University Surveys

Campus Surveys - Academic Year 2007-2008



Campus Visit Evaluation - Spring 2008
Undergraduate Admissions continued the effort it began in the Fall of asking students who had visited Western Illinois University at other than a Discover Western program, to provide online feedback on their visit and their interest in Western. During this second semester, 94 prospective students provided feedback that will help Western in its student recruiting efforts.

  • 87.6% of prospective students said their current visit was the first time they had visited Western.
  • 28.9% of the prospective students said they had not visited any other colleges/universities, while 17.8% had visited one other school, 15.6% had visited 2 others, and 37.8% had visited 3 or more.
  • Of those who had visited other colleges/universities, 66.7% rated Western as better than the other schools they had visited, while 26.76% rated Western as about the same.
  • 95.3% of prospective students said they were at least somewhat likely to decide to attend Western, with 60.0% indicating that Western was their 1st choice among schools to attend.
  • 53.7% of prospective students said that a WIU Admissions Counselor had visited their high school, with 62.5% of these having had the opportunity to meet with the Counselor during the visit to their school.
  • 40.7% of prospective students had attended a College Fair, with 41.2% of these having had the opportunity to meet with a WIU Admissions Counselor during the Fair.
  • 55.0% of prospective students said they would be interested in attending a Discover Western program.

Dads' Weekend 2008 Survey
Spring 2008 represented Western's 4th annual Dads' Weekend. Despite the challenges inherent in a very raining weekend, survey responses from 78 of 193 attending Dads show the program continues to be a success.

  • 85.9% of Dads traveled more than 150 miles to spend a weekend of fun together with their sons and daughters at Western. While some Dads came with other family and friends, 71.0% ventured to Western alone for a 1-on-1 experience.
  • 19.2% of Dads participated in the full Western experience, while 74.0% opted for hotels, etc., with just 6.8% community for the events.
  • With the Golf Outing cancelled due to the rain, the most popular activities were Bowling & Billiards (50.0% of Dads), the Dads' Farewell Breakfast (48.1%), and Dads' Saturday Night Dinner and the Free Bowling hour on Sunday (both at 32.7%).
  • It looks like Dads' Weekend 2008 will be another success as 92.0% of Dads are interested in attending a future Dads' Weekend and 97.4% would recommend the experience to others.

Choosing to Attend Western - Freshman Survey
Western's office of Undergraduate Admissions invited 1929 first-year freshman for their reasons in choosing to enroll at Western so that the office could enhance its recruitment efforts, as well as to provide insight on improving student's Western experiences. Of 1929 students invited to participate in the online survey at the end of Spring semester, 178 provided input.

  • Keeping with Macomb campus' predominantly traditional student enrollment, 87.1% of the new freshmen were 18 or 19.
  • Freshmen are definitely part of the technology generation, with 97.7% owning a computer, and since most live in the residence halls, 98.9% have an Internet connection at school, as do 94.4% at their homes.
  • 77.7% of freshmen had attended Western before deciding to attend, and 74.8% had applied to schools besides Western.
  • Keeping in tune with Western's core values, academic programs and majors was factor affecting their decision to attend Western 59.4%, and Western's unique all-costs guarantee was a factor among 63.4% of the freshman class.
  • Freshmen were very involved during their first year of college at Western, with Intramurals being the most popular (25.2%), followed closely by Hall Government (20.9%). In addition, 79.8% of freshmen had attended a WIU athletic team event and 59.0% had attended a campus lecture other than their regular classes. Exercising on a regular basis and maintaining a health lifestyle were also practiced, both by 50.9% of the freshman.

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Faculty Travel Needs Assessment Survey
An ad hoc committee was charged by the Faculty Senate to study the level of funding that faculty receive in support of travel to conferences, etc., that enhance professional and scholarly activities. Information was solicited from 877 WIU faculty, with 273 faculty ranging from faculty assistant to full professor and representing 39 academic departments providing input.

  • 44.5% indicated that there was a written travel policy within their academic department, while 21.5% said there was not and 34.0% did not know. Only about half as many (24.0%) indicated that there was a written policy at their college level , although level of uncertainty increase to 64.6%.
  • Whether written or unwritten policy, the majority of departments (55.1%) and colleges (50.2%) required that faculty participate in the conference, etc., as a presenter, panelist,or officer in order to receive travel funding. However, there was still considerable uncertainty about this issue at the college level (36.9%), while only 8.8% of faculty were unsure of their departmental policy.
  • 95.3% of faculty had attended a major conference of event within the past 2 years, or plan to do so in the upcoming year. Location of these events covered 40 of the 50 states, plus Washington D.C., Africa, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, the Caribbean, both Central and South America, both Eastern and Western Europe, and Mexico.
  • 67.8% of faculty indicated that there have been major conferences or events within the past 2 years that they have not been able to attend, with the predominant reason begin the cost (92.9%).
  • In terms of related conference expenses, average event cost, including travel, lodging, and registration was under $1000 for 47.6% of the time and under $1500 for 84.4% of the time although 38.1% of faculty reported receiving a less that 50% reimbursement and only 19.5% reported receiving a 90% or greater reimbursement.

General Education Writing Survey
Following the elimination of Western's General Education writing requirement, the Council on General Education surveyed the 241 faculty teaching GenEd classes during Spring 2008 to see the type and extent of writing across all GenEd courses. 113 faculty provided input. (For more information, contact Dr. Phyllis Farley Rippey, Chair of the CGE at 309-298-1349 or via email at

  • A considerable amount of writing occurs across the GenEd curriculum, with 80.1% having informal writing assignments, 64.3% having essay exams, 52.2% having papers with citations, and 57.0% having other types of writing assignments, and 64.1% having at least one assignment where students were provided feedback on their writing effort with the opportunity for revision.
  • An oft-made assumption that larger class size results in less writing was not seen based on these respondent's input except that there were consistently fewer essay exams in classes above 65 students and far less opportunity for feedback and revision in large, 80+, classes.
  • Writing type and frequency in GenEd courses is summarized in the following table. 
Class Size Informal Writing Essay Exams Papers w/ Citations Other Writing Feedback & Revision
<20 98.4% 62.5% 56.4% 68.1% 43.2%
21-34 82.6% 73.9% 50.0% 33.3% 60.0%
34-49 76.5% 67.7% 56.3% 69.6% 66.7%
50-64 86.7% 60.0% 35.7% 46.2% 61.5%
65-79 50.0% 0.0% 50.0% 100.0% 66.7%
80+ 72.7% 30.0% 33.3% 0.0% 20.0%

Honors College Survey
Western's Centennial Honors College sought feedback from its 429 enrolled students to gain insight into what they have enjoyed and what improvements would benefit the Honors College. 105 Honors College students responded.