Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Higher Education (EdD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Michael T. Miller

Committee Member

John W. Murry, Jr.

Second Committee Member

Kenda S. Grover


assessment, campus recreation, data, management


Collegiate recreation programs and centers typically provide traditional programming space in addition to a range of physical activity spaces and resources, as a valuable part of the student experience. The external pressures of identifying and communicating departmental value and impact on the campus community has resulted in collegiate recreation departments’ use of data to communicate the effectiveness and impact of their work. The purpose of the study was to identify the data collection and assessment management practices of collegiate recreation departments, particularly focusing on the organization of data and assessment strategies as well as data collection, storage, reporting, analyzing, and data use in decision-making. The significance of the study was to assist the leaders of recreation departments in understanding how others navigate data and assessment management and how data were utilized in decision-making.

Data for the study were collected using quantitative measures through a researcher-created, web-based survey, sent via email to director-level individuals at 50 research oriented, 1862 Morrill Land Grant Act institutions with membership to the Association of Public Land Grant Universities (APLU). Data were analyzed through measures of central tendency, frequencies, percentages, and one-way ANOVA. The data indicated that many collegiate recreation departments have a formal process for data and assessment management. The data also indicated that data are used to complete departmental reports, demonstrate student success, demonstrate student development, and to provide evidence of the department’s overall contribution to institutional mission and goals. Additionally, the data showed that there were significant differences in how departments utilized data to make decisions for demonstrating student success, informing decision-making and planning for continuous improvement, and completing departmental reports between ways that departments organized their data and assessment management strategies.

The results of the study show the need for recreation departments to evaluate their current organization of data and assessment management strategies and advocate for a strategy that might help provide support for demonstrating the value and impact of their work on campus.