Beth_DanberryBy Beth Danberry, Research and Planning Project Coordinator

As you may recall, last spring SCC students participated in the Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI), sharing with us what they viewed as important in their overall college experience and their corresponding satisfaction level. Responses to individual survey items were analyzed to determine the areas that matter most to students, where we are meeting their expectations, and where we have room for improvement.

Based on this analysis, over 20 items were identified as college strengths. A strength is defined as an item with high importance and high satisfaction. According to our students, our Top Ten Strengths are:

• Course grading systems are set up so that I can monitor my own grades during the semester.
• My academic advisor is knowledgeable about my program requirements.
• I am able to interpret my course progress (pass/fail) from the feedback I receive or can monitor
• My academic advisor is approachable.
• Nearly all of the faculty are knowledgeable in their fields.
• My instructors properly use technology in class.
• Adequate financial aid is available for most students.
• My instructors effectively use online applications (e.g. D2L, Internet, email) for instruction.
• Program requirements are clear and reasonable.
• The campus is safe and secure for all students.

It is important to identify our strengths, as they indicate what our college is doing effectively. As SCC has conducted the SSI over multiple years, it is also useful to compare what our students reported across the years. Individual items where students report a higher satisfaction now compared to spring 2009 are:

• My academic advisor is knowledgeable about my program requirements.
• I am able to interpret my course progress (pass/fail) from the feedback I receive or can monitor.
• My academic advisor is approachable.
• My academic advisor is concerned about my success as an individual.
• Adequate financial aid is available for most students.
• The campus is safe and secure for all students.
• Faculty are fair and unbiased in their treatment of individual students.
• My academic advisor is knowledgeable about the transfer requirements of other schools.
• Faculty take into consideration student differences as they teach a course.
• Class change (drop/add) policies are reasonable.

When the 2009 SSI results became available, administration/staff reviewed the data and drilled down into the item scores of the Admissions and Financial Aid category. As a result of this analysis, the Financial Aid messages to students were clarified and the methods used to distribute these messages were changed. The effects of these changes can be seen in the improved satisfaction scores for that particular category in spring 2012.

The Academic Support Center also analyzed items included in applicable categories. They found that the importance of tutoring services availability had increased as had the students’ satisfaction with the tutoring services. The performance gap (the importance score minus the satisfaction score) of tutoring services had decreased from 2009 to 2012. With these results, the college is encouraged that programs and services currently in place within the Academic Support Center are working successfully, and that is something to celebrate!

For more information about the SSI and what our students are telling us, please visit: www.southcentral.edu/rpg