Each fall since 2008, incoming freshmen have been invited to take part in a free, 20-minute online assessment tool called MAP-Works. Although it is funded by the Department of Residence, on- and off-campus first-time, first-year students are encouraged to participate.
The short "Transition Survey" provides students with feedback that targets campus resources to assist in their transition to Iowa State. Strengths, weakness and concerns can be identified and addressed to each individual's needs. Participating faculty and staff (primarily advisers) use the data to provide appropriate transition help, especially for at-risk students.
"Wherever the system raises red flags, it offers resources the students can reach out to on campus," said Ginny Arthur, associate director for residence life who coordinates the program with associate dean of students Mary Jo Gonzales. "It's a very personalized system. That's one of the hallmarks of the program."
"The survey begins the third week of the fall semester," Arthur said. "That is a high-risk time -- when students might be struggling. They need to figure out how to change their behaviors and what resources we have for them."
Data from MAP-Works helps measure the academic success and retention rates of survey participants. Low, moderate and high "risk indicators," based on academic ability measures such as ACT score, high school rank and GPA, are collected for all freshmen. However, survey answers from MAP-Works participants also...
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