Noel-Levitz Survey Results
Two hundred and fifty Norwich students recently shared their opinions on a wide variety of topics concerning the state of the university as part the Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory.
The survey, administered on campus in February and March to a cross-section of the student body, focused on questions of general areas of campus life, ranging from healthcare services to the bursar's office to student activities.
"Students had the opportunity in this survey instrument, which is a national survey instrument, to identify areas that they are most concerned about or interested in, and then to tell us how are we doing in that particular area," said BG Michael Kelley, vice president of student affairs and commandant of cadets.
Kelley said that there were several surprises in the data collected.
"We learned that the students feel the number one priority for building projects on campus is a new residence hall," Kelley said. "In 1999, when we last gave the survey, students felt that the priority should be a student union." The commandant attributed this change in opinion to the increases in enrollment and retention which the students observe.
"One of the things I was pleased to learn through this survey was that there is a strong regard across the student body for our guiding values," Kelley said. "There is also a lot of pride in the school. Many of the participants said that they would recommend the school to a friend. Another positive piece of data revealed in the survey was that students feel the availability and number of activities at Norwich are greater than at other private colleges that take this survey."
The commandant said that there are a number of issues where a gap exists between student expectations and the school's ability to meet those expectations.
"The number one gap that the students identified is the availability of parking," Kelley said. "Certainly this is an issue we want to look at. We think that our policy for this year, of not allowing sophomores to have cars, may have exacerbated that gap. We are already working on a policy that will allow sophomores to have cars on campus. Another issue we are addressing which coincides with student concerns is that of student housing. President Schneider has authorized Dave Magida to start some preliminary work on a design concept and a cost estimate for a new residence hall."
Kelly anticipates that the Noel-Levitz survey will be administered every two years. "In conjunction with this survey, we did a supplemental piece that asked Norwich specific questions," Kelley said. "We would like to try to collect the Norwich data on an annual basis.
"This survey provides us with a great opportunity to see where we stand and, more importantly, where we want to go," Kelley said. "It can be a very useful tool."
Results of the Noel-Levitz survey will be posted on the Norwich University website in the near future.
by Mark Albury