Involvement focused Paths are interested in maximizing the frequency of student interactions on campus, without necessarily organizing, grouping, or ordering opportunities into a structure. Those who complete involvement paths are often rewarded or incentivized. An involvement path can take a "bucket list" approach, providing students a list of events and experiences they should have to make the most of their experience at the institution. Often times, students need initial direction to help find their way; an involvement path help connect users to future, sustainable involvement by exposing them to a wide array of on-campus opportunities.
As these paths are typically not connected to certificates or credentials, they do not need as close of administrative oversight and upkeep. Most campuses will opt to assign a specific event category to every opportunity that can help complete the path and use self-reported options, so the path over time grows to manage itself. It does not need to be recreated from year-to-year, and new students can be added in over time.
Read on about two of our involvement path spotlights!
"The Dean's Bucket List" at SUNY Broome
SUNY Broome's path is simple and incredibly effective. Coined "The Dean's Bucket List," administrators at Broome compiled 30 activities that students should do before graduating. All registered SUNY Broome students can participate in this ongoing challenge, which can be completed at any time.
Students who complete 25 out of 30 Bucket List challenges get their name engraved on the dean's "Hall of Fame". Students are automatically enrolled, so they see the path and it's requirements upon first time login to the Swarm, Broome's Engage site.
Some examples of Bucket List items include:
- Take a selfie with the Dean of Students
- Attend Spring Fling
- Attend two athletic events
- Attend a play on campus
- Meet the president of the college
- Take a photo (or video) of you and some friends showing SUNY Broome pride
Each self-reported experience item incorporated in the Dean's List uses a single self-reported experience template inviting the student to upload a photo of the experience. The campus can then use these photos later in marketing and social media as well!
"Pratt SWAG" at Pratt Institute
We know our students will do anything for campus swag. That's why we love how Pratt Institute has structured their involvement path, "Pratt SWAG," a program that rewards students just for showing up to events they might already be thinking about attending. As the graphic below explains, students receive "SWAG points" for being marked as attended for events. As the points add up, students who have reached a certain level are contacted to go to the Office of Student Involvement to pick up some campus swag. The more events students attend, the better these prizes get!
The Pratt SWAG path is structured into six areas: Leadership and Personal Development, Health and Wellness, Social and Campus Engagement, Career and Professional Development, Diversity and Inclusion and Civic Engagement, and Academic Enrichment.
Within each domain, there are three different badge levels users can achieve. The more events they attend within that category, the better their prizes become, from pencils and pens to hats, t-shirts, mugs, drawstring backpacks and bags.
There is one additional domain in the Path, the "SWAG Point Meter." This domain helps students track their overall progress and total number of "points" across domains. One point is awarded for each event attended. The points are then used to grant additional prizes to students. In addition to receiving prizes for completing individual badges, students receive prizes for their overall progress, with new prizes available according to how many points they have achieved. Students who complete multiple domains or the entire path in full, for example, might walk away with pajama pants or a sweatshirt!
SWAG Events are identified using Event Categories that only administrators can assign to events. There are categories for each domain, as well as one general "SWAG" category assigned to all events to help students track their overall progress.
As far as administrative successes go, using domains and event categories, administrators at Pratt have been able to strategically report on path completion and progress. They can send targeted follow-up surveys and see which types of events tend to be more often completed or pursued by students. The use of streamlined categories also holds administrators in the Office of Student Involvement more accountable to collaborating and communicating interdepartmentally.
If you would like to pursue setting up an involvement related path in your community, feel free to reach out to your consultant who can help connect you with additional resources to get you started!