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2.10 Student Support Services

The institution provides student support programs, services, and activities consistent with its mission that promote student learning and enhance the development of its students. (Core Requirement 2.10)  

Compliance

In Compliance

Narrative

Longwood University provides a full array of student programs, services, and activities consistent with its mission to promote student learning and enhance student development. These services are incorporated into the Longwood student experience as a holistic component of the process of becoming citizen leaders who are prepared to make positive contributions to the common good of society. Many student support programs, activities, and services are managed by the Student Affairs division or Student Success unit, both of which report directly to the president of the University.

Student Affairs includes the following areas: Dining Services, Disability Support Services (DSS), Fraternity and Sorority Life, Health and Wellness, Honor and Judicial Programs (HJP), Leadership and Student Engagement, Multicultural Affairs and International Student Services, Public Safety / Police, Residential and Commuter Life (RCL), Student Union and Involvement, and Volunteer and Service-Learning. The Career Center and First Year Experience departments were under Student Affairs until 2007, when the President appointed an executive assistant to launch a major initiative to increase institutional performance in the areas of student retention and graduation rates. This resulted in the creation of the Student Success unit, which reports directly to the president and includes the Academic and Career Advising Center (ACAC), Admissions, First Year Experience, Learning Center, and Office of Student-Athlete Academic Services (OSAAS).

Because Student Affairs and Student Success are closely tied by function, the main narrative sections are structured thematically rather than by organizational structure. The sections include assessment and evaluation, distance education students, academic support and enrichment, health and wellness, personal and public responsibility, student transition and success, and leadership opportunities and involvement.

Assessment and Evaluation

Through various forms of programming, training, teaching, mentoring, supervision, counseling, and advising, Student Affairs and Student Success staff engage students in active and intentional forms of learning and reflection in a community that promotes pluralism, civility, honor, and integrity. To give such lofty rhetoric meaning, on-going assessment and evaluation are critical. Despite the abundance of definitions, forms, and uses of assessment, Longwood believes that the overriding purpose of assessment is to better understand how educational programs are working and to determine the degree to which they are contributing to student learning and development. To that end, the associate dean for student affairs works in collaboration with an Assessment Team comprised of representatives from Student Success and Student Affairs. Though often used as a measure of accountability, assessment has become embedded within Longwood's institutional culture because results are used to improve programs and ensure learning.

Each department and/or program area within Student Affairs participates in a formal program review on a five-year rotating basis as prescribed by the Office of Assessment and Institutional Research (OAIR). Some departments choose to follow standards of professional accreditation for the five-year program review; for example, the Counseling Center is accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services, and Public Safety is seeking accreditation from the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission. Most departments complete a Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) self-study, which is designed around comprehensive and commonly developed sets of professional standards and guidelines. Student Affairs has developed responsibilities for all participants in the process. Three departments (HJP, Multicultural Affairs and International Student Services, and Health and Wellness) are completing CAS self-studies in 2009-10. The Residential and Commuter Life 2008-09 CAS Executive Summary and Action Plan is provided as an example of a completed self-study.

In addition to the required formal program review, departments within Student Affairs and Student Success often participate in standardized national surveys that provide benchmarking opportunities. A recent example completed by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life included 396 student participants (a response rate of 70.3%) in the national Educational Benchmarking, Inc. (EBI) Assessment Survey. Critical results are summarized in table 1 below. As a performance target, EBI determined that a mean of 5.5 on their 7-point scale (1 equals "none at all," 4 equals "moderately," and 7 equals "extremely") indicated a 75% satisfaction/agreement level and approximated the minimum mean for the top performing programs participating in the EBI benchmarking study. Within the columns, the checkmarks indicate the factors on which Longwood University mean scores exceeded those of either the six chosen peer institutions or all participating institutions at a statistically significantly level. All Longwood means within all factors except housing exceeded the EBI "goal" rating. All Longwood means with the exception of safety and security, programming, and housing exceeded those of the six peer institutions and those of all institutions. More detailed information is available in a slide presentation which was developed to educate the faculty and staff about the survey results.

Table 1. Longwood University Mean Scores on 2008 EBI Fraternity/Sorority Factors

Factor Longwood Mean Peer Institutions All Institutions
Learning Outcomes: Interpersonal Skills 6.42
Learning Outcomes: Sense of Belonging 6.38
Learning Outcomes: Self-Worth 6.30
Overall Satisfaction with Fraternity/Sorority Experience 6.26
Learning Outcomes: Intrapersonal Competence 6.20
Overall Program Evaluation 6.17
Learning Outcomes: Interpersonal Competence 6.11
Overall Learning Evaluation 6.11
Learning Outcomes: Diverse Interactions 6.04
Learning Outcomes: Effective Chapter Leadership 6.01
Learning Outcomes: Leadership Skills 5.96
Learning Outcomes: Personal Development Skills 5.94
Learning Outcomes: Collaboration 5.85
Learning Outcomes: Healthy Behaviors 5.82
Learning Outcomes: Principled Dissent 5.67
Satisfaction: Safety and Security 5.61 X ND
Satisfaction: Fraternity/Sorority Programming 5.57 ND
Satisfaction: Housing 5.06 ND ND

Source: Educational Benchmarking, Inc. (EBI) Assessment Survey, 2008

Note: Checkmark (√) indicates that Longwood had a statistically higher mean than the mean of the comparative group. ND indicates no statistical difference between Longwood and the comparative group mean. X indicates that Longwood had a statistically lower mean than the mean of the comparative group.

