FSU and UF are hosting a national research study aimed at demonstrating the employability skill competencies student staff develop while working in collegiate recreation. We invite you and your institution to participate in this important work of collecting data for our institutions and the collegiate recreation field. If you are interested or have questions about the study, please contact April Lovett (admoore2@fsu.edu) and Cat Cramp (catc@recsports.ufl.edu). 

Study Title

Exploring the Career Skills Student Employees Develop throughout their Tenure as Collegiate Recreation Employees and the Subsequent Importance and Perceived Competence of those Skills in Post-Graduation Career Employment

Host Research Team

Schools Committed to Participating

  • Arizona State University
  • Carroll University
  • Central Washington University
  • Colorado State University
  • Cornell University
  • DePaul University
  • Elon University
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Florida State University
  • Georgia Southern University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Pellissippi State Community College
  • Springfield College
  • Trinity University
  • University of Arkansas
  • University of Florida
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Missouri - St. Louis
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Toledo
  • University of West Florida
  • Virginia Tech


Key Documents

Agreement Form:  Institutions that wish to participate will need to fill out the Agreement Form  . The Agreement Form will allow you to list your Primary Investigator (PI) at your institution, as well as your institution profile. If you need a copy of the agreement form with fill-in fields, please email admoore2@fsu.edu.

FSU IRB Application:  The FSU IRB Application details the purpose, research questions/hypothesis, methodology, and analysis of the research project.  This is the best document to assist in filling out your institution's IRB application.

IRB Approved Consent Form: View the FSU IRB Approved Consent Form  .

IRB Approval Letter:  Your institution will most likely need a copy of FSU's IRB Approval Letter and Consent Form (see above).

Survey Instruments:  Your institution's IRB may require copies of the research instruments: Survey 1, Survey 2, and Survey 3. Consent forms for each survey are found at the beginning of each of the linked documents.

Research Study FAQ

  • How much does it cost to participate?

This is a home-grown, grassroots research study; therefore at this time, there is no cost to the institution or department to participate in this study. However, please keep in mind that individual institutional data sent back will be in a CSV (a simple file format used to store tabular data that can easily be imported/exported; can be opened as an excel spreadsheet file) file that will need to be analyzed by that particular institution (i.e. there will not be a full report sent back with your data as of yet).

  • Is there a deadline for institutions to commit to being in the study?

No.  Institutional participation is rolling, meaning you can join the study at any time.  Now may not be the right time for your institution to begin the research, but Spring 2018 may be.  It is up to the institution.  Our primary concern will be getting the institution's IRB approval prior to the institution participating.

  • What software are you using to collect data?

We will be using the Qualtrics assessment and evaluation software.

  • When can an institution start collecting data?

As soon as the institution 1) fills out the Agreement Form with intent to participate and 2) supplies the research host team (contacts: April Lovett- admoore2@fsu.edu and Cat Cramp- catc@recsports.ufl.edu) a copy of their approval letter from their own institution’s IRB office. April and Cat will forward the institution’s Primary Investigator (PI) the Qualtrics links to the surveys as well as a paper copy of Surveys 1 and 2 if the institution has identified paper surveys as best process for collection. UPDATE (8/2/17): We are waiting until we find out if we have been awarded NIRSA Research Grant Money prior to forwarding the survey links to participating institutions.  We will find out mid-August, 2017.

  • What are the institution’s responsibilities in regards to IRB?

The institution must fill out their own institution’s IRB proposal and follow their institution’s IRB process. April can provide you with a copy of the FSU approved consent form and the IRB approval letter for you own institution.Additionally, Cat and April can consult on IRB form and language. Once your IRB has been approved, please send a copy of the approval letter to April (admoore2@fsu.edu). Once the letter has been recieved, April & Cat will release the research matieral to your PI.

  • Can our institution participate without filling out an IRB application?


  • What are the institution’s responsibilities in distributing the surveys?

Institutions have full responsibilities to distribute the surveys.  We believe that 1) students will respond more favorably to their institution than foreign email addresses and 2) institutions should attempt to build this survey distribution into their departmental culture of student staff development & training rather than just as a “take this survey once” distribution.

  • What is the ideal time to distribute Survey 1 so as not to skew student employee answers?

Survey 1 must be distibuted prior to the employee working their first shift in your department. Best practices for this may vary per institution; some institutions may have luck in sending links for students to fill out with new employee paperwork while other institutions will have luck in having students take survey 1 in paper format during on-boarding presentations/processes.

  • We are just coming on to the study. Would current student employees take any of the surveys or wait until graduation to take the surveys?

Please limit the surveys to only brand-new student employees, students exiting the department, and student employee alumni.

  • Does the participating institution need to alert the host research team any time they acquire new participants or have participants graduate?

No, the database we are using to collect data will suffice. Institutions can continue distributing the surveys as needed without alerting the research team every time.

  • How are we protecting participant privacy?

See the NIRSA Research Grant Application and the consent forms on the surveys themselves for more information on participant privacy. Additionally, we are limiting who receives institution-specific data to only those people identified on the forms as Primary Investigators.

  • Will you be able to track individual participants all the way through the study?

Yes we will be conducting aggregate and longitudinal data analysis.Participants will provide their identifier (name and school email) as this study is not anonymous. They will further be coded prior to institutions recieving the data set and for aggegate data analysis.

  • If students end employment pre-graduation, do they take the exit interview survey (Survey 2)?

Yes.This can provide us great information as they leave. Institutions can use the information to enhance their staff development and training programs.

  • Are there any thoughts/concerns of selectively targeting certain student employees to take the survey (e.g. student leaders, students with higher rates of return on previous survey distribution, etc)?

Participant recruitment methodology of the study is defined as convenience sampling, so soliciting everyone who falls into the defined participant pool (student employees) is the best strategy.  In this method, it might naturally occur that the students more willing to take the surveys are student leaders or would already have a high return rate in taking surveys/evaluations in the department. Additionally, if we are funded the NIRSA research grant, portions of funding will be earmarked for participation incentives for Surveys 2 & 3, thereby increasing the possibility that students will complete the surveys.

  • What will data reporting look like?

Data will be reported externally every spring semester in aggregate from the host research team.The forms of reporting will include 1) a formal report sent to each participating institution and posted to NIRSA; 2) a presentation at the Annual NIRSA Conference each spring if accepted; 3) institution-specific CSV reports that will need additional analysis and processing on each campus; and 4) publications to the Recreational Sport Journal and other publishing bodies.

  • How long do you want institutions to participate in this study?

This study will be longitudinal and ongoing.We encourage participating institutions to build the survey tools into the culture of their institution so that we are always gathering data pertaining to learning competencies, much like how every year institutions fill out the NIRSA Institutional Data Set. This will be a benefit to discover how students are reporting learning competencies over the long term. However participation is rolling, meaning at any given time an institution can either join or leave the study based on their needs.If an institution needs to discontinue participation in the study we request that you let the research host team know by contacting April (admoore2@fsu.edu) and Cat (catc@recsports.ufl.edu).