Thursday, July 19, 2018

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Researching Student Success

SDSU professor, Marilee Bresciani, earns recognition for her commitment to student affairs.
By Julie Mashburn

Marilee Bresciani, San Diego State University professor of administration, rehabilitation and postsecondary education, will receive the George D. Kuh Award for Outstanding Contribution to Literature and Research today.

Marilee Bresciani, SDSU professor of administration, rehabilitation and postsecondary education.
She was honored at the annual Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) Conference in Orlando, Florida.

"I am struck by Marilee’s strategic thinking, keen intellect, boundless energy and fearless initiative,” said Penny Rue, vice chancellor of student affairs at University of California, San Diego, who nominated Bresciani for this honor.

Bresciani’s research focuses on improving student success through a systematic evaluation of student learning and development within colleges and universities.

The research translates the student learning and development assessment conversation into accessible components that practitioners can begin to implement.

“Marilee knows [practitioners'] struggles, our juggling to make time for assessment, and our need for models and tools, and she provides them,” said Rue.

Gathering effectiveness

“To me, there is nothing more important or more rewarding than facilitating the successful learning and development journey of a student,” said Bresciani.

Her approach to the research includes three steps.

First, engage faculty and student affairs practitioners in a collaborative conversation about the complexities of student learning and development.

Second, invite them to become more intentional about the opportunities they are creating for students to become successful.

Finally, gather evidence about the effectiveness of those collaborative approaches so it is possible to leverage resources to improve student success and re-allocate time to what is important in a student's journey.

As a faculty member within the college of education at SDSU, Bresciani is part of a unique think tank. 

“We fully collaborate with the division of student affairs and many others,” said Bresciani.  “It is a culture that lives and breaths collaboration and student success.

More about NASPA

Founded in 1919, NASPA comprises more than 13,000 members and is the leading association for the advancement, health and sustainability of the student affairs profession.  NASPA members are committed to serving college students by embracing the core values of diversity, learning, integrity, collaboration, access, service, fellowship, and the spirit of inquiry.