Project CEO Earns a Silver NASPA Excellence Award

Photographed at NASPA 2016: Adam Peck (Stephen F. Austin State University), Anne Lundquist (Western Michigan University), Kate Griffin (Campus Labs), and Michael Preston (Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities).

Buffalo, NY, March 17, 2016 – NASPA – the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession – has named Project CEO (Co-Curricular Experience Outcomes) a Silver Award Winner in its 2016 NASPA Excellence Awards program. By highlighting potential connections between co-curricular engagements and career competencies, Project CEO addresses a pressing issue in higher education: the ability for institutions to help students prepare for a competitive job market.

Designed to assess the perceived influence of co-curricular experiences, Project CEO originated at Stephen F. Austin State University under the direction of Adam Peck, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs. A Campus Labs Member Campus since 2009, Stephen F. Austin University is a public university located in Nacogdoches, Texas, serving more than 10,000 full-time undergraduate students. Students were asked to self-report on their acquisition of the skills ranked as the ten most desirable by employers and outlined in the NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) Job Outlook Survey. The Project CEO survey tool specifically measured the perceived impact of co-curricular experiences on the students’ ability to attain these skills. Students reported on several different outside-the-classroom activities, including student clubs and organizations, campus employment, and off-campus employment.

In 2014 Dr. Peck partnered with Campus Labs to expand the survey to institutions beyond SFA. Using the benchmarking tools within the Campus Labs® platform, the Project CEO team administered the survey to more than 15,000 students from 40 colleges and universities nationwide. The results affirmed the value of co-curricular and other outside-the-classroom experiences. Comparing the Project CEO survey tool to a divining rod, Dr. Peck explained, “Our instrument helps to determine what skills students feel they are gaining the most from their co-curricular experiences so practitioners know where to dig more deeply.”

“We know that students believe they’re gaining valuable skills from their experiences outside the classroom,” said Kate Griffin, Director, Campus Success. “Project CEO allows us to identify areas where institutions could do a better job of bridging the gap between classroom and co-curricular experiences.”

On March 12, Dr. Peck, Griffin, and Michael Preston, Ed.D., Executive Director of the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities at the University of Central Florida, led a preconference workshop on Project CEO at the 2016 NASPA Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. The session included Why Involvement in College Matters, a five-minute video highlighting the project.

NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) conducts work that provides high-quality professional development, advocacy, and research for 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and eight U.S. territories. NASPA annually recognizes the outstanding contributions of members who are transforming higher education through exceptional programs, innovative services, and effective administration. The NASPA Excellence Awards cover eleven categories crucial to the success of students and the continued growth of the student affairs profession. The Silver certificate for Project CEO was awarded in the Administrative Assessment, Information Technology, Fundraising, Professional Development, and Related category.

For more information about Project CEO, download our free white paper, Project CEO: The Potential Value of Beyond-the-Classroom Experiences for Developing Career Competencies.