Trinity has been conducting focus groups in order to gauge students’ opinions about topics including student presence at campus lectures and the concept of a co-curricular transcript. The focus groups were done over two days and involved 12 students.
Participants in the focus group were asked why they did or did not go to lectures and whether they thought a co-curricular transcript would be useful.
“The focus groups served as a way to seek ideas, suggestions, and feedback from students,” said Jamie Thompson, director of campus and community involvement and facilitator of the focus groups.
A co-curricular transcript would document all of the extracurricular activities students have done at Trinity with official verification.
“So just like we have an academic transcript with all the classes we took and credits that may have transferred from high school or from other universities, we could also have a transcript that documents all of the clubs and organizations that we were members of and what we contributed to those clubs and organizations,” said Bria Woods, sophomore and focus group participant.
In the focus groups, the administrator asked if students would use a co-curricular transcript and whether they thought it would be useful on a résumé.
“They were just kind of feeling if people thought it would be useful, if it would be worth introducing,” said Emily Blount, a junior and focus group participant.
“I think especially for your average Trinity student that is really heavily involved, it would be really nice to be able to show that to your employers as well,” Woods said.
According to the data collected by the focus group, students thought it would demonstrate the holistic experience students have on campus. One weakness students identified was that employers might not care to see it.
“The feeling I got is that it would be a useful tool for Trinity to have just within itself – maybe not to give to employers or put it on your résumé, just something for students to catalogue all that they have done over college,” Blount said.
According to Thompson, the institution is interested in engaging students to attend campus lectures.
“They were asking us why students may not be attending. On one hand we were thinking about the advertising,” Woods said.
The data the focus groups collected based on students’ responses suggested that there was a lack of advertising for events. Students were mainly motivated to go if they got extra credit for a class. Also, one reason students did not attend lectures was that the lectures are typically political or political science-based.
“We were trying to brainstorm different ways that we could get the word to more people that different speakers are coming to campus,” Woods said.
Focus groups discussed different ways to advertise the lectures to reach more students and encourage attendance.
“A good portion of the people there went to the lectures and really liked them, so it was just more focused on maybe how to advertise them better,” Blount said.