Student Impact

All Rustic Pathways programs are designed to foster the skills, habits, and mindsets most closely associated with future success.

Rustic Pathways programs are intentionally designed to encourage students to think critically while challenging them to grow personally. Our experienced Program Leaders work to facilitate meaningful discussion and reflection, and help students learn how to amplify the positive impact travel can have on themselves and others.

Student Learning Outcomes

Focusing on these learning outcomes allows us to create programs that enables students to achieve personal growth and make a positive contribution to our world.

  1. Openness to New Ideas and Experiences
  2. Sense of Wonderment
  3. A Belief That All People are Connected by a Shared Humanity
  4. A Desire to Positively Impact the Lives of Others
  5. Empathy
  6. Self-Awareness
  7. Humility
  8. Grit
  9. Independence
  10. Intercultural Competence

Why We Measure Student Impact

We began measuring the growth our students experience in these learning outcomes as a result of participating in Rustic Pathways programs in 2016.

Measuring our impact on students allows us to constantly improve our program design and execution to best deliver a meaningful and lasting learning experience. In fact, we’ve seen a strong correlation between satisfaction in our programs and growth in our Student Learning Outcomes.

How We Measure Student Impact

To measure student impact, we survey students, parents, and program leaders to determine the impact of their Rustic programs on individual growth in the above Student Learning Outcomes. Quantitative data tells us what and how much students learn, while qualitative data illustrates how and why students learn.

We survey students before and after they travel on their programs (and again three to six months after return) to capture quantitative data on both attitudes and self-reported probable actions to greater understand not only what students think they value, but also how their values may be demonstrated.

Our qualitative methods help us better understand how students show growth in some learning outcomes and why that occurs. We capture feedback from students about their improvement in these learning outcomes, ask parents open-ended survey questions to assess their perceptions, and gather input from program leaders.

The Results of Our 2017 Student Impact Evaluation

We evaluated how often students felt they embraced behaviors associated with our Student Learning Outcomes on a scale from one to six.

Student Impact at Rustic Pathways

The Future of Our Student Impact Evaluation

We’ll use the ongoing impact assessment data to design program experiences that drive stronger—and more enduring—growth in the skills, habits, and mindsets we believe are critical for students’ success as they tackle their generation’s most significant challenges.


Read the 2017 Rustic Pathways Impact Report to learn more about how students and their families supported our partner communities around the world.