reading and analytical skills that have made me a much more mindful consumer of news than I was before I went to college. Also, while at Denison I spent a lot of time being involved with community issues. If there were rallies on campus or big campus events or just little nooks and crannies of Denison culture, I wanted to experience them. I have taken that skill and applied it to my life afterwards and it has paid off handsomely in community engagement.” \ \ RO B

“My legal studies and practical work have focused on international refugee issues. I have been a Fellow in Michigan Law’s Program in Refugee and Asylum Law, have worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and have overseen a pro bono project that has assisted dozens of refugees seeking resettlement to the United States. I first engaged with refugee issues as a Young Scholar the summer of 2008 doing research with Professor Isis Nusair. Knowing that I would be studying abroad in Jordan, Professor Nusair introduced me to the international debates surrounding Iraqi refugees in Jordan and the services that the international community provided to them. I wrote an extended research paper about refugees in Jordan and have never looked back.” \ \ B E T S Y

“I am engaged with issues of both my local community and more global concerns. I intentionally sought out a smaller, more passionate neighborhood that would provide me an opportunity to more closely interact with my community. I am involved through service as well as social activities in my local community and within the city on the whole. I have become MORE engaged in global concerns since I have left Denison… I became the most engaged with local and global issues through my academics at Denison. I was able to craft a curriculum for myself that really let me explore the things I was the most interested in. Denison also gave me the skills and opportunities to develop myself as a citizen, allowing me to understand my responsibilities and passion. Through this I have become a more active citizen and have taken an interest in advocating for the things I feel are most important to me in my world (whether that is on a micro or macro scale).” \ \ C AI T LYN

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CHAPTER 4

why it matters above \\ Members of the Denison Campus Governance Association during their weekly Senate Meeting

PREPARATION FOR LIFE AFTER DENISON

D

enison’s mission statement captures our commitment, both to our students and to the world they will enter upon graduation. Our dedication to the liberal arts experience centers on preparing students with the knowledge and skills we believe our students need for success in their personal, professional and civic lives. But in order for those students to be effective in their life’s pursuits, we also pay close attention to what the best research tells us is needed by the organizations and the communities our graduates will serve. Our learning goals include preparing them to meet many of those needs. Indeed, we believe that the knowledge and skills developed through a liberal arts education are more valuable today than ever before. Given the speed of technological change, the complexity of the marketplace, and the deeply complicated conflicts in civic life, we increasingly recognize essential talents such as innovative thinking, creative problem-solving, strong writing and speaking skills, and the ability to work in diverse teams as necessary to support the needs of our communities and our workplaces. They complement knowledge and discipline-specific skills in critically important ways. Peter Hart and Associates has conducted research1 on behalf of the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) for nearly a decade, examining the correspondence between the learning and skills developed through a liberal

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arts education with the knowledge and capacities needed in the professional sphere. Surveys of over 300 employers (owners, CEOs, presidents, etc.) in organizations with more than 25 employees underscored the value of the educational goals we pursue: »» Employers see the business environment as more complex than in the past, and believe that innovation is critical to their longevity. As a consequence, they seek employees who can contribute to the advancement of the organization and its work in a highly competitive environment. They point with tremendous consistency to candidates’ ability to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems as more important than the field in which they majored.

STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES \\ DENISON UNIVERSITY


C H A P T E R 4 \ \ W H Y I T M AT TER S

»» While many employers report that a student’s major is of less significance than how well the student thinks, communicates, and problem-solves, the experience of digging deeply into a subject area and acquiring the sophistication of thinking that accompanies the pursuit of a major is highly valued. »» In addition to critical thinking, communication and problemsolving, employers point to ethical judgment and integrity, ability to work comfortably with others from diverse cultural backgrounds, and the capacity for continued new learning and development as highly valued traits. »» Employers want employees who have broad knowledge of the liberal arts and sciences, who understand and can contribute to civic capacity, and have knowledge of cultures beyond the United States. 1

Hart Research Associates. (2013). It takes more than a major: Employer priorities for college learning and student success. Report accessible at: http://www. aacu.org/leap/documents/2013_EmployerSurvey.pdf

Employers urged colleges and universities to focus on the skills identified above, and to provide opportunities for students to apply knowledge to real-world settings. They urged educators to help students cultivate the ability to ask good questions and to learn how to use evidence-based analysis to solve them. Employers focused on experiential learning—internships, project-based learning, servicelearning, and intensive research—to foster this problem-solving capacity. They also urged that students be challenged to work through ethical issues and debates to form their own judgments about issues they face.

