The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

The College’s Dean’s Advisory Board issued a survey last week to gauge students’ satisfaction with their majors. Results of the survey will be issued to individual departments.

The survey covers such topics as the quality of research opportunities, faculty members’ abilities to serve as mentors, course offerings and whether the department feels like a community.

According to College senior and former Daily Pennsylvanian Credit Manager Josh Kay, the DAB member in charge of the survey, DAB is in the process of developing new academic programs, such as the International Development and “B-FLAT” — Budgeting and Finances, Leadership and Teamwork — minors.

However, while DAB was creating new programs, Kay realized that “we should make sure all the programs that we already have are in place.”

College sophomore and DAB member Shivani Parikh said, “It’s up to the department what they want to do with the [survey] results,” which will be published on DAB’s web site. The group hopes that publishing the results will give “incentive for departments to do something about it.”

DAB is collecting responses from all undergraduate students on the online survey, which has been dispersed via Facebook and various listservs.

“We’ve received a large number of responses,” said Kay, adding that one of DAB’s primary goals was to give feedback to departments that may not have had previous access to student feedback. For example, he explained, while some departments have undergraduate advisory boards, some have no way to measure student satisfaction.

The Consortium on Financing Higher Education — an organization of 31 private colleges and universities including the Ivy League — issues a survey every four years to seniors.

When last issued in 2007, advising was among the top three things that Penn seniors said they would change.

“While giving [surveys] to seniors would be one way of conducting it, you want to get a read on how all students are doing,” Kay said. “Seniors aren’t the only ones that are majoring in [these subjects].”

He said one of the purposes of DAB’s survey — which, in contrast, is taken by all undergraduates — is to understand the role of academic advisors.

“Advisors do play one role,” said Kay, but they aren’t the only factor that determines students’ satisfaction.

He said students need faculty who are “invested” in them, so they feel “prepared to do something after college.”

However, he emphasized that the survey isn’t meant to “target advising.”

“Advising is that thing that everyone looks to, to say we need to fix [this] at Penn,” he explained. “But this is our way to see if advising is the problem.”

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.