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Survey Suggests UC Students Are Getting Satisfaction

Compared with results on previous surveys, UC students show significantly increased satisfaction with their college experience.

Date: 5/27/2008 12:00:00 PM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823

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Results from a new survey illustrate the University of Cincinnati is perceived by its students as placing them at the center of the university, a goal of the UC|21 strategic plan. The news is revealed in the 2008 Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI), a survey that allows participating universities to examine their own strategies and compare themselves with other four-year public institutions in terms of student satisfaction, which can affect a student’s decision to stay with the university and achieve a college degree.

UC has administered the SSI three times – in 2003, 2006 and 2008. Comparing the 2008 survey with 2006 results, UC’s Office of Institutional Research reports that “UC students show significantly increased satisfaction in 75 out of 82 items (91 percent)” that explore student satisfaction in areas such as instructional effectiveness, recruitment and financial aid, campus support services, campus safety, the university’s response to diverse student populations, campus climate and more. In addition to growing student satisfaction in the majority of the categories, there were no areas in which satisfaction had dropped.

“This survey is a strong statement from our students that we’re moving in the right direction as UC continues to make gains at increasing student retention,” says Kristi Nelson, UC senior vice provost for Academic Planning.

Compared with 2006, the 2008 SSI shows the largest satisfaction increases around impressions that UC has a good reputation in the community, and that the intercollegiate athletic programs contribute to a strong sense of school spirit. The second item showed significantly better satisfaction among UC students than students overall at national four-year public institutions, according to Institutional Research.

The responses are reported on a scale of one-to-seven, with seven noting the category of highest satisfaction.

UC student satisfaction increased over the previous two surveys in categories such as:

  • How the student’s college experience met expectations
  • Overall satisfaction with the college experience
  • If the student had a chance to do it over, would he or she enroll here again

Overall satisfaction with campus support services, including library resources and services, accessible computer labs and tutoring services, was significantly higher (5.45) than the national average of four-year public universities (5.25).

Other strengths in the 2008 survey compared with the average of four-year public institutions included

Campus life                                 UC-5.04         Four-year public institutions- 4.84
Instructional effectiveness     UC-5.33         Four-year public institutions-5.22
Recruitment & financial aid    UC-4.95         Four-year public institutions- 4.78
Service excellence                   UC-4.99         Four-year public institutions-4.89
Registration effectiveness      UC-5.10        Four-year public institutions- 4.91

“The Student Satisfaction Survey helps us determine whether we are providing students with the services that they expect. The results of the 2008 survey show that UC is making strides in streamlining our student services, enhancing our advising resources and focusing on what students tell us is important,” says Caroline Miller, senior associate vice president and associate provost for Enrollment Management.

“As prospective students visit our campus, we’re frequently asked what our current students think of their college experience. The survey provides us with new evidence that UC students feel that student needs are at the heart of the university,” Miller says.

The survey was administered in spring, 2008 on the Uptown Campus and drew a response from 1,039 randomly selected students.

The survey was conducted at the same time as the university undergoes its self study for re-accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission/North Central Association. Highlights of the survey are expected to be included in the university’s final self-study report, to be introduced next spring.

Last fall, the 2008 Princeton Review Guide named UC among the nation’s best universities.