Date of Defense

Spring 4-25-2011

Department

Marketing

First Advisor

Ann Veeck, Marketing

Second Advisor

JoAnn Atkin, Marketing

Third Advisor

Eileen B. Evans, Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Abstract

The goal of my research was to find out what attracts students to get involved on campus. I wanted to take an in depth look at student involvement and what keeps students engaged in Western Michigan University. I asked students about student organization recruitment and advertising on campus. In addition, I asked students about WMU’s non-academic support services to gain and understanding of that impact they have on student life. I plan to use this research to discover how Western Michigan University can increase student involvement on campus to improve the overall quality of life for students and possibly increase retention rates. My research included two focus groups one of freshman and one of upperclassman. The focus groups were held in two of the residence halls at Western Michigan University.

  • Research shows student Involvement is key to student success during their time on campus and into their future careers.
  • My research consisted of two focus groups held in the residence halls at Western Michigan University. One group was only freshman and one group of only upperclassman. Students were asked questions about campus advertising, their own involvement on campus, use of non-academic services, and to offer suggestions on how to increase student involvement.
  • Students at Western Michigan University of all experience levels felt that Western Michigan University provides a variety of options in terms of student organizations; however, they do not know how to get involved in them.
  • Freshman experience hesitancy in getting involved on campus because of lack of time, however, they do not spend most of their time on school or in classes. Upperclassman were more involved on campus but said they spent most of their time on school or their involvement opportunities.
  • In focus groups students discussed what advertising they notice the most on campus and why. The main theme was that they noticed advertising that was different from traditional advertising including social networking, table tents, chalking etc.
  • Students feel that Western Michigan University offers a variety of non-academic services that can assist them with them with issues that may experience outside of the classroom, however, most students are uncomfortable using those services and are not always sure how.
  • Social Networking is a key tool for RSO’s to use because that is where students said they go first to find involvement opportunities.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only

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