Office of Institutional Research updates yearly survey

Chris Wilcox
Staff writer

The Office of Institutional Research is updating a yearly senior survey that aims to assess and improve academics and services at Murray State.

This year the office is also giving the National Survey of Student Engagement. Which upon completion can win the student monetary prizes.


Senior Survey

All students who apply for graduation receive the senior survey as part of the graduation package.

Fugen Muscio, coordinator of the Office of Institutional Research, said the survey is modified nearly every five years in order to make it more current.

“New services come and old services go,” she said. “Terminologies also change, so we want to keep the survey as up-to-date as possible.”

The senior survey, which currently has questions, related to demographics, academics, University studies, campus life/student services and graduation, helps administrators, faculty and staff assess and improve Murray State.

Wording is the main characteristic of the survey being changed. Words like “e-study” are being altered to Blackboard, and the old term “Department of Nursing” became the School of Nursing.

Dataf from the senior survey of 2010, include statistics that state out of approximately 558 responses, around 68 percent of the graduating students are female. Other statistics include 96 percent of the seniors reporting the overall quality of instruction at Murray State to be satisfactory or very satisfactory.

Not only can the information be seen as a whole, but can also be categorized by department or school. This narrowed information gives administrators, faculty and staff from each individual department or school the best method of examining specific data.

President Randy Dunn said the survey is conducted to help the University understand what changes they need to make.

“As the University is in a huge push for our SACS reaccreditation, we are about the business of looking at students we serve, collecting data and then making changes in response to that,” Dunn said.

Data compiled from the senior survey is put online at the University’s website, found on the Office of Institutional Research’s page.


National Survey of Student Engagement

Every three years the National Survey of Student Engagement returns to Murray State. This survey is given to randomly selected freshman and seniors.

The survey is sent by mail to the randomly selected students. Murray State has a 39-percent response rate. The response for Kentucky institutions as a whole is 29 percent.

Each of Kentucky’s eight public universities participates in the NSSE as part of a consortium organized by the Council on Postsecondary Education. The survey is conducted by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research and Planning.

The survey measures student engagement in activities related to learning and personal development, provides information on types of teaching and analyzes how postsecondary institutions are using their resources in engaging their students.

“These surveys give the University the best way to gage it’s effectiveness and allows administrators, faculty and staff to make changes which will better the University,” Muscio said.

The data is compiled yearly and can be reviewed by anyone.

Dunn said this survey was of particular importance because it compares data from Murray State with other schools in the country.

“It’s interesting because I do read those survey results very carefully and sometimes the things we think we’re really great at we find that we could do better,” he said.

This year the University has arranged for a drawing for University Store gift certificates among all who participated in the survey by April 30. The prizes include two gift cards of $100 and 24 gift cards of $25, which will be awarded among the pool of competitors.

Data for this survey can also be found at the Office of Institutional Research’s page.