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RU librarian leads univ team, as part of nat'l assessment program

June 20, 2014
Leslin Charles, Instructional Design Librarian, standing, speaks with students in the class she's teaching in the summer 2014 McNair Scholars Program

Leslin Charles, Instructional Design Librarian, standing, speaks with students in the class she's teaching in the summer 2014 McNair Scholars Program

A team from the Rutgers University, led by Instructional Design Librarian Leslin Charles, has been selected to participate in the Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success program.

The Assessment in Action program is coordinated by the American Libraries Association in partnership with the Association for Institutional Research (AIR) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), with initial funding from the federal government's Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The Rutgers University Libraries group is one of 73 college and university teams nationwide to participate in the 2014/2015 year of this training program.  

The Assessment in Action program seeks to strengthen the competencies of librarians in campus leadership and data-informed advocacy. Librarians who participate in the AiA program, supported by a blended learning environment and a peer-to-peer network, will lead their campus teams in the development and implementation of an action learning project examining the impact of the library on student success and contributing to assessment activities on their campus.

At Rutgers, the Assessment in Action team will include university staff working with the McNair scholars program. The McNair Scholars Program provides a supportive environment and a multitude of resources to assist and prepare students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are interested in pursuing a doctorate education. Students in the McNair Program, rising juniors and seniors, participate in weekly workshops with the library during the spring, and biweekly workshops during the summer, to assist them in meeting the McNair Program goal that each participant define, develop, and conduct a research project.

Students in the McNair Scholars Program also receive close support from faculty members on their research projects, individualized academic advising, specialized workshops and seminars on graduate programs, funding opportunities to travel to conferences and visit graduate programs, writing and tutoring assistance, and other support services.  In the process they gain hands-on research experience, benefit from faculty mentorship, and develop professional and academic skills that will allow them to become competitive applicants for graduate and doctoral programs.

The Rutgers Assessment in Action team will tackle the following assessment challenge: “Following highly structured, organized library interactions in the spring and summer, do McNair students retain research skills toward their ultimate goal of pursuing a doctoral degree?”  This project would support institutional goals at Rutgers University, particularly the priority to transform the student experience through technology and support using University resources, which will increase the scholarship and research at the university.

Rutgers application to participate in the Assessment in Action program was prepared by Leslin Charles and McNair Program staff members Jennifer Beaugris and Jackasha Wiley, with supporting statements from Vice President for Information Resources/University Librarian Marianne Gaunt and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Richard Edwards.

For more information on the Assessment in Action program, please see:

For more information on the McNair Scholars Program, please see: