- OASIS Non-Traditional Student Survey
- Writing in the Disciplines Course Survey
- Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Survey
- College Student Benefits of & Barriers to Physical Activity
- College Student Perceived Stress & Health Promoting Behavior
- Leisure, Recreation, or Play?
- Dads' Weekend Spring 2010
- BOT/BA Survey of Non-Continuing Students
- Campus Use of Alcohol
- Chenoa Tree Questionnaire
- Campus Visit Evaluation
- Library Spring 2010 Online Course Evaluation
- Health Sciences Spring 2010 Online Course Evaluation
- Spring 2010 Group Study Abroad Program Evaluation
- Graduate Assistant Exit Survey
- Freshmen & Juniors Evaluate Academic Advising
- Employers & Resumes - What Are They Looking For?
- Canadian YMCA Disability Inclusiveness Survey
- Personality and Emotion - Spring 2010
- Environmental Education Critical Thinking Survey - #4
- Tracy Relationship Orientation Inventory
- Veterans Services Survey
- FYE Followup from 2005/06 and 2006/07 Cohorts
- WIU Bookstore Survey
- Bachelor of Social Work in the Quad Cities Feasibility Study Survey
- Student Affairs Healthy Work Environments Survey
- University's 403b Supplemental Retirement Plan Survey
- Faculty Senate Committee Interest
- University Theme Committee Survey
- General Education Faculty Survey of Use of Writing
- Interest in Human Sexuality Minor Survey
- Survey of Academic Advisors
- Study Abroad Program Evaluation - Fall 2009 students
- Parents and Families: Website Resources Needed
- FYE Continuing Peer Mentor Survey
- Health Sciences Fall 2009 Online Course Evaluation
- Beta Alpha Psi Alumni Survey
- SGA Plus Minus Grading Survey
- GFH Resident Satisfaction Survey
- Faculty Evaluation of President Goldfarb
- Faculty Evaluation of Provost Thomas
- Environmental Education Critical Thinking Survey #3
- Alcohol Predictors Follow-up Survey
- Computer Lab Use Survey
- Students & Information Technology Survey
- On-Campus Organic Garden Survey
- Independent Student Expense Survey
- TeleSTARS Use, Interest, and Satisfaction Survey
- Take Back the Night 2009 Evaluation
- Physical Activity & Health Behavior Changes of College Students
- Study Abroad Program Evaluation - Summer 2009 students
- Bookstore & More Survey
- Moms' Weekend Fall 2009 Survey
- Ultra-Marathoners - McNaughton Trail Run Survey
- Financial Aid Annual Satisfaction Survey
- International Students Deciding Not to Attend Survey
- University Copier Program Survey
- Personality and Emotion Survey - Fall 2009
- Word Games Club Interest Survey
- Fencing Club Interest Survey
- Study Abroad Opportunities
- Academic Advisor Study Abroad Survey
- Mobile Technology in Learning
- U.S. Weekly Newspaper Survey
- Attitudes and Perceptions of "Chicks on the Square"
- Study Abroad Program Evaluation - Spring 2009 students
- Campus Recreation Satisfaction Survey
- Alcohol Predictors Survey
- Diversity Preparedness in Rural-Based Teacher Education Programs
- Why Students Cancel Their WIU Admission
- Library Course Evaluation - Fall 2009
- Grad School Visit Survey
- Institute for Supply Management
OASIS Non-Traditional Survey
1,162 WIU-Macomb students who were identified as being non-traditional students, based on their veteran status and/or if they started at WIU when they were 22 or older, were asked to participate in an online survey about how well their unique needs are met on a campus where the large majority of the students are traditionally-aged. 393 non-traditional students provided feedback via the survey. OASIS (Organization of Adult Students for Interaction and Support) hopes to use the insight gained from this survey to help improve support for non-traditional students. (Contact OASIS at 309-298-3284, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.)
- 94% of respondents noted that they lived off campus, with 45% indicating that they commute 5 or fewer miles to campus and 28% community 6-30 miles. Just 10% commuted more than 60 miles to attend WIU-Macomb.
- 73% of respondents work in addition to attending school, with most working full-time, including 39% who work >40 hrs/wk and an additional 29% who work 31-40 hrs/wk.
- When asked to rate the current services that WIU provides non-traditional students the lowest ranking item was Day Care, which 43% rated as fair and 21% rated as below fair. In terms of child care, 53% of responding non-traditional students felt there was adequate child care in the Macomb area, with 57% feeling the available hours for day care were convenient for them. However, 49% said that if more campus day care were available they would take advantage of it and 51% said that they would like to see day care expanded from its traditional hours of 7am to 6pm.
- 63% of respondents felt that WIU is flexible in offering classes that accommodate students who are raising a family, however 84% said they would be interested if WIU were to offer alternative course schedules such as weekend courses, shortened courses, online courses, or night courses. In fact, 44% rated having evening courses as moderately to very important.
- Respondents clearly were not involved in non-traditional student activities, with 80% saying they did not participate in any non-traditional student activities, and an additional 14% participating only somewhat. Just 3% were very involved in non-traditional student activities. This is an area that OASIS will likely address, especially since just 35% of respondents indicated that they had heard of OASIS and just 6% had even attended an OASIS event.
Writing in the Disciplines Course
139 WIU faculty who taught Writing in the Discipline (WID) courses during Fall '09 and/or Spring '10 were asked to provide input regarding the amount and type of writing that they included in their WID classified courses. 104 of the faculty provided responses that will be used by the WID committed to help improve the WID effort. (Contact the Faculty Senate Office at 309-298-1589, or their Executive Secretary via email at AE-Hamm@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Writing was clearly a major focus in WID courses, with 61% of faculty requiring more than 20 pages of formal and/or informal writing in their courses, and only 8% of faculty required 5 or fewer pages of writing. This writing emphasis was strong throughout the courses with 74% of WID courses having writing assignments due within the first 4 weeks of the 15-week semester. Also, the final course grade was at least 50% dependent on the assessment of student writing in 59% of WID classes and just 8% of WID classes had less than 20% of their grade depended on writing.
- The most common type of writing development activities were formal papers (90%), although 65% of faculty included writing based on research, 62% used revision of papers prior to receiving a grade, 52% used in-class written responses, 51% used informal papers, and 49% used writing for a profession activities. With a strong focus on the importance of writing revisions, 61% of assignments due within the first 4 weeks of the semester and 72% of writing assignments due by mid-term provided students with the opportunity for revision after submitting a draft.
- In-class writing instruction was the most common (82%) type of writing instructional support provided in WID classes, although 61% of faculty used individual meetings between faculty and student, 58% used group activities, and 42% took advantage of peer-review evaluation.
- The survey results, however, indicate that faculty teaching WID courses are note taking advantage of campus WID support services. Only 32% of WID faculty had visited the WID website, only 20% had attended any CITR/Faculty Development workshops related to writing in the disciplines, and only 4% had listened to the WID podcast.
Community Engagement Survey
The Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs conducted an online survey of 1,003 full and part-time WIU faculty to gain background on attitudes toward service learning and the level of service learning incorporated into courses. 201 faculty responded. The results of the survey were intended for use in preparing an application for the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's elective classification for Community Engagement. (Contact Dr. Christopher Merrett, Director of IIRA, at CD-Merrett@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Responding faculty were offered 2 different definitions of service
learning to see which they better supported.
- 88% of faculty agreed (including 53% who strongly agreed) with the definition of service learning as a "method under which students learn and develop through thoughtfully organized service that: is conducted in and meets the needs of a community and is coordinated with an institution of higher education, and with the community; helps foster civic responsibility; is integrated into and enhances the academic curriculum of the students enrolled; and includes structured time for students to reflect on the service experience."
- 79% of faculty agreed (including 46% who strongly agreed) with the definition of service learning as "the pedagogies that link community service and academic study so that each strengthens the other. The basic theory of service learning is Dewey's: the interaction of knowledge and skills with experience is key to learning."
- Faculty were asked to rate their level of agreement with various
statements about service learning from 1=Strongly Disagree to 5=Strongly
- The highest levels of agreement were with service learning can be useful in my discipline (4.01) and service learning can be a rigorous form of pedagogy (3.81).
- The lowest levels of agreement were with I am not familiar with service learning (2.33) and students do not want service learning in their classes (2.43).
- 74% of faculty felt that it is a priority for learning about engaged citizenship and community awareness to be embedded in the WIU curriculum.
- Yet, despite that strong sense of overall support for service learning, only 30% of responding faculty had taught a course during the past 3 semesters that had included a service learning component. With regard to whey they chose to incorporate service learning into their course, 91% of faculty said it made the course more relevant and meaningful, 89% said it applies the theory discussed in the classroom setting, 82% said it promotes social responsibility and citizenship, and 82% also said it promotes career development for the student.
- In 78% of the courses that did include service learning, they were small courses with enrollments of 30 or less. In 89% of these courses, the service learning experience determined a portion of the student's grade, with 11-20% of the final grade being depending on the student learning experience in 41% of these classes and 56% of faculty rating the service learning experience as 20% or less of the student's final grade and 26% rating the service learning experience as 21-40% of the student's final grade.
College Student Benefits
of & Barriers to Physical Activity
Dr. Amanda Divin, of WIU's Department of Health Sciences invited her students to pilot a survey exploring the expected outcomes, benefits, and barriers to physical activity in college students. The goal is to be able to expand this survey from the 103 participants to a larger population, including students at other universities, to help tailor programs aimed at increasing the level of physical activity on college campuses. to gain a better understanding of the perceived stress levels and health promoting behaviors of college students. (Contact Dr. Divin at A-Divin@wiu.edu for more information.)
- While just 7% of the respondents were student-athletes, 28% participated in intramurals, and 60% exercised at least 3 days/week with just 19% not exercising at all.
- Of those exercising, the vast majority (77%) exercised from 30-90 min/day, with 24% involved in a strength training program and 26% involved in a cardiovascular program.
- In terms of activity prior to coming to Western, 82% of respondents said that their parents encouraged them to exercise as a child and 84% of respondents were physically active in high school where 76% said they stayed active primarily by playing team sports and 75% either lifted weights or were involved in some type of strength training.
- In rating their perceived major benefits of physical activity on a scale from 1=Strongly Disagree to 5=Strongly Agree, the top benefits respondents reported were to make them feel better in general = 4.24, to stay in shape = 4.20, and for good health = 4.18.
- In rating their perceived major barriers to physical activity on a scale from 1=Strongly Disagree to 5=Strongly Agree, the top barriers respondents reported were lack of motivation = 3.41, being too busy = 3.39, and being too tired = 3.35.
College Student Perceived
Stress & Health Promoting Behavior
Dr. Amanda Divin, of WIU's Department of Health Sciences invited her students to pilot a survey exploring perceived stress levels, recent life experiences, health promoting behaviors, and the relationship between these variables in college students. The goal is to be able to expand this survey from the 96 participants to a larger population, and even students at other universities to gain a better understanding of the perceived stress levels and health promoting behaviors of college students. (Contact Dr. Divin at A-Divin@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Students were asked to indicate how often in the last month they
have experiences various feelings related to stress levels using a scale
of 0=Never to 4=Very Often.
- The most common feelings were feeling nervous and "stressed" = 2.77 and feeling confident about their ability to handle their personal problems = 2.76. The least common feelings were finding that they could not cope with all the things they had to do = 2.00 and being upset because of something that had happened unexpectedly = 2.09.
- Students were also asked to rate the intensity of various
experiences over the past month using a scale of 1=Not At All a part of
my life to 4=Very Much a part of my life.
- The most intense experiences were too many things to do at once = 2.70, a lot of responsibilities = 2.69, and financial burdens = 2.60. The least intense experiences were conflict with professors = 1.49, dissatisfaction with their reading ability = 1.62, and social rejection = 1.69.
- Students were asked to rate the frequency with which they engaged
in various behaviors using a scale of 0=Never to 4=Routinely.
- In the first set of comparisons, the most frequent behaviors were looking forward to the future = 2.97, believing that life has a purpose = 2.93, and maintaining meaningful and fulfilling relationships with others = 2.92. In this set of comparisons, the least frequent behaviors were getting a second opinion when they question their health provider's advice = 1.92, questioning health care provides to be sure they understand their directions = 1.95, and reading or watching TV programs about improving health = 1.99.
- In the second set of comparisons, the most frequent behaviors were being aware of what is important to them in life = 2.96, getting exercise during usual daily activities such as using stairs instead of elevators, etc. = 2.88, and working toward long-terms goals in their lives = 2.78. In this set of questions, the least frequent behaviors were attending educational programs on personal health care = 1.74, checking their pulse rate when exercising = 1.81, and practicing relaxation or meditation for 15-20 minutes each day = 1.83.
Leisure, Recreation, or
What's in a name? That was the question Dr. Dan Yoder of Western's RTPA department sought to determine in an online survey of WIU students. The study looked at which words were most well received when public parks, recreation agencies, and the like advertised their services. Yes, a case of semantics one might say, but one that can be very important in communicating the benefits of parks, recreation, and leisure. (Contact Dr. Dan Yoder at DG-Yoder@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Consider how the words Leisure, Recreation, Play, Activity, and Sport were evaluated by the 245 WIU-Macomb students who responded across just some of the continuums analyzed.
|Desirable (1) to Undesirable (7)||1.82||1.96||1.78||2.36||2.85|
|Valuable (1) to Worthless (7)||2.05||1.97||1.95||2.28||2.48|
|Refreshing (1) to Tiring (7)||1.93||2.91||2.51||3.24||4.12|
|Good (1) to Bad (7)
|Old (1) to New (7)||4.31||4.59||4.54||4.23||4.01|
- Clearly, the different words conjure up different attitudes. How this translates into promotion of activities and services offered by parks and recreation agencies is a study in progress, but one which may well depend on the particular audience and what is being advertised.
The Dads who participated in the 6th annual Dad's Weekend not only have a great time, but 133 provided input to help further improve this Spring tradition. (Contact Karolynn Heuer, Director of the Student Assistance and Parent Service Center, at KA-Heuer@wiu.edu for more information.)
- While 9% of the Dads travelled more than 300 miles to attend the event, the majority (58%) travelled 151-250 miles, and most (63%) came by themselves although 22% brought their spouse or significant other to join in the the activities. 33% of Dads stayed a Macomb hotel for the weekend, while 23% stayed at the Olsen Hall Conference Center and 23% enjoyed the experience while bunking with their student.