These are, of course, the very learning practices documented throughout this volume, which complement the incredible opportunities and experiences that occur with top-tier faculty and staff inside Denison classrooms, studios, laboratories, on athletic fields, and in residence halls. Although these programs undoubtedly provide students with connections to other students and a sense of belonging to the college, they also prepare students for professional, personal and civic success beyond the Hill. Our alumni say they are prepared to lead organizations and serve communities in the same ways they learned to lead and serve their college community: with integrity, critical thinking, and self-awareness. Data collected through the National Survey of Student Engagement support the same conclusions at the aggregate level. This survey, administered to seniors near the end of their final year, provides additional evidence of how Denison prepares students for life after college. As seniors reflect on the course of their time at Denison, they indicate the degree to which their coursework emphasized skills in critical thinking and cognitive complexity “quite a bit” or “very much” in: »» Analyzing the basic elements of an idea, experience, or theory (96%) »» Synthesizing and organizing ideas, information, or experiences (94%) »» Applying theories or concepts to practical problems or in new situations (86%) »» Making judgments about the value of information, arguments, or methods (84%)

In addition, 96% report having tried to better understand others’ views by imagining how an issue looks from their perspective. Seniors also report how Denison has helped them engage in civic life and to step across lines of difference: »» 95% indicate having serious conversations with students who are very different from them in terms of religious beliefs, political opinions, or personal values »» 94% indicate they have had serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity than their own »» 80% report having completed community service or volunteer work during their time at Denison

Seniors also reflected on the degree to which their Denison experience contributed to their knowledge, skills, and personal development in the following areas (“very much” or “quite a bit”): »» Acquiring a broad general education (96%)

»» Analyzing quantitative problems (72%)

»» Thinking critically and analytically (96%)

»» Developing a personal code of values and ethics (67%)

»» Writing clearly and effectively (93%)

»» Solving complex real-world problems (64%)

»» Working effectively with others (90%) »» Learning effectively on their own (85%) »» Speaking clearly and effectively (85%) »» Understanding themselves (75%)

»» Contributing to the welfare of their community (61%) »» Understanding of people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds (60%)

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As the foregoing pages illustrate, our graduates leave Denison with outstanding talents, which they then apply to improve their communities, to advance their organizations and professions, and to solve vexing problems, in arenas that stretch from the workplace to the world. Beyond having acquired those abilities, there also is evidence that Denison graduates enjoy professional success after college, pursuing meaningful work in the worlds of commerce, social service, and the professions. We see evidence of this in the achievements of our accomplished alumni, but we also observe this among our most recent graduates. Our “First Destination” survey of graduating seniors captures the status of our graduates one year after their Commencement. These reports are based not on a small sample of graduates, but on a survey of the entire population. For the Class of 2012:

»» Our data reflect reports from 93% of this graduating class. »» In total, 84% were on a professional path: 52% were employed, about 10% were engaged in service work, and nearly one-quarter were in graduate or professional school. This number exceeds by 5% the average reported within the Liberal Arts Career Network (LACN), a prestigious consortium of our peer institutions. (The remaining 16% are either still searching or provided incomplete information.) »» Fully 100% of applicants in the Class of 2012 received acceptances to medical schools, and 89% of law school applicants received acceptances. Both numbers well exceed national averages. »» Denison graduates ranked 7th among small liberals arts colleges in producing Peace Corps Volunteers, with 17 members of the Class of 2012 taking up this form of service. Another 14 graduates joined Teach for America, ranking Denison 4th among small schools producing teachers for this renowned service program. Others joined the Lutheran Volunteer Corps, City Year, AmeriCorps, and other service positions. Denison has initiated an on-going research project, asking internship providers, employment recruiters who visit our campus, and the primary employers who hire Denison students, to provide us with their evaluations of the Denison students with whom they’ve interacted in internships, interviews, and on the job. Providers of internships were asked how they rated the overall performance of their Denison interns. Over three-quarters said that their interns had been “excellent,” and 90% of respondents expressed interest in hiring Denison interns again in the future. One wrote,