Student Affairs and Student Success staff annually establish divisional level goals and strategic objectives that align with the four components of the University's strategic plan and six student development goals. To ensure current relevance of the student development goals originally endorsed by the Board of Visitors (BOV) twelve years ago, all professional staff participated in an exercise where the six goals were mapped against the learning domains outlined by several seminal pieces of higher education literature, including the Learning Reconsidered monographs and the CAS and Frameworks for Assessing Learning and Development Outcomes (FALDOs).

Lastly, learning outcomes as well as program and service objectives are established and assessed at the departmental level using a variety of direct and indirect measures on an annual basis. Results are used to improve the programs themselves and to serve as required indicators of institutional effectiveness. Examples of these assessments are included in the narrative. In a critical step forward in institutionalizing the assessment process, designated assessment liaison persons within Student Affairs and Student Success will be participating in an assessment report writing workshop and subsequent WEAVEOnline training, as the University is launching a centralized management system for writing and accessing assessment reports.

Distance Education Students

The Longwood University fee structure differs for on-campus, off-campus, and online students based upon the expectation of the services they will use. These fees are approved by the BOV and clearly stated in both the undergraduate and graduate catalogs. All students pay a registration fee to defray the administrative costs of registration. The comprehensive fee includes charges for safety initiatives, building and grounds maintenance, student health and wellness services, athletics, recreation, the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts, the Farmville Area Bus service, student programming, academic computer labs, and other services. The graduate comprehensive fee is slightly lower than the undergraduate fee. The student activity fee supports student organizations; it is proposed and allocated by the Student Government Association (SGA). The online fee covers technology support services for online courses.

Fees are assessed per credit hour based on the type and location of instruction.

  • Students pay the complete comprehensive and student activity fees for classes delivered on-campus. The University expects these students to make full use of all student support programs, services, and activities.
  • Students pay a reduced comprehensive fee for classes delivered at an off-campus location. There is no student activity fee for off-campus credits. The University provides only academic support services to these students.
  • Students do not pay a comprehensive or a student activity fee for classes delivered online. Instead, they pay an online fee that supports the maintenance of Blackboard course management software used for online classes and includes academic support services.

Undergraduate students who take online courses are also enrolled in degree programs and therefore pay the complete comprehensive and student activity fees for their on-campus credit hours. The majority of students enrolled in online courses are graduate students. The Office of Graduate and Extended Studies provide a web portal for off-campus/online access to student support services, with online tutorials for the use of Blackboard and links to support services available to off-campus graduate students.

Academic Support and Enrichment

Three offices provide formal academic support and enrichment programs to students: the ACAC, the Learning Center, and the OSAAS. Their services are described in more detail below. The Office of Admissions works closely with all of these offices to ensure that admitted students who need enhanced services receive them.

Academic and Career Advising Center

The ACAC provides academic advising for undeclared students, job and internship opportunities, workshops, and class presentations. In 2008-09, ACAC staff conducted 186 workshops and classroom presentations with 3,363 student attendees and 975 individual appointments, 255 of which were related to academic advising. The ACAC regularly assesses its services; for example, 97% of participants rated their overall experience of the 2008-09 Education Recruitment Day as "good," "very good," or "excellent."

Learning Center

The Learning Center provides guided study and problem-solving groups, language practice sessions, and writing and speaking consultation. The Learning Center implements the early intervention system for academic issues on campus; students are referred to the center, usually by professors, for problems involving class attendance, performance, or both. The Learning Center also offers the PLUS and On-TRAC programs for conditionally admitted students. PLUS is for entering freshmen only, most of whom present with low test scores. The On-TRAC program is for students re-admitted after academic suspension. These students all participate in a class with the director or assistant director of the Learning Center.

In 2008-09, there were 1,312 attendees at peer tutoring sessions and 225 consultations at the Writing Center. Results of the tutor evaluation survey indicated that 93% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed they were better able to apply the material on their own after coaching sessions, and 73% indicated that their grades improved due to coaching sessions. The Learning Center worked with 68 College PLUS students, 31 On-TRAC students, 119 students in the early intervention program, approximately 300 students per semester on probation or continued probation, approximately 100 advisees, and 15 other students who came for other reasons.