- While many events received high ratings, the top rating went to "Massage for Dad & Me," the BBQ Sauce Contest, and the Jazz Studio Orchestra Concert, all of which received a perfect 4.00 rating (GPA) from the pleased attendants. Other top marks were 3.80 for Cooking Classes (breakfast or lunch), 3.75 for the High Ropes Experience, and 3.70 for Rocky's Two Person Golf Scramble. While still certainly a passing grade, the lowest scores/GPA were the 2.67 for the Father's Knows Best dinner on Friday night and the 2.75 for Snack Attack.
- Although the Father Knows Best dinner was the lowest rated event, 80% of Dads still said the food selections were adequate, the cost of the meal was in tune with the meal, and they they would certainly recommend this activity for the future. This lack of clear problems will present a challenge to the event organizers to improve the event in future years.
- Among experiences Dads said they would be interested in for future Dads' Weekends, 61% said more community activities and 56% said more classroom experiences. This input certainly provide good direction for the planning of future events.
BOT/BA Survey of
97 students who had been admitted to the BOT/BA program, but did not graduate, were asked to participate in an online survey to help better understand why students decide not to complete their BOT/BA degree. 8 students provided input. (Contact Dr. Richard Carter, Director of Non-Traditional Programs, at R-Carter@wiu.edu for more information.)
- The biggest reasons cited for initial interest in the BOT/BA program were flexibility of program choice (38%), friend or family recommendation (25%), ability to complete the entire degree online (25%), and offered by a regionally accredited university (25%).
- 75% of the students did make at least some progress toward their BOT/BA degree requirements, but interference of life events (50%) was the major factor that prevented their degree completion, while 17% enrolled in a more traditional degree-seeking program and 17% decided to attend another university. Of the 25% who did not take any courses toward their BOT/BA degree, interference of life events (50%) and the program not being what was expected (50%) were the reasons offered.
- Despite not having made recent active progress toward their BOT/BA degree, 57% of the students indicated that they still wanted to continue in the BOT/BA program.
Use of Alcohol
Drs. David Lane and Colin Harbke, both WIU Psychology professors, conducted a 3-part online survey among Psychology students to ascertain information about their own alcohol use and their perception of campus-wise alcohol use. The first survey was conducted as a baseline near the beginning of the Spring 2010 semester, with the two follow-up surveys conducted at 2-week intervals. 195 students participated in the Phase 1 survey, with 41 of these completing the Phase 2 survey, and 37 completing all 3 survey phases. This summary results are based only on the preliminary baseline survey. (Contact Dr. Lane at DJ-Lane@wiu.edu or Dr. Harbke at CR-Harbke@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Student demographics were 62% female and 38% male; 41% freshmen, 25% sophomores, 18% juniors, 15% seniors, and 1% graduate students; with an overall average reported GPA of 2.93. In addition, students were predominately White/Caucasian (78%), with African-Americans (13%) representing the largest minority ethnic group; and 51% came for suburban hometowns, compared to 25% from small towns, 13% from a rural community, and 12% from an urban area.
- 58% of survey participants reported that they drank socially, while 22% said they drank rarely, 10% said they drink socially and on their own, 7% have never tried alcohol, 2% drink heavily, and 1% indicated they had a drinking problem. Of those who did drink, 57% reported drinking 1 or more drinks during the past week.
- Although all days of the week had alcohol noted by at least some, and at relatively equal levels throughout the week, Saturday followed by Friday were both the most common and the heaviest drinking days. Daily drink consumption ranged from 0 to 12 or even 20 or more, with the most common level reported on the heaviest drinking days being 7 drinks by 16% of the participants on the preceding Saturday and 5 drinks by 27% of the participants on the preceding Friday.
- While 9% of survey participants indicated that their Male friends or associates don't drink at all during each week, 82% indicated that their Male friends or associates drink at least 2 days/week and 31% drink at least 4 days/week. Among their Female friends or associates, drinking was somewhat less prevalent, with 13% of their Female friends or associates note drinking at all, while 73% drink at least 2 days/week and 20% drink at least 4 days/week.
- Binge drinking of multiple drinks within a 2-hour period (5 drinks for Males, 4 drinks for Females) was also assessed. Here survey respondents reported little difference among their Male and Female friends or associates. 57% of Male friends/associates were perceived to binge drink at least 2 days/week while 55% of Female friends/associates were perceived to binge drink at least 2 days/week. Similarly, 15% of Male friends/associates were perceived to binge drink at least 4 days/week while 15% of Female friends/associates were perceived to binge drink at least 4 days/week.
WIU Agriculture & Biology student Nicholas Esposito conducted a small pilot survey among residents in Chenoa, Illinois regarding the invasive Emerald Ash Borer insect that kills ash trees, thus affecting the lives of residents in small rural communities. 4 Chenoa residents who had between 7 and 35 trees on their property provided input. (Contact Nicholas at NA-Esposito@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Only 1 resident reported having had trees removed from their property within the last 5 years, noting that 6 of their private trees had been removed, including ash and elm trees. However, none of these trees were removed due to Emerald Ash Borer infection, rather 2 elm trees were dead and the other trees were either too close to the home or to other trees. This resident reported that the tree removal was done by a tree service company and that the wood was taken elsewhere following tree removal.
- An additional Chenoa resident indicated that a pine tree on their property that had no new growth needed to be removed.
- Of the 4 survey respondents, 3 (75%) had heard of the Emerald Ash Borer and they all considered the invasive insect to be a threat to their community, although only 1 had treated any ash trees on their property for Emerald Ash Borer infestation.
- None of the 4 survey respondents had brought any firewood back from Michigan, an known Emerald Ash Borer hot spot, within the past 10 years, and none were aware of any Emerald Ash Borer infestation in the Chenoa area.
- While the survey population was small, the top benefits that all respondents agreed that trees provide a community were that they were pleasing to the eye, give shade, increase privacy, cool homes in the summer, and screen unwanted views; factors that would also be seriously affected by a loss of ash trees in the Chenoa community. In terms of how the loss of ash trees in Chenoa is having on them and/or their family, 2 (50%) rated the impact as slight, while 2 (50%) rated the impact as moderate.
231 prospective WIU students who visited campus between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010, completed a survey evaluating their campus visit experience. (Contact Monica Eskridge in the Admissions Office, MJ-Eskridge@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Most campus visitors had some previous connection with Western, with 58% indicating they had attended a Discover Western program and 39% said that a WIU Admissions Counselor had visited their high school.
- Students were clearly evaluating their college options, as 76% had visited other colleges or universities in addition to visiting Western. But the students clearly liked their WIU campus visit, with 35% rating Western as much better and an additional 28% rating Western as better than the other schools they had visited.
- Of the students who participated in a group presentation, 93% rated it as a valuable experience; while of those who participated in a campus tour, 95% rated the tour as a good experience with 97% rating their campus tour guide as knowledgeable.
- After finishing their campus visit, 66% of prospective students rated Western as their #1 choice among the colleges they were considering and 49% said it was very likely that they would decide to attend Western, with an additional 24% saying that attending Western was likely. In fact, only 10% of the prospective students said it was at least somewhat unlikely that they would choose to attend Western.
2010 Online Course Evaluation
In Spring 2010, the Library began using online survey technology as a means of providing students enrolled in their online courses a confidential opportunity to evaluate their instructors. One course with 19 students was used in this pilot effort, with 8 students responding. (Contact University Libraries Dean, Phyllis Self, at P-Self@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Mean scores for all 20 of the assessed categories well exceeded
the 4-point threshold on scale of 1=Strongly Disagree to 5=Strongly
- The most exceptional scores were 2 perfect 5.00 scores, for My instructor returns papers quickly enough to me and My instructor explains difficult material clearly.
- 12 of the effectiveness categories were rated at 4.88 and an additional 2 were rated at 4.75, and 3 were rated at 4.63.
- While still showing agreement (the definition of the "4" score), the lowest score was for Overall, this course is among the best I have ever had, being rated a 4.38.
Spring 2010 Online Course Evaluation
Continuing their effort to ensure the quality of their online and internship courses, the Health Sciences department asked all 132 students enrolled in their 5 courses offered online by 4 different faculty members to evaluate their class and professor. 48 students completed confidential evaluations. (Contact Mark Kelley, Health Sciences Chair, at RM-Kelley@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Mean scores for all 11 of the assessed categories well exceeded
the 4-point threshold on scale of 1=Poor to 5=Excellent.
- The most exceptional scores were for Instructor's attitude toward the class (4.74), Instructor's knowledge of the subject matter (4.68), and Instructor's ability to explain course requirements at the beginning of the course (4.29), Instructor's organization of the course (4.67).
- While still well above average (the definition of the "4" score), the lowest scores were for Instructor's ability to motivate students (4.36), Instructor's concern for students' progress (4.37), and Compared to all college instructors you have had, how would you rate this instructor? (4.43)
Spring 2010 Group
Study Abroad Program Evaluation
The 47 students who participated in group Study Abroad opportunities during the Spring 2010 semester were about their experience. 21 students who studies in Russia, Italy, or a special USA opportunity provided their input. (Contact Emily Gorlewski in the Center for International Studies, at EJ-Gorlewski@wiu.edu for more information.)
- The top reason students cited for participating in Study Abroad was a desire to travel, with wanting to experience other cultures/viewpoints, career goals, and academic goals coming in at a virtual tie for a distant 2nd place reason.
- In terms of who recommended a Study Abroad experience, 62% of students said that a faculty member did, while 48% said that friends had, all far more common that other sources of influence.
- Only 17% of the students participated in a program that required the use of a foreign language, and while only 33% of these said they had adequate knowledge of the language prior to their trip, all 100% felt they made good progress with the language during their Study Abroad experience.
- The faculty who let these Study Abroad experiences were rated as excellent by 83% of the students, a factor that was demonstrated by the evaluation of faculty in providing assistance in interpreting the culture of the country visited as 94% excellent.
- In terms of overall impact, 94%t of students said that their experience abroad influenced their ability to cope with an adapt to new and different situations, as well as increasing their desire to travel abroad. In fact, all 100% of the students said they would recommend their Study Abroad program to other students.
Graduate Assistant Exit
In and effort to understand why some Graduate Assistants choose to terminate their assistantship early, WIU's School of Graduate Studies began asking those earlier terminators what factors affected their decision to help in the assessment of the assistantship program. From the onset of the effort in December 2009 through the end of the Spring 2010 semester 11 graduate students responded. (Contact the Graduate Office at Grad-Office@wiu.edu or 309-298-1806 for more information.)
- 64% of GAs reported receiving a written job description when they were hired, and all 100% of those indicated that the actual job duties matched the description.
- 64% of GAs also reported that they received adequate training to perform their assistantship duties effectively and 55% said they received sufficient feedback about their assistantship performance.
- Although they left their GA positions early, as 91% were satisfied with their job duties, 90% were satisfied with their pay, and all 100% were satisfied with their academic program.
- The greatest dissatisfaction (27%) was with their working conditions (setting, schedule, co-workers) factor and 20% were very unsatisfied with their supervisor. Another factor which likely contributed to their early assistantship termination was that 64% of GAs reported that their assistantship was not relevant to their career goals and/or academic program.
Freshmen & Juniors Evaluate Academic
The 3,965 freshmen and juniors on the WIU-Macomb campus were asked about to provide input regarding their satisfaction with the academic advising process in an effort to help improve the advising effort. 449 students responded. (Contact Julie O'Brien in the Advising and Academic Services Center at JA-O-Brien@wiu.edu for more information.)
- 80% of respondents said that they prepare for their advising appointments with questions and/or topics to discuss and 85% work with their advisor to develop clear and realistic educational goals, with 91% feeling comfortable meeting with their academic advisor. In addition, 95% of students said that they express concern and ask their advisor questions when they are unsure of an area that they have discussed or that they have read/heard about.
- 90% of respondents said that they understand the curriculum and graduation requirements while 89% understand university and college policies and procedures. Among freshmen, 60% said they understand the First Year Experience requirements.
- 64% of respondents said they actively investigate extra-curricular activities such as student organizations and volunteer activities while 53% actively investigate educational opportunities such as Study Abroad, the Centennial Honor's College, and internships.
- 79% of respondents said they have met with their professors during office hours and 79% report keeping a record of their academic progress and goals. In addition, 96% said they accept responsibility for their decisions and actions (or inactions) that affect their educational progress and goals, with 94% reporting that they attend all of their classes on a regular basis.
- 72% of respondents said they had meet with their academic advisor 1-3 times during the past year, and 77% reported also contacting their advisor via email or phone 1-3 times during each semester.
Resumes - What Are They Looking For?
Five students in Dr. Brakefield's Management 540 course surveyed 137 members of the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Development Corporation about what they look for when they evaluate the resumes they receive from job applicants. 31 MACCDDC members responded. (Contact Dr. Brakefield at J-Brakefield@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Using a scale from 1=Not at all important to 5=Essential, MACCDDC
members were asked to rate the importance of various general resume
- The most important aspects in declining order were previous work experience (4.32) and references (4.23).
- The least important aspects were social data such as clubs (2.52) and miscellaneous information such as salary requirements and willingness to relocate (2.81).
- Using the same 1=Not at all important to 5=Essential scale,
MACCDDC members were asked to rate the importance of more specific
resume components in each of the general areas.
- The 12 most important aspects, in declining order were
- Reference Element - Inclusion of reference's phone number (4.45)
- Reference Element - Former employers
- Previous Work Experience Element - Description of jobs related to position sought (4.07)
- Technical Skill Element - Computer software (3.81)
- Personal Information Element - Address (3.81)
- Previous Work Experience Element - Dates of employment (3.71)
- Previous Work Experience Element - Reason for leaving (3.48)
- Reference Element - Character reference (3.48)
- Educational Background Element - Degree (3.39)
- Previous Work Experience Element - Description of part-time jobs (3.32)
- Miscellaneous Element - Salary requirements (3.23)
- Educational Background Element - Academic major (3.10)
- The 12 least important aspects, in increasing order were
- Educational Background Element - Sources of financing while in school (1.61)
- Grade and Course Element - List of grades from high school (1.80)
- Grade and Course Element - List of grades in minor (2.10)
- Grade and Course Element - List of courses taken in minor (2.10)
- Educational Background Element - List of courses taken (2.26)
- Miscellaneous Element - Military status (2.29)
- Grade and Course Element - List of grades overall (2.30)
- Grade and Course Element - List of grades from college (2.30)
- Educational Background Element - Transcripts attached (2.33)
- Educational Background Element - List of grades (2.35)
- Personal Information Element - Hobbies, interests (2.37)
- Social Data Element - Clubs, fraternities, sororities (2.39)
- The 12 most important aspects, in declining order were
Canadian YMCA Disability
Following up on his 2009 survey midwestern YMCA directors regarding the programs they offered for youth with disabilities, Dean Zoerink, a professor in Western's Recreation, Park & Tourism department, extended the research effort to include Canadian YMCAs. 16 YMCAs responded. (Contact Dr. Zoerink at DA-Zoerink@wiu.edu for more information.)
