Rustic Pathways is building a robust system for monitoring and evaluating our work. In addition to our client satisfaction metrics and our community impact and sustainability reporting, we have designed a comprehensive student impact evaluation that helps us deliver on our promise to provide a transformative experience for every student. Each year, the student impact data we gather highlights areas where we might refine our programs and increase our impact on students. Our student learning outcomes are the metrics for ensuring we are delivering on our brand promise and a key performance indicator for our company as we enter into another decade of unprecedented growth and innovation.
We measure our student impact in two ways. First, our student impact survey measures student growth based on Rustic Pathways’ student learning outcomes and is administered immediately before and after students travel on our programs as well as six to nine months after the program ends, helping us capture how much of the impact has “stuck” with students. Second, we gather data that complements our student survey through focus groups with students on a small number of our programs, interviews with program leaders, and open-ended survey questions to parents. This approach allows us to understand the “story” of the Rustic experience so that we can uncover how students engage in their experience and better understand how we spark student learning on our programs.
Here are a few examples of items from our student survey:
- I more often than not volunteer to help people if they look lost.
- When I visit a new place, I find it easy to fit in.
- I regularly think about my passions and what drives my life.
Here are a few examples of questions from our focus groups with students:
- Please tell me about some of the most memorable experiences you have had on this trip.
- Could you describe a meaningful interaction with one of the local families/individuals?
- Where there any awkward moments on the trip? If so, could you describe one or two?
Our student impact evaluators are PHD candidates and experts in socio-emotional learning, learning theory, and human development. The research they are conducting on behalf of Rustic Pathways is subject to rigorous standards and has been approved by their institution’s review board. If you have questions about our student impact evaluation or would like to opt your student out, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.