Student-Athlete Academic Services

The OSAAS supports and assists student-athletes in their academic, athletic, personal, and career pursuits. The OSAAS promotes learning and enhances development through imposed structure, professional mentoring, academic assistance, career and personal development seminars, academic development workshops, access to technology during road trips, and access to textbooks. The OSAAS evaluates GPA data, graduation rates, and academic progress rates (as required by the National Collegiate Athletic Association), and completes annual evaluations and student-athlete exit interviews. In 2008-09, the GPA for student-athletes in fall and spring semesters increased from the same semesters in 2007-08 (2.80 to 2.85 for fall and 2.88 to 2.94 for spring).

Student Enrichment Initiatives

Several initiatives for student academic support outside of Student Affairs and Student Success have been expanded or launched in recent years.

  • The inaugural issue of INCITE Journal of Undergraduate Scholarship was published by the Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences (CCCAS) in 2008. The journal is part of Longwood's effort to develop a national reputation for excellence in undergraduate research and creative activity. The two issues in print include submissions from 42 students.
  • The CCCAS also launched a Research and Internship Showcase in 2005 to display student excellence in research and scholarship. It occurs at the end of every fall semester.
  • To enhance cross-cultural experiences and learning, Longwood offers study abroad and exchange programs to over 14 different countries to any student wishing to study abroad. From 2006 to 2009, 52 students participated in semester-long programs and 437 students participated in short-term or faculty-led programs.
  • In 2009, Longwood University introduced the Cormier Honors College for Citizen Scholars. This program blends the former Honors Program and Cormier Citizen Scholars Program and offers a residential living and learning community.

Health and Wellness

In support of the University's mission to foster student learning, scholarship, and achievement, Longwood formed the Health and Wellness unit in spring 2009. The unit is comprised of four separate departments: Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC), Counseling Center, Campus Recreation, and DSS.

Student Health and Wellness Center

The SHWC provides a number of services geared toward wellness education in support of its mission to help students become responsible for their own health. The SHWC web site also provides literature on different health topics and sexual assault as well as other resources needed by students. In the SHWC spring 2008 user satisfaction survey, 81% of students surveyed "strongly agreed" that the answers given to their questions were satisfactory, and 67% of students surveyed "strongly agreed" that the educational materials received were helpful. During 2008-09, clinicians performed over 4,100 examinations and administered 950 flu shots.

One of the SHWC's primary means for education is through the peer health educators, co-sponsored by the Counseling Center. This student-run organization not only helps to educate the campus community through campus-wide programming and residence hall programming but also provides hands-on learning for those students who serve the organization.

For the past two years, the SHWC conducted the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) survey, which addresses a variety of health-related topics, including nutrition, exercise, depression, and use of alcohol. In 2009, 86% of respondents described their general health as "good," "very good," or "excellent."

Counseling Center

The Counseling Center provides multiple services, including crisis intervention, outreach, personality assessments, and programs designed specifically for special interest groups, including men and veterans. In 2008-09, the Counseling Center provided 913 counseling sessions to 227 individuals, intervened in 55 crisis/emergency situations, and offered 30 presentations/training sessions to faculty, staff, and students on various topics. Results from the 2008-09 student evaluations of the Counseling Center indicated that of the clients surveyed, 70.97% reported that they "strongly agreed" that overall they were satisfied with their experiences and 27.42% "agreed." On a five-point scale, the overall satisfaction rating for their services was 4.65.

In 2008 the Counseling Center created a Wellness Resource Center which offers literature to help students educate themselves on topics pertaining to self-care and provides a relaxing environment in which students can study and de-stress.

Campus Recreation

The multi-million dollar Health and Fitness Center that opened in August 2007 houses a weight room, rock climbing wall, indoor track, power-lifting room, basketball courts, and multiple fitness class spaces. Campus recreation also oversees the intramural fields, swimming pools, recreational fields, golf course, and jogging trails. The staff also provide a number of programs such as intramural sports, group fitness classes, and personal training programs. All these services and their facilities are geared toward promoting a wellness lifestyle. In 2008-09, 3,439 different students used the Health and Fitness Center, with an average of 500 faculty, staff, and student users per day in the fall and spring semesters.

Disability Support Services

DSS strives to create an accessible environment for full participation of students with disabilities. Through partnerships with students, faculty, and staff, DSS provides numerous accommodations for registered students such as note taking, distraction-free test sites, and extended test times. DSS also provides technology accommodations such as calculators, reading pens, and laptops, as well as attendant care. In 2008-09, DSS provided services to 191 students with visible and non-visible disabilities.

Personal and Public Responsibility

In accordance with the University's mission to develop citizen leaders, opportunities abound on the Longwood campus for students to participate in the academic process and campus community. The principles of the honor system, comprised of the Honor Code, the Academic Pledge of Honor, the Honor Creed, and the Honor Code of Conduct Standards and Regulations, govern all of student life and create an environment committed to the personal responsibility of the student.

Honor and Judicial Programs

The Office of HJP is dedicated to protecting the student's freedom to learn while protecting the fundamental rights of campus community members. Student involvement forms the foundation for Longwood's community-based standards. The students themselves govern the honor and judicial process by composing the various boards, reviewing charges, and enforcing the standards of the Student Handbook. In 2005 and 2007, HJP surveyed students and faculty about their views and opinions of its programs using a five-point scale from "strongly disagree" to "strongly agree." The number of student respondents who agreed or strongly agreed that the student body is well informed about the honor and judicial code increased from 35% to 43%, and those who agreed or strongly agreed that the honor and judicial code is fair increased from 42% to 52%. There were similar results for faculty, increasing from 31% to 42% who agreed or strongly agreed that the student body is well informed and from 52% to 60% who agreed or strongly agreed that the code is fair.

In addition to supporting student governance, HJP is dedicated to educational programs for the student community to foster the growth of the individual. Sanctions for honor and judicial charges many times include an educational assignment required of the student. In response to alcohol-related incidents, HJP requires alcohol education through the Longwood Alcohol Education Program and Last Call. In 2006-07, a review of 35 educational assignments indicated that 27 students exhibited moderate to significant personal insight into their behavior regarding an honor or judicial board incident. The percentage of students who demonstrated significant personal insight through the educational assignment increased to 41% from 37% in 2005-06.  

Financial Literacy

In addition to providing traditional financial aid support services, the Financial Aid Office incorporates the philosophy of student responsibility through its Financial Literacy program. The goal of the program is that students, as well as parents, will understand their financial aid options and the consequences of their decisions, including student loan default and credit-card debt.

Campus Police

The campus police department promotes student participation in life experiences that highlight accountability and personal responsibility. The department offers a variety of educational safety programs to promote personal and public responsibility, including Nightwalkers, personal safety seminars, Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) training, Refuse to Be a Victim, Neighborhood Watch, and H.E.A.T. (Help Eliminate Auto Theft).

Student Transition and Success

First Year Experience

In May 2007, Longwood established an Office of First Year Experience with the goals of building a co-curricular journey through the first collegiate year and increasing retention of this population. In addition to managing the summer orientation and registration programs and New Lancer Days, a four-day mandatory program for all incoming students, the Office of First Year Experience has formed the Compass Learning Community for undeclared students and has revitalized the First Year Reading Experience.

Longwood offers six one-day orientation programs for both students and families focusing on acclimation to the institution, residential and commuter life, dining services, technology, safety and security, general education, and student services. Additionally, students have the opportunity to meet with an academic advisor and register for courses while families participate in workshops focused on student development and transition. In 2009, 96% of the student participants reported that their overall orientation and registration experience was "good" or "excellent." Nearly 99% reported that after orientation and registration, they would rate Longwood's focus on academics as "good" or "excellent."

New Lancer Days is a co-curricular program all new students must attend as a graded component of the Longwood Seminar (LSEM) course. The program offers social and campus integration; students participate in sessions focusing on sexual assault, alcohol use and abuse, financial literacy, diversity, personal wellness, and academic preparation. In 2009, 73% of students who responded to surveys reported that after attending New Lancer Days, they felt more knowledgeable about campus resources for students.

Currently in its second year, the Compass Community for undeclared students is a retention-focused initiative that allows students without a major to explore their career aspirations. Students in Compass take three linked general education courses in the fall and spring semesters while also living in close proximity to each other in the Curry residence hall. This provides a cohort-based approach to learning, stronger interactions with faculty members, and bonding opportunities both in and out of the classroom. One of the linked courses, LSEM, is taught by a career counselor who provides programming and strategies for choosing a major while also serving as the academic advisor to these students.

The First Year Reading Experience provides a common educational opportunity for all new students while preparing them for critical thinking in the collegiate classroom. All new students are asked to read a text designated by a committee comprised of faculty, staff, and students during the summer prior to their matriculation and to arrive prepared to discuss. The author of the text provides a lecture on campus during New Lancer Days and a written reflection is mandatory in the LSEM course. Assessment of the reading experience is included in the LSEM evaluation by students.

LSEM is a one-credit course taken during the first semester of the freshman year. It meets General Education Goal 1 and is a requirement for graduation. LSEM is taught by a faculty member or a master's level staff member with the assistance of an upperclass peer mentor. The course has specific learning objectives and covers topics such as time management, academic resources and success, presentation of self, judicial policies and personal responsibility, and Longwood history and traditions. A reflection on the New Lancer Days program is required along with a graded assignment on the common reading. Students participate in LSEM either with others in their academic major or in a theme-grouped cohort.