- 56% of YMCAs indicated they served urban areas, with 25% serving rural communities, and 19% in suburban regions. Their clientele were predominantly Caucasian/White, but also with good representation of minority populations, particularly Asian and Native Peoples, which represented as much as 60% of YMCA clientele in some cases. Most YMCAs has a very balanced clientele in terms of average age, with youth ages 12-18 generally representing 20-39% of the clientele, adults generally representing 40-59% of the clientele, and older adults (55+) generally representing 20-39% of the clientele.
- While full-time staff accounted for only about 1/4 of YMCA personnel, 93% of YMCAs had staff who were professionally certified, e.g., in aquatics, fitness, aerobics, American Humanics, therapeutic recreation, etc.). And in marked contrast to the midwestern US results, 69% of Canadian YMCAs had at least one staff person who facilitates inclusive services for youth with disabilities, compared to just 29% among midwestern YMCAs.
- Over half (57%) of YMCAs responding indicated that their marketing materials reflects the inclusion or the provision of accommodation. And again in contrast to midwestern US YMCAs where 55% indicated that they provide programs in which youth with disabilities participated alongside their non-disabled peers, but without accommodations; among Canadian YMCAs, 54% provide accommodations for youth with disabilities to participate alongside their non-disabled peers in all of their programs.
- 79% of the YMCAs responding were able to provide at least some accommodations for youth with disabilities, with the most common being program modifications (91%), assessment of participant skills (64%), staff/instructor training in disability awareness (64%), and pool lifts (55%).
- Funding for disability accommodations is also more available among Canadian YMCAs compared to their midwestern counterparts. For example, 85% of midwestern YMCAs had to find a least part of such funds in their operating budgets, compared to only 60% of Canadian YMCAs forced to use operating budget funds. And whereas only 29% of midwestern YMCAs were able to obtain grant funding to provide accommodations, 70% of Canadian YMCAs were able to obtain grant funding for these efforts. Similarly, while 38% of midwestern YMCAs received donations to help with providing accommodations, 60% of Canadian YMCAs received such donations.
and Emotion - Spring 2010
WIU Psychology professor, Dr. Scott Hemenover, continued his research into the connection between personality and emotional experience in college students during the Spring 2010 semester, with 128 students enrolled in WIU Psychology courses participating. (Contact Scott Hemenover at SH-Hemenover@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Using a scale of 1=Very slightly or not at all to 7=Extremely,
students were asked about about how they felt NOW (at the time of taking
- The most common feelings were: determined (3.28), interested (3.11), and alert (2.99).
- The least common feelings were: afraid (1.35), ashamed (1.36), and hostile (1.42).
- Using a scale of 1=Strongly Disagree to 7=Strongly Agree, students
were asked about what they usually do when they are experiencing ANGER.
- The most common reactions were: make some changes in my behavior or thoughts to reduce my bad feelings (4.83), try to make myself feel better (4.79), and attempt to improve my mood as quickly as possible (4.50).
- The least common reactions were: do something I know I don't like (1.86), avoid things that might make me feel better (1.95), and try to feel worse about myself (2.03).
- Using a scale of 1=Strongly Disagree to 7=Strongly Agree, students
were asked about what they usually do when they are experiencing
- The most common reactions were: try to make myself feel better (5.25), put a lot of effort into improving my mood (4.87), and make some changes in my behavior or thoughts to reduce my bad feelings (4.72).
- The least common reactions were: do something I know I don't like (1.81), try to feel worse about myself (1.98), and avoid things that might make me feel better (2.06).
- Using a scale of 1=Strongly Disagree to 7=Strongly Agree, students
were asked about what they usually do when they are experiencing a BAD
mood or BAD emotion.
- The most common reactions were: try to make myself feel better (5.17), attempt to improve my mood as quickly as possible (4.80), and make some changes in my behavior or thoughts to reduce my bad feelings (4.77).
- The least common reactions were: do something I know I don't like (1.89), try to feel worse about myself (2.11), and avoid things that might make me feel better (2.16).
- Using a scale of 1=Strongly Disagree to 7=Strongly Agree, students
were asked about what they usually do when they are experiencing a GOOD
mood or GOOD emotion.
- The most common reactions were: have fun with my friends (6.30), try to think happy thoughts (6.06), and try to build on my good feelings (6.03).
- The least common reactions were: avoid things I know I like (1.67), sulk over an old problem (1.74), and talk myself down (1.75).
Education Critical Thinking Survey - #4
Following the Environmental Critical Thinking survey conducted earlier in the year immediately following their lessons on the environment, the same group of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Michigan high school students were asked to participate in the evaluation survey a few months later to help judge the retention of their newly developed environmental education critical thinking skills. Of the 182 students in the "initial-survey" group, 140 participated in the "post-survey" effort. (Contact Marie Cheak, WIU-QC Curriculum & Instruction, at MJ-Cheak@wiu.edu for more information.)
- In evaluating the students' ability to make direct conclusions from given facts or data, correct conclusions remained essentially the same, being 51.2% in the pre period and 51.5% in the post period.
- When students were presented with the more difficult task of going beyond the information given to make inferences about it, the students ability to make the most correct inference decreased slightly from 49.5% to 47.1%.
- Students were finally challenged by the even more difficult critical thinking exercise of identifying the biases represented by persons presenting views. Here the students' ability to identify the most correct bias determination remained essentially the same, being 31.4% in the pre period and 31.8 % in the post period.
- Initially 93.6% of the students indicated that their classroom experience had increased their knowledge and ownership of environmental issues and problems, with this number deceasing to 86.6% at the post-survey point. Student sense of a moderate to significant change also decreased 70.1% to 60.7%.
Tracy Relationship Orientation
11,748 students outside of the Social Work department were invited to participate in Chair, Dr. John Tracy's well-proven Tracy Relationships Orientation Survey (TROI), which is used to develop group norms around reaction to change and relationship orientations that focus on government, economics, morality, general intimacy, and personal perception of self and others. 743 students responded. (Contact John Tracy, at JR-Tracy@wiu.edu for more information.)
- 84% of respondents said they has a medium to high desire for change in their life, far greater than the 60% who said they'd like to change the people they care about, but equal to the 84% who said they'd like to change society. And although 94% are satisfied with the education they are receiving, 64% would like to see the education they are receiving changed. But when it comes to the type of change, of the 80% who indicated that they were interested in change, 55% preferred Type #1 Change, change that does not change their major perceptions or world view; whereas 45% were more open to change, and interested in Type #2 Change, change that does change their major perceptions or world view.
- Each of the 47 relationship inventory questions provided a choice
of 8 answers. The 11 with the most consistent agreement (WIU norm)
- 67% said if they needed sexual satisfaction they would want a natural loving relationship.
- 66% said rape is an offensive violent act that violates rights.
- 63% said that using or manipulating others is not part of natural healthy relationships.
- 60% said oppression is being denied full rights and opportunity.
- 49% believe the natural environment is our most valuable resource.
- 47% said that there are not two basic kinds of people, but rather that each individual is individually and collectively unique.
- 47% said that in their close relationships, their motto is trust, communication, and commitment.
- 44% feel than no one is inferior. We are different.
- 42% feel that in serious competition, the rules should be the same for all.
- 42% said that what they have was gained through honest hard work.
- 41% consider themselves responsible because they care about other people as well as themselves.
Veterans Services Survey
652 WIU students registered with Veterans' Services were ask to help evaluate the Veteran Resource Center's efforts in meeting the needs of students who are current military personal or military veterans. 147 students responded. (Contact Kathy Meyers, at KJ-Meyers@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Of the responding students, regardless of whether still active in the military or former soldiers, 51% served as active duty soldiers, 18% were reserve duty soldiers, and 31% were both active and reserve duty soldiers. 55% has served for 4-7 years, while 18% had served for less than 4 years and 27% had served 8 or more years. In addition, 65% had been deployed at least once in support of a combat mission, 41% had been activated for purposes other than training, and a combined 91% had served at least part of their tour of duty outside of the U.S.
- The top 3 factors these veterans reported as having the greatest negative impact on their academic course work were: #1 - time management skills and/or test taking strategies; #2 - ability to focus in class, or distractions in the classroom; and #3 - financial concerns.
- The veterans were well-versed in knowing where to find assistance with military-specific financial aid programs such as the GI Bill (95%), billing questions or payment options (92%), federal/state student aid including student employment (87%), and credit for prior academic coursework or military training (86%). However, only 59% knew were to get help with scholarship opportunities and only slightly more (68%) know were to get help with university procedures when activated or deployed for military service.
- 61% said they had received assistance with veterans resources on campus, and indicated that the topics they'd most like to see covered in meetings/activities for military personnel and veterans were: #1 - job seeking skills including resume writing and interview skills, #2 - career exploration/development, and #3 - veteran specific orientation.
FYE Follow-up from 2005/06 and
1,453 current seniors who were part of the first FYE cohorts in Fall 2005 and Fall 2006 were asked to reflect back on their FYE experience to help evaluate the perceived value of Western's FYE program. 168 former FYE students provided input. (Contact Associate Provost, Judith Dallinger, at J-Dallinger@wiu.edu for more information.)
- 86% of of the now-senior FYE students said that their FYE courses had fewer students than their other freshman courses, and 59% said their FYE courses had more discussion than their other freshmen courses, and 81% reported that there were frequent writing assignments in their FYE courses., all factors which contributed to 86% saying they were active participants in their FYE courses.
- Former FYE students reported positive faculty-student interaction in their FYE classes, with 77% saying they knew their instructors by the end of the course, including 52% who said they knew their FYE instructors better than their other WIU instructors. In addition, 71% said their their FYE instructors really cared about them as a person.
- The use of having peer mentors was fairly well supported, with 70% of former FYE students indicating that having a peer mentor was a positive aspect of their FYE classes.
- Students reported only tepid discussion of the book chosen for the FYE summer reading in their FYE courses. Among the Fall05/Spring06 FYE cohort, 79% said they had read Fast Food Nation, but only 48% said it was discussed in their FYE classes. For the Fall06/Spring07 FYE cohort, 52% reported reading Class Matters, but only 41% said it was discussed in their FYE classes.
- A clear limitation of the FYE program is its contribution to learning about study skills, transition to college issues, dealing with roommates, etc., because of requiring that these aspects be accomplished through residence hall programming rather than an active part of academic learning. This is apparent in the low 35% of former FYE students who said they attended seminars and/or activities in the residence halls dealing with these issues.
- The now-senior FYE students were asked to use a 6-point scale to evaluate the benefits of the FYE program, rating accomplishment of various FYE program goals from 1=strongly disagree to 6=strongly agree. Topping the list with a mean score of 3.61 was the FYE program having a positive impact on their relationships with faculty members, followed at 3.56 by the FYE program having a positive impact on their relationships with fellow students. At the bottom of the list, scoring a 3.10, was the FYE program helping them manage the transition from high school to college.
WIU Bookstore Survey
As part of a class project, a random sample of 5,000 Macomb campus students were invited to provide input on their satisfaction with the WIU Bookstore and potential additional services. 155 students responded. (Contact Craig Tollini, Sociology & Anthropology, at CD-Tollini@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Students were asked which new products they would be mos likely to buy if the the WIU Bookstore offered them, and for the same or lower price as other stores. The 3 most preferred items were mailing supplies, gift cards to other vendors (iTunes, restaurants, etc.), and decorative decor (posters, pictures, etc.)
- Students were also asked which services they would be most likely to use if the WIU Bookstore offered (or continued to offer) them. The 3 most preferred services were more sales/promotions, price matching, and giving coupons for merchandise when you use the Bookstores' book buyback.
- 75% of students said that the WIU Bookstore would be where they would prefer to shop if they sold textbooks at the same or lower price as other stores. And what would cause students to shop at the Bookstore for textbooks, school supplies, apparel, etc., rather than another store (e.g., Chapman's, Wal-Mart, etc.) the top 3 factors cited were guaranteeing that you receive the right textbooks, having the textbooks you need, and employees who assist you.
- Students were also asked if they thought the name of the WIU Bookstore should be changed, with 16% saying yes and offering various creative suggestions, 25% saying no, and 59% either neutral or having no opinion on the issue.
Bachelor of Social Work in the
Quad Cities Feasibility Study Survey
263 Quad Cities area social services agencies and 28 community colleges were surveyed regarding their views on the possibility of offering a BSW degree program at WIU-QC. 56 agencies and 2 community colleges responded. (Contact John Tracy,Chair of the Social Work department, at CD-Tollini@wiu.edu for more information.)
- 97% of survey respondents said they supported the idea of having a BSW degree program in this Quad Cities region, with 73% of the agencies saying the would allow BSW practicum students to be placed in their agency.
- In addition, 17% of respondents definitely had personnel who might be interested in enrolling in a QC BSW program, with an additional 51% not being sure of their personnel's interest, and only 32% stating their personnel would not be interested.
- Among the advantages of having a BSW program in the QC region cited by survey respondents was the most constant theme was the fact that the closest BSW program is at the University of Iowa, and WIU-QC would be a cost effective opportunity for students interested in the social work field.
- The biggest concern noted was the need for the program to offer night and online course offerings since many of the prospective students would have full-time jobs in the region, thus making it difficult for them to attend day classes.
Affairs Work Environment
This qualitative study identified characteristics of healthy work environments from the perspectives of individuals working within them. Participants represented college student affairs department and division staff and leaders. Data gathered included perceptions of what makes individual work environments healthy or unhealthy, who is perceived as contributing to the healthy work environment and how, negatives and missing elements in the work environment, whether or not the environment is a good fit, and how the healthy work environments of student affairs units compare to the overall work environment of the institution. Data analysis in regard to themes is ongoing. (Contact Dea Forney, in the Benefits Office, at D-Forney@wiu.edu for more information.)
