SSI survey gauges student feelings about SRU

Student satisfaction inventory survey, others offers insight to student feelings

Published by Sarah Anderson, Date: March 29, 2023
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On Monday, March 20, SRU students received an email to complete a Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI) survey. The email reads that the survey “provides us with insight about your experience at SRU, what is most important to you, and how satisfied you are with various areas of your college experience.”

Occurring about every three years, the data helps understand different parts of the campus experience, according to Director of Analytics & Decision Support Kevin McCarthy.

Students are able to access the survey through their own individual links sent to their university email addresses. These links will direct students to the survey, which can only be taken once.

Results of the survey are anonymous, despite emails being collected. This piece of identifying information is not tied to responses and is only used to view who has completed the survey.

Every student who completes the survey will be entered into a raffle. Winners will pick from the “prize closet,” which includes one of four $50 Visa gift cards, one of 30 $20 gift cards to your choice of Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks or Sheetz.

There is also a student-favored prize that includes one on-campus parking pass for use in either student or staff parking lots.

The SSI is one of three major institution-wide surveys. The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership are two other major surveys the university participates in.

NSSE asses “university student engagement in academics and co-curricular activities according to SRU’s institutional surveys webpage. The most recent data is from 2019.

According to the Multi-Instutional Study of Leadership’s official website, the survey is “used by higher education professionals in institutional research; student life; campus climate; diversity; equity; inclusion offices; among others.”

Data from these reports is sent to various different sources. A majority of the data goes to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), where all 14 universities participate in the same surveys.

Information also goes to the United States Federal Government and other third-party surveyors such as U.S. News and World Report, Princeton Review and more.

The shared data includes information about enrollment statistics, retention rates and graduation rates, among others.

The Office of Analytics and Decision Support is regularly updating statistics for SRU. Fall semesters are when the office completes a census of the university, and occasionally there will be updates in the spring.

They also have internal data that is updated daily with enrollment statistics, class lists, faculty workload, course enrollment and various data points about the “student experience.”

Surveys sent out by the university are completely optional but the data from them is used when assessing and making changes for SRU.

“[We] really hope students are being authentic and honest in telling us about their experiences,” McCarthy said. “We do use this data and this is one of the best, most efficient ways for us to kind of check in with such a [large group] about these particular aspects of their student experience.”

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