Undergraduate research has been identified as a “high-impact educational practice” to improve student success, learning, and retention. In 2009, George Mason University adopted Students as Scholars, a university-wide initiative that connects undergraduate students with faculty across the disciplines to engage in authentic research and creative activity.
The Office of Institutional Assessment partners with the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, & Research (OSCAR) and the Center for Teaching and Faculty Excellence to guide program development at the institutional as well as degree program level; measure student achievement of learning outcomes across learning experiences; and contribute to the improvement of teaching and learning through faculty development activities. Mason’s assessment approach focuses on the institution’s commitment to promote high-impact educational practices while supporting faculty in developing educational activities that are relevant to their own academic and professional fields.
Students as Scholars is Mason’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) to enhance undergraduate education. Outcomes assessment is formative, in that data inform program design and improvement. Assessment is also longitudinal, allowing us to ask important questions about the effectiveness of the initiative in promoting student success. In addition to formative reporting, OSCAR and OIA produce an annual report that summarizes achievement in meeting the student learning and program outcomes.
This site shares assessment information, reports, and selected findings. For more information about Students as Scholars, visit oscar.gmu.edu.
Assessment Model and Strategies
The Office of Institutional Assessment and Students as Scholars staff share what we are learning through local, regional, and national conference presentations, and in professional publications. Information and documents are posted on the Publications and Presentations page.
For more information about assessment of the Students as Scholars initiative, contact Stephanie (Hazel) Foster.