Student Life - Research

Student Life at the University of Michigan presents findings on a variety of projects and conducts a number of research projects. If you would like to arrange for a presentation, please call (734) 764-5132.

2015 Research Symposium - Schedule & Registration

Student Life at the University of Michigan is pleased to open registration for The 12th Annual Student Life Research Symposium on 12 May 2015. Preview the registration and session information and be sure to sign up!  

Thanks for joining us at NASPA 2015

Thanks to those of you who joined us to discuss the Global Generation at NASPA. On this website, you'll find an expanded set of videos about this work.

We have the slides available

We'd love to hear your questions and thoughts about how this work applies to your practice. Thanks for continuing a great conversation!



What's on Our Students' Minds: The First to Go to College

For all incoming students, the University is a new and exciting place; young people arrive eager to bask in the Maize and Blue and assume the role of college student.  Every incoming first year student also faces many challenges in acclimating to the University environment and culture, from the serious (such as learning how advising works), to the seemingly mundane (like understanding what furnishings to bring to a residence hall.)


For those U-M students who are the “first generation” in their families to attend college, this new and exciting place can also pose some unsettling threats. Taken altogether, their experiences can accumulate to affect their academic performance and even their persistence to graduation.


Forecasting Student Life Research and Assessment Part I

(15 minutes, 1 of 3)

Why do we measure learning in Student Life? What is a learning experience? In this video, Dr. Malinda Matney describes the history of work in Student Life (and nationally in student affairs and student learning theory) studying how and where students learn. She describes the fundamental role of Dr. Eric Dey nationally and at Michigan in studying the intersections of students' lives. 


"If we say our work can't be measured, then we say our work can't matter." 

Incorrect test answer

Forecasting Student Life Research and Assessment Part II

(12 minutes, 2 of 3)

How did the University of Michigan transform to a research and assessment culture in Student Life? How has student affairs nationally taken on this challenge of studying new ways of teaching and learning? In this video, Dr. Malinda Matney describes how we must turn from thinking of learning as only the classroom or only as bits and pieces and see learning as students do: As one comprehensive university experience.


"We want to be role models in the ways that we ask students to take risks, to take chances, to learn."