Project Abstracts

Psychology Early Awareness Program (March 2009)

Faculty in the Psychology department asked IR to assess the academic outcomes for participants in learning communities. One program included a residential component and the other did not; both were designed to enhance the academic performance of incoming freshmen. IR staff identified a comparison group and chose appropriate educational outcomes. Covariates that might relate to program selection and the outcomes were also chosen. The outcomes for this project were first-semester LMU course grades and GPA. The variables taken into account in the analysis were ethnicity, H.S. GPA, SAT scores, and type of learning program. A 'value-added' model and multivariate statistical techniques were used to compare outcomes. The results suggest that participation in a residential-learning community program can potentially have a large effect on performance in psychology 101. The evaluation provides the faculty important information for making decisions about the design of the learning community.

Returning Student Model (January 2009)

SAT Writing Analysis (October 2008)

The Director of Admissions asked IR to conduct a cursory examination of the value, if any, that the SAT Writing score could contribute to the admissions process. Subsequently, IR, the Admissions Director, and the colleges' Associate Deans selected five academic outcomes for the study: the likelihood of an admitted student matriculating, English 110 grades, freshman GPA, and academic probation status after the first year. IR examined how well the outcomes were predicted by H.S. GPA, and by SAT Math, SAT Verbal, and SAT Writing scores. This analysis is forming the basis of a review of the admissions formula.