University's 403b Supplemental
Retirement Plan Survey
Western's 2,147 employees were asked to participate in an online survey to measure their current involvement in Western's 403b Supplemental Retirement Plan, as well as their potential interest in taking advantage of this pre-tax earnings option to save for retirement and reduce their taxable income. 503 WIU employees provided their input. Based on results from this survey, Western's Benefits Office will be able to explore providing informational sessions and additional savings management options. (Contact Bill Rupert, in the Benefits Office, at WS-Rupert@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Among survey respondents, 69% indicated that they did not currently participate in Western's 403b Supplemental Retirement Plan, with the most common reason expressed (62%) being that they didn't know about it our how it worked, while 26% indicated they didn't make enough to justify participating.
- Of the 31% who do participate in Western's 403b Supplemental Retirement Plan, 26% said they reviewed historical performance and other information in order to select their investments, while 23% said they relied on the advice of the representative from the plan's investment options.
- The majority (60%) of investors said they had a combination of annuities and/or mutual funds in their 403b Supplemental Retirement Plan.
- 51% of investors said they only infrequently read or researched their investments, with 56% of investors indicating they do this quarterly when they receive their statement. with just 11% spending some time each week on this activity, while 28% don't do this at all either due to lack of time or lack of knowledge.
- 43% of investors said they'd be willing to pay a fee to have their investments professional managed for them (i.e., fund selection, diversification, rebalancing, etc.) if the fee were small and/or it produced superior results.
Faculty Senate Committee
The 649 Faculty Senate eligible WIU faculty members were invited to indicate which committees and councils they would be interested in serving on. 205 faculty took the opportunity to indicate their interest in serving, with the Senate's Committee on Committees to review the interest expressed to using in making appointments to open committee and council positions. (Contact the Faculty Senate Office at 309-298-1589, or their Executive Secretary via email at AE-Hamm@wiu.edu for more information.)
University Theme Committee
All 14,706 WIU students, faculty, and staff were invited to provide input regarding the current University Theme, Dollars and Sense: Personal Finance to World Poverty, so that the Theme Committee could review the effectiveness of the efforts to promote the theme and value of its events, as well as consider topics for and presentation of upcoming yearly campuswide themes. 627 members of the WIU community responded. Although the overwhelming majority (92%) were from the Macomb campus, there broad overall coverage with 38% undergraduate students, 32% staff members, 18% faculty members, and 11% graduate students. (Contact Colin Harbke, in Psychology, at CR-Harbke@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Survey respondents identified the various sources that informed them of Theme events, with by far the most (85%) learning about them through e-mail announcements, followed by the WIU homepage (33%), and posters/brochures (22%).
- 21% of the respondents had attended a Theme event during Fall 2009, although that number may be increased somewhat by the 9% who had attended a campus event, but weren't sure if this was theme-related.
- Of the 5 major theme events held during Fall 2009, the December 7th & 8th Barbara Ehrenriech Presentation was the most heavily attended (44%) and received 86% good the excellent ratings. The second most attended theme event (34%) was James Scurlock & Maxed Out Film event on October 20th & 21st, which was rated good to excellent by 88% of the participants.
- 32% of respondents though that some of the past themes should be revisited and perhaps adopted again, while 23% were opposed to this idea and 45% were not sure. Among the various past themes, the 2008-09 Health and Wellness: Challenges and Responsibilities was the most selected (29%) option to revisit. In addition, more than 150 survey participants provided a variety of theme ideas to consider for future years that the Theme Committee will review for commonalities.
Education Faculty Survey of Use of Writing
The 160 faculty teaching General Education courses during Spring 2010 were invited to share the extend of writing they include in their classes. 75 faculty members responded. (Contact David Casagrande in Sociology and Anthropology, at DG-Casagrande@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Realizing that faculty may be teaching more than a single General Education course, 70% of the faculty indicated that they has small class sections of less than 50 students, as well as 25% of the faculty who had designed small enrollment FYE courses. Just 16% of faculty indicated that they has large section classes of 50 or more students. Because of the great difference in these class categories, responses were divided among all three class formats.
- For 50+ student class sections, 83% of General Education classes involved writing. Of those that did include writing, 50% of faculty gave 2-5 pages writing assignments, 40% gave 5 or more page writing assignments, and just 10% gave writing assignments of 1 page or less in length. These writing assignments were given 2-3 times throughout the semester by 64% of the faculty, several times during the semester by 27% of the faculty, and only once during the semester by 9% of the faculty. In addition, 27% of the writing assignments in these large (50+ student) classes involved the opportunity for student revision after receiving feedback.
- For small (<50 student) non-FYE class sections, 96% of General Education classes involved writing. Of those that did include writing, 79% of faculty gave 5 or more page writing assignments, 17% gave 2-5 pages writing assignments, and just 4% gave writing assignments of 1 page or less in length. These writing assignments were given several times during the semester by 72% of the faculty, 2-3 times throughout the semester by 15% of the faculty, and only once during the semester by 13% of the faculty. In addition, 52% of the writing assignments in these small (<50 student) non-FYE classes involved the opportunity for student revision after receiving feedback.
- For FYE class sections, all 100% of General Education classes involved writing. 94% of faculty gave 5 or more page writing assignments and 6% gave 2-5 pages writing assignments, with no FYE faculty giving just 1 page or less writing assignments. These writing assignments were given several times during the semester by 83% of the faculty and 2-3 times throughout the semester by 17% of the faculty, with no FYE faculty giving only a single writing assignment during the semester. In addition, 56% of the writing assignments in these FYE classes involved the opportunity for student revision after receiving feedback.
Human Sexuality Minor Survey
4,383 students in 25 majors across a broad spectrum of social science and humanities areas of study were surveyed about their interest in a new minor that would focus on human sexuality and sexual orientation, as well as with development of courses on issues of sexuality. 234 students provided input. (Contact Craig Tollini in Sociology and Anthropology, at CD-Tollini@wiu.edu for more information.)
- 33% of the responding students indicated that they had previously taken courses that focused on human sexuality or sexual orientation, spanning a wide breath of WIU departments, as well as courses at other institutions.
- 80% of respondents said they would be interested in taking human sexuality or sexual orientation focus courses, and 67% said they would be interested in pursuing a minor in human sexuality or sexual orientation.
- Although 87% of survey respondents were heterosexual, they demonstrated a great interest in learning about others, with 82% of respondents saying they would be interested in taking courses that focus on issues pertaining to lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgendered individuals. In fact, 36% asked to be contacted about further exploring this new human sexuality minor opportunity.
Survey of Academic
The 87 professionals and faculty who work with Western's students as academic advisors were asked to evaluate their role and issues they face as academic advisor. Results of the survey will not only help academic advising efforts on campus, but also be included in Western's reaccreditation report. 54 advisors provided their input, 78% who were professional advisors and 22% who were faculty advisors. (Contact Julie O'Brien in the Advising and Academic Services Center at JA-O-Brien@wiu.edu for more information.)
- In terms of their activities as academic advisors, 88% said they usually or always discuss major/minor requirements when they meet with their advisees, with 88% also usually or always discussing general education requirements 83% usually or always discuss their advisees academic progress.
- Less common academic advising activities were study abroad, internships, service learning, and/or research options, which only 19% indicated they usually or always discussed; application to graduate/professional schools, which only 20% usually or always discussed, and personal problems their advisees may be having, which were usually or always discussed by 29% of the academic advisors.
- While 96% of academic advisors reported that they often use the MVS student record screen, 23% indicated that this was an advising resource that needed to be improved. Similarly, 86% reported they often use the advising WARD reports, but 26% indicated that his resource needs improvement.
- Although advisors were extended access to the MAP-Works system which is designed to help address retention issues, 92% said they rarely or never used it although 56% felt it was a good system .
- Although all 100% of the advisors found their advising responsibilities usually or always satisfying, lack of professional advancement opportunities was a primary complaint of 81% of the professional advisors, while lack of recognition of their academic advising efforts in the tenure and promotion process was a primary complaint of 75% of the faculty who also serve as academic advisors.
Abroad Program Evaluation - Fall 2009 students
The 14 students who participated in Study Abroad during Fall 2009 were asked to evaluate their experience. 6 of the students provided input. (Contact Emily Gorlewski in the Center for International Studies, at EJ-Gorlewski@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Study Abroad can include the United States, as well as other countries. Spring 2009 respondents had study in Australia, South Korea, and the Netherlands; with all 6 studying individually at 4 different universities.
- When asked to rank 6 reasons that influenced their decision to study abroad, the top choice was wanting to experience other cultures/viewpoints, followed closely by in a tie for 2nd place with an opportunity to step outside their comfort zone and a desire to travel. A recommendation by another person was cited as the least important factor although just 17% said no one had recommended the experience to them while 50% said it had been recommended by a friend, by far the most common recommending source.
- Studying abroad does not necessarily require the use of a foreign language. In fact, just 1 of the 6 Fall 2009 students participated in a Study Abroad Program that required a foreign language and this individual indicated that they had adequate knowledge of the language prior to their trip and made good progress with the language during their experience.
- Students spent anywhere from less than $2,000 to more than $4,000 on-site on items such as personal expenses, trips, extra meals, etc. And all indicated that the amount a student would need would depend largely on the amount of shopping and extra traveling they wanted to do, with a recommendation of at least $1,000 for every month they were there.
- All 6 of the students said that not only has their study abroad experience increased their desire to travel, it has also influenced their ability to cope with and adapt to new and different situations, altered their world view, and influenced their future plans. And not surprisingly, all 100% said they would recommend their program to other students. In fact, in expressing their suggestions, they recommended "DO IT!!!"
Families: Website Resources Needed
274 members of the Parents and Family Association were asked to provide input about the availability of resources they, as parents and families of WIU students, are seeking on the WIU website. The input from the 105 survey respondents will be used to help design the Parents and Families link on the new WIU website which is scheduled to debut prior to the Fall 2010 semester. (Contact Karolynn Heuer, Director of the Student Assistance and Parent Service Center, at KA-Heuer@wiu.edu for more information.)
- 72% of respondents rated the current WIU website at good/helpful to extremely helpful when it came finding information they were seeking.
- To, look at what might be enhanced they were asked to rank the top 5 things that were important to them as a parent in helping their student select the right college. By far the most important item, with 51% noting it as the single most important factor, was Majors & Programs. In 2nd place were Tuition/Costs and 3rd place was Visiting Campus At the bottom of the list of 14 choices, or items only minimally on their radar were Parent/Family events (14th), Athletics/Intramurals/Club Sports (13th), and Student Organizations (12th).
- Also looking to the future, parents were asked about the concept of adding video clips to the WIU website, 54% said they would definitely listen to them, with an additional 30% said they might consider listening to them. Only 17% of parents said they weren't sure or would not use video clips to learn more about the university.
Peer Mentor Survey
The 103 First Year Experience Peer Mentors for Fall 2009 were asked to evaluate the training they received, the effectiveness of peer mentoring, and other aspects of the FYE program. 62 of the peer mentors provided input. (Contact A.J Busard, FYE Peer Mentor Coordinator, at AJ-Busard@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Looking back to when they were freshmen in the FYE program, the 64% of the Fall 2009 Peer Mentors said they had been satisfied to very satisfied with their FYE peer mentor. With most participants being returning peer mentors, 89% said they had enjoyed their past experiences as a Peer Mentor.
- 52% of Fall 2009 FYE Peer Mentors felt more training could be provided to help Peer Mentors in general, while 38% felt they personally would benefit from more training.
- In evaluating the benefit of the FYE program for new freshman students on a 1=Strongly Disagree to 6=Strongly Agree scale, the top rated aspects of the program were 1st - The FYE course was done in conjunction with or supported out-of-class experiences (5.26), and 2nd - The FYE course discussed ethical, health, or multicultural issues/approaches in meaningful ways (5.00). Even the lowest rated of the 11 FYE program aspects - The FYE course provided significant opportunities for learning tailored to each individual student in class - still achieved a commendable 4.50 rating.
- Using the same 6-point scale to evaluate the FYE instructor's interaction with the freshmen students, the top rated aspects were 1st - The FYE instructor valued the students as individuals outside of class (5.48), and 2nd - The FYE instructor involved students in the course's discussion in meaningful ways (5.36). Again, even the lowest rated of the 6 FYE faculty aspects - Students felt comfortable talking to their FYE instructor about personal concerns - still achieved a commendable 4.52 rating.
- And in again using the same 6-point scale to evaluate the role of Peer Mentors, the top rated aspects were 1st - The FYE instructor valued me as an individual outside of their expectations of me in this course (5.48), and 2nd - The FYE instructor valued me as an individual outside of class, being willing or helpful in providing academic planning and advising (5.34). Even the lowest rated of the 6 FYE peer mentor aspects - As a Peer Mentor, I was able to actively assist students with the class in learning in meaningful ways - again still achieved a commendable 4.52 rating.
Health Sciences Fall
2009 Online Course Evaluation
Continuing their effort to ensure the quality of their online and internship courses, the Health Sciences department asked all 147 students enrolled in their 7 courses offered online by 4 different faculty members to evaluate their class and professor. 70 students completed confidential evaluations. (Contact Mark Kelley, Health Sciences Chair, at RM-Kelley@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Mean scores, on scale of 1=Poor to 5=Excellent continued to generally meet or exceed the 4-point threshold, doing so in all but 1 of 11 categories.
- Meeting or exceeding the 4-point threshold were: Instructor's knowledge of the subject matter (4.39), Instructor's attitude toward the class (4.32), Instructor's ability to explain course requirements at the beginning of the course (4.29), Instructor's organization of the course (4.29), Instructor's encouragement of critical thinking (4.19), Instructor's concern for students' progress (4.16), Instructor's providing an opportunity for questions (4.13), Instructor's ability to explain material (4.09), Value of instructor's feedback (4.07), and Compared to all college instructors you have had, how would you rate this instructor? (4.00).
- Just missing the 4-point threshold was Instructor's ability to motivate students (3.94).
Beta Alpha Psi
BAP is a honorary organization for students in accounting, finance, and information systems. The 214 current Beta Alpha Psi alumni of Western's Zeta Beta Chapter were invited to participate in an online survey to find out how many might be attending upcoming events and how best to keep in alumni informed and Western and BAP events. 65 BAP alumni responded. (Contact Cheryl Westen, an Accountancy instructor and BAP Advisor, at CA-Westen@wiu.edu for more information.)
- In order of preference regarding how to keep in touch, BAP alumni preferred paper mail (47%) over either Facebook (35%) or the BAP website 18%), with Twitter (0%) being a very distant fourth and last place.
