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Residence Life

Overview: 
Residence Life Strategic Goals (2007-2012)
 
Affordability & Access
  • Maintain affordability of programs and services
  • Provide access on multiple levels to programs and services
High Quality Facilities
  • Provide well-designed and well-built facilities
  • Provide clean and well-maintained facilities
  • Use innovative technology, design, and training to achieve best practices
Education of the Whole Student
  • Provide learning opportunities and environments that encourage students to be self-aware, socially just, global citizens
  • Continue to support students’ academic experience so that our average GPA, retention rates, and 6-year graduation rates exceed those of off-campus students (on-going)
 Relationships & Partnerships
  • Explore new and strengthen current relationships and partnerships
 Communication & Outreach
  • Communicate the benefits of living on campus to students, families, and campus partners through an integrated marketing approach
  • Support the university’s enrollment management goals and objectives
Staff: Recruit, Retain, Develop                                     
  • Recruit highly qualified staff at all levels in all units
  • Create a healthy work environment where people feel valued
  • Provide staff at all levels with opportunities to grow and advance, and to encourage them to do so
  • Enhance communication structures to welcome multiple voices and perspectives

The Outcomes described below represent the latest results of efforts around these strategic goals.

Expected Learning Outcomes: 

Affordability & Access

Residence Life Hall Rates are consistently mid-range compared to other Pac-10 schools.

Residence Hall Rates reflect a tiered-rate system that provides a range of pricing for on-campus housing.

Better Academic Outcomes

Office of Institutional Research and Planning Support (OIRPS) data consistently show that students who live on campus for at least their first semester of college earn higher 1st year grade point averages, are more likely to return to the University for their second year and graduate at higher rates than off-campus students.

Healthy, Safe & Secure Environments

In response to campus-wide electronic access control and information security audits, Residence Life:

  • Instituted more rigorous residence hall entry procedures
  • Developed written policies and procedures delineating appropriate access levels
  • Implemented new processes to improve the security of electronic and hard copy student data
  • Developed the database-driven Electronic Temporary Access Card Control  application to tighten control of electronic access cards issued on a temporary basis to residents and contractors (Spring 2010)
  • Developing the Program Tracker application to track, monitor, assess and improve safety & security programs delivered in the halls (Spring 2010)
  • To prepare for a potential H1N1 outbreak, Residence Life developed a comprehensive H1N1 response protocol that the Pima County Health Department recognized as a model response plan and partnered with the Unions’ Dining Services to offer a meal “home” delivery service for hall residents sick with the flu.

Attention to Continuous Process Improvement and Sustainable Work Practices

Residence Life has implemented an innovative, cost-effective and sustainable IT infrastructure, the WYSE terminal system, that:

  • Enhances information security by moving data processing and storage from more than 100 individual desktop and laptop computers to one centralized server room
  • Uses less expensive desktop hardware
  • Requires fewer full-time staff to maintain
  • Has a life cycle of 7 to 10 years compared to 2 to 3 years of traditional desktop systems
  • Operates on a fraction of the electricity that traditional desktops need
  • Is being showcased as an example of IT workplace innovation at EDUCAUSE 2009!

Residence Life implemented a web-based program to track maintenance work orders, assess student satisfaction with work order completion and evaluate maintenance needs in the residence halls

Focus on Quality

Residence Life is working with the University's office of Planning, Design and Construction (PD&C) to design and oversee construction of two new LEED-certified residence halls that will create 1,088 bed spaces.

Residence Life and the Honors College have designated the larger of the two new halls as the new Honors Hall and are collaborating with each other to design space conducive to honors programming and with the Student Affairs Development Office to procure funding to execute and sustain programming.

 

Assessment Activities: 

The following table describes the main ASSESSMENT ACTIVITIES conducted by Residence Life in 2009-2010.

TITLE
 
Description
ACUHO-I/EBI
 
National university housing survey to assess levels of satisfaction and to offer comparison results from other schools
Conflict Management Follow-up Survey
 
Survey to gauge staff comfort with and understanding of conflict management techniques; follow-up to survey and training completed in 2008-2009.  Results are shared and used internally for communication enhancement and other purposes.
Move-in Feedback Survey
 
Short survey regarding satisfaction with move-in process
Academic Outcomes
Retention and academic data including 1st year GPA, Academic Index; compares on-campus with off-campus students
Program Outcomes: Caring & Inclusive Learning Community results
In-house survey of specified learning outcomes related to Residential Education programs; pre-survey completed in fall, post in spring.
Sustainability Education Outcomes
Survey to assess what residents learned from the sustainability education programs conducted throughout the year
Exit Survey
Follow-up questions regarding reason for leaving the residence hall
 
EXAMPLE FINDINGS:
 
Student Feedback
 
The national housing survey (ACUHO-I/EBI) was conducted in fall of 2009.  The response rate was 37% (2,112 returned surveys out of 5,660 students).
 
ACUHO-I/EBI reports results around 14 Factors related to comprehensive residential experiences. 
The factors are listed below and the results from the 2009 survey rated UofA residence hall experiences as Excellent (5 factors) or Good (9 factors). The factors rated as Excellent are noted below with an asterisk (*).
 
Satisfaction with Student Staff*, Programming, Environment, Facilitites, Services, Room Assignment Process, Safety and Security*.
 
Climate ratings about Tolerance*, Respect, and Sense of Community*.
 
Learning Outcomes as they relate to Personal Interactions, Diverse Interactions*, Managing Time, Studying and Solving Problems, and Personal Growth.
 
Results that compare UofA to other schools will be availabile in June 2010.
 
The 2009 results represent significant increases in satisfaction when compared to previous years (2007 and 2006).
 
 
 
CHANGES:
 
In addition to the OUTCOMES described above, Residence Life has reflected on results from assessment activities and is currently making plans for changes in programming and services in the following areas:
  • Although students rate satisfaction and feelings of safety and security highly, staff note that student behavior may therefore be lax in relation to maintaining that safety and security.  For example, allowing another person or other people to follow them through a secured door without knowing whether they belong there (called "tailgating"), is a behavior that can decrease the effectiveness of even the best security features.  Therefore, Residence Life plans, for example, to increase the video surveillance in and around halls.
  • Results from move-in surveys, observations by staff, and informal interviews with families have resulted in planning for more optional services (e.g., "Cruise ship" model drop off and delivery) for Fall 2010.
  • Results from the conflict management survey showed improvements after in-service workshops and policy development.  Discussions with managers indicated an interest in further professional development through in-service workshops on other topics.  The HR staff and Dirctor's staff will develop a set of offerings for 2010-2011 and will update the department's professional development policy.
  • Results from the ACUHO-I/EBI student survey mirror plans for Residential Education to revise the current programming focus to include more targeted activities that help students in their transition from high school to college.  This "first year" focus will also likely impact grades and retention results.
     
Updated date: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:50