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About SSA: Survey Results

2004 Survey Results

In May of 2004, Safe School Ambassador programs nationwide were asked to participate in the third annual year-end survey. Thirty-five schools produced responses from 656 Ambassadors, 122 Family Group Facilitators, and 72 program Advisors. This data reinforces the past two years' data, and shows that the Safe School Ambassadors program has a positive impact on school climate and on Ambassadors themselves. For example:

a) Ambassadors and adults reported changes in school climate resulting from implementation of the SSA program

  Bullying Fighting Safety
% Ambassadors reporting ___ got better 55.4 41.4 39.5
% of Adults... 58.2 47.8 51.5
% of Ambs reporting ___ got MUCH better 10.5 18.3 23.0
% of Adults... 11.9 11.9 16.7
66.2% of adults felt that the school climate was better as a result of the program.
11.8% of adults felt it was MUCH better...

b) When asked how well the SSA Program prepared them to intervene, 86.1% of Ambassadors gave it a 4 or 5 on a 1-5 scale. This is borne out by the frequency of interventions that Ambassadors reported doing when they noticed different types of mistreatment. Intervention frequency is shown as the percentage of Ambassadors who intervened the stated number of times in a 4-week period. When they noticed...

exclusion 54.5% intervened 1-5 times 42.4% intervened 6 or more times
gossip 39.7 " 41.9 "
mean teasing 35.9 " 53.6 "
bullying 40.7 " 38.1 "
physical mistreatm't 38.1 " 29.2 "

c) The percent of Ambassadors reporting improvements in their own...

Empathy 93.6
Communication Skills 91.7
Leadership skills 94.0
Acceptance of Diversity 90.1
Grades 68.7
Attendance 68.4

These numbers are corroborated by responses from the Program Advisors.

d) Overall Satisfaction with Program: 88.3% of the adult Program Advisors responsible for implementing the program reported they were "Satisfied" or "Very Satisfied" with the Safe School Ambassadors program.

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2003 Survey Results

At the end of the school year, Safe School Ambassador programs nationwide were asked to participate in a year-end survey. Twenty-five schools, (17 middle and 8 high) in California, Colorado, New York, and Florida were able to participate. We appreciate the 384 students who completed this 7-question survey, and the program advisors who got them back to us.

 National
Ambassador Sample Size 384

How many interventions do Ambassadors do?

Question 1 asked students to determine the number of times they intervene in a typical day, and in a typical week.

Total Interventions 51,180
Average Interventions per Ambassador per week 7.2

What issues do Ambassadors address?

Question 2 affords us an opportunity to look at the types of issues and problems Ambassadors perceive they are addressing through their interventions.

The numbers show what percent of Ambassadors' interventions dealt with...

deliberate exclusion - leaving others out, shunning 29%
verbal abuse - teasing, taunting, making fun of someone 38%
bullying - intimidation, threatening, instilling fear, stealing 21%
physical violence - contact/harm by pushing, kicking, hitting, etc 14%
threat or act against the campus 5%

What skills do Ambassadors use?

Question 3 lets us see how frequently Ambassadors use certain skills in their interventions. Since Ambassadors often use several skills in one intervention, the total of all percentages may exceed 100%.

This skill was used in what percent of ALL interventions?

showing support – showing care & concern for someone whose feelings have been hurt 33%
distraction – changing the subject or moving the people 20%
reasoning – getting someone to think about their choices or the consequences of an act 21%
active listening - empathizing, understanding a person's thoughts/feelings 23%
directing (confronting) - suggesting/asking someone to stop/change their behavior 20%
referring - connecting someone who needs help with people who can help 9%
getting help - getting someone else to help you handle a situation 10%


Ambassadors' answers to question 3 reflect:

  • how appropriate it is to use a certain skill in addressing the issues, i.e. skills that are appropriate for problems infrequently experienced would show low usage here
  • their own comfort with the skill (which may indicate further training needs)
  • their ability to differentiate (as they completed the survey) between the various skills they used (e.g. Showing Support vs. Getting Help)

Examples of interventions

The examples reported by Ambassadors responding to Question 4 confirm our hypothesis that when they are engaged by adults who genuinely value them, empowered to serve in a legitimate capacity, equipped with appropriate skills, and provided with supervision and support, students can and will take effective action to improve the climate and interpersonal relationships on a school campus.

Do Ambassadors benefit from the SSA program?

In question 5, Ambassadors were asked if being an Ambassador has served them personally.

YES 83%
NO 17%

Typical of the benefits mentioned were: increased tolerance and respect for differences, increased ability to resolve conflicts, more friends, better communication skills and improved relationships with peers, parents, teachers and other adults.

Do Ambassadors feel more connected to their schools?

In question 6, Ambassadors were asked if they felt more connected to their school as a result of being an Ambassador.

YES 78%
NO 22%

The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (AddHealth) recently released its findings, which show a strong correlation between school connectedness and academic achievement. Further, school connectedness is one of the 40 Developmental Assets identified by the Search Institute.

Additional Comments

In question 7, Ambassadors were given the opportunity to make any additional comments. A representative sample can be viewed in "Additional Comments from Ambassadors" on the Examples page.

Program Advisors and Family Group Facilitators were also surveyed and typical comments can be viewed in "As Told By Adults" on the Examples page.

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