MAILED: June 14, 2000
More than 90 percent of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students are satisfied or very satisfied with their overall experience at the university, according to the 1999 ACT Student Opinion Survey completed this spring.
The 90.6 percent satisfaction rate is up from the 88.2 percent reported in 1996, the last time the survey was conducted.
"Students are reporting being satisfied in almost every aspect of university life," Chancellor Donald Mash said, noting that satisfaction rates at UW-Eau Claire are well above the national average. "Our students gave high marks to everything from our small class sizes to our quality facilities to our recreation and intramural programs. In other words, they told us they are having quality experiences in and out of their classrooms."
The increasing levels of student satisfaction are reflected in increasing retention rates, Mash said, noting that the number of students returning to UW-Eau Claire for a second year also has gone up. The freshman-to-sophomore retention rate increased from 70.8 percent in 1981 to 79.2 percent in 1998.
"Students are having exceptional learning and living experiences at UW-Eau Claire," Mash said of the tie between the student satisfaction survey and increasing retention rates. "We have put into place a number of creative programs to help students connect to other students, faculty and staff as soon as they arrive on campus. As a result of making those kinds of connections early, students are being more successful in all aspects of their college careers. And they are reporting being more satisfied with their university experience as a whole."
The ACT Student Opinion Survey is completed every three years in an effort to determine student opinion of the university environment and student services and programs. In the spring of 1999, 2,000 surveys were sent to a stratified random sample of enrolled, degree seeking undergraduates. Twenty-four percent of the surveys were returned.
Other survey highlights included:
The survey indicated that students were least satisfied with the availability of courses at times they can take them, as well as parking facilities and services.
- More than 95 percent of the respondents indicated they use the McIntyre Library, and more than 84 percent were satisfied or very satisfied with the library and its services.
- More than 84 percent of the students reported being satisfied or very satisfied with the size of their classes.
- More than 92 percent of the respondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the recreational and intramural programs and services.
- Satisfaction with the general condition of buildings and grounds was well above the public and national averages. Almost 88 percent of the respondents replied favorably when asked about their overall satisfaction with the grounds and buildings.
- Students report feeling safer than ever at UW-Eau Claire, with 85 percent of the students feeling satisfied or very satisfied with the level personal safety on campus.
- The number of students reporting having used Career Services increased since 1996. Satisfaction with those services also increased, with more than 75 percent of those using the service reporting being satisfied or very satisfied.
- The percentage of students reporting being satisfied or very satisfied with Financial Aid services increased since 1996, with 73 percent responding favorably.
For additional information about the Student Opinion Survey, call Kay Magadance at (715) 836-5368.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: June 26, 2000