Use & Application Examples

The impact of participation in the MSL can be seen at multiple levels of the institution.  Below are examples illustrating just some of the ways in which institutions have put MSL data and results into action:

Programmatic Level

Use of MSL data can influence a range of programmatic areas ranging from leadership and community service programs to multicultural student affairs.  Past applications include:

Development or Reassessment of Programs/Services

  • North Carolina State University – Data stimulated and guided the redesign of leadership programs to refocus on a more complex and tiered leadership education program.
  • Lehigh University – Data used to inform leadership education programs with specific attention paid to tracking and evaluating student learning over multiple years of involvement in educational programs.
  • University of Nevada Las Vegas – Data were analyzed to examine student perceptions of campus climate by racial group membership.  Results were used to identify programmatic areas that supported students’ positive perceptions as well as gaps in educational programming contributing to negative perceptions of campus climate.

Increase of Human and Financial Resources

  • University of Minnesota – Data provided key evidence supporting two grant proposals that were awarded to fund a new leadership certification program as well as a first-year student leadership institute.
  • Texas A&M University – Data used to acquire two new professional staff positions focused on leadership education and student organization advising/mentoring.
  • University of Tampa – Data used to justify additional programmatic funding as well as a new professional staff line supporting leadership and civic engagement activities.

Departmental/Divisional Level

Use of MSL data can influence the direction of academic, student affairs, and student services units based on analysis of student perceptions, engagement with the collegiate environment, and/or educational outcome achievement.  Past applications include:

Evidence of Student Learning

  • University of Toronto – Data used by the School of Engineering to track student involvement, mentoring experiences, and educational outcomes.

Development or Reassessment of Programs/Services

  • Rollins College – Data used by the provost’s office to inform the curriculum review process and infuse leadership education as an interdisciplinary learning outcome across all academic areas.
  • Oregon State University – Data informed an organization restructuring process in the division of student affairs leading to the creation of a new departmental unit charged with leadership education and community services as well as new staffing lines.
  • Emory University – After a comprehensive initiative to create a common understanding of leadership on campus (http://www.naspa.org/pubs/mags/nr/default.cfm), institutional data from the 2011 MSL will be used as a benchmark for data to be collected in the 2015 MSL.  Data will be analyzed for differences that can be attributed to the new, intentional language and direction.

Benchmarking with Educational Peers

  • DePaul University – Data inform the work of the division of student affairs research and assessment office with particular attention paid to tracking student trends related to male students of color and their engagement levels on campus.
  • Catholic Schools Coalition – In 2012, group of 25 Catholic schools partnered in the project to collect data adding an additional set of 20 common questions related to institutional mission and identity.  These schools then shared data so that reports offered institutional comparisons across learning outcomes and educational experiences.

Institutional Level

Use of MSL data can influence institutional accreditation processes as well as support school specific initiatives.  Past applications include:

Evidence of Student Learning

  • Marquette University – Data are used to report progress on educational outcomes identified in the institutional accreditation process.
  • Florida State University – Data serve as a source of evidence for the accreditation process which lists leadership development as a core outcome in the institution’s quality enhancement plan.

Advancement of Institutional Priorities

  • Metropolitan State College of Denver – Data are being used to support the institution’s application for designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution.
  • University of Maryland – Data support a presidential initiative to increase specific educational opportunities for undergraduates on campus (e.g., study abroad, research with faculty members, internship experiences, mentoring relationships).  Data are used to track trends across these opportunities as well as examine rates of student access.