Senior Chapel program evaluation

Y. Garcia 1
In the profession of student affairs, it is important to attend the different
programs on campus and evaluate them because in order to show support to
their students, student affairs professionals need to understand the importance of
program evaluation. For this assignment I attended Senior Chapel which is a
program specifically geared toward the senior class, and it is also another
opportunity for them to receive chapel credit. I decided that Senior Chapel would
be perfect for this assignment because as a senior last year I did not attend
Senior Chapel and by using this program for this assignment I would get to see
what I missed out on last year. During the service I saw a lot of positive things,
however like most things there is always room for improvement.
The description of Senior Chapel states, “Senior Chapel takes place every
Monday night at 9 p.m. in UTCC. Open only to graduating seniors, this service is
planned and maintained entirely by members of the senior class. These chapels
address questions and concerns about the future and life beyond APU,” (APU
Chapel Calendar). In the description, the mission of Senior Chapel can be
pinpointed to the objective that this program is focused on congregating the
seniors for a night of worship and discourse. For this program to work, the senior
class has to maintain and plan what will occur each week.
During my evaluation I saw that the mission was clear, which is basically
to have a night of worship and a sermon for the senior class. It is very similar to
the other chapels offered on campus; however the only difference is that this
chapel is for seniors. Another difference between Senior Chapel and the other
Y. Garcia 2
chapels are that it is a smaller attendance and is low key. The other chapels
have a bigger attendance and the worship is livelier.
However Senior Chapel began with a welcome from the senior leaders
and then proceeded with worship. After the worship, the senior leaders gave
announcements that were beneficial to the senior class such as upcoming
internships; workshops pertaining to writing a resume, and job and interview
skills. Also the seniors were given information about a new program called House
of Prayer which was being sponsored through the Campus Pastor’s Office.
After the announcements, the speaker of the night was introduced and
spoke for the duration of the program. The speaker was Pastor Brian who was a
youth pastor from a church in Pomona. His sermon was based on the scriptural
readings of Psalm 73. The learning objective of this program can be seen as the
engagement between the speaker and the audience which identified as Pastor
Brian was telling his story. The audience was engaged through his jokes and gift
for story telling. Through this he communicated to the students that we must live
by faith and trust in God, by giving the example of his wife who was recently
diagnosed with cancer and how his family was dealing with it.
Throughout the rest of the program, the audience was engaged through
active listening. From this active listening the students were able to learn how
faith plays a role in each of our lives and how to keep trusting in God especially
in times when we can’t possibly see the light at the end of tunnel of our own
Y. Garcia 3
confusion, misunderstanding and despair. After the sermon, Senior Chapel
concluded with some reflection time.
From my evaluation of this program, I feel that this is a great opportunity
for seniors, especially since it is another chance for them to receive chapel credit.
Seniors are a particular student group, because they aren’t viewed as
adolescents anymore, but as adults. So this program is a great way for the senior
class to network with each other and have something to call their own.
I understand that the learning objectives of this program are to enhance
the students understanding of the world, spirituality and the concept of God.
However I can see where there could be improvement and with this progress I
believe there could be a greater turn out. The turn out for Senior Chapel was my
first criticism, first of all student turn out for programs is a very important objective
and challenge and I understand that can it be difficult. However I think with the
way programs are advertised at APU, Senior Chapel can step up because having
this program count as chapel credit for seniors can be used as a big advertising
tool. But it seems that Senior Chapel is not advertised very much, if not at all.
The engagement of the program should include other things besides
active listening. Even though it is chapel I don’t think a speaker should be the
only thing Senior Chapel has to offer. To have the participants learn, there are
other avenues such as active collaboration with others, the use of multiple
senses and other involving methods. Here are some options the programmers
can go about putting on Senior Chapel: a student panel discussing issues,
Y. Garcia 4
conflicts or questions that the senior class are facing or a forum of professionals,
teachers and administration that can answer student’s questions about what to
do after graduation.
Another option can be a film screening and a student forum afterwards to
talk about the film, ask question or post comments. By having the students
interact more than just active listening would give the participants a greater
chance of learning other things and the learning process will be more effective.
Senior Chapel should be a program that seniors want to go to, compared to the
other chapels offered on campus, Senior Chapel seems to be the one with the
lowest turn out and rarely ever advertised. With more student involvement, this
program could pull in more students.
Program evaluation is not supposed to be about criticizing the program but
offering constructive criticism, affirmations and suggestions of improvement. It’s
important for student affairs professionals to practice it and put it to good use. Its
goes back to showing support to our colleagues and the students, who are the
ones who always need our support.
Program Evaluation Paper
Senior Chapel
Yvania A. Garcia
CSA 571: Student Learning in the Co-curriculum
Fall II
Thursday s 4:45 – 9:45
Mari Luna De La Rosa, Ph.D.
January 17th, 2008