I was talking with a client recently and she pointed out that many times the data that colleges collect on student satisfaction end up residing in the Institutional Research office. We know that satisfaction data can be critical for accreditation documentation which is often why campuses administer a student satisfaction survey. The satisfaction report becomes one of the many data points that are collected for institutional assessment purposes. Yet all too often, it gets checked off a list of must-do assessments and remains on file, leaving many on campus unaware of the valuable data available to them.
It may be time to make friends with your institutional researcher and ask him or her if you have recent student satisfaction data, like that collected by the Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory. Satisfaction data can provide valuable information to a variety of campus offices—and you don’t need to be an expert in statistics to have the data reveal something that will help you to do your job better.
If you are responsible for enrollment management on your campus, student satisfaction data can:
- Provide you with current student perceptions of your admissions staff and of the financial aid processes, so you can get an idea of where you may need to make improvements;
- Show you which enrollment factors were most important to students in their decisions to enroll, helping you to know where you should target key recruitment messages; and
- Identify your institutional strengths (areas of high importance and high satisfaction) to feature in your recruitment materials, so you can attract new students by emphasizing key areas that they value.