Institutional Summary of Academic Outreach & Engagement
RAIDERS ENGAGED 2016Downloadable PDF
Raiders Engaged is an institutionally developed instrument administered annually by Texas Tech University (TTU) as the primary method for assessing its academic outreach and engagement activities. The instrument was developed in partnership with the Office of Planning and Assessment, the Office of Academic Engagement, and Application & Development. This report highlights the results from the Academic Year 2016 administration of Raiders Engaged. Data encompasses outreach and engagement projects, which took place between September 1, 2015 and August 31, 2016, as reported by TTU faculty and staff from academic and administrative units.
The 2016 Raiders Engaged online survey opened on August 26, 2016 accompanied by an e-mail from Vice Provost Juan Muñoz inviting TTU faculty and staff to participate in reporting any outreach and engagement projects conducted over the past academic year (see Appendix I). The administration began earlier than previous administrations to improve the response rate. Several e-mail reminders followed, and units were contacted individually to encourage participation. The survey officially closed on December 1, 2016 but remained active to allow specific units that were individually contacted to report.
The 2016 Raiders Engaged instrument was significantly improved in both appearance and functionality. TTU Application & Development was instrumental in many of the improvements, including creating an updated survey format featuring individual page tabs and “Previous” and “Next” buttons to increase ease of navigation. An interactive visual map was created for the Texas Regions, previously separated by counties, which allowed for more streamlined reporting within Texas. Additionally, an interactive calendar was added to allow respondents to individually select the month, year, and date of their specific project. Finally, an integration with the TTU Global Address Book was employed to aid respondents in identifying and selecting other TTU personnel involved in the project. This same function was applied to pre-populate Internal and External Partners with a menu of entities that respondents can search and select from more easily. These enhancements were identified at the end of the previous administration to increase user satisfaction and improve data quality.
Respondents reported on a total of 732 unique projects, 205 of which were identified as new projects for the academic year. Based on data reported, 130,948 total faculty hours and 308,653 total staff hours were spent preparing, implementing, and evaluating outreach and engagement projects. TTU projects included a total of 814 external and 293 internal collaborations. An institutional summary report reflecting TTU's overall results is included in Appendix II. The following tables provide a summary of project data reported by administrative units, colleges, and schools.
Expand on the sections below to learn more about the initiatives and impact of Raiders Engaged.
Improvements made in the overall functionality of the survey and increased promotion of the assessment resulted in the most successful administration to date. These efforts contributed to an additional 186 projects reported for Academic Year '16. In turn, the collection of more representative project numbers resulted in a significant increase in reported outreach and engagement data as compared to 2015. Notably, there were 295,195 more people directly impacted by outreach and engagement efforts and an additional 10,178,000 people indirectly impacted by projects. Based on survey results, many TTU faculty and staff serve on local and national boards and committees, or are involved in a project aimed to solve a state-wide problem. While these projects are considered applicable to outreach and engagement goals, it is difficult to gauge the exact number of people impacted. Therefore, these numbers are included in reporting as indirect impacts. Faculty and Staff Involvement Hours saw an increase compared to 2015; there was a 16% increase in staff hours spent on outreach and engagement initiatives while faculty hours more than doubled, seeing an increase of 111%. The 2016 administration data also showed a $15.37 million increase in funding and a 61.8% increase in individual partner agencies reported.
The primary source of funding dollars reported through projects was Federal Grants (34.73%), the two main areas of engagement were Public Programs, Events, and Resources (20.76%) and Research and Creative Activity (19.29%), and the primary area of concern address was Education (Pre-K-20) (33.26%). This information aligns with TTU's primary goal in regard to outreach and engagement, which is to be actively engaged in scholarly research and enhance quality of life while driving innovation and community development. Many outreach and engagement initiatives are directed toward advocating for the children of the Lubbock community and providing education and opportunities to help them realize their potential. TTU faculty and staff are applying research and expertise, thereby addressing community needs and problems to drive change within the community.
Furthering outreach and engagement activity on campus is a primary goal of TTU's Strategic Planning initiatives. TTU reports annual data on key components reported through the Raiders Engaged instrument such as non-TTU participants, K-12 participants, funding generated by projects, faculty and staff involvement hours, and non-TTU partnerships. The trend data in the below chart reflects a positive change in data reported for TTU Strategic Planning purposes and coincides with what would be expected year-to-year. However, two outliers are present in the number of faculty hours and the number of staff hours spent on outreach and engagement. It is possible that further communication is needed regarding these areas to inform faculty and staff respondents as to what constitutes involvement hours in order to garner more representative data.
It is important to note that the growth demonstrated in the data received in this administration does not necessarily reflect that more outreach and engagement is occurring on TTU's campus as compared to 2015. It is likely that the growth can be attributed to better data collection experienced in this administration due to an earlier survey launch date and increased personal follow-up with individual departments and units to encourage participation. As more widespread participation of Raiders Engaged is seen from TTU departments, we expect to see continued growth in both new initiatives and continued projects that have not been collected before.