The University of Maryland is the organization under analysis in terms of the effectiveness of its programs and strategies can be defined. This university is a good example of how a higher education system should look like and be developed regarding available resources. There are many academic departments and programs in this organization, and each of them has its own impact on students and employees. For example, there is the Applied Mathematics & Statistics, and Scientific Computation (AMSC) program with the help of which interdisciplinary research training is offered to students to support their academic interests and achievements. The Maryland LEAD (Leadership Education and Development) Program promotes the development of student’s skills and career opportunities (“About the Maryland LEAD Program”, n.d.). In fact, the number of programs at the University of Maryland is impressive, and the effectiveness of each should be proved. In this paper, the Summer Transitional Program (STP) will be discussed, and the implementation of the Academic Return on Investment (ROI) approach will be explained in order to analyze the effectiveness of the chosen program.
The peculiar feature of the Summer Transitional Program is its academic and personal adjustments. The aim of this program is to provide students with an opportunity to adjust to college life on different levels and learn how to deal with specific academic and personal problems. The STP is a six-week program to prepare students for living in a college (“Summer transitional program”, n.d.). It begins in the summer and ends right before the fall semester, the period of their admission.
The main goal of this program is an academic adjustment. The identification of a core need is also the first step of the ROI analysis. As soon as a decision of why a program is needed is made, it is possible to promote its development and explain its worth. The STP’s academic adjustment includes such aspects as the possibility to enhance student knowledge in English, math, and tutoring, to enroll students in university core and orientation courses, and to invite students to special counseling sessions during which personal concerns and challenges can be discussed and solved (“Summer transitional program”, n.d.). One of the possible outcomes of this program is to identify the potential of students so that they can participate in different university activities. Students can also learn how to attend classes regularly, how to receive and understand class assignments, how to behave themselves with respect for each tutor and student, and how to meet the deadlines of their academic project.
A-ROI is a complex approach with five main steps being taken. Another important step in this approach is to consider investments that can be made to meet the need (Frank & Hovey, 2014). In this program, several types of investments are required. First, tutors who train students in English, math, and strategic planning should get salaries. Besides, students should work with definite material. Finally, counseling meetings should be supported by visually attractive material or even sound background that cannot be free. Therefore, certain expenses and investments have to be identified, and the ROI approach can be very helpful in analyzing the effectiveness of the program from the point of view of its appropriateness and feasibility.
The third step in the ROI model is the identification of metrics of the program. For an ordinary user, it is not always easy to find an appropriate and credible financial report of the university about its programs. The costs of the Summer Transitional Program are not mentioned on the official site of the University of Maryland. Still, in case a person has access to such data, the ROI approach can become a helpful tool for statistical analysis. It is necessary to identify all the number of students who participate in this program and the number of students who face certain problems during the first year of their education, including the situations when students change a university or quit education, and all dollars spent to implement the program.
The next stage of the analysis of the program is the identification of all alternatives or other investment options with the help of which the goals can be achieved with minimal costs. The challenging aspect of this stage is the necessity to comprehend the statistical and descriptive data and compare the results. On the one hand, it is necessary to clarify how much money has to be spent to introduce a properly organized program, provide students with benefits, and help tutors to focus on a learning process but not on some personal problems of students. On the other hand, the information about the goals of the program, its expectations, and methods has to be taken into consideration. Tutors and other academic staff should be ready to cooperate with students at different levels, and students should realize what they can get as a part of the program.
The last step of the ROI analysis is a decision-making process during which the effectiveness of the program can be proved or disproved. The Summer Transitional Program is a possibility to combine students’ personal and academic goals and challenges. It is not always easy to enter a new school and demonstrate the whole potential without neglecting personal needs and demands. The Summer Transitional Program helps to identify what students want, and what they have to do as a part of the University of Maryland. Besides, it is possible to compare the results of the program during different periods and understand if the worth of the program can be improved with time. Tutors share their experience and knowledge with each other and succeed in communicating with students at different levels. Students learn how to succeed in performing tasks and achieve their career goals with the help of the knowledge they get.
In general, regarding the peculiarities of the A-ROI approach and the essence of the Summer Transitional Program that is offered to the students of the University of Maryland, it may be considered as a unique chance to understand why students may be in need of professional help and personal support. The University of Maryland is the organization where students get knowledge, share their emotions and impressions, live their ordinary lives, and enjoy each moment of their youth. Education is a core of the university. Still, it is not the only goal to be achieved. The Summer Transitional Program proves that the university takes care of its students and helps them to overcome their personal challenges in order to succeed in their academic achievement. At this moment, not all students use the opportunities of this program. However, properly chosen investments, people, and needs can be used to develop the program and prove its effectiveness.
About the Maryland LEAD program. (n.d.). Web.
Frank, S., & Hovey, D. (2014). Return on investment in education: A “system-strategy” approach. Web.
Summer transitional program. (n.d.). Web.