Findings translate into immediate results, new-student mentorship program
Three Global Citizenship classes at Minnesota School of Business-Shakopee conducted a series of campus surveys to identify ways to improve students’ college experience. The result? A new mentor program was initiated to give incoming students more one-on-one attention.
After receiving classroom instruction on survey design and administration, 60 students broke into small groups. Each group identified a topic, wrote questions and administered a brief, written survey to students on campus. The response rate reached more than 90 percent.
“This class project allowed us to put theories about personality types, problem-solving, teamwork, goal-setting and communication skills into practical situations that will help us in the workplace and in our personal lives,” said student Kelly Heuer.
The students analyzed the results and prepared a written summary and PowerPoint presentation to share with their class. A key finding was that many students on campus felt the existing new student orientation program did not meet their needs.
“Since participating in this service-learning project I feel I have a better understanding about the problems that students face when starting their first quarter at Minnesota School of Business-Shakopee,” said student Ryan Gieseke.
Some respondents reported they would like to meet with someone individually during the orientation process so can ask questions. In response to this finding, the “First Friends” mentor program was developed which links new students with veteran students in their major.
“I believe this project was beneficial for our students because it gave them ideas on how to enhance other students’ education on campus but also their own education,” said Campus Director Bruce Christman. “It also helped our staff to learn how to create a better learning experience for our students on campus.”