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Results

The Shriver Center has a proven track record of successfully engaging students in applied learning and is poised to assist in making this valuable student success strategy available to all UMBC students. Shriver Center assesses all of its programs on a regular basis using a variety of qualitative and quantitative strategies.

Examples of results include the following:

  • Applied Learning Demonstrates Positive Impact on Student Learning and Development:  In FY14, Dr. Thomas Penniston successfully completed his doctoral program in Language, Literacy and Culture. Dr. Penniston’s dissertation, entitled: “The Impacts of Service-Learning Participation upon Post-Secondary Students’ Academic & Social Development” involved quantitative and qualitative methods, including 18 years of longitudinal data, representing 55,000 students and numerous statistical controls. His qualitative component involved 10 semi-structured interviews. This study provides an in-depth analysis of students’ academic, personal and social development. Specific findings suggest:
    • Service-learning students who engaged in Shriver Center experiences demonstrate a diverse set of advantages over students who did not engage in similar experiences including academic development, pro-social growth and community binding mechanisms.
    • In particular, service-learning students were significantly more likely to:
      • Have higher final cumulative GPAs than non-applied learning students;
      • Have attempted and earned more credits;
      • Graduate with honors;
    • Service-learning students four-year graduation rate was significantly higher than non-applied learning students.
  • Every semester, the Center collects data describing the impact of applied learning on student learning and development.  Students report the impact of their experiences on their functional competencies (e.g., critical analysis and reasoning) as well as their professional and personal development. Findings from the FY14 assessment include:
    • 61% of service-learning respondents (n=721) indicated that their motivation to continue and persist to graduation increased as a direct result of their applied experience (21% of service-learning respondents indicated a significant increase in motivation);
    • 88% of service-learning respondents indicated that their awareness of civic responsibilities increased as a direct result of their applied experience;
    • 83% of service-learning respondents indicated that their ability to solve problems increased as a result of their applied learning experience;
    • 87% of service-learning respondents agreed that participating in applied learning helped them to grow as a leader;
    • 78% of service-learning respondents indicated that their self-confidence increased as a direct result of their applied experience;
    • 78% of service-learning respondents indicated that their self-confidence increased as a direct result of their applied experience.
    • 65% of service-learning respondents indicated that the clarity of their career goals increased as a result of their applied learning experience;
    • 65% of service-learning respondents agreed that their ability to view their career expectations realistically increased as a result of their applied learning experience;
    • 69% of service-learning respondents indicated that their oral presentation skills increased as a direct result of their applied experience.
  • Shriver Living Learning Community (SLLC) Shows Positive Impact on Residents:  Data from the annual Educational Benchmarking Incorporated (EBI) Resident Satisfaction Survey suggests positive outcomes for students participating in the SLLC:
    • Strengthens Graduation and Retention – 6.32 (out of 7), statistically significant above the “ALL LLC” mean of 5.78;
    • Integrates academic and social life – 6.08 (out of 7);
    • Life Skills are strengthened by balancing social and academic commitments – 5.81 (out of 7).
  • The Center’s Choice Program Continues to Demonstrate Positive Outcomes for Baltimore’s Youth and Families:  Choice continues to demonstrate positive outcomes for Baltimore’s youth and families: In FY14, through intensive advocacy, Choice served nearly 500 youth and families. Ninety-two percent (92%) of Choice youth were not adjudicated with new charges during their time in the program and 87% remained in the community at the time of program completion. Choice served 73 DSS youth and their families, with 77% of youth remaining with their families during Choice’s intervention. This year, 42 students were served by the Baltimore City Education team at Lakeland Elementary/Middle School. 88% of youth reduced or maintained the number of suspensions compared to the previous school year, while 95% of them reduced or maintained the number of behavioral referrals. 93% of program participants engaged in positive and educational after-school or out-of-school activities with Choice Program Fellows.
  • Retention Data, Office of Institutional ResearchUMBC data reveal that first-time, full-time freshmen engaging in applied learning experiences are more often retained and graduate at significantly higher rates than students who do not engage in similar experiences (OIR, 2005).