Solving a Wicked Problem: Preventing Student Isolation
Mental health difficulties are becoming increasingly associated with college students, and ECU has proven to be no exception in recent years. From a review of the relevant literature on the topic, it became clear that student isolation is a major factor regarding student health, most notably so in rates of student depression. To further explore this idea, there was extensive interviewing and surveying of ECU students, which led to the conclusion of the need for a student-centered solution. This manifested in the creation of multiple ideas as facilitated by the Honors College Program; an app dedicated to the counseling center services, a non-crisis student support hotline known as Phone a Friend, a student-led organization dedicated to the promotion of healthy student social interaction and human contact in a safe and supportive environment known as the Hug Force, and a questionnaire designed to connect students to applicable clubs and organizations at ECU reflective of individual interests. After further investigation into these solutions, it became clear over time that, due to liability concerns and student feedback, the most viable proposed method for combating student isolation would be the questionnaire. Initially termed the Quiz of Student Interest, but later changed to Questionnaire of Student Interest (QSI) due to implications regarding test anxiety, the concept hinges around the goal of increasing student involvement. The current QSI has undergone various large-scale edits, the most notable being a functional paper prototype in which data from Residential Assistants on campus has been taken, as well as a Qualtrics version that has recently been submitted to ECU’s Office of Institutional Planning, Assessment, and Research (IPAR) for Survey Review and Oversight Committee (SROC) approval. With said approval, further data can be taken utilizing the QSI in order to provide further evidence for the use of such a method in order to decrease levels of student isolation on ECU’s campus.
Squires, Abigail. (April 2021). Solving a Wicked Problem: Preventing Student Isolation (Honors Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/9306.)
Squires, Abigail. Solving a Wicked Problem: Preventing Student Isolation. Honors Thesis. East Carolina University, April 2021. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/9306. August 12, 2022.
Squires, Abigail, “Solving a Wicked Problem: Preventing Student Isolation” (Honors Thesis., East Carolina University, April 2021).
Squires, Abigail. Solving a Wicked Problem: Preventing Student Isolation [Honors Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; April 2021.
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