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by Kaitlyn Schmitt (kschmitt@gwu.edu)

“How do I start a new organization?” Student activities professionals are often asked this question. At GW, there are nearly 500 student organizations, so it’s hard to imagine there are other ideas for organizations, but our students are continuously identifying new opportunities and unmet needs. In 2016, the Center for Student Engagement implemented a new robust process for organization formation. The completely revised process has allowed us to integrate developmental checkpoints with newly formed student organizations, contributing to greater success and sustainability of new organizations.

The Philosophy

Prior to 2016, the new organization formation process was simple and informal: meet with a staff member from the CSE and submit a constitution and a roster. In general, if an organization completed these steps, they would gain recognition. Although the CSE reserved the right to decline recognition, without a formal rubric or set of standards by which to offer approval, we lacked the credibility and legitimacy to do so regularly. This led to the gratuitous approvals of redundant organizations and organizations which lacked solid strategy or leadership. Further, the informal nature of the process resulted in applications from students lacking the commitment and level of dedication required to start and run a new organization. The new process addresses this. ...continue reading "New Organization Formation: How To Set Them Up for Success [Infographic]"

by Kaitlyn Schmitt (kschmitt@gwu.edu)

In the field of student affairs, these days it seems most professionals would agree that assessment and data-based decision-making are important. But reporting results to stakeholders? That’s something we’re not so good at as a field. In the Center for Student Engagement (CSE) at George Washington University, we set out to improve how we report assessments results and tell our story - and that’s how the CSE Blog, entitled You’ve Been Engaged, was founded.

About the Blog

The Center for Student Engagement is a large department at GW consisting of 34 full-time staff covering several functional areas: residence life, housing, student involvement, Greek life, leadership education programs, outdoor education, community support for special populations, and more. The CSE Assessment Committee was formed in January 2017 to coordinate assessment efforts across the department and with the Division of Student Affairs. We noticed that while the CSE conducted a lot of assessments and gathered a lot of data, we struggled with closing the assessment loop: ensuring we were making decisions based on the data collected and reporting those results and decisions to stakeholders. To address this, in September 2017 we launched the blog, You’ve Been Engaged. ...continue reading "The First Year of the CSE Blog"

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