Many of you have been following my blogs about my daughter Kylie’s journey from prospective college student, through her campus visit experiences, to her orientation impressions as a first-year student at a four-year private liberal arts college in the Midwest. I am now happy to share that she had a successful first semester and has been very excited about her second semester. As everyone warned me, the time is going by quickly.
As a higher education professional and someone who works with colleges and universities to monitor their students’ satisfaction levels, I have been extra sensitive to Kylie’s perceptions of her interactions with faculty, her observations on the advising experience, and her sense of the general campus climate. I am also highly aware of my own perceptions of the value of her private education, and I can tell you that I have been very impressed with the college’s frequent communication with me as a parent. If you are serving a traditional-aged college population, are you communicating effectively (or at all) with the parents of your students?
In my review of the national results from the Parent Satisfaction Inventory (the parallel instrument to the Student Satisfaction Inventory that asks the parents about their perceptions of what is important and how satisfied they are with their child’s experience), I see that the top issues include:
- Tuition paid is a worthwhile investment.
- Instruction in my child’s major is excellent.
- Academic advisors are concerned about my child and are knowledgeable.
- Adequate financial aid is available.
- My child is able to register for classes with few conflicts.
I would suggest that effective communication plans can help to improve parent satisfaction in some of these key areas.