Peer mentors, carefully selected and well trained upperclass student leaders who are each assigned to one section of LSEM, help students move seamlessly through the first-year experience programs. Peer mentors participate in orientation and registration programs, correspond with new students all summer, lead their LSEM students to New Lancer Days activities, and then co-facilitate the LSEM course. Peer mentors facilitate conversations on the first year reading assignment, work with students in the Compass Community, and serve as the front-line recipients of transition issues. In turn, peer mentors benefit from a unique leadership opportunity and become well versed in facilitation, group dynamics, communication, crisis management, university policy, academic success, and personal presentation.

Residential and Commuter Life

RCL works diligently to provide a safe and comfortable living environment for residential and commuter students at all levels during their tenure at the institution. In addition to traditional residence-hall-style living, Longwood offers three university-managed apartment complexes for upperclass students in close proximity to main campus. A full-time apartment manager serves as a liaison between RCL and the Longwood Real Estate Foundation, which owns the apartment properties. All residential facilities are managed by a residence education coordinator (REC) who is a live-in master's level professional, along with a staff of resident assistants (RAs). RAs are responsible for safety and security in halls, management of the facility including submission of work orders, and programming. These top leadership positions on campus provide the RAs the opportunity to grow personally and professionally. All residential facilities are staffed by desk aides who are stationed at the main entrance of each building and assist with building security and resident needs.

Services for commuter students include landlord information, town relationships, and meal plan and parking assistance. Commuters are invited to use the commuter lounge, a comfortable space where students can use computers, watch television, prepare a meal, or store belongings in secure lockers. Additionally, a weekly newsletter, The Wednesday Wire, is published for commuter students so they may stay abreast of campus and community happenings.

Dining Services

Longwood dining services are provided by ARAMARK and offer a variety of healthy food options that contribute to student life. In addition to the main dining hall at the center of campus, students may use their dining dollars at quick-serve locations in the recreation center, library, and student union as well as a growing number of retail establishments. The director of dining services reports to the vice president for student affairs, is a member of the Student Affairs management team, and is very visible on campus. The mission of dining services reflects a concern for student health, citizen leadership, continuous feedback and improvement through regular surveys, and student learning through the Student Employee Program.

Multicultural Affairs and International Student Services

The Office of Multicultural Affairs and International Student Services works collaboratively to build an intercultural campus community by advancing pluralism through intentional measures in and out of the classroom. This is achieved through the development of mentoring relationships, counseling services, and supervision of student organizations with a focus on diversity, multiculturalism, and difference. The office hosts events for Hispanic Heritage and Black History months, International Awareness Week, and the Festival of Lights celebration each December. Additionally, the office sponsors the annual Martin Luther King (MLK) Day lecture in conjunction with a day of service organized through the Office of Volunteer and Service-Learning. In recent years, the office has partnered with communication studies faculty and Counseling Center staff to introduce a globalization and religious pluralism series for the campus community. Aggregate program evaluation data for office-sponsored events and activities in 2008-09 indicate that 81% of participants reported learning new information about the topics, 78% reported developing different ways of thinking about the subject matter, and 78% reported becoming more aware of and sensitive to diversity issues.

Each year, Longwood hosts a delegation of students from Anhui University in China and a number of European countries; their travel, safety, and educational plans are managed through the Office of Multicultural Affairs and International Student Services. The office recruits and manages the international buddy program for students who are interested in partnering with a visiting student and assisting in his/her adjustment to Longwood and life in the United States.

Leadership Opportunities and Involvement

Providing students with opportunities for leadership development is critical to developing citizen leaders. Originally staffed in 2006 with one professional and one administrative person, the Office of Leadership and New Student Programs has evolved into an independent Office for First Year Experience (now staffed by two professional and three student staff members) and a recently re-titled Office of Leadership and Student Engagement (to be staffed by two professionals) with significant emphases on volunteer and service-learning.

Leadership Programs

Through a variety of on-going programs (including the option of completing an academic minor in leadership studies) and short-term opportunities, students can develop the following leadership-related competencies: an awareness of social issues; a sense of community and civic engagement; an appreciation for those who are different from themselves; skills and strategies for being catalysts for change; and an understanding of citizen leadership that can inform choices for living, learning, and leading. See the list below for programs that have been designed and assessed around these learning outcomes, followed by an example of leadership learning outcomes assessment.

  • Student Educators for Active Leadership (S.E.A.L.) is a student-run organization that works to promote leadership throughout the University and community.
  • New Student Leadership Program, sponsored by S.E.A.L., is an off-campus weekend event that gives entering students first-hand experience of what it means to be a citizen leader at Longwood.
  • The Joan of Arc Leadership Program is based on the premise that leadership is a process, not a position. During 2008-09, 77 students completed the required workshops in the four components of this on-going, sequential program: Emerging Leaders, Shield, Paldron, and Gauntlet. This comprehensive program emphasizes the development of pre-determined competencies grounded in equity and social justice theory with the application of social responsibility principles.
  • Mountain Lake Leadership Conference offers all levels of students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to come together for a weekend each November to learn, practice, and teach valuable leadership skills in a picturesque mountain setting. The theme for 2009 was the evolution of leadership.

