MAP-Works | Frequently Asked Questions

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  • MAP-Works
    202-885-2240
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What is MAP-Works?

MAP-Works, which stands for Making Achievement Possible, is a program that helps identify behaviors in students that often contribute to success in the beginning of college. The program provides students with relevant resources and allows them to track their progress in these areas. MAP-Works therefore enhances student achievement. Over 100 campuses reaching more than 300,000 students have used MAP-Works. Other universities that use MAP-Works include George Mason University, Boston University, Marshall University, and Catholic University.

Who is it for?

All first year undergraduate students, including freshmen, transfers and Washington Mentorship students.

Why should I use it?

The MAP-Works program can help to improve your academic performance by calling your attention to potential problem areas in the personalized report and providing you with relevant resources. Additionally, we hope the program encourages you to make the most of your time at American University by enjoying non-academic experiences. Taking time to think about these parts of your experience may help you change your habits for the better.

How does it work?

During the 4th week of classes, you'll be asked to take a survey. Survey results, along with admissions information, provide the basis for an individualized report identifying strengths and weaknesses and suggesting resources to address any potential problem areas early on. This report will help you take control of your education and AU experience--putting you in the driver's seat on the road to success.

How should I use it?

The first step is to complete the survey in the beginning of the semester. Afterwards, you can use your report to reflect on whether you would like to improve your academic habits or become more engaged at AU. From there, you can make use of on-campus resources. The program should help facilitate conversation with university staff who are there to help you succeed.

What types of things does the survey cover?

The questions ask about scholastic abilities, homesickness, health and well-being, as well as study and time-management skills. Some of the questions will be about your expectations and priorities while others will ask you about your social and academic habits.

How long does it take to complete the survey?

Typically it takes 15 minutes to complete the survey.

What should I do with the report? 

You will receive a personalized report that highlights your strengths and weaknesses in three main categories: ‘earning the grades you expect,’ ‘connecting with others,’ and ‘paying for college.’ Each subcategory, such as time management and campus involvement, will have a one of four scores.

You can use this information to reflect on areas that you would like to improve in. For example, if you think you could better your note-taking skills, you may want to consider making use of the Academic Support Center either online or in person. The report will include the contact information of several offices around campus that could be helpful.

What happens if MAP-Works indicates I might need support?

If your overall report indicates that ‘an issue may exist,’ relevant AU staff may reach out to you. For example, if the report shows that you have major concerns about paying for college, someone from the Financial Aid Office may ask you if you would like to set up a meeting. However, most students will not be contacted by anyone, and will have the primary responsibility for learning from the report and acting on it. We encourage everyone to use the campus resources provided to you in the report to address any areas that you think may need improvement. The program should help to develop ties between students and the AU staff who can help them.

Who else can see the scores on your report?

The primary purpose of MAP-Works is to inform you and give you the tools to drive your success. Certain AU staff may also use MAP-Works to reach out to you if your report suggests a more significant concern. AU staff members who have responsibility for identifying issues and providing support to enhance your ability to succeed in college will have access to student reports, including professional staff in Housing and Dining Programs and the Office of Campus Life. Your academic department and school / college (including academic advisors) will also be able to access your report to target your advising sessions. The Manager for Student Success and Retention will have access to student reports as well.

Other students will never have access to your report unless you share it with them. Faculty members will also not be granted access. 

Can this impact my grade in a course?

No. Your performance in your classes determines your grades. This program is simply designed to help you succeed and thrive at American University.

Is the survey mandatory?

You are not required to participate. However, if you don’t you are missing a great opportunity to help make the most of your college experience and avoid common pitfalls that can lead to problems later on.

How long has AU been administering this program?

AU is excited to be going into the second year of the program.