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Survey Descriptions and Activities: An Overview

Student Surveys

Academic Advising Center Survey
(Academic Advising Center and Office of Institutional Research - OIR)

Purpose: Used in the effort to assess the quality and effectiveness of the Sacramento State Academic Advising Center. The results are used by the Advising Center and Student Affairs to maintain and improve accurate, reliable, and consistent advising for students' academic success.
Key Variables: Demographics, scaled responses on services received in center, preferences for advising.
Target Population and Sample Frame: The survey is completed by students who receive advising in the Advising Center at Sacramento State. The sample consists of all students receiving advising in the Advising Center during a semester in which the survey is administered.

Admitted Student Questionnaire (ASQ)
(College Board)

Purpose: Used in the effort to assess the opinions of admitted students with regard to what they think about our majors, recruitment literature, financial aid packages, competition, and more.
Key Variables: College Characteristics; Sources of Information; College Costs and Financial Aid; Demographics.
Target Population and Sample Frame: Administered electronically and by mail to all recently admitted Sacramento State applicants.

Alumni Surveys - Academic Programs (since Summer 2002)
(Sacramento State Academic Programs and Office of Institutional Research - OIR)

Purpose: Used in the effort to assess the quality and effectiveness of Sacramento State educational programs and support services. The results are used by departments and programs in the self-study portions of Academic Program Review.
Key Variables: Demographics, college outcomes questions, and department/program specific questions.
Target Population and Sample Frame: The survey is completed by alumni that received a degree from Sacramento State in programs specified in each survey. The sample consists of alumni from five years previous to the term of the survey administration.

Alumni Outcomes Survey - Academic Programs (prior to Summer 2002)
(American College Testing - ACT)

Purpose: Used in the effort to assess the quality and effectiveness of Sacramento State educational programs, support services, a detailed employment, and education history. The results are used by departments and programs in the self-study portions of Academic Program Review.
Key Variables: Demographics, College Outcomes: Importance and Impact, Personal Growth: Degree of Growth and College Contribution to Growth, Involvement in Activities, Educational Experiences, Perceptions of University, First and Current field of Job and Income, Relationship of Job to Major, Job Preparation, Job Satisfaction, Satisfaction with Campus Services.

The ACT Alumni Outcomes Survey allows thirty local questions. Sacramento State campus questions include ten questions regarding the quality of instruction, ten questions developed by the Office of University Affairs, and ten questions specific to the major developed by the department.
Target Population and Sample Frame: The target population consists of individuals who have earned a degree from Sacramento State in specific programs. Program level administrations consist of mailing the survey out to alumni who graduated within the previous 5 years.

Alumni Outcomes Survey - University
(American College Testing - ACT)

Purpose: Used in the effort to assess the quality and effectiveness of Sacramento State educational programs and support services. The results are used by the University, colleges, and departments to guide planning and resource priority decisions.
Key Variables: Demographics, College Outcomes: Importance and Impact, Personal Growth: Degree of Growth and College Contribution to Growth, Involvement in Activities, Educational Experiences, Perceptions of University, First and Current field of Job and Income, Relationship of Job to Major, Job Preparation, Job Satisfaction, Satisfaction with Campus Services.

The ACT Alumni Outcomes Survey allows thirty local questions. Sacramento State campus questions include twenty questions regarding academic issues and ten questions developed by the Office of University Affairs.
Target Population and Sample Frame: University level administrations consist of a mail out survey to all alumni earning a degree during the academic year that was 5 years prior to the term in which the survey is mailed (eg. summer 2002 administration is for for 1996-97 alumni).

Campus Climate Survey -Currently Being Developed

Purpose: Used in the effort to assess sense of community and respect for diversity among all members of the campus community at Sacramento State.
Key Variables: Demographics, questions relating to campus experiences of harassment, cooperation, respect, among and between students, faculty and staff.
Target Population and Sample Frame: The survey is completed by a representative sample of students in class. All faculty and staff are surveyed by inter-campus mail.

