Each year, CalSouthern's Institutional Research and Assessment Department (IRAD) conducts an Institutional Effectiveness Survey. The goal of the survey is to measure student satisfaction across the entire university—from the academic experience through accounting, information technology, admissions, library services and the registrar's office. The survey is created by the university's Assessment Committee, which carefully drafts each question to elicit the most candid, comprehensive and actionable responses. The results are provided to each department so that they can institute data-driven improvements, as needed.
The 2016 survey has been completed and the results have been tabulated. Almost 1,100 learners took the time to complete the survey, which is a wonderful testament to how engaged the CalSouthern student body is, and how enthusiastic they are to be part of the process of continuous improvement.
Satisfaction ratings were consistently above 90 percent across departments. The responses to three particular questions pleased IRAD's director, Nicole Lesher. “Three of the most telling and comprehensive questions asked whether the student is achieving the goals he or she had at the onset of the program, whether the student is satisfied with their studies, all things considered, and whether the student would recommend CalSouthern to a friend,” says Lesher. “The responses to those questions were 94, 95 and 95 percent affirmative, which is a terrific outcome. Another response that impressed me was that 98 percent of respondents were satisfied with CalSouthern's environment of academic integrity.”
Students were also given the opportunity to provide open-ended commentary. “The comments were extraordinarily helpful,” says Lesher. “Students took the opportunity to note the aspects of the CalSouthern experience that they most enjoyed, and also to identify challenges they have encountered, or areas for improvement.” Many learners expressed their appreciation of the curriculum quality and the guidance they received from their support team, while others asked for more opportunities to engage with their faculty mentors and fellow students. Students also indicated new certificate and degree programs they would like to see the university offer—many asked for a new graduate degree in psychology. (Exciting news on that front is forthcoming.)
All comments will be used to inform departmental planning so that improvements can be made—while ensuring the respondents' anonymity and confidentiality. Thank you to all learners who participated in the survey. Yours is the most important voice that guides the university's growth.