Multiple surveys to ask for student feedback, assess college programming

Four different administrative bodies at Geneseo will be surveying the campus community. The results of the surveys will affect how the administration chooses to allocate its programming and funding. 

Computing and Information Technology, Lauderdale Health & Counseling, the Office of Institutional Research and Associate Dean of Leadership and Service Thomas Matthews are each organizing one of the surveys, according to Institution Research Analyst Jeremy Hall. The surveys, the first of which started in January, have been sent to a few thousand students each, and will continue until March.

“All of these surveys touch on different things on-campus that are very important,” Hall said. “We want to make sure that we’re offering top notch service to our students. All of these surveys are meant to continue tracking what’s going on on-campus and see if we need to adjust what we’re doing and have that continuous improvement process in place.” 

Matthews helped to coordinate the multi-institutional survey on leadership, which accepted responses between Jan. 25 and Monday Feb. 5, Hall said. The survey asked 3,500 students via email about their experiences with community engagement, social justice and leadership, according to Hall and Matthews.

“We use it as an assessment of the work we do, including on the [Geneseo Opportunities for Leadership Development] program and the broader context of the education,” Matthews said. “Are you engaged in the democratic process? What does it mean to be an active citizen? There’s a whole lot of information about our students that we will use to plan for the future and help us in programming for our students.” 

CIT releases their survey entitled “Measuring Information Service Outcomes,” on Thursday Feb. 8, which will run until Feb. 19. The survey focuses on the various services that CIT and Milne Library provide, with the aim of locating areas they can improve upon, according to an email from Chief Information Officer and Director of CIT Sue Chichester. This particular survey will seek responses from approximately 1,000 students, Hall said. 

The survey from Lauderdale Health & Counseling is the National College Health Assessment. It will examine the health attitudes and knowledge that students have about proper health behaviors, according to Alcohol and Other Drug Program Coordinator Sarah Covell. 

This survey originates from the American College Health Association and is generally administered every two years, although this will be the first time Geneseo has administered it since 2013, Covell said. The college will send the survery to around 2,500 students on Feb. 16, and they will have until March 9 to complete it, according to Hall. 

“It helps us to provide services,” Covell said. “It helps us to know what we need to be providing, where the holes are and if we need to provide more services. The last time we did the survey we found out the main issue for college students on-campus was stress, and so we tried to add more programming related to that through GOLD workshops.”  

The final major survey of the semester is the Student Opinion Survey, which the Office of Institutional Research is coordinating. This survey asks questions about the various facilities and services at Geneseo, and is used to compare the student attitudes at Geneseo to those at other SUNY schools, Hall said. Approximately 2,500 students will receive the survey in March, either before or after spring break, according to Hall. 

The four overlapping surveys have raised concern over “survey fatigue,” Hall said. The Office of Institutional Research has tried to combat fatigue from students by dividing the surveys so that no individual student will receive more than two surveys, Hall said. 

“Spring semester is always hard to survey because of spring break,” Hall said. “We all really want to hit at least a 25 percent response rate. We really just have to keep a pulse on things, making sure we’re doing a good job.”