- 38% of BAP alumni planned on attending the March 26, 2010 regional meeting in Chicago, with alumni looking most forward to the social hour (51%), followed in nearly equal amounts by the dinner (18%), the activity (16%), and attending the conference sessions (16%).
- In terms of what time of the evening to how a WIU BAP alumni reception, both 6pm (46%) and 7pm (44%), were strongly preferred over third and last choice 8pm (10%).
- 46% of BAP alumni were interested in learning more about the planned April 23, 2010 annual golf outing and 57% said this this date, which is scheduled to align with the Department of Accountancy Awards Banquet, would work for them, with no clear preference for any other day of the week, although Tuesdays were definitely least preferred (9%).
SGA Plus Minus
In an effort to determine student support or opposition to the previously faculty and administration approved move to a plus/minus grading system, planned for Fall 2010 implementation, the Student Government Association on Western's Macomb campus solicited input from all of 10,546 Western's undergraduate students. 2,216 students responded. (Contact Ann Comerford, Director of the Office of Student Activities and SGA Advisor, at AT-Comerford@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Responding students were adamant that they did just the minimum amount of work required for the grade they wanted to earn, with 84% disagreeing with this assertion. Similarly, they were strong (74% agreement) in their belief that students should received the actual grade they earn.
- Students were very strong (88%) in their support of the current A, B, C, D, F grading system and strongly against (81%) the proposed plus/minus grading system. The strength of their conviction was evidenced by the 42% who said they would reconsider staying at Western if the grading system were changed.
- Just 18% of students felt that the plus/minus grading system would motivate them to do better academically and 61% indicated they would be more likely to appeal their grades with a plus/minus system compared to the current whole scale grading system.
- As a result of this survey efforts and the strong student opposition to the planned change to a plus/minus grading system, SGA passed to resolutions to this effect and presented to the Faculty Senate on February 23, 2010. In addition, SGA proposed an alternative plus-only system (A=4.0, B+=3.5, B=3.0, C+=2.5, etc.) to the Senate, which when offered for consideration to the student body was supported by 63% of respondents.
- Based on the information provided in the February 23, 2010 Faculty Senate meeting minutes, it was unclear what action the Faculty Senate will decide to take, however, a revisit of this issue in noted on the March 9, 2010 Faculty Senate agenda. Based on information provided in the March 10, 2010 Western Courier , the SGA efforts were unsuccessful an the plus/minus grading system, as proposed, will begin Fall 2010.
Resident Satisfaction Survey
The 294 residents of Graduate & Family Housing were invited to rate their level of satisfaction with the GFH living environment. 72 residents provided input, with 76% from one of the three Lamoine Village complexes, 18% from East Village, and 7% from University Village. (Contact George Holman, Asst. Director of Residence Life, at GP-Holman@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Rating their buildings from 1=Strongly Disagree to 5=Strongly Agree, scores ranged from a low of 3.00 for laundry facilities are well maintained to a high of 4.10 for ability to find a parking spot in their designated lot. Other top scores were 3.97 for feeling they have the level of privacy they feel they should have living in an apartment and 3.62 for laundry machines usually being available. Other low scores were 3.13 for the outdoor areas being kept clean and 3.18 for apartment Internet speeds meeting their personal needs.
- Among these 6 high a low ratings, parking was rated highest (4.29) at both Lamoine Village #2 and #3 vs lowest (3.75) at University Village; privacy was rated highest (4.32) at Lamoine Village #1 vs lowest (3.00) at University Village; available laundry machines was rated highest (4.17) at Lamoine Village #2 vs lowest (2.62) at East Village; Internet speed was rated highest (3.38) at East Village vs lowest (2.50) at University Village, outdoor cleanliness was rated highest (3.71) at Lamoine Village #3 vs lowest (2.75) at University Village; and laundry machine maintenance was rated highest (3.44) at Lamoine Village #2 vs lowest (2.15) at East Village.
- Rating their amenities on the same 1=Strongly Disagree to 5=Strongly Agree scale, scores ranged from a low of 2.55 for sufficiency of vending services to a high of 3.87 for being satisfied with provided recycling options. Again these varied between buildings, with recycling options rating highest (4.11) at Lamoine Village #2 vs lowest (3.58) at Lamoine Village #1 and with vending services rating highest (2.83) at Lamoine Village #2 vs lowest (2.25) at University Village.
- Overall, 90% of GFH students reported feeling safe in their apartments and 96% said they had respect for other students living in GFH. In addition 79% felt that their neighbors respected their privacy and 70% trusted other students living in GFH.
- Only 36% responding GFH residents take advantage of the opportunity to eat in the campus dining centers and just 30% have attended a GFH program although 52% reported reading the Village Voice GFH newsletter and 52% said they interact regularly with fellow GFH residents.
President Evaluation -
Each of the 649 Faculty Senate eligible members was invited to participate in the annual evaluation of the President's performance. Of these, 201 provided input in the Total Campus Enterprise; Academic Goals; Personnel, Faculty Relations, and Campus Issues components of the President's responsibilities. (Contact the Faculty Senate office at AE-Hamm@wiu.edu for more information.)
- As this is a confidential evaluation process, the Presidential Evaluation Committee will produce a summary to share with the President and Board of Trustees. The Faculty Senate provided summary report regarding President Goldfarb's performance is available.
Provost Evaluation -
Each of the 649 Faculty Senate eligible members was invited to participate in the annual evaluation of the Provost's performance. Of these, 224 provided input in the Total Campus Enterprise; Academic Goals; Personnel, Faculty Relations, and Campus Issues components of the Provost's responsibilities. (Contact the Faculty Senate office at AE-Hamm@wiu.edu for more information.)
- As this is a confidential evaluation process, the Provostal Evaluation Committee will produce a summary to share with the Provost and the President. The Faculty Senate provided summary report regarding Provost Thomas' performance is available.
Education Critical Thinking Survey - #3
In an extension of work begun in Fall 2008, A group of high school students in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Michigan whose teachers had received environmental education training were asked to participated in survey evaluating their critical thinking skills related to the environment, with 182 students agreeing to participate. (Contact Marie Cheak, WIU-QC Curriculum & Instruction, at MJ-Cheak@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Students were first evaluated on their ability to make direct conclusions from given facts or data. On average, they were able to make the most correct conclusion 51.2% of the time.
- Students were then presented with more difficult task of going beyond the information given to make inferences about it. On average, the students were able to make the most correct inferences 49.5% of the time.
- Students were then challenged by the even more difficult critical thinking exercise of identifying the biases represented by persons presenting views. On The students, on average, were able to make the most correct bias determination 31.4% of the time.
- Among the student participating in this survey, 93.6% said that their classroom experience had increased their knowledge and ownership of environmental issues and problems, with 70.1% indicating that they it had made a moderate to significant change.
Predictors Follow-up Survey
As a follow-up to the Alcohol Predictors survey done prior in early Fall 2009, the 1,505 still enrolled students who participated in that survey were then invited to complete a companion survey looking at whether their early indicators of alcohol use were accurate based on their actual alcohol consumption patterns during the fall semester. 253 students responded to this follow-up survey effort. (Contact David Lane at DJ-Lane@wiu.edu or Jennifer Ford at JN-Ford@wiu.edu, both in the Psychology Department, for more information.)
- In the initial survey, although predictors indicated a somewhat high potential for collegiate alcohol abuse, 82% of Western's new students reported that they either did not drink or drank less than other students in their high school. Further positive notes included that although drinking was a popular social activity in high school, there was not a great deal of pressure to drink, with 83% reporting that students who did not drink were not less well thought of than those who did drink.
- Since attending WIU, 40% of the responded students indicated that they did not drink at all, with an additional 20% indicating that their average alcohol consumption was less that 1 drink per week. 15% indicated an average alcohol consumption of 1-3 drinks/week, with 7% averaged 4-6 drinks/week, and 18% averaged 7 or more drinks/week.
- In terms of binge drinking (5+ drinks in one evening), of those 60% of students who did drink at least to some extent, 44% said the binge drank less than 1 time per month. 21% reported binge drinking 1-2 times/month, 16% binge drank 3-4 times/month, and 19% binge drank 5+ times/month.
- Again, among the 60% of students who continued to indicate that they consumed alcohol, 20% said that during a night out partying they consumed less than 1 drink. 30% reported an average party night out drinking to be 1-3 drinks, while 19% reported an average consumption of 4-6 drinks, and 31% reported a night out partying to involve drinking 7+ drinks.
- Since attending WIU, 10% of responding students who drank (60% of the total students) said they had been ticketed for an alcohol-related offence, 7% had been disciplined by the university for an alcohol-related offense, 5% had been injured due to an alcohol-related activity or illness, and 2% had been arrested while intoxicated, although none had been hospitalized due to an alcohol-related injury or illness. Only 1% felt that alcohol has definitely impacted their grades or become a problem, while an additional 3% admitted that alcohol was having somewhat of a negative affect.
Computer Lab Use
The 9,611 Macomb campus students were asked about their use of campus computing labs and were provided with the opportunity to indicate what they would like to see added/changed in the computer lab environment. 679 students provided their input, 80% undergraduates and 20% graduate students. (Contact Asst. VP for University Technology, Mike Dickson, at M-Dickson@wiu.edu for more information.)
- While 97% of responding students have their own computers but only 30% carrying a laptop with them on a regular basis, campus computing labs are frequently used, with 39% of students using one or more of the residence hall labs, while 37% of students used the 1st floor Library Digital Commons. The most commonly used computer labs in academic buildings were the Stipes Hall and Morgan Hall labs, each used by 26% of the students.
- When asked to pick their favorite computer lab to use, 26% said the residence hall labs, while 15% said the Stipes Hall labs and 13% said the Horrabin Hall labs. In terms of why that lab was their favorite, 83% said the location convenience, far ahead of 2nd choice printing options.
- 95% of students reported using the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), followed by Internet browsers especially Firefox (62%), and Acrobat Reader (27%) for use in reading PDF files and iTunes (27%).
- In terms of what they used the computer labs for students used a 5=Almost Daily to 1=Hardly Ever scale, with use of the Internet for course-related tasks topping the list (3.88); followed closely by printing out work they've done at home/their room (3.64); and doing academic tasks such as assignment, research, papers, etc. (3.62). The labs were not considered a place to get instruction from a tutor, TA, or faculty member (1.97) or hang out socially (2.04).
- When asked to rate current computer lab features on a scale of 1=Do Not Want to 4=Very Desirable, topping the list was general black/white printing (3.4) while a the bottom of the list (2.91) was the desire to continue with the standard computer lab design of rows of tables with computers. And using the same scale students were also asked to rate the desirability of potential new computer lab features, where topping the list was copy machine access (3.45), laptop charging stations (3.33), and color printing (3.30).
Information Technology Survey
The 11,825 WIU students were invited to participate in an Educause adapted survey to determine how WIU students utilize technology to help efforts to improve the use of technology in teaching and learning. 581 students provided their input, 79% from the Macomb campus, 16% from the Quad Cities campus, and 5% Extension students. (Contact Asst. VP for University Technology, Mike Dickson, at M-Dickson@wiu.edu for more information.)
- 98% of responding students have their own personal computer, with 61% having a laptop, 15% having a desktop machine, and 23% having both a laptop and a desktop machine. Among these, 85% used Windows-based machines, 14% used Macintosh-based machines, and 1% used Linux-based machines.
- The Internet was an important tools for many, with respondents reporting considerable time spent doing Internet activities for school, work, or recreation: 16% spent 10 or fewer hrs/wk, 52% spent 11-30 hrs/wk, and 31% spent more than 30 hrs/wk.
- When rating frequency of use from 1=Never to 7=Daily, the most frequent computing uses were word processing (6.13), social networking websites (5.81), spreadsheets (4.41), presentations (4.32), and music/video downloads (4.30). Least frequent computing uses were virtual worlds (1.25), audio creation software (1.95), video creation software (2.05), Podcasts (2.10), and blogs (2.21).
- When rating their own level of expertise from 1=Not At All Skilled to 5=Expert, students were most proficient at word processing (4.11) and using the Internet to effectively and efficiently search for information (4.09). They were the least proficient at graphics software (2.39) and computer maintenance (2.94).
- 55% of responding students said they prefer taking courses that use a moderate level of information technology, with just 2% preferring courses with no use of information technology. In keeping with this technology preference, 98% reported word processing as being used in their courses this semester, followed by email (90%) and presentation software (70%). The least used course technologies were online virtual worlds (1%), E-portfolios (4%), and audio creation software (4%).
- 88% of students said that they had taken a WIU class that utilized Western Online for at least online syllabi, sample exams, or a course gradebook. 92% are using Western online ins at least one course this (Spring 2010) semester, and 88% use Western Online essentially every day. 95% of students reported being at least fairly skilled in using Western Online and 74% rate their overall experience with Western online at positive to very positive. And despite some fears that having course materials available online decreases in-class attendance, only 8% said that they skip classes with materials are provided online.
On-Campus Organic Garden
Students in Anthropology 420 - Cultural Feast: The Anthropology of Food, asked the10,480 Macomb student population their thoughts on potentially creating an organic garden on campus. 405 students provided their input. (Contact Dr. Heather Mcilvaine-Newsad, their instructor, at H-Mcilvaineemail@example.com for more information.)
- 70% of responding students indicated that sustainability was a factor in their food choices, with 65% considering sustainability as including growing practices that continue indefinitely without harming the environment.
- 51% of respondents said it was very to extremely important that they eat fruits and vegetables that are produced locally and are in season, and 56% said it was very to extremely important to know where their food comes from.
- 81% of students said that WIU did not have any organic gardens, but 88% said they would be in having an organic garden on campus, including 68% who said they would be interested in working in the garden. In addition, 82% said they would be willing to pay a modest "green fee" to eat food produced in a campus organic garden.
- If an organic garden were started on campus, the most preferred location indicated by 41% of the respondents was near Thompson and Higgins halls, with 27% voting for it to be in front of Sherman Hall instead.
Student Expense Survey
Western's Financial Aid Office surveyed students who, while receiving financial aid, were classified as independent students so that they could update their predictions of non-academic costs to use when independent students apply for financial aid. 184 independent students, including 71% undergraduates and 29% graduate students provided feedback. (Contact Rich Stults, at RE-Stults@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Only 3% of independent students choose to live in the residence halls, while 51% live in their own residence and 43% rent a house or apartment. For these off-campus living students, 41% pay $600+/month for housing, while 35% pay $400-$599/month and just 24% pay less than $400/month. Additional house/apartment expenses for insurance varied, with 30% not having any, while 23% spent less than $50/month on this expense and 47% spent $50+/month.
