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Research on the Appraisal of Municipal Engagement

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  1. Research on the Assessment of Civic Engagement Linda J. Sax Director, Cooperative Institutional Research Program Associate Professor-in-Residence, UCLA

  2. Questions Addressed in HERI Research • What do CIRP trends reveal about students’ civic engagement? • How does participation in community service during college impact student outcomes? • How does college impact students’ civic values and behaviors in the years after college?

  3. Major Findings from HERI Research • Measures of civic engagement show contrasting trends over time • Participation in service during college yields widespread benefits to students • Student involvement during college plays a key role in predicting post-college civic engagement

  4. The CIRP Freshman Survey • Largest and longest-running study of American college students • Initiated in 1966 at the American Council on Education. Housed at HERI (UCLA) since 1973 • Administered annually to over 400,000 incoming freshmen at more than 700 colleges and universities nationwide

  5. The CIRP Freshman Survey • Demographic Characteristics • Expectations for College • High School Experiences • Degree Aspirations & Career Plans • College Finances • Attitudes, Values, & Life Goals • Reasons for Attending College

  6. The I-E-O Model Educational Environment Student Inputs Student Outcomes

  7. Two Approaches to the Study of Students’ Civic Engagement Approach #1: Focus on environments Community Service Participation Student Inputs Student Outcomes

  8. Two Approaches to the Study of Students’ Civic Engagement Approach #2: Focus on outcomes Educational Environment Student Inputs Civic Values and Behaviors

  9. Approach #1: Focus on Environments How does participation in community service during college impact student outcomes?

  10. Study Design • CIRP Freshman Survey • College Student Survey • 3,450 students • 42 “Learn and Serve” institutions • 62% service participants • 38% non-participants

  11. Types of Service

  12. Pre-college determinants of service participation Commitment to the community Volunteer work in high school Leadership self-confidence Religious involvement Gender These differences needed to be accounted for prior to assessing the impact of service

  13. Impact of Service Participation Positive on All Measures of Life Skills Leadership ability Social self-confidence Critical thinking skills Conflict resolution skills Understanding of national and community problems

  14. Retention Grades Degree aspirations Academic self-concept General knowledge Impact of ServiceParticipation Positive on All Measures of Educational Attainment

  15. Impact of Service Participation Positive on All Measures of Civic Responsibility Commitment to: Serving the community Helping others in difficulty Cleaning up the environment Influencing social values Influencing the political structure Belief that an individual can change society

  16. Impact of Service Participation Positive effects regardless of type of service: Education, Human Needs, Public Safety, or Environment Extended duration of service leads to stronger effects of service

  17. Approach #2: Focus on Outcomes How does college impact students’ civic values and behaviors in the years after college?

  18. Nine-Year Follow-up Survey • Freshman Survey • Follow-up Survey (College) • Nine-Year Follow-up Survey (Post-College) • 12,376 Respondents to all three surveys • 209 Four-year colleges and universities

  19. Post-College Outcomes • Social Activism • Goal: Helping others in difficulty • Goal: Influence social values • Goal: Participate in a community action program • Goal: Influence the political structure • Sense of Empowerment • Belief that an individual can change society • Community Involvement • Volunteerism

  20. Goal: Helping Others in Difficulty

  21. Goal: Participate in a Community Action Program

  22. Goal: Influencing the Political Structure

  23. Goal: Influence Social Values

  24. Belief that an Individual Can Change Society

  25. Performed Volunteer Work

  26. Consistency in Volunteerism Over Time Prior Likelihood of Volunteering… VolunteerismIn CollegeAfter College High Yes 2 in 5 1 in 2 School No 1 in 4 1 in 3 College Yes ----- 1 in 2 No ----- 1 in 3

  27. Commitment to Social Activism Positive Peer Group Commitment to Social Activism + Performing Volunteer Work + Attending Religious Services + Attending Class + Exercising/Sports + Negative Engineering Major - Watching Television -

  28. Belief that an Individual Can Change Society Positive Peer Group Socioeconomic Status + Socializing with Students from Different Racial/ Ethnic Backgrounds + Discussing Political and Social Issues + Attending Religious Services + Negative Feeling Depressed - Believing that College Administrators do not Care About Student Concerns -

  29. Participation in Volunteer Work After College Positive Peer Group Commitment to Social Activism + Performing Volunteer Work + Attending Religious Services + Attending Racial/Cultural Awareness Workshops + Socializing with Students from Different Racial/ Ethnic Backgrounds + Talking with Faculty Outside of Class + Working Full-Time +

  30. Summary of Key Influences on Civic Outcomes • Volunteerism During College • Religious Involvement • Diversity Experiences

  31. The HERI Faculty Survey and the Assessment of Civic Engagement Professional activities • Taught a service-learning class • Engaged in teaching or research with a community partner • Used your scholarship to address issues in the local community • Given talks to local community organizations • Performed unpaid consulting work Faculty attitudes and values • Colleges should facilitate student involvement in community service • Colleges have a responsibility to work with the local community to address issues • Colleges should be preparing students for responsible citizenship

  32. The HERI Faculty Survey • 35,000 faculty at over 350 institutions triennially • Registration open for 2004-05 • Special services for ADP and Campus Compact institutions: • Institutional data file • Special institutional report on community engagement practices and beliefs • American Democracy Project Consortium report, comparing your institution to other ADP Schools • See http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/heri/faculty.html for more information