Of the 49 student participants who attended the 2009 Mountain Lake Leadership Conference, 100% indicated that their experience had helped them with their leadership skills. When asked to specify what was learned about their own skills and strengths as a leader and how their learning would enable them to contribute to the Longwood community, the following themes emerged: development of self-confidence; the need for balance in life; the importance of a positive attitude, especially as it counteracts the effects of self-doubt; the realization that being a leader doesn't mean you know everything; the importance of focusing on your passion; the need for credible documents; and the importance of planning. The 2009 evaluation results indicate the areas of learning on which the students indicated they need to focus further as well as their stated opinions regarding their own evolution as a leader.

Community Service

Longwood students recognize the importance of civic engagement and as developing citizen leaders, they feel compelled to "give back."  The SGA ties funding allocations to community service (i.e., for each $1,000 allocated to an organization, members must perform at least ten hours of service), and several service organizations exist to raise awareness and promote various causes. The assistant director of Leadership and Student Engagement organizes events that engage students in meaningful community service and service-learning, all of which include the critical learning component of personal reflection. During 2008-09, Longwood students completed a total of 11,544 hours of community service to Farmville and the surrounding areas. A few examples include:  Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, MLK Service Challenge, four alternative community-service-oriented spring break trips (including one to Mexico), and a Big Sibling program. Summative assessment results indicated that 81.25% of the MLK participants, 88.8% of the Faces of Homelessness Panel program participants, and 90.6% of the alternative spring break participants reported an increased awareness of social issues as the result of their participation in these programs.

Campus-Wide Events

The four professional staff members in the Office of Student Union and Involvement work year round with the 130 registered student organizations to plan and organize campus-wide events that enhance and promote active and engaged student learning. Examples include:

  • Family Weekend (estimated attendance: 1,500-2,000)
  • Oktoberfest, sponsored by the Geist Chapter of Mortar Board (estimated attendance: 2,000)
  • Dr. Jim Jordan's Ghost Stories, followed by Halloween Bonfire and Haunted Hayride (estimated attendance: 700)
  • The Big Event, co-hosted by 70 other college campuses as an opportunity to give back to local area communities (estimated attendance: 80 to 90)

Student Employment

Longwood provides part-time student employment on and off campus through the federal and Longwood work study programs. Through these experiences it is expected that a student worker will develop good, basic work habits and attitudes, an understanding of personal skills and talents, and social and economic mobility. In 2008-09, approximately 750 students were employed by more than 70 departments/offices.

Considered exceptional venues for learning, applying knowledge, and gaining valuable real-world experience, joining one of the many diverse and well-developed student staffs is highly recommended for Longwood's developing citizen leaders. The Student Employee Program in the dining hall uses peers to employ, train, supervise, and evaluate over 200 student workers. This model has become a blueprint for other colleges and universities and is reputed to be one of the strongest in ARAMARK's brand new mid-Atlantic region.

RCL employs and trains over 160 RAs and desk aides each year. In 2008-09, these student employees offered over 300 educational and 400 social programs to and for their peer residents. On a mid-year assessment of RAs in 2007-08, at least 75% of respondents reported that they were "competent" or "somewhat competent" in the following skills: communication, organization, building relationships, mediation, team work, response to crisis, professionalism, and problem solving. Fewer respondents judged themselves as "competent" or "somewhat competent" in the following skills: administration (62%), time management (71%), and holding others accountable (67%). At least 75% of respondents attributed their skill level in all categories to the RA position. At least 75% of respondents anticipate using all skills gained from the position in their future life and/or profession. These data were used to improve training and supervision in 2008-09; specifically, the RCL staff reprioritized the development of RA skills in time management, role modeling, and holding others accountable.

Within the Health and Wellness unit, student employees are trained and evaluated in their various roles as wellness advocates, student health partners, fitness center attendants, exercise instructors, lifeguards, equipment room workers, or interns and practicum assistants. Just as the Office of Admissions relies on a staff of student "ambassadors" to assist with campus tours and student recruitment, the Office of First Year Experience selects and trains over 65 peer mentors coordinated by three student coordinators who are engaged in all facets of new and transfer student recruitment and orientation. The Learning Center employs and trains students to assist their peers in the Writing Center and course-related tutoring sessions. Lastly, students who work as resident technology associates receive continuous and up-to-date technology training as they provide one-on-one support, teach formal training classes, and form peer technology support groups within the residence halls.