CASPER Registration Survey
(Sacramento State Office of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Office of Institutional Research - OIR)

Purpose: Used in the effort to assess the quality and effectiveness of Sacramento State educational programs and support services. The results are used by the University, colleges, and departments to guide planning and resource priority decisions.
Key Variables: Fall: Academic issues (eg. instruction, scheduling, advising, resources). Spring: Co-curricular issues (eg. services, activities, organizations, facilities)
Target Population and Sample Frame: Administered every semester to all students who register by phone or on the web. The CASPER phone survey requires all students to answer two questions before they register for classes. The two questions asked of each student are selected from a pool of twenty based on the last digit of the student's SSN. Approximately 2,000 students answer each question.

College Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP)
(American College Testing - ACT)

Purpose: Used in the effort to assess the quality and effectiveness of Sacramento State educational programs in reading and writing. The results are used by the University, colleges, and departments to guide planning and resource priority decisions.
Key Variables: The CAAP Reading Test examines reading comprehension as a product of skills in referring, reasoning, and generalizing. The test requires students to derive meaning from several passages by referring to what is explicitly stated, reasoning to determine implicit meanings, and drawing conclusions, comparisons, and generalizations beyond the text.
The reading test contains items measuring reading skills in several areas: prose fiction (stories or excerpts from short stories or novels), the humanities (art, music, philosophy, theater, architecture, dance), social studies (history, political science, economics, anthropology, psychology, sociology) and the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, physical sciences).

The CAAP Writing Essay test is based on the assumption that the skills most commonly taught in college-level writing courses and required upper-division courses include: 1) formulating an assertion about a given issue: 2) supporting that assertion with reasons and evidence appropriate to the issue, position taken, and a given audience: 3) organizing and connecting major ideas: and 4) expressing those ideas in clear, effective language. The test is designed to elicit responses that demonstrate ability to perform these skills in a timed, first-draft writing situation.
Target Population and Sample Frame: Sacramento State students enrolled in classes chosen to participate in the CAAP administration. Administered in selected Sacramento State classes on an as needed basis.

College Outcomes Survey of Enrolled Students
(American College Testing - ACT)

Purpose: Used in the effort to assess enrolled students' perceptions of importance of, progress toward, and college contribution to a variety of college outcomes. It is used to access satisfaction with selected aspects of the educational programs and support services. The results are used by the University, colleges, and departments to guide planning and resource priority decisions.
Key Variables: Demographics, importance and progress in college outcomes, personal growth and college contribution to growth, satisfaction with aspects of college.
Target Population and Sample Frame: In class survey administered to a representative sample of enrolled students at Sacramento State during the semester in which the survey is mailed out. The sample is stratified by class level.

College Outcomes Survey of Graduating Students
(American College Testing - ACT)

Purpose: Used in the effort to assess the quality and effectiveness of Sacramento State educational programs and support services. The results are used by the University, colleges, and departments to guide planning and resource priority decisions.
Key Variables: Demographics, importance and progress in college outcomes, personal growth and college contribution to growth, satisfaction with aspects of college.
Target Population and Sample Frame: The target population consists of individuals who are graduating from with a degree from Sacramento State in the semester in which the survey is mailed out.
Note: The 2003 survey included undergraduates only.

Entering Student Survey
(American College Testing - ACT)

Purpose: Used in the effort to collects a variety of demographic, background, and educational information about Sacramento State students as they enter school. The results are used by the University, colleges, and departments to guide planning and resource priority decisions.
Key Variables: Student Demographics, Perceptions of University, Extracurricular Plans, Educational Plans and Preferences. The survey also allows for thirty additional questions developed by the offices of Student Affairs and Academic Affairs.
Target Population and Sample Frame: The target population consists of individuals who are entering Sacramento State as new students. The survey is mailed out in the fall semester to entering students for that term.

