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Evaluation Plan: Dominican University Family SOAR Reflection -

Research & Assessment Competence

Tanner Strong

Loyola University Chicago


The Dominican University Family Student Orientation and Registration (SOAR)

Program was a very lengthy and beneficial evaluation project that took time and some late nights

involving Skype and coffee (tons of it). I always thought of assessment as something more

generic and basic that was not needed to fully understand how event/program implementation

was doing. After working with this project all semester long I was able to fully understand how

assessment and research methods actually work. This program that two others and me evaluated

was so much fun. Personally, I worked in this position as the intern during the summer before I

started at Loyola in the fall of 2015. To be able to evaluate and give critical feedback and to work

with the Dean from Dominican University was most rewarding. I enjoyed being able to continue

my relationship with my undergraduate institution, but to come back with two peers who wanted

to work with orientation and understand a school that has 60% Latinx students.

With this project I was able to analyze student numbers with enrollment and first year

experience. The special interest in this program is that it also works with the parents who are

attending their own version of orientation that allowed them to know their next steps in

supporting their student(s). It has been rare for me to work with the parent spectrum of student

affairs and this was the perfect opportunity to learn more about a different population that is

hardly on campus. This project was able to help me learn as a professional in stakeholders, target

audience, critical feedback, methodologies, and other key terms that I will continue to use when

evaluating student programs and other departmental/institutional events. Research Methods

helped the framework and knowledge I needed to grasp the basics and the evaluation course

helped me continue to expand and build upon that core content. I have attached the entire

document that we supplied for our evaluation class. Enjoy!