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Although academic and student affairs partnership programs have been cited as potential means to create seamless learning environments for undergraduate students, little research exists on the outcomes of such programs for students. The Boyer Partnership Assessment Project examined the outcomes for students participating in academic and student affairs partnership programs at 18 institutions. Four categories of student outcomes were identified: acclimation to the institution, engagement, student learning, and academic and career decisions. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.

At the beginning of the 21st century, higher education in the United States faces many challenges, including changing student demographics, advancing technologies, shrinking resources, and declining public confidence. For many years, postsecondary reform agendas have beckoned colleges and universities to focus intentionally on undergraduate learning and success to address these challenges (American College Personnel Association [ACPA, 1994; Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University, 1998; National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges [NASULGC, 1997, 1999, 2000; National Association of Student Personnel Administrators [NASPA & ACPA, 2004). Among suggestions to improve student learning, partnership programs—programs developed and offered through collaboration between academic and student affairs units—have received particular attention for their potential to create seamless learning environments (American Association for Higher Education [AAHE, ACPA & NASPA, 1998; Blimling & Whitt, 1999; Kezar, Hirsch, & Burack, 2001; Kuh, Kinzie, Schuh, Whitt, & Associates, 2005; NASPA & ACPA, 2004; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005; Schroeder, 1999a, 1999b). Despite exhortations about the value of partnership programs, however, little research has been conducted to identify the specific outcomes of such programs for participants (Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005; Kezar et al.). The Boyer Partnership Assessment Project (BPAP) was initiated in 2001 to address these research gaps. This article intends to identify and describe student learning outcomes of partnership programs.


Originally published as:

Nesheim, B. E., Guentzel, M. J., Kellogg, A. H., McDonald, W. M., Wells, C. A., & Whitt, E. J. (2007). Outcomes for students of student affairs-academic affairs partnership programs. Journal of College Student Development, 48(4), 435–454.