Project Success

Longwood offers a unique leadership experience through Project Success, which links sophomore and senior level students through a pair of one-credit courses that meet together once a week. Senior mentors are selected to work with this program and take EDUC 470: Mentoring Skills for Academic and Career Planning. Sophomores with a grade point average of 2.5 or higher are invited to participate in EDUC 205: Life and Career Preparation. The course focuses on student development in the areas of service, self, career, and leadership through the use of small group work, written reflection, resume workshops, etiquette dinners, and community outreach. Senior mentors benefit by gaining facilitation and leadership skills while preparing course work, leading discussions, and creating meaningful relationships with other students.

The following responses from fall 2008 Project Success class evaluations were used to revise and improve the syllabus for fall 2009:

  • 87.9% of the students indicated that they had "very much" or "quite a bit" increased their understanding of and commitment to community service and service learning.
  • 81.8% of the students indicated that they had "very much" or "quite a bit" increased their understanding of and commitment to becoming a citizen leader.
  • 78.8% of the students indicated that they had "very much" or "quite a bit" gained a better understanding of themselves, including their skills, abilities, interests, and values.
  • 69.7% of the students indicated that they had "very much" or "quite a bit" gained information about available resources that will be helpful in choosing a career.

Given the relatively lower percentages of students who reported significant gains or learning related to their career choice, another class period within the career module was developed that focused on a "transferrable skills inventory."  Guests from Roadtrip Nation, a documentary television series about students traveling the country to interview professionals in all kinds of career fields about their passions, visited the class and students were invited to tour their Green RV. Following a presentation on effective resume writing, the students were assigned the resume of another student to "peer edit."