General Education (GE) Surveys
(Sacramento State General Education Coordinator and Office of Institutional Research - OIR)

Purpose: These surveys assess the effectiveness of GE area studies at Sacramento State.
Key Variables: Questions measure the degree to which courses achieve stated area objectives.
Target Population and Sample Frame: Surveys are administered in class to all students enrolled in within specific GE areas.

Learning Communities Surveys
(Sacramento State Learning Communities and Office of Institutional Research - OIR)

Purpose: These surveys assess the effectiveness of the Learning Communities at Sacramento State.
Key Variables: Questions measure the degree to which Learning Communities achieve objectives.
Target Population and Sample Frame: Surveys are administered in class to all students enrolled in a Learning Community.

Learning Styles and Motivated Strategies Survey
(Sacramento State Office of Academic Affairs and Office of Institutional Research - OIR)

Purpose: An exploration of student “ time on task,” i.e. studying and preparing for classes. A study into how students learn and how they become engaged in the learning process. The study also addresses questions about the educational goals of students and their motivation to learn.
Key Variables:
Target Population and Sample Frame: Administered to enrolled students in selected Sacramento State classes.

National College Health Assessment (NCHA)
(American College Health Association)

Purpose: An effort organized to assist health service providers, health educators, counselors, and administrators in collecting data about the health of their students. The NCHA allows for generation of measures of central tendency (averages) and prevalence for a variety of health issues.
Key Variables: Questions assess health status and health problems, risk and protective behaviors, access to health information, impediments to academic performance, and perceived norms across a variety of content areas including: injury prevention, personal safety and violence; alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use; sexual health; weight, nutrition, and exercise; and mental health.
Target Population and Sample Frame: Surveys are administered in class to randomly selected undergraduate students enrolled at Sacramento State.

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
(National Center for Higher Education Management Systems)

Purpose: To assess the extent to which students are engaged in empirically derived good educational practices and what they gain from their college experience (what they are putting into and getting out of their college experience). Thus, completing the survey itself is consistent with effective educational practice, such as level of academic challenge, enriching educational experiences, student-faculty interaction, active and collaborative learning, and supportive campus environment.
Key Variables: How and where students spend their time, the nature and quality of their interactions with faculty and peers, and what they have gained from their classes and other aspects of their college experience.
Target Population and Sample Frame: Surveys are mailed out to the randomly selected first-year and senior undergraduate students enrolled at Sacramento State.

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) - Local Administration
(Sacramento State OIR and National Center for Higher Education Management Systems)

Purpose: To examine the perceptions of both faculty and students about what students put into and get out of their college experience. The results will allow us to identify the similarity and differences in perceptions from both parties regarding the effectiveness of educational practices at Sacramento State.
Key Variables: Perceptions of faculty and students on how and where students spend their time, the nature and quality of their interactions with faculty and peers and what they have gained from their classes and other aspects of their college experience.
Target Population and Sample Frame: Administered in class to a randomly selected sample of 50 classes. The respondents include faculty as well as first-year and senior undergraduate students.

Quality Improvement Surveys
(The California State University)

Purpose: These surveys were designed to support or supplement process mapping and benchmarking activities on CSU campuses participating in the CSU Quality Improvement (QI) program initiative. Functional areas use the results of these assessments to analyze strengths and weaknesses, target areas for improvement, and identify and adopt “model” practices designed to improve services and customer satisfaction.
Key Variables: Assesses the satisfaction levels of the following functions: Mail Services, Human Resources, Career Services, Facilities/Physical Plant, Financial Aid, Health, Library, Mail, Student Accounts Receivable, Parking, Police, and Purchasing.
Target Population and Sample Frame: Sacramento State students, faculty and staff. Students are surveyed in class and faculty and staff have access to a web-based survey form. These surveys are expected to be repeated annually and the functional areas will rotate as the surveys are administered.