“I think it is indicative that over the past two years the interns we’ve had have both received full- time offers, while we have been unable to make any full-time offers through our Professional Services interviewing. I think Denison students have a lot of the intangible skills that not only translate well but open up leadership opportunities for us later on.” \\ DE NISON E M PLOY E R S UR V E Y

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STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES \\ DENISON UNIVERSITY


below \\ Students visit the JP Morgan Chase offices in Columbus, Ohio as part of the Big Red Roadtrip; Denison Commencement

C H A P T E R 4 \ \ W H Y I T M AT TER S

Among the employers and recruiters we have surveyed, appraisals of our graduates are similarly high: 88% of surveyed employers rate Denison graduates as “very well prepared” or “well prepared” for a job search. All (100%) of the employers evaluated recent Denison graduates’ skills as “good,” “very good,” or “excellent” in the following areas: »» Verbal communication skills or the ability to prepare and deliver an effective presentation »» Knowledge of global cultures, histories, values, religions and social systems

»» Writing skills or the ability to create or edit written reports »» Adaptability/managing multiple priorities, ability to plan, organize and prioritize work

»» Ethical judgment and integrity

»» Ability to obtain and process information

»» Collaborating with others

»» Leading teams

»» Working with diverse groups of people

»» Proficiency with technology

»» Making decisions/solving problems

These abilities reflect the educational tradition of our college. Our students major in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences, going deep into subjects that inspire their interest, while also integrating knowledge and ideas across the breadth of the liberal arts curriculum. Classroom learning is leveraged by the co-curriculum—the organizations and teams students join and lead, the residential communities they form with one another, the service they provide on and off campus, the causes for which they passionately advocate. The combination of depth and breadth that characterize our curriculum and co-curriculum—field-specific knowledge, applied experience, and the skills of critical thinking, communication and problem solving—continue to produce graduates who speak in their professions and their communities with “transformative voices.” We are proud of the accomplishments of our graduates, who continue the strong educational traditions of their college in a rapidly changing world.

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STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES 2014

who we are Division of Student Development

Departments

Dr. Laurel Kennedy

Academic Support & Enrichment Center

Vice President for Student Development

Bill Fox

DI RE C TO R

Jennifer Grube Vestal

Dean of Students

Julie Tucker Coordinator of Assessment & Research

Alcohol, Drug & Health Education C O O RD I N ATO R

Catherine Champagne

Alford Center for Service Learning DI RE C TO R

Dr. Gina Dow

Campus Leadership & Involvement Center DI RE C TO R

Natalie Pariano

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STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES \\ DENISON UNIVERSITY


W H O W E A RE

Career Exploration & Development

International Student Services

Residential Education & Housing

DIRE CTOR

D IR E C TO R

DI RE C TO R

Kathleen Powell

Marilyn Andrew

Kristan Hausman

Center for Women & Gender Action

Multi-Cultural Student Affairs

Student Conduct & Campus Values

DIRE CTOR

D IR E C TO R

DI RE C TO R

Dr. Marci McCaulay

Erik Farley

Greg Phlegar

First-Year Programs

Religious & Spiritual Life

Whisler Center for Student Wellness

D IR E C TO R

C O -DI RE C TO RS

Mark Orten

Molly Thurlow-Collen Tim Durham

DE A N

Dr. Mark Moller

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LAURE L KE NNE DY Vice President for Student Development kennedy@denison.edu JULIE TUCKE R Coordinator of Assessment & Research tuckerj@denison.edu

With special thanks to The Denisonian and University Communication for providing many of the photos featured in this volume.


Student Development Outcomes