Supporting Documents

Name of Document Location
ACAC Director's Overview (2008-09) Career Assessment Evaluation 2008-09 Director's Overview.pdf
ACAC Mission Statement (ACAC website) Academic and Career Advising Mission.pdf
Accommodations (DSS website) DSS Possible Accomodations.pdf
ACHA-NCHA Survey (executive summary, 2009) NCHA Spring 2009 Survey Summary 1 and 4.pdf
Assessment Team, Purpose and Objectives (2009-10) 2009-10 Assessment Team Purpose and Objectives.pdf
Attendant Care Services (DSS website) DSS Attendant Care Services.pdf
Campus Police Mission Statement (Public Safety website) Campus Police-About.pdf
CAS Executive Summary and Action Plan, RCL (2008-09) RCL 08-09 CAS Executive Summary and Action Plan Report.pdf
CAS Self-Study Responsibilities Responsibilities and Roles related to CAS Self-Assessment 09-10.pdf
Community Service Opportunities (VSE website) Volunteer Service Opportunities.pdf
Community Service Reflection Guide (VSE website) Volunteer Reflection Guide.pdf
Commuter Students (website) RCL Commuter Home.pdf
Commuter Students FAQ (RCL website) RCL Commuter FAQ.pdf
Compass Community (FYE website) New Student Compass Community.pdf
Cormier Honors College for Citizen Scholars (website) Cormier Honors College.pdf
Counseling Center (Factbook 2008-09) FACTbook_2008_120209 80.pdf
Counseling Center Evaluation Statistics (2008-09) Counseling Center Aggregate Summary Evaluation 2008-09.pdf
Counseling Center Services  (Counseling Center website) Counseling Center.pdf
Dining Services Student Employee Program (Dining website) Dining Employment.pdf
Dining Services Mission Statement (Dining website) Dining Mission.pdf
Dr. Jim Jordan's Ghost Stories (Real Life Longwood, Episode 7) Dr Jim Jordans Ghost Stories.pdf
DSS (Factbook 2008-09) FACTbook_2008_120209 80.pdf
EBI Fraternity / Sorority Assessment (slideshow, 2009) 2009 EBI FratSorAssessment Results.pdf
Education Recruitment Day, Student Evaluation Summary (2008-09) Career Assessment Evaluation 2008-09 Education Recruitment Day.pdf
Events Schedule (MAISS website) MCA Events.pdf
Expenses and Financial Policy (Grad Cat 2009-10) GradCatalog0910 15-20.pdf
Faculty Honor and Judicial System Survey Results (2005 and 2007) Honor and Judicial System Faculty Survey.pdf
Family Weekend (SUI website) Family Weekend.pdf
Financial Literacy (Financial Aid website) Financial Aid Literacy.pdf
First Year Experience (website) First Year Experience.pdf
First Year Reading Experience (FYE website) New Student First Year Reading Experience.pdf
First Year Student Orientation and Registration Schedule (2009) First Year Orientation Schedule 09.pdf
Formal Program Review Schedule, Student Affairs St Affrs Formal Program Review Schedule 09.pdf
General Education Goal 1 GenEd Goal One.pdf
Globalization and Religious Pluralism (MAISS website) MCA Globalization and Religious Pluralism.pdf
H.E.A.T. (Public Safety website) H.E.A.T.pdf
Health and Fitness Center (Campus Recreation website) HFC Home.pdf
Health and Fitness Center (Factbook 2008-09) FACTbook_2008_120209 79.pdf
Health and Fitness Center Programs (Campus Recreation website) HFC Programs.pdf
HJP Learning Plan Report (2006-07) Honor and Judicial 2006-2007 Learning Plan Report.pdf
Honor and Judicial Programs (website) Honor and Judicial Programs.pdf
Honor System (HJP website) Honor and Judicial Honor Code.pdf
INCITE Journal of Undergraduate Scholarship (press release, 4/18/08) Incite news release.pdf
International Buddy Program (MAISS website) MCA Buddy Program.pdf
Joan of Arc Leadership Program (LSE website) Joan of Arc Leadership Program.pdf
Leadership and Student Engagement (website) Leadership and Civic Engagement.pdf
Learning Center (website) Learning Center.pdf
Learning Center Annual Report (2008-09) Learning Center Annual_Report_08-09.pdf
Longwood University Mission and Vision Mission and Vision.pdf
Longwood University Strategic Plan (2007) Strategic Plan - Longwood University.pdf
LSEM Goals and Objectives (LSEM website) Longwood Seminar.pdf
MAISS (website) MCA Home.pdf
Mountain Lake Leadership Conference (schedule, 2009) Mountain_Lake_2009_Tentative_Schedule.pdf
Mountain Lake Leadership Conference Evaluation Summary (2009) Mountain Lake 09 EVALS.pdf
Multicultural Affairs and International Student Services (Factbook 2008-09) FACTbook_2008_120209 77-78.pdf
New Lancer Days (program, 2009) New Student New Lancer Days 2009.pdf
New Lancer Days Survey Results (2009) New Student New Lancer Days Survey.pdf
New Student Leadership Program (registration brochure, 2009) NSLP_brochure_2009.pdf
Nightwalkers (Public Safety website) Campus Police Nightwalkers.pdf
Oktoberfest (Mortar Board website) Oktoberfest.pdf
Online@Longwood (website) Online Longwood.pdf
Orientation Evaluation Summary (2009) Orientation 2009 Evaluation summary.pdf
Peer Health Education Code of Ethics (2003) peer_health_education_code_of_ethics.pdf
Peer Mentor Application (2010) Peer Mentor Application.pdf
Project Success (LSE website) Project Success.pdf
Project Success EDUC 205 (sophomore syllabus, 2009) Sophomore_Syllabus_2009.pdf
Project Success EDUC 470 (senior syllabus, 2009) Senior_Syllabus_2009.pdf
Project Success, Student Assessment of Instruction (Fall 2008) Project_Success_08_SAI_Evals.pdf
RCL Learning Plan (2007-08, Goals 2 and 3) RCL Learning Plan 2007-2008.pdf
Residential Students FAQ (RCL website) RCL Residential FAQ.pdf
Service-Learning (VSE website) Volunteer Service-Learning.pdf
SHWC (Factbook 2008-09) FACTbook_2008_120209 80.pdf
SHWC Services (website) SHWC Services.pdf
SHWC User Satisfaction Survey Summary (2008) SHWC Spring 2008 Satisfaction Survey Summary.pdf
Student Affairs (website) Student Affairs Home.pdf
Student Affairs Strategic Goals and Objectives (2009-10) 2009-10 SA Strategic Goals and Objectives.pdf
Student Development Goals Longwood's Six Student Development Goals.pdf
Student Development Goals  Mapped to FALDOs FALDOs w LU St Dev Goals.pdf
Student Educators for Active Leadership (LSE website) Student Educators for Active Leadership.pdf
Student Employee Program Career Student Employment.pdf
Student Handbook (2009-10) StudentHandbook_2009_2010.pdf
Student Honor and Judicial System Survey Results (2005 and 2007) Honor and Judicial System Student Survey.pdf
Student Success (website) Student Success.pdf
Student-Athlete Academic Performance (2008-09) Student-Athlete Annual Rpt 0809.pdf
Student-Athlete Academic Services (website) Student-Athlete Academic Services.pdf
Study Abroad (website) Study Abroad.pdf
Study Abroad Participation (2006 to 2009) Study Abroad Paticipation.pdf
Technology Accommodations (DSS website) DSS Technology Accomodations.pdf
The Big Event (website) Big Event.pdf
Tuition and Fees (CSA website) Comprehensive Fee.pdf
Tuition and Fees (Undergrad Cat 2009-10, Exp Fin Pol) Expenses and Financial Policy Distance Education.pdf
Tutorials for Online Students (Online@Longwood website) Online Tutorials.pdf
VSE (Factbook 2008-09) FACTbook_2008_120209 79.pdf
Wellness Resource Center (website) Counseling Wellness Resource Center.pdf