Student Needs and Priorities Survey (SNAPS)
(The California State University)

Purpose: The Student Needs and Priorities Survey (SNAPS) assesses the concerns, opinions, satisfaction, and needs of students related to quality of instruction, access to programs and services, campus climate, and perceived barriers to attainment of educational goals.
Key Variables: Student Demographics, Importance and quality of Services and Resources at Sacramento State, Service and Resource Needs, Sacramento State Educational Objectives, Importance of Factors in Decision to Attend, Financial Concerns, Type and Duration of Community Service, Campus Climate with Respect to Pluralism and Diversity. The survey allows for twenty additional questions developed by Student Affairs and Academic Affairs in consultation with the Office of Institutional Research.
Target Population and Sample Frame: A CSU system survey administered in class to a stratified sample of enrolled students every four to five years.

Student Satisfaction Inventory
(Noel-Levitz)

Purpose: This inventory measures student satisfaction with campus services and resources.
Key Variables: Demographics, importance and satisfaction with services, climate, aid, advising, and security.
Target Population and Sample Frame: In class survey administered to a representative sample of enrolled students stratified by class level.

Student Services Surveys - Evening and Weekend Hours
(Sacramento State Student Affairs and Office of Institutional Research - OIR)

Purpose: To learn more about the needs and availability of student services during the evening and weekend hours in order to improve services to enhance the educational experience for those students attending in the evening and on weekends.
Key Variables: Importance of services as well as level of satisfaction with the availability of current services offered in the following areas: advising, admissions, bookstore, career center, child care center, library, recreation facilities, health center, university union, resource centers, special services, etc.
Target Population and Sample Frame: Sacramento State students who attend in the evening and/or weekend. This survey was administered in class and is expected to be repeated as areas in need of attention are addressed to assess the effectiveness of the changes implemented.

Student Services Surveys - Summer Semester
(Sacramento State Student Affairs and Office of Institutional Research - OIR)

Purpose: To learn more about the needs for student services during the summer hours in order to enhance the educational experience for those students attending in the summer semester.
Key Variables: Days and hours students are taking classes, services needed but unavailable to summer semester students, opinions on the most essential services to have open during the summer in the evening and weekend hours, other services important for students during weekend and evening hours in the summer, summer course availability and summer living arrangements.
Target Population and Sample Frame: Sacramento State students who attend during the summer semester. This survey was administered in class and is expected to be repeated as areas in need of attention are addressed to assess the effectiveness of the changes implemented.

Faculty and Staff Surveys

Sacramento State Staff Survey
(University of Michigan - Adapted by Sacramento State)

Purpose: To identify the extent to which the culture, climate, and outcomes of the University are consistent with the principles of Quality Improvement.
Key Variables: Demographics, Collection and Use of Information, Unit Philosophy, Leadership Quality, Unit Climate with Respect to Pluralism and Diversity, Planning Mechanisms, Customer Satisfaction Measurement, Physical Environment, Work Processes, Unit Efficiency
Target Population and Sample Frame: This survey was developed by the University of Michigan and was adapted for use at Sacramento State. It was administered to all full time and part time staff members at Sacramento State, including managers and administrators during the first session of a required workshop for staff and it is expected that it will be repeated periodically.

Sacramento State Staff Morale Survey
(Sacramento State Academic Programs and Office of Institutional Research-OIR)

Purpose: Used to examine the factors affecting staff morale at Sacramento State. This survey focuses on universal issues affecting all Sacramento State staff. The results are used to provide recommendations and improvements to the University.
Key Variables: Professional Work Life; Reward/Evaluation System; Job Relations; Representation; Personal Factors; Employee Outlook; Demographics.
Target Population and Sample Frame: Administered to all full time and part time staff members at Sacramento State.

