Campus mediation programs (CMP’s) experienced a rapid growth in higher education institutions from 18 programs in 1990 to more than 200 programs in 1998 (Warters, 2000). During that period, CMP’s became a widely accepted approach for addressing conflict within US colleges and universities. However, recent data indicate that there are just over 100 programs which points to a decline and raises questions as to the value of campus mediation programs to higher education institutions. A hindrance to addressing the questions raised has been the limited amount of empirical research and published data on evaluation use within campus mediation programs. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to gather information from US campus mediation program directors regarding their use of program evaluation in order to suggest ways to improve their evaluation efforts.
Campus mediation program directors were surveyed on their perceptions of evaluation use in their respective programs. This study was conducted over a period of six months using a web-survey and follow-up telephone interviews. The web-based survey used in this study was adapted from an online campus mediation program survey developed by Rick Olshak and modified. The web-survey consisted of four sections: Demographics, Description of Services, Evaluation and Program Profile.
The population consisted of 108 campus mediation program directors in US higher education institutions who were solicited for this study and agreed to participate. Of the 108 directors, there were a total of 59 respondents representing a 55% response rate. There were nine respondents who participated in a follow-up telephone interview. Data analysis for the research questions utilized rank order, frequencies, and averages; supplemental analyses utilized an independent samples t-test, one-way ANOVA’s and Pearson correlations.
Results indicated that evaluation received one of the lowest priority ranking as a program goal, however, most of the directors indicated that they would be very interested in learning different ways of improving their evaluation methods and having a standard evaluation process. The most prevalent concerns and recommendations from the telephone follow-up interviews focused on acquiring buy-in of administration and campus affiliates, improving program surveys, addressing budget cuts and decreasing high staff turnovers.
|Adviser||Joseph P. DuCette|
|Subjects||Educational evaluation; Educational administration; Educational psychology; Higher education|
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