By Cliff Foster
First, the faculty and staff had a chance to say what they think about Metro State.
Then it was the students’ turn.
Now the results of the 2011 Student Experience Survey (SES) are in, and the data will help guide Metro State in identifying programs and processes that are working well and opportunities for improvement.
The survey results just arrived and are still being analyzed. But, the initial takeaway is this: Students think Metro State is a great value and provides a quality education. Diversity is a big plus and people are supportive of each other regardless of their heritage, background or sexual orientation. And there’s a good deal of pride in being a Roadrunner.
On the opportunity side of the ledger, communication among faculty, administrators, staff and students could be improved; there’s a feeling that more resources should be put into facilities such as classrooms and labs; and students said they don’t always know where to turn for help.
On that last point, the SES was taken prior to the opening of the new Student Success Building. One of the goals of the facility was to bundle key student services under one roof, and it may prove to be a step in the right direction in promoting a greater connection of services to students.
The SES and the 2010 poll of employees were initiatives of the Office of the President to get a fix on the campus climate at Metro State. Both surveys solicited views on issues such as support and resources, communication, diversity and pride in the institution and both were conducted by ModernThink, a management-consulting firm that specializes in surveying employees at institutions of higher education.
For the SES, a stratified random sample of the nearly 24,000-member student population —3,598 undergraduates—was asked to fill out the confidential, online survey, from Feb.28 to March 18, 2011. The data reflects the responses of the 411 students who participated.
Many statements on the survey were developed by ModernThink so that comparisons could be made with other institutions across the country; although a committee of Metro State students, administrators, faculty and staff contributed recommendations and language specific to Metro State, says Myron Anderson, associate to the president for diversity, who chaired the committee for both surveys.
“The goal is to look at these takeaways and see how we, as an institution, can make some changes…to improve the student experience,” Anderson says. “There are a lot of positive things, but there are some things we have to work on. Now that we’ve identified them, let’s see how we can move the needle.”
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