- Utilities, including water, electricity, gas, and sewer are also substantial expenses, with 85% paying $100 or more for these services each month. Internet access cost 85% of the students $20+/month, certainly an important expense as just 7% said they did not have Internet access where they lived.
- Food was a variable expense, likely depending on family size, but 68% reported spending $200+/month. Eating out was not particularly frequent, with 34% indicating they spent less than $50/month dining out and an equal 34% spent $50-$99/month. For 70% of the students, personal items, such as toiletries and miscellaneous expenses ranged from $50-$149/month.
- As students; school supplies, such as printing, copies, paper, notebooks, pens, computer programs, and interlibrary loans; are certainly an expected expense, with only 9% spending under $10/month compared to 26% who spent $50+/month.
- For the 90% who indicated they had a car, this was vital with 94% living more than 250 miles from home to attend school. Yet is was an added expense, with 54% spending $200-$399/year on maintenance and 68% spend $400+/year on insurance.
Interest, and Satisfaction Survey
The 13,702 WIU students, faculty, and staff were invited to provide feedback on the use and effectiveness of TeleSTARS as an avenue to make the campus community aware of various events, activities, and opportunities. 725 individuals responded, of whom 39% were Macomb staff, 37% were Macomb students, 15% were Macomb faculty, and 9% were either faculty, staff, or students at the Quad Cities campus. (Contact Brenda Parts, Director of Administrative Information Management Systems (AIMS), at BS-Parks@wiu.edu for more information.)
- 33% of survey respondents had sent a TeleSTARS message in the past. Among those who send TeleSTARS messages, 54% did so once or a few times a semester, while 19% did so monthly or more frequently, while 27% did so just once a year.
- Despite not a reported high incidence of sending TeleSTARS messages, 65% respondents said they typically receive at least one TeleSTARS message daily. However, while 16% said they always read their TeleSTARS messages, 60% said they only read them half to most of the time, while 24% rarely or never read them.
- The subject line was the best way to encourage reading of sent TeleSTARS messages, with 65% indicating that they look at the subject line, and if interested, then they open the message. Yet, 22% said they often read regardless of subject line just to keep up with what is happening on campus. The remaining 13% said that unless they look important, they tend to ignore most if not all TeleSTARS messages.
- Although some comments indicated that too many TeleSTARS messages are sent, only 5% of respondents suggested doing away with the TeleSTARS system, although 18% did indicated their use should be more limited. However, 84% said they supported keeping the system as it serves as good way to share information about what is happening on campus and/or they are easy enough to delete if you aren't interested.
Back the Night 2009 Evaluation
The 10,486 students, faculty, and staff on the Macomb campus were asked to evaluate this year's Take Back the Night rally celebration. 422 individuals, including 108 who has participated in the event, responded. 96% of respondents were students and 68% were female. (Contact Janine Cavicchia, Director of the Women's Center, at J-Cavicchia@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Many different avenues where used to address lack of awareness that had been noted in the past, with the most effective methods in terms of participants hearing about the event were student organizations (50%), flyers or posters (42%), and from a friend (40%). The least effective efforts based on participant notice were the radio (2%) and newspaper (12%). Despite these efforts, among the 74% who did not attend the event, the most common cited reasons was that they didn't know about the event (30%), although an additional 25% said they weren't interested.
- 65% percent of participants said that they, or someone they knew, had a personal experience with sexual or domestic violence. In terms of primary motivation for attending, 33% said they were interested in the cause, 21% said because it was a Greek educational, 20% said it was because they knew a survivor/victim, and 14% indicated it was because they were a survivor/victim themselves. Only 5% attended primarily for class credit.
- Among those who did attend the event, 76% of participants found the speakers motivational/inspirational, 59% found them interesting, and 57% found them educational. In addition, 59% found the music emotional /moving with the same number rating the music as motivational/inspirational.
- Of those who attended the event, 48% also participated in the march, with 81% feeling the length of the march route was just right and 78% felt the march had a good campus community mix.
- 91% of participants felt that Take Back the Night increased their awareness of sexual violence and 92% felt that the event was an empowering experience. When asked about the features of the event that they liked, 73% said carrying candles, 62% said the resource tables, 55% said the t-shirts, and 53% said the light sticks (glow sticks).
Activity & Health Behavior Changes of College Students
4,599 WIU sophomores and juniors were invited to participate in Phil Milano's Honor's thesis project about health behavior changes as a result of living away from home. 238 students participated which could be segregated into three different groups based on how long they had been living away from home, i.e., their independence factor: New Independents who had been living away from home for less that 1 year, Mid Independents who had been living away from home for 1-3 years, and Veteran Independents who had been living away from home for more than 3 years. (Contact Phil's faculty advisor, Dr. Tamara Bories, at TL-Bories@wiu.edu for more information.)
- General college stereotypes depict newly independent students as
rapidly developing unhealthy behaviors, such as drinking and smoking, as
a result of their new found independence. Often the assumption is that
as the "newness wears off" that these individuals will return to the
more healthy behaviors they likely experienced while living at home.
This was borne out in some of the findings.
- Riding in a vehicle at least once in the last 30 days that was driven by someone who had been drinking alcohol: level was lowest for New independents at 13%, compared to 34% for Mid independents and 15% for Veteran independents
- Binge drinking, classified as 5 or more drinks in a 2-hour period, at least once in the last 30 days: occurring among 42% of the New independents, peaking at 50% of the Mid independents, and falling even below initial levels at 40% of Veteran independents
- Yet, the results of the survey often showed just the opposite, that
the longer students were independent, the more unhealthy their behaviors
- Driving a vehicle at least once in the last 30 days while under the influence of alcohol: lowest incidence was among the New independents at 18%, compared to 19% for Mid independents and 23% Veteran independents
- Cigarette smoking: lowest among New independents at 11%, followed by 19% for Mid-independents and increasing notably among Veteran independents at 34%
- Similarly the study looked at whether the stereotype of increased
unhealthy behaviors a result of their new found independence was
matched with a decrease in healthy behaviors such as good diet and
exercise. Yet, healthy behaviors tended to decrease with length of
- Drinking of 100% fruit juice at least once in the last 30 days: highest among the New independents at 91%, decreasing notable to 78% among Mid independents and further to 65% for Veteran independents
- Eating of fruit at least once in the last 30 days: highest for New independents at 93%, and declining to 81% for Mid independents before rebounding to 87% for Veteran independents
- 1-hour or more of exercise or physical activity at least one in the last 30 days: highest for New independents at 91%, and declining to 80% for both Mid and Veteran independents
Abroad Program Evaluation - Summer 2009 students
The 29 students who participated in Study Abroad during Summer 2009 were asked to evaluate their experience. 12 of the students provided input. (Contact Emily Gorlewski in the Center for International Studies, at EJ-Gorlewski@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Study Abroad can include the United States, as well as other countries. Spring 2009 respondents had study in the USA (Art in New York), along with Mexico, England, France, Spain, and the Netherlands; with 67% studying an various group experiences and 33% studying individually at other universities.
- When asked to rank 6 reasons that influenced their decision to study abroad, the top choice was academic goals, followed closely by wanting to experience other cultures/viewpoints in 2nd place and a desire to travel in 3rd place. A recommendation by another person was cited as the least important factor which was also noted the 42% of the students who indicated that no one had recommended a study abroad experience to them. For those who had others recommend the experience to them, faculty were the most likely recommenders (42%) followed by friends (25%). It was noted, however, that none of the students indicated that their academic advisors had recommended studying abroad to them, an issue that was address in a prior survey noted below.
- Studying abroad does not necessarily require the use of a foreign language. Just 40% of Summer 2009 students participated in a Study Abroad Program that required a foreign language. Of these, all 100% indicated they had adequate knowledge of the language prior to their trip and 75% said they made good progress with the language during their experience.
- Students spent anywhere from less than $500 to as much as $2,999 on-site on items such as personal expenses, trips, extra meals, etc. And all indicated that the amount a student would need would depend largely on the amount of shopping and extra traveling they wanted to do. It was also suggested that students shouldn't carry much cash, but instead use ever-available ATMs to access needed cash.
- While 100% of the students said their study abroad experience increased their desire to travel, 80% also said that it influenced their ability to cope with and adapt to new and different situations, altered their world view, and influenced their future plans. And not surprisingly, all 100% said they would recommend their program to other students. In fact, in expressing their suggestions, they recommended not only doing it, but taking advantage of all the opportunities available during their trip, with "it's a once in a lifetime opportunity" being a common theme.
Bookstore & More
All 12,693 WIU students were invited to participate in an online survey about their satisfaction with the University Union Bookstore and their interest in possible expansion efforts. 346 students provided their input. (Contact Jude Kiah, Director of the Bookstore, at JL-Kiah@wiu.edu for more information.)
- 77% of students indicated that they had seen the new selection of apparel in the Bookstore.
- 40% of students had taken advantage of coupons in the student planner and 25% had taken advantage of the 20% off Grand Opening Sale, but 47% of students had not taken advantage of any of the Bookstore promotional efforts.
- 73% of students said they would be interested in special 1-day sales available exclusively to those who became fans of the Bookstore's Facebook and Twitter pages.
- With regard to textbook options, students 1st choice was price matching on textbooks guaranteeing the lowest local price. In a virtual tie for 2nd choice, a guaranteed buyback option that at least met the offer an any local vendor just beat out an option to rent some class textbooks. More distant choices were e-books at about 60% of the printed cost and a new concept, ala carte books which are also about 60% of the cost of new but are not eligible for buyback.
- Students were also asked what they might like to see in the now vacant storefront next to Burger King that formerly housed the uTech Computer Store before that was relocated to the former Starbucks location. 1st choice was digital and photography processing followed closely by bath and body type merchandise. Other option of jewelry, make-up, and handbags ranked about equally, but well below the top two choices.
Moms' Weekend Fall
The 470 Moms who attended the 6th annual Moms' Weekend event, held in conjunction with the Macomb Balloon Rally, were asked to evaluate the event in an ongoing improvement effort. 273 Moms responded regarding their satisfaction with the event and suggestions for improvement. (Contact Karolynn Heuer, Director of the Student Assistance and Parent Service Center, at KA-Heuer@wiu.edu for more information.)
- 41% Moms found out about Moms' Weekend during Summer Orientation, indicating that promotional effort was a great way of making Moms of new WIU students aware of the event. Students themselves were the second best way to get the word out, with 35% of Mom's indicating that their son/daughter had told them about the event.
- Moms were certainly willing to travel to participate in the event, with 61% having traveled more than 200 miles to attend. And although the Balloon Rally was a big draw, only 2% of Moms said that having the event in conjunction with a major attraction was the only reason they came. In fact, 50% said they would have come even if nothing else was going on in the area.
- The effort to provide easy online registration for Moms' Weekend was effective, with 84% of Moms registering online compared to just 2% by phone. And while online, 87% of Moms accessed the weekend's schedule of events, 67% checked the description of the commemorative Moms's Weekend T-shirt, and 54% checked out information provided about lodging options. One additional suggestion, however, was to provide a picture of the commemorative T-shirt.
- 26% of Moms truly got to experience student life as they stayed with their son/daughter during the event, while 28% stayed in the Olson Conference Center, and 30% stayed in either the University Union Hotel or a Macomb hotel. 73% of those experiencing residence hall accommodations, perhaps for the first time, by staying in the Olson Conference Center, said that the added touch of decorated doors, bulletin board information, and other signage added to their experience.
- The Cooking with Mom class continued to be a popular event, but not big enough or enough sessions to accommodate all who were interested. In fact, 41% said they wanted to attend, but the class was already full. Another popular event was the Shops at the University Union, with 70% of Moms attending and 97% of those indicating that the event should definitely be repeated. And 28% of Moms attended the Sandburg Theatre Movie, will all all being satisfied with the choice of the movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock. And while they weren't asked to rate it, many of the Moms commented on how much they enjoyed the live theatre performance of Little Shop of Horrors.
- McNaughton Trail Run Survey
244 individuals who had participated in, observed, or provided support during the annual McNaughton Ultra-Marathon Trail Run were asked to provide input regarding the self-directed learning practices of ultra-marathon enthusiasts. 120 participants responded. (Contact Cathy McMillan of the WIU Kinesiology Department, at CS-McMillan@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Of the survey responders, 96% had participated in the NcNaughton Race, with only 4% participating in a non-running capacity. 88% of the ultra-marathoners were quite equally dispersed across the under 25 years of age up to the 50-54 age range, with fewer runners being in the 55-59 and above age groups, and none were above 70 years of age. The ultra-marathoners were predominantly male (82%).
- Ultra-marathoners tended to be long-time advocates of exercise, with 58% having regularly engaged in physical activity for 20 or more years and only 15% had been regular exercisers for less than 10 years. Yet running was a later addition to their exercise regimen, with 53% having been habitual runners for less than 10 years and only 22% for more than 20 years.
- While for 1 individual, this was their first ultra-marathon, 33% had run 20 or more ultra-marathons, with the largest group (49%) had run between 2 and 10 ultra-marathons before this event.
- 79% of ultra-marathoners were currently engaged in a training program. Of these runners, 82% ran 4-15 hours a week, with far fewer numbers running less than 4 or more than 15 hours each week. However, 3 runners did note that they ran at least 30 hrs/week. And physical activity was a clear motto of the ultra-marathoners, with 29% spending less than 1 hour per week reading about exercise or running. In fact, only 16 spent 7 or more hours/week reading about running/exercise.
- When asked to rate 24 statements about various aspects of
motivation, using a 1=Not at all true to 4=Always true scale:
- The top scores were I can exercise even when I do not have a facility to go to (3.81), I enjoy learning new things (3.67), I have high personal expectations (3.67), and I can motivate myself to exercise even after I have quit for awhile (3.62)
- While no scores were below the 3=Moderately true level, the lowest were I enjoy change (3.07), I manage my time well (3.08), and I am assertive (3.15).
Annual Satisfaction Survey
Each year, Western's Financial Aid Office surveys students who are receiving aid to help ensure that the office is meeting the needs of its clientele. In the Fall 2009 survey, 1,188 students provided feedback. (Contact Rich Stults, at RE-Stults@wiu.edu for more information.)
- E-mail (42%) and phone (41%) are the methods students prefer to contact the Financial Aid Office, with an additional 13% preferring walk-in meetings and just 4% preferring scheduled appointment.
