Survey: Student morale high
An independent study released in December shows that Furman students are pleased with nearly every aspect of university life.
Those polled gave academic advising, instructional effectiveness and campus climate the highest marks. Most of them also indicated they feel a strong sense of belonging at Furman. Two negative points that emerged from the survey were that students feel the university needs better night lighting and the library facilities are inadequate.
The “Student Satisfactory Inventory” was developed by Iowa City-based USA Group Noel-Levitz and administered by 30 faculty to more than 500 students this past spring. It was also administered to 183,398 students at other four-year private institutions. Student satisfaction is directly related to retention and graduation rates, so the results provide an assessment of the university’s effectiveness in addressing strategic goals.
The four-page survey asked students to rank 73 subjects in importance from 1 to 7. It also asked them to rank the same subjects in their level of satisfaction, also from 1 to 7. Subjects ranged from “faculty care about me as an individual” to “computer labs are adequate and accessible.”
Harry Shucker, vice president for student services, says the poll, which was last administered at Furman in 1995, is an excellent gauge of student morale. It also helps the administration set priorities in addressing student concerns. As a result of the 1995 survey, the university revised the academic advising system and the class registration process, and it has renovated and expanded the student center.
According to the study, Furman students are “significantly” more satisfied in six of the 12 areas measured than students at other four-year, private institutions. These areas include: instructional effectiveness, academic advising, sense of belonging, campus climate, university concern for the individual, and campus life.
Furman students feel the need for improvement in such areas as library facilities and campus lighting related to safety and security. Student satisfaction with service excellence, recruitment and financial aid, registration effectiveness, campus support systems and responsiveness to diverse populations is similar to that of students at other four-year, private institutions.
“This study indicates that our students are significantly more satisfied now with our services than they were in 1995,” says Shucker. “In particular, it shows that students appreciate our caring faculty and staff and their efforts on behalf of making students feel welcome and appreciated. It also indicates that the university has a very strong reputation within the home community of our students.”
For a copy of the survey report, call Student Services at (864) 294-2202.