Penn is hoping to connect with students through a new online survey.
Sunday night, the Office of the Provost began sending out individualized links to the Enrolled Student Survey via e-mail to all undergraduates in an effort to assess the state of students’ experiences at Penn.
The ESS — which includes questions related to students’ health, educational experiences and experiences outside the classroom — is part of a series of surveys created by the University and other members of the Consortium on Financing Higher Education, associate director of the Provost’s Office Rob Nelson said.
Nelson explained that the responses will be used by Penn’s four undergraduate schools as well as numerous other offices including Student Health Services, Academic Advising and the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. Student organizations such as the Undergraduate Assembly and the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education will also use the results of the survey to generate new initiatives and goals for Penn students.
After reviewing the data, the UA plans to work with the Provost’s Office in “coming up with an action plan to counter the pressing areas it discovers,” UA President Matt Amalfitano wrote in an e-mail.
Wharton freshman and 2014 Class Board president Spencer Penn said that while surveys may seem insignificant to students in expressing their opinions, the ESS “can accurately and efficiently convey information” about what students want to change or keep in place within the University. “There’s a lot of power in a bunch of people getting together and expressing their ideas,” he said.
Nelson said the ESS, which is more comprehensive than most past surveys, will also seek students’ opinions on diversity and community. He added that the survey will “help administrators develop new ideas to address the issue, as well as measure progress and satisfaction” with diversity and community when compared with other universities.
While the ESS is a new survey, Penn’s office of Institutional Research and Analysis previously administered a similar survey — the Cooperative Institutional Research Program — which measured similar aspects of student life and was part of the COFHE.
Like any other survey, the ESS depends on large numbers of responses to ensure accuracy, which may mean better results in administrative action in response to students’ demands, Nelson said.
“It’s just a little effort from students, but it’s a way for us to take ownership of our community,” Penn said.Comments powered by Disqus
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