Student, alumni/ae, and faculty surveys provide a window into the educational experience here at Luther. The following instruments give us multiple measures over time; we believe it is vital to keep current in regard to student perceptions. Most importantly, the findings are the starting points for relevant discussions about learning goals, curriculum, student-faculty interaction, and a multitude of experiences that make up educational excellence.
CIRP [First-Year] Survey
The CIRP Freshman Survey, UCLA’s annual survey of the nation’s entering students at four-year colleges and universities, is the largest and longest-running survey of American college students. The survey examines high school behaviors, admissions decisions, expectations of college, student values and goals, and student demographic characteristics. At Luther, we administer the CIRP to incoming classes as part of first-year orientation, except in BSCCE-rotation years.
Designed to assess the academic and personal development of students over the first year of college, Your First College Year can be paired with the CIRP First-Year Survey for longitudinal analysis. The YFCY collects information about students’ adjustment, satisfaction, academic and extracurricular experiences.
The College Senior Survey is an exit survey for graduating seniors. The CSS focuses on a broad range of college outcomes including: academic achievement and engagement, student-faculty interaction, cognitive and affective development, student goals and values, satisfaction with the college experience, degree aspirations and career plans.
Since 1989, more than 350,000 faculty and administrators from 1,200 two- and four-year institutions have participated in the comprehensive HERI Faculty survey. Results are particularly useful in discussions about pedagogy, and how it relates to students’ experience on campus, as well as identifying sources of stress and satisfaction among Luther’s faculty.
Like the CIRP First-Year Survey, the Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement collects data about entering college students’ high school academic and co-curricular experiences, as well as their expectations for participating in educationally purposeful activities during the first college year. It is designed to be paired with the NSSE administration at the end of the first year. We first administered the BCSSE in 2010 as an alternative to CIRP.
Administered by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research, the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) provides participating institutions a variety of reports that compare their students’ responses with those of students at self-selected groups of comparison institutions. Through its student survey, The College Student Report, NSSE annually collects information at hundreds of four-year colleges and universities about student participation in programs and activities that institutions provide for their learning and personal development. The results provide an estimate of how undergraduates spend their time and what they gain from attending college.
The Faculty Survey of Student Engagement is designed to complement the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). The faculty version focuses on faculty perceptions of how often students engage in different activities; the importance faculty place on various areas of learning and development; the nature and frequency of faculty-student interactions; and how faculty members organize their time, both in and out of the classroom.
The HEDS Alumni Survey examines postgraduate employment outcomes, college debt, and college satisfaction as well as the long-term impact of undergraduate experiences on liberal education learning goals such as critical thinking, information literacy, and problem solving. We survey Luther’s 5- and 10-year alums.
The HEDS Research Practices Survey looks at information literacy, including student’s skills, attitudes, and approaches to using information sources in academic research. We administer the RPS to both incoming and upper-level students longitudinally, to assess the outcomes of Luther’s liberal arts instruction in college-level research skills.
The Diversity Survey assesses students’ attitudes, behaviors, experiences, and perceptions of diversity and inclusion at Luther. Many of the questions were taken with permission from the Campus Diversity Survey developed by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP), and questions about experiences in the town of Decorah were added.
The Collegiate Learning Assessment measures student performance in the areas of critical thinking, analytic reasoning, problem solving, and written communication. The CLA focuses on how well the school as a whole contributes to student development. Consequently, it uses the institution (rather than the individual student) as the primary unit of analysis.
The Intercultural Development Inventory assesses intercultural competence–the capability to shift cultural perspectives and appropriately adapt behavior to cultural differences and commonalities.