While we tend to view the new year as a clean slate, it is also an opportunity to reflect. After all, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. It is with such tried-and-true phrases, as well as motivation to continue on our paths into promising yet uncharted territory, that the Office of Community Engagement in coordination with other IUPUI stakeholders created a report of Performance Indicators for campus community engagement. These indicators will be used to see how well the campus is achieving Goal 7 of the IUPUI Strategic Plan, Deepen Our Commitment to Community Engagement.
Built around measuring three critical dimensions of community commitment, the report sets its sights on the rates, modes, and impact of engagement. It is with this encompassing vision that the scope of such an overview aspires to leave no faculty, staff, or student, unaccounted for.
In terms of Rates of Engagement, undergraduates showed some of the most promise in areas such as participation in high-impact practices, with upwards of 72% participation from first-year students. Along with this, Civic Engagement rates increased to nearly 70% with a whopping 85.9% voter registration amongst the student population. Increases across the board, including voting rates and participation in internships, showed engagement in these areas have not only gained in comparison to the past but to peer institutions as well. Of course, a university is not without its staff and faculty — which has also put in massive strides towards creating a greater bond with its community with a combined total of over 45,000 public service hours and 12 million dollars’ worth of contracts, fellowships, gifts, or grants awarded to civic efforts between 2018 and 2019.
As with any expansive study, there will always be room for improvement. Senior Participation in Global Learning Activities saw a decline in courses taken with a focus on global trends and issues, bottoming out at 39%. Though this is only 10 percent lower than peer institutions, having a proper assessment of trends and trajectories is the first step in rectifying such decreases. When asked about the benefits of such potentially concerning information, Acting Director of Research and Assessment, Dr. Silvia Garcia optimistically confirms that “while it’s always difficult to calculate community benefits numerically, the benefit in finding gaps like this is that it allows us to see what we can actually do to readjust.”
Much like that first run out in the winter winds or your first attempt at putting brush to canvas, taking inventory of one’s skills and habits can prove challenging but nevertheless rewarding. For that without an understanding of where we are, we can never know where we are going.
Explore the performance indicators as well as the full report at: https://engage.iupui.edu/about/performance-indicators.html