- Having incorporated Financial Aid information into students' online STARS account and sending out email correspondence has been effective, with 96% of students indicating that they check their STARS or WIU email accounts before contacting the Financial Aid Office.
- Students indicated a high level of satisfaction with the Financial
Aid Office. Using a scale from 1=Strongly Agree to 4=Strongly Disagree:
- The top rated items (1.66) were "My contact with the front desk/reception staff is friendly and courteous" and "My contact with Financial Aid Advisors is friendly and courteous."
- Even the lowest rated item, "I find the Financial Aid website is user-friendly" at a 1.89 score, still exceeded the Agree=2 level.
- Students did not indicate a desire to change the way they receive their financial aid information. 98% currently use STARS to check the status of their financial aid and only 12% said they would consider using social media tools such as Twitter to receive updates on Financial Aid.
Students Deciding Not to Attend Survey
The 105 international students who were accepted by Western and scheduled to begin the Fall 2009 semester, but chose not to attend were asked about issues that affected their decision. 31 international students from 14 different countries provided input. (Contact Jeannette Zotz in the Center for International Studies, at JY-Zotz@wiu.edu for more information.)
- The top factors which had initially attracted these students to Western were: possible funding such as graduate assistantships, scholarships, etc. (52%); friend or family recommendation (38%); accredited academic program (29%); and staff responsiveness to emails and inquiries (29%).
- Issues which had only minimal effect on their initial attraction to Western were: agency recommendation (0%), timeliness of receipt of acceptance packet (5%), programs offered (5%), and small town/rural campus setting (5%).
- The primary reasons cited for deciding not to enroll at Western were: Visa was denied (38%), decided to attend another US university (29%), and insufficient personal finances (14%).
- Among those who chose to attend another US university instead of Western, the biggest factors were: offer of funding such as graduate assistantships, scholarships, etc. (67%): ranking of university (50%); and selectivity of degree program (50%).
- Among those were did not chose to attend another US university, 74% wanted to defer their acceptance to a future semester with the hope that they would then be able to attend.
University Copier Program
The 2,135 WIU employees were asked about their views regarding the university copier program in an effort to help evaluate the effectiveness and value of the program. 405 employees, including students employees, graduate assistance, faculty, staff, department directors/chairs, and the university administration provided feedback. (Contact Sean O-Donnell-Brown, the Director of Document and Publication Services, at S-ODonnell-Brown@wiu.edu for more information.)
- 63% of respondents were somewhat to very familiar with the University Copier Program, with and additional 20% having at least heard of it, while 17% did not know anything about the program. In addition, 51% of employees were satisfied to very satisfied with Document and Publication Services' efforts to educate university departments and offices about the existence and use of the program, while 12% were unsatisfied to very unsatisfied.
- 97% of respondents indicated that their office or department
currently had a copier, with 55% of those indicating that their copier
was obtained through the University Copier Program. This group was asked
to rate their satisfaction with their copier using a scale of 1=Very
Unsatisfied to 5=Very Satisfied.
- Overall ratings were usability (4.17), reliability (4.13), and
- The top rated standard features were: copy quality (4.33) and copy features (4.28)
- The lowest rated standard features were: copy cost (3.57) and other standard equipment cost (3.81)
- The top rated optional features were: print quality (4.33), print features (4.29), and scan quality (3.95)
- The lowest rated optional features were: print cost (3.59), fax cost (3.60), scan cost (3.63).
- Overall ratings were usability (4.17), reliability (4.13), and value (3.80).
- Moving to a "per-click" cost feature rather than a monthly minimum plus overages was rated a 3.62 on the same 1=Very Unsatisfied to 5=Very Satisfied scale
- Using the same 1=Very Unsatisfied to 5=Very Satisfied scale, Satisfaction with Document and Publication Services in managing the program ranged from a high of 4.07 for providing consumables and other supplies, to a low of 3.89 for serving as a liaison between offices/departments and the vendor. When rating the vendor on the same scale:
Emotion Survey - Fall 2009
94 WIU Psychology students and 47 University of Wisconsin - Fond du Lac Psychology students participated in an online survey about the connection between personality and emotional experience as part of an ongoing study conducted by WIU Psychology professor, Dr. Scott Hemenover. (Contact Scott Hemenover at SH-Hemenover@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Using a scale of 1=Strongly Disagree to 7=Strongly Agree, students
were asked about what they do when they are experiencing a BAD mood or
- The most common reactions were: try to make myself feel better (5.25), make some changes in my behavior or thoughts to reduce my bad feelings (4.83), and attempt to improve my mood as quickly as possible (4.52).
- The least common reactions were: do something I know I don't like (2.16), try to feel worse about myself (2.27), and avoid things that might make me feel better (2.40).
- Using a scale of 1=Strongly Disagree to 7=Strongly Agree, students
were asked about what they dow when they are experiencing a GOOD mood
or GOOD emotion.
- The most common reactions were: have fun with my friends (6.26), try to think happy thoughts (5.77), and try to maintain my feelings as long as possible (5.71).
- The least common reactions were: avoid things I know I like (1.89), talk myself down (2.02), and sulk over an old problem (2.02).
- Using a scale of 1=Definitely False/Strongly Disagree to
5=Definitely True/Strongly Agree, students were asked about themselves.
- The most common responses were: I try to be courteous to everyone I meet (4.26), I laugh easily (4.22), and once I find the right way to do something I stick to it (4.17).
- The least common responses were: I often get into disagreements with my family and co-workers (2.26), I don't like to waste my time daydreaming (2.42), and I am not a worrier (2.65).
Word Games Club
The 9,378 Fall 2009 undergraduate students on the Macomb campus were asked about their interest in forming a Word Games Club with 240 responding. (Contact Maximilian Ruszkowski at MA-Ruszkowski@wiu.edu for more information.)
- 55% of respondents said they would be interested in joining if a Word Games Club was were offered at Western.
- 50% of respondents were primarily interested in text based word games like Scrabble and Boggle, compared to just 4% who were primarily interested in speech based word games such as various theater improvisation games and exercises, but 47% were interested in both text and speech based word games.
- Most (88%) of students preferred casual sessions of word games compared to 12% who would prefer competitive sessions.
Fencing Club Interest
In a repeat of the Spring 2009 survey, the 9,378 Fall 2009 undergraduate students on the Macomb campus were asked about their interest in forming a Fencing Club with 349 responding. It should be noted that as a result of the interest express through these surveys, a WIU Fencing Club has now been formed through the Campus Recreation Center. (Contact Maximilian Ruszkowski at MA-Ruszkowski@wiu.edu for more information.)
- 80% of respondents said they would be interested in either participating in or watching the sport of competitive fencing (foil, epee, and/or sabre) although only 24% had ever participated in or watched the sport before.
- Of those who had some prior involvement with fencing, 42% had active fencers, either casually or competitively
- 63% of respondents said they would be interested in joining if fencing were offered as a Club Sport at Western, with 70% of these willing spend 5 hours/week learning and practicing fencing.
Study Abroad Opportunities
Students enrolled during Fall 2009 were asked questions to find out about their awareness of and interest in study abroad opportunities in repeating the survey that had been administered the preceding fall semester. Of the 12,666 students invited to participate in Fall 2009, a total of 676 responded. (Contact Emily Gorlewski at EJ-Gorlewski@wiu.edu for more information.)
- When asked to clarify what was meant by study aboard, 84% of the students felt it involved spending a semester studying at a foreign institution, although some of the opportunities offered through the Office of Study Abroad take place over as little as one week. Not surprisingly then, only 30% were aware of the types of Study Abroad programs offered at Western and just over half (58%) were aware that Western has a Study Abroad Office.
- In rating the benefits of studying abroad from 1=Extremely Beneficial to 5=Not Beneficial At All, students saw study abroad as being a very beneficial opportunity, ranching from 1.35 for their personal growth to 1.70 for their future career. Recognizing the benefit of studying abroad was also evident with 91% of students saying they would like to study abroad although less than 3% had ever studied abroad.
- Despite recognizing the value of studying abroad, only 11% of students indicated that their academic advisor had discussed the option with them, and only 6% had learned about Western's Study Abroad program from their academic advisor, compared to 36% who learned about it from Study Abroad Fairs and 35% from posters or bulletin boards.
- When given options of the types of study abroad experiences they would like to be involved in, 54% indicated 1-3 week programs, 47% indicated full semester programs, 43% indicated a summer session program, and 15% said they would like a full year program. Overall, 70% of students also said they'd prefer a study abroad programs that involved a group of WIU students rather than studying abroad independently.
- 65% of the students had traveled outside of the United States and 71% were interested to very interested in taking advantage of WIU's study abroad opportunities, although 85% indicated that costs/finances would be their biggest obstacle to being able to do so. Supporting this strong potential interest, 77% of students responding asked to be sent more information about Western's study abroad opportunities.
Advisor Study Abroad Survey
The Office of Study Abroad sought to find out how aware Western's academic advisor were of many international opportunities their students could take advantage of. Among the 87 academic advisors, 30 provided their input. (Contact Emily Gorlewski at EJ-Gorlewski@wiu.edu for more information.)
- 74% of the advisors indicated that they encourage their students to study abroad and 72% had Study Abroad brochures available in their office. Of those who didn't have brochures, 64% asked that some be provided to them..
- 90% of academic advisors had had had a student ask them about study abroad opportunities and 84% had discussed study abroad opportunities with a student. Most (73%) felt knowledgeable discussing the opportunity with the student directly, although 92% indicated they also referred the student to the Study Abroad Office for more information, including 50% who referred their students to the Study Abroad website.
- 69% of academic advisors had discussed the academic planning necessary to take advantage of study abroad with their students, but 59% had not used the advising sheets provided by the Study Abroad Office when discussing these issues with their students, largely because they did not know these advising sheets existed (42%).
- 75% of academic advisors had had a staff member from the Office of Study Abroad speak to them about study abroad opportunities for their students, although of those who hadn't, only 13% were interested in scheduling a meeting with a Study Abroad staff member.
- In scoring statements from 1=Strongly Agree to 5=Strongly Disagree, the academic advisors most agreed that their supervisor/department supports study abroad (1.45), that they are aware of the various kinds of study abroad programs available (1.87), and that study abroad is important to student's personal development (1.97). Although still positive in their support, the statements with which the academic advisors were in least agreement with were study abroad options should be incorporated into their student's majors (2.74), study abroad is realistic for the students they advise (2.61), and study abroad helps students find better jobs when they graduate (2.58).
Technology in Learning
In an effort to learn how faculty are currently using mobile technology in the classroom and their potential interest and need for training, the Mobile Technology Committee conducted an online survey. Of 873 faculty who were invited to participate, 139 (16%) provided input, with good representation across all four of the academic colleges, as well as Library and Honors College faculty. (Contact Sean Cordes in the Malpass Library at CS-Cordes@wiu.edu or Dawn Sweet in the College of Education and Human Services at DR-Sweet@wiu.edu for more information.)
- More than 90% of faculty indicated that their current classes, across all levels, were primarily taught face-to-face, while 21% did note that at least some of their classes were taught through WesternOnline.
- While faculty indicated that they personally used cell phones (92%), laptop computers (92%), iPod Touch devices (25%), smart phones (21%), and eReaders (11%), there was online limited current use of these types of mobile technologies in the classroom. Laptops were by far the most prevalent used mobile technology in the classroom (43%), while just 7% used iPod Touch devices, 7% used cell phones, 3% used smart phones, and 3% used ereaders. However, 6% were taking advantage of student response systems, or "clickers" in their classrooms.
- The biggest concerns in terms of integrating mobile technology in their instruction were lack of time to prepare (61%), their current knowledge level of technology (46%), and hardware/software not being available to either themselves or their students (41%). However, 65% were interested in being able tot incorporate collaborative environments like Google Docs (65%) into their classrooms, while blogs (51%) and wikis (48%) were other Web 2.0 technologies of interest.
- Faculty were quite interested in learning how to integrate new technologies in their teaching, with 41% indicating moderate interest, 29% indicating a small level of interest, and 23% indicating a high level of interest, while just 7% had no interest in integrating new technologies in their classrooms. However, although 31% of faculty were excited about the instructional implications of using mobile devices to support classroom learning, 16% inform their classes that such devices are not permitted in their classrooms, citing concerns with students being distracted (66%), classroom disruption (58%), and cheating/academic dishonesty (46%)
- Overall, 24% of faculty felt prepared to teach in an environment immersed with mobile technology, while 13% felt that mobile devices have no place in their classroom. However, the majority (64%), while feeling unprepared currently, they felt it was an area that Western should consider exploring although its implementation would require a major change in their instructional curriculum in order to effectively utilize mobile technologies.
Weekly Newspaper Survey
Bill Knight, WIU Professor or Journalism, in coordination with the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors and the Inland Press Association, conducted an online survey to help gauge the health of weekly newspapers. With 206 weekly publications responding, the results represent a good cross-section of the weekly newspapers in the United States. (Contact Bill Knight at BK-Knight@wiu.edu for more information.)
- While approximately one-fourth of the weekly newspapers actually published 2 or more weekly editions, the most common day of publication was Thursday (50%), followed by Wednesday (39%), and more distantly by Tuesday (13%). In addition, most weekly newspapers (58%) had a combination of free and paid subscribers, with 69% indicating they had free subscribers and 94% indicating they had paid subscribers. Not surprisingly, 88% relied on advertising as a means of covering expenses.
- The overwhelming majority (83%) of weekly newspapers were in rural areas and 99% focused on their print publication compared to online delivery. And as was expected, 99% reported on local news issues, with 90% covering local sports, 83% providing local features, and 75% being a focal point for local opinion. Less common was being a venue to monitor public affairs (72%).
- Most weekly newspapers were small operations, with 98% of employees serving as at least part-time journalists, and few are growing with only 10% indicating that estimated 2009 revenue was above average while 54% indicated that they too had suffered from the effects of the economy and saw below average revenue for 2009. However, cost cutting measures were at least somewhat effective as numbers were more positive on a net income basis, with 12% indicating above average net income for 2009 and only 44% indicating below average 2009 net income.
Attitudes and Perceptions of
"Chicks on the Square"
648 students and staff on campus during the summer months were invited to participate in a survey about their attitudes and perceptions of "Chicks on the Square" with the first 100 respondents received a downloadable 10% off coupon to use during their next visit to Chicks. (Contact Kelsey Olson at KL-Olson@wiu.edu or Pete Jorgensen at PF-Jorgensen@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Most respondents indicated that, on average, they dine out 1-5 times/month (34%) to 6-10 times/month (43%), spending on average $10-19 (38%) to $20-29 (28%) on each visit.
