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Oakland University Student Affairs
The Student Affairs Assessment Team is proud to present our monthly installment "Assessment Highlights" featuring individual department's assessment initiatives. Watch for monthly highlights in your email!
Center for Student Activities - January 2014

In Fall Semester 2013, the Center for Student Activities expanded the service event Make A Difference Day into "Mega Make A Difference Days." Participants were given additional service opportunities throughout an entire weekend instead of the traditional one day service event. Make A Difference Day is "the largest national day of community service" sponsored by USA Weekend Magazine and Points of Light (USA Weekend, 2012). Oakland University students, staff, and alumni, as well as Oakland Community College students, were dispersed to eleven local non-profits and exposed to a variety of soft and hard skills while serving. As research supports, millennial students value service and desire to be involved in service events (Fournier, 2013). This year's attendance increased 53 percent since 2010-2011; therefore the desire and need for service events is evident.

Participants completed a post test that included learning objectives and an evaluation of the site where they volunteered. The chart below shows the post test results from Mega Make A Difference Days participants. The weekend service events increased participants' desire to continue serving. It also introduced participants to new social justice issues, non–profit organizations, and community needs through hands-on experiences. OU students expressed feeling more connected to Oakland because of this service event. This reinforces that greater involvement and greater connection increases student retention rates (Astin, 1977).

Table1

References:

Astin, A. (1977). Four Critical Years. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass;
Fournier, R (2013, August 26); The outsiders: How can millennials change Washington if they hate it?
The Atlantic, 1-19. Retrieved from: http://theatlantic.com; Value of Volunteer Time. (2012).
Independent Sector. Retrieved from http://independentsector.org/volunteer_time#sthash.aVyd14xK.dpbs;
What is make a difference day? (2012). USA Weekend. Retrieved from http://usaweekend.com

Impact

The economical impact on the community was significant. The overall number of volunteer hours for participants was 2,052, which reflects a vast amount of service work that was completed in a short period of time. The United States monetary wage average that volunteers compensate for while volunteering is $22.14 an hour (Independent Sector, 2012). Based on this data, Mega Make A Difference Days participants invested $45,431.28 during the weekend. In addition participants learned through their Student Site Leaders about The Active Citizen Continuum, how local non-profits operate, and the economical and emotional value of serving. Due to the increase of Mega Make A Difference Days' attendance, three new Seasons of Services inclusion-themed initiatives were created by the Center for Student Activities. Activities for the Winter semester are two volunteer opportunities in March at the Ruth Ellis Center and OUCARES, and in April a volunteer event at Gleaners Food Bank.

Assessment Tips
Re-visit the goals and re-inform the department what the evaluation is about.
Oakland University Student Affairs