By Betty Harper, Penn State
UNIVERSITY PARK – Results from the spring 2010 Penn State Student Satisfaction Survey have been tabulated, and across the University, students reported positive classroom and co-curricular experiences.
Among respondents, 92 percent indicated they would choose to attend Penn State if starting college again and 90 percent expressed satisfaction with their formal academic experiences. In addition, students reported high levels of satisfaction with student services and with academic and co-curricular activities. While there were some small differences in the levels of satisfaction and academic engagement between University Park and the Commonwealth Campus students, the level of satisfaction reported by Penn State students on most measures increased or remained steady from 2007 to 2010.
Almost 30,000 randomly selected full-time undergraduate students at Penn State’s 20 undergraduate campuses were invited to take the survey, which is conducted every three years by Student Affairs Research and Assessment. More than 5,000 students (a 17 percent response rate), 43 percent of which were from University Park and 57 percent from Commonwealth Campuses, chose to answer questions about their level of academic engagement and satisfaction with in- and out-of-class experiences, opportunities and services.
“This survey is one of many ongoing efforts within the Division of Student Affairs designed to gather systematic feedback from students,” said Betty Harper, director of Student Affairs Research and Assessment. “Survey results are used to document changes over time and to facilitate improvements in programs and services. This year’s survey results point out some areas for improvement, but overall, indicate that Penn State seems to be delivering what students expect from a student-centered university.”
Eighty-two percent of students are satisfied with the quality of teaching, and among courses in their majors that figure rises to 83 percent. A new survey question this year found that only 69 percent are satisfied with the quality of General Education courses; at Commonwealth Campuses the rate was 72 percent compared with 66 percent at University Park.
The percentage of students who reported knowing at least one faculty or staff person well enough to ask for a recommendation increased from 82 percent in 2007 to 86 percent in 2010, an increase consistent at University Park and at Commonwealth Campuses. In addition, 41 percent of students reported having worked with faculty members on activities other than coursework.
Outside the classroom, 2010 survey results report significant increases over 2007 responses in the use of campus recreational sports facilities, health-care services, counseling and psychological services, learning support services, career planning and job placement services, while use of campus bookstores and financial services decreased significantly. In addition, evidence indicates a significant increase in satisfaction with recreational sports facilities and student health care between 2007 and 2010.
Additional survey responses address topics including campus orientation, class availability and registration, academic integrity and advising; class attendance and preparation; campus safety; organizational involvement and sense of belonging; and weekly hours of employment.
The overall report can be found online with more information about the survey. In addition, customized survey reports specific to each campus and college student population have been delivered to chancellors and deans.
The Penn State Student Survey was conducted online in 2010 from March 29 to April 28.