- 78% of respondents indicated that they had eaten at Chicks on the Square at least once in the last year, with some (2%) even eating there 1 or more times a week.
- In terms of factors of importance when visiting Chicks, on a scale of 1=Not Important to 5=Very Important, the food was the top reason (4.94), followed by service (4.42), value (3.94), physical layout (3.61), social atmosphere (3.53), and cocktails (2.94).
- 87% of Chicks visitors reported being satisfied with the food, 76% were satisfied with the service, and 79% agreed or strongly agreed that their overall dining experience was excellent.
- Lack of seating causing long waits (2.62), combined with lack of adequate wait seating (2.77) scored the lowest on a 5-point scale of satisfaction.
- On 5-point scale of importance for improvements, not surprisingly, more available seating (4.20) topped the list, followed by specials on food and/or drinks (3.70), a "frequent guest" card (3.50). Reservations were less desired (3.17), as was a delivery service (3.00), or more menu choices (2.96). Receiving low interest were a late night bar (2.64) and a gift shop (1.61).
Abroad Program Evaluation - Spring 2009 students
Of the 28 students who participated in Study Abroad during the Spring 2009 semester, 24 (86%) provided as assessment of the program and their experience, with 11 having visited Spain, 9 visiting Australia, 2 visiting Sweden, 1 visiting England, and 1 visiting Thailand. (Contact Center for International Studies Assistant Director ,Emily Gorlewski, EJ-Gorlewskil@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Among reasons for participating in Study Abroad, ranking 1st was a desire to travel, followed in 2nd by wanting to experience other cultures/viewpoints. Academic and career goals were virtually tied for a distant 3rd place factor. And while recommendations from others was a seldom cited reason for choosing to study abroad, faculty members and friends were the most common sources of encouragement.
- Students met with their Study Abroad Advisor on average of 4-6 times, with these advisors receiving high marks from the students rating them 9.35 on a 10-point scale.
- 63% of the Spring 2009 Study Abroad students chose programs that required them to use a foreign language, and of these, 92% felt they had adequate foreign language skills before beginning their trip and 91% used their foreign language frequently outside of the classroom.
- 94% rated the quality of the courses they took in the foreign country as good to excellent. Likewise, the foreign country's professors (95%), teaching facilities (84%), and workload (84%) were rated as good to excellent.
- 100% of students said that their Study Abroad experience as influenced their ability to cope with an adapt to new and different situations, as well as having increased their desire to travel abroad. In addition, 94% said that the experience altered their world view, as well as influencing their future plans. With such high regard, it is not surprising that all 100% would recommend the opportunity to other students.
Recreation Satisfaction Survey
The 14K+ members of the WIU campus community were invited to participate in an online survey assessing their satisfaction with the new Campus Recreation Facility 21,000 sq.ft. expansion that was completed the preceding spring semesters. 968 members of the campus community provided input, including 15% of respondents who had never used Campus Recreations services. (Contact Campus Recreation Director, Milly MacDonell, MB-Macdonell@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Of the 9% who were members of Sports Clubs, 85% were satisfied to very satisfied with their Sports Club. Similarly, of the 15% who had participated in intramurals, 78% were were satisfied to very satisfied with the IM sports tournaments.
- Among the 69% of respondents who had never participated Campus Recreation's Fitness/Wellness programs, the most common reason was that they weren't offered at times convenient times (29%), but 25% also said they did not know that these programs were available to them, and 25% said they weren't interested in fitness/wellness programs. While more had participated in Open Recreation, still, 43% of respondents had not - again with note knowing the facilities were available to them (32%) being a major factor is this lack of use.
- 54% said that they expect that their use of Campus Recreation facilities will increase as a result of the expansion, with an additional 26% saying they might increase their use of the facilities. Among areas expecting to see the greatest use were the weight room (55%), cardio equipment in the Cardio bridge/view areas (55%), and the track (48%). The overall increased use might also be enhanced by the 18% of previous non-users who indicated that although that had not utilized Campus Recreation in the past, they do intend to do so in the future.
- Campus Recreation student staff received high marks, with 68% of respondents giving the highest mark of friendly and helpful. Likewise, Campus Recreation professional staff received high marks - 84% rating them as friendly and approachable, 80% rating them as available to answer questions and respond to concerns, and 78% rating them as knowledgeable. And while just under half (48%) were satisfied with the day/time of group fitness classes, 65% were satisfied with the variety of classes and 64% were satisfied with the fitness class instructors.
- The quality and condition of Campus Recreation also received high marks, rating the equipment as good to excellent, for cardio equipment (89%), strength training equipment (89%), group fitness equipment (79%), and intramural equipment (73%).
- In terms of potential enhancements, expanded hours of operation was the top request (53%), followed by a Juice Bar with smoothies and shakes (51%), with less interest in health snacks (38%), comfortable seating/lounge areas (38%), expanded food menu (22%), and coffee bar (17%).
In coordination with a new WIU policy that all incoming students participate in an alcohol awareness program, the 2,861 new Fall 2009 students were invited to participate in a survey about their past associations with alcohol in an effort the establish a predictive method of identifying alcohol abuse risks in college students. 1,741 of the new students (53%) participated in the survey effort. (Contact David Lane at DJ-Lane@wiu.edu or Jennifer Ford at JN-Ford@wiu.edu, both in the Psychology Department, for more information.)
- 39% of the student reported not drinking at all in high school, while 33% reported less that 1 drink/week on average, indicating minor alcohol abuse risk for nearly 3/4 of our incoming students. However, 11% indicated consuming 1-3 drinks/week on average during high school, 6% indicated 4-6 drinks/week, 4% indicated 7-9 drinks/week, 4% indicated 10-12 drinks/week, and 3% indicated more than 12 drinks/week, suggesting a strong potential for college alcohol abuse among 17% of our incoming students.
- This divide in minimal risk vs. substantial risk of alcohol abuse in college was further supported by the 17% who indicated they consumed 5 or more drinks in a single evening at least 3-4 times/month, while an additional 14% did so 1-2 times/month. Yet, in addition to the 39% who did not drink at all in high school, 30% of the others binge drank less than once/month.
- While 19% reported never having consumed an alcoholic drink, the most common age of first alcohol consumption of an entire drink was in the mid teens, with 14% at age 15, 18% at age 16, and 12% at age 17. Similar age results were found for the first time students got "buzzed" (26% never, 44% between 15 and 17) and "extremely drunk" (37% never, 36% between 15 and 17).
- Although these numbers indicate a somewhat high potential for collegiate alcohol abuse, it is clearly not as bad as it could be since 82% of Western's new students reported that they either did not drink or drank less than other students in their high school, and 77% said they drank less than their fellow classmates during a night of partying.
- Further positive notes included that fact that in high school although 76% reported that drinking was a popular social activity and that 74% of students tended to drink when they got together socially, there was not a great deal of pressure to drink as 83% reported that students who did not drink were not less well thought of than those who did drink even though 80% reported that the most popular students did drink.
Preparedness in Rural-Based Teacher Education Programs
As a NCATE-accredited school offering a Teacher Education Program, researchers at Western contacted staff at the other rural-classified US schools offering NCATE teacher education programs to ascertain the difficulties they faces, as rurally-located schools, in meeting the association's prescribed diversity standard. Of the 163 rural schools asked to participate, 124 (76%) from 34 different states responded. (Contact Debra Miretzky at D-Miretzky@wiu.edu or Sharon Stevens at SR-Stevens2@wiu.edu, both in the Department of Educational & Interdisciplinary Studies, for more information.)
- In terms of methods of providing students information about diversity, 92% said they infused diversity concepts throughout their curriculum. 54% also had a stand alone multiculturalism course, of which 94% had it as a required course.
- The most commonly cited activities and resources utilized to incorporate the element of diversity in their teacher education programs were Reading Assignments (96%), In-Class Activities (95%), Guest Speakers/Resource People (91%), Lesson Planning (88%), and Lecture/Discussions (86%).
- With regard their teacher education candidates having meaningful
interaction with diverse populations, the schools report the following
for the NCATE established aspects of diversity:
- 93% reported meaningful interaction with persons of different genders - highest among faculty at their college/university (98%) and lowest among K-12 faculty where they had field experiences (85%).
- 74% reported meaningful interaction with persons of different socioeconomic statuses - highest among the K-12 students where they had field experiences (97%), lowest among faculty at their college/university (44%).
- 67% reported meaningful interaction with persons with exceptionalities - highest among the K-12 students where they had student teaching experiences (100%), lowest among K-12 faculty where they had field experiences (37%).
- 61% reported meaningful interaction with persons of different ethnicities - highest among the K-12 students where they had field experiences (86%), lowest among fellow students in their teacher education classes (47%).
- 60% reported meaningful interaction with persons of different races - highest among the K-12 students where they had field experiences (84%), lowest among fellow students in their teacher education classes (47%).
- 55% reported meaningful interaction with persons with different geographical areas - highest among faculty at their college/university (69%), lowest among K-12 faculty where they had field experiences (40%).
- 51% reported meaningful interaction with persons with different religions - highest among faculty at their college/university (57%), lowest among K-12 faculty where they had field experiences (37%).
- 47% reported meaningful interaction with persons with different languages - highest among the K-12 students where they had field experiences (72%), lowest among K-12 faculty where they had field experiences (24%).
- 28% reported meaningful interaction with persons with different sexual orientations - highest among faculty at their college/university (44%), lowest among K-12 faculty where they had field experiences (15%).
- Of these various aspects of diversity, when schools were asked which single aspect of diversity was most important for their teacher education candidates to have experience with, 31% said persons with exceptionalities, followed by differing socioeconomic statuses (30%), different ethnicities (17%), different races (15%), different languages (6%), and different geographic areas (2%).
Cancel Their WIU Admission
Students who were newly admitted to Western, but chose to cancel their undergraduate admission for Fall 2009 semester were asked to provide input into factors affecting their decision not to attend Western. 355 of these students responded, with results providing an opportunity for Western to address how it increase the yield rate, reported as 60.6% of all admitted new students, including new graduate students, for Fall 2009 in the University Fact Book available at www.wiu.edu/irp. (Contact Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Eric Campbell, at E-Campbell@wiu.edu for more information.)
- Of these admitted, but canceling new undergraduate students, 3% had applied to only Western, while 13% had applied to 1 additional college, 18% to 2 additional college, and 65% to 3 or more additional colleges besides Western.
- Overall, 11% indicated that Western was their 1st choice college; while 34% indicated Western ranked 2nd among their college choices; 32% ranked Western as their 3rd place choice; and 22% indicated that while they had applied to Western, and had been admitted, it was their last college choice.
- When able to select multiple reasons for deciding not to attend Western, the top general reasons cited were Location (48%), Majors or Programs (28%), Campus Feel (28%), Family (17%), and Friends (17%).
- The top specific reasons cited for deciding not to attend Western were Availability of Scholarships (45%), Cost of Tuition 39%), Availability of Financial Aid (38%), Cost of Room and Board (32%), Scholarships that Required they Attend another School (32%), and Cost of Student Fees (23%).
- On a 4.0 grading scale (4=A, 3=B, 2=C, 1=D, and 0=F) these
admitted, but canceling new undergraduate students were asked to rate
various areas with respect to their interest or previous interaction
- The areas scoring the highest were:
- Admissions and Application Process (3.04)
- Admissions Reception Staff (3.01)
- Faculty (2.95)
- The areas scoring the lowest were:
- Overall impression of housing facilities (2.48)
- Timeliness in receiving scholarship notification (2.52)
- Scholarship Office Staff (2.59)
- The areas scoring the highest were:
Evaluation - Fall 2009
Students whose professors took advantage of the University Library's single class session opportunity to learn more about using library resources were again invited to provide feedback on this learning experience, with 1,351 student evaluating their library instructors. As was the case in Fall '08 and Spring '09, students continued to find the librarians did a good job in explaining how to use the library resources. (Contact University Libraries Dean, Phyllis Self, at P-Self@wiu.edu for more information.)
- On a 5-point scale from 1=Strongly Disagree to 5=Strongly Agree
the areas where the librarians scored the highest were:
- The librarian was knowledgeable about the material (4.58)
- The instructor's presentation used technology effectively (4.50)
- On a 5-point scale from 1=Strongly Disagree to 5=Strongly Agree
the areas where the librarians scored the lowest were:
- The librarian encourage student questions and participation (4.26)
- The instructor was sensitive to the class level and student progress (4.31)
- When rating the librarians' overall teaching effectiveness on a 5-point scale from 1=Poor to 5=Excellent, students rated the librarians at a 4.20 rating.
- When rating how well the library session related to their class assignment/goals on a 5-point scale from 1=No, Not At All to 5=Yes, Very Well, students rated the sessions at a 4.73 rating.
Grad School Visit
Western's Graduate School continued to use online survey technology to seek input from prospective graduate students who come to tour campus. Following their visit they are invited to assess their visit and likelihood of choosing WIU for their graduate studies. From July 1 - December 31, 2009, 4 prospective graduate students had completed the survey. Beginning January 1, 2010, the Graduate School will be moving to a new system of interacting with prospective students and results will no longer be reported here on the WIU Survey website. (Contact the Graduate Admissions Office, at Grad-Office@wiu.edu for more information.)
- None of the prospective students had been accepted in WIU's Graduate School, but following their visit 75% said they were very interested in attending WIU and 75% strongly agreed that the facilities and appearance of campus met or exceeded their expectations.
- 100% felt that the length of the campus tour was satisfactory, and 75% felt that their campus tour included all the areas of campus they were interested in, with the tour of graduate/married student housing being especially beneficial.
- 75% rated the informative value of meeting with Graduate Admissions during their tour as very good to excellent and 100% rated the effectiveness of the Graduation Admissions staff member in answering their question as very good to excellent.
- 100% rated informativeness of the departmental advisor in their desired area of study as very good to excellent, with all 100% rating the effectiveness of the departmental advisor as being excellent in answering their questions.
Institute for Supply Management
The Institute for Supply Management has partnered with Western Illinois University since April 2006 to conduct online surveys to obtain monthly information from members regarding current steel supplies/products and future projections. In January 2008, Western Illinois University also began hosting the survey results. Each monthly PDF report also contains a 13-month trend analysis. (Contact Tiffany Armas at Tiffany.Armas@Donaldson.com for more information.)
- Monthly updated results can be viewed at www.wiu.edu/survey/ISM