Bass Connections Program Evaluation

Bass Connections regularly evaluates the short- and long-term impacts of the program on students, alumni and faculty scholarship to continually improve the program. 

Prior evaluation reports can be found at the bottom of this page; highlights from the 2022-2023 Evaluation Report are summarized below. Readers may also be interested in this Higher Education journal article on how the program helps undergraduate students develop career skills and explore their interests and the findings of a series of alumni focus groups exploring the lasting effects of the program.

The range of work produced by Bass Connections teams can be viewed by browsing our Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase and catalog of selected outputs, which includes exhibits, apps, datasets, grants and publications.

Student Benefits

More than 90% of graduate and undergraduate students say they would recommend the program to a friend or colleague, and students report that the program helped them build relationships and develop academically.

Figure 2.

“The skills I built from working on and leading a team that seeks to transfer research and data findings from an academic setting to policy or community-based interventions are transferable skills for my future career path [in health equity].”  –Graduate student

“I think working with a diverse group of people for a research project was the most meaningful. I was able to develop skills for working on a team and to understand how I work best as both a leader and a follower.”  –Undergraduate student

Faculty Benefits 

When team leaders were asked to rank the top three ways in which they benefited from participating in Bass Connections, their responses spotlighted the opportunity to develop new knowledge and expertise, build new relationships and generate new research findings. 

FIgure 2.

“By virtue of our research work with Bass Connections, we are in prime position to impact children and families through external funding opportunities and the development of future practitioners trained in the implementation of our work.”  –Team leader

“I am very grateful for the chance to work closely with students on matters of moral and social importance. It is a privilege to work with them.”  –Team leader

Impact on Graduating Seniors

When comparing responses to the Duke senior survey between students who participated in one or more Bass Connections experiences during their undergraduate career and students who did not participate in the program, we see a range of differences including increased satisfaction with opportunities to participate in research with faculty; increased engagement in research and service experiences; an increase in students feeling that they had the opportunity to apply their academic knowledge to issues of social importance; greater development of research and critical thinking skills; and stronger relationships with faculty. 

Graduating students who participated in Bass Connections were more likely to be enrolling in additional education in the fall and were more likely to foresee a career in the public or non-profit sector. 

Evaluation Reports

To learn more, please review our program evaluation reports published in the past five years. For more information about our program evaluation efforts or earlier reports, please contact Laura Howes