Faculty Survey of Student Engagement
(Coordinated by the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) at Indiana University Bloomington)

Purpose: Used in the effort to assess faculty expectations of student engagement in educational practices that are empirically linked with high levels of learning and development. The survey also collects information about how faculty members spend their time related to professorial activities and the kinds of learning experiences their institution emphasizes.
Key Variables: Perceptions of faculty on how and where students use their time, the nature and quality of their interactions with students and peers, and other aspects of college instruction and experience.
Target Population and Sample Frame: Administered electronically to all undergraduate faculty possessing a valid Sacramento State SacLink account.

Program Assessment Questionnaire - Faculty
(Educational Testing Service - ETS)

Purpose: The ETS Program Assessment Questionnaire for Faculty assesses faculty opinions of their disciplines at Sacramento State. Used for program self-study and as additional indicators of program quality.
Key Variables: Eighteen questions about current and relevant topics developed in cooperation with the Faculty Senate and the departments undergoing program review are asked in addition to the standard survey which requests the following information: Demographics, Ratings of Program Aspects, Ratings Facilities, Resources, Department Climate with Respect to Pluralism and Diversity, Emphasis of Department, Scholarly and Creative Activities.
Target Population and Sample Frame: This survey is sent through intercampus mail to all full-time and part-time faculty at Sacramento State through the respective department chairs.

Housing Assistance Needs Survey
(The California State University)

Purpose: To assess from the employee’s viewpoint what the greatest challenges are with housing and what types of assistance programs would be most beneficial. The desired outcomes from this survey were further clarity on what housing issues exist for the campus and what type of assistance, if any, would be most beneficial for recruitment and retention goals.
Key Variables: Demographics including: employment category, years employed, commute distance to work, commute time to work, number living in household, number of contributors to household, and income. Questions regarding relocation, satisfaction with housing situation, plans to purchase a home in the future, and the importance of housing assistance.
Target Population and Sample Frame: The Housing Assistance Needs Survey was a web-based survey administered in February 2001. It was distributed by the CSU Chancellor's Office to full-time employees who joined Sacramento State after January 1997, including full-time tenure track faculty, full-time support staff, and full-time MPP staff.

Quality Improvement Surveys
(The California State University)

Purpose: These surveys were designed to support or supplement process mapping and benchmarking activities on CSU campuses participating in the CSU Quality Improvement (QI) program initiative. Functional areas use the results of these assessments to analyze strengths and weaknesses, target areas for improvement, and identify and adopt “model” practices designed to improve services and customer satisfaction.
Key Variables: Assesses the satisfaction levels of the following functions: Mail Services, Human Resources, Career Services, Facilities/Physical Plant, Financial Aid, Health, Library, Mail, Student Accounts Receivable, Parking, Police, and Purchasing.
Target Population and Sample Frame: Sacramento State students, faculty, and staff took part in this survey. Students were surveyed in class, and faculty and staff had access to a web-based survey form. These surveys are expected to be repeated annually and the functional areas will rotate as the surveys are administered.

Technology Use Survey
(The California State University)

Purpose: This survey assesses technology use and technological needs of students at Sacramento State.
Key Variables: Demographics, computer/technology use, evaluation of resources, technology needs.
Target Population and Sample Frame: In class survey of representative sample of enrolled students. Intercampus mail survey to all faculty.

Other Surveys and Studies

Sacramento State Public Life Survey
(Sacramento State Office of Academic Affairs, Office of Institutional Research and Stanford Research Institute)

Purpose: The survey assesses the regional perception of Sacramento State in the following areas: culture/arts, human and social services, education, economic development, and public policy.
Key Variables: Campus-community connection, community awareness and involvement in campus activities, regional impact of Sacramento State, organization and promotion of Sacramento State efforts, and the campus environment.
Target Population and Sample Frame: Survey was mailed to community leaders in the Sacramento State service area holding positions in fields including Arts/culture, Economic Development, Education, Human and Social Services, and Public Policy. The survey was mailed in October 2000 to 960 individuals and is expected to be repeated periodically.