Student satisfaction reflected in 2008 ACT survey
In terms of student satisfaction, South Florida Community College continues to equal or surpass the national average, according to the 2008 ACT Student Opinion Survey.
The survey is conducted each year to learn what students think about the college, its services, and the education they are receiving. During the recent survey conducted in fall 2008, 725 full- and part-time students rated their satisfaction with college services and the college environment. Among the college environment categories were academics, admissions, rules and policies, facilities, registration, and general quality. Each item was rated on a scale of one to five, with one being “very dissatisfied” and five being “very satisfied.”
When compared to national averages generated by survey participants from over 115 two-year institutions, SFCC’s students were as satisfied – if not more so – with their college experience. Their opinion of the college in general was rated 4.12 on the 5-point scale. The national average was 4.09.
“Overall, the results were very positive,” said Dr. Christopher van der Kaay, director, Adult Education, and a member of the college’s Data Analysis Group which analyzed survey results. “SFCC was above the national norms on most items, and overall students showed they were satisfied with the college.”
Among SFCC’s student services, the SFCC Learning Resources Center was viewed most favorably by students, who rated it 4.33 – the highest of any item in the survey. College-sponsored social activities ranked second (4.24), and computer services were third (4.22).
Overall, students were happy with the college environment and the quality of their SFCC education. In the area of academics, students ranked both the attitude of the teaching staff and the appropriateness of class sizes as 4.20. Respondents gave a 4.02 to both the quality of instruction and the course content in their major area of study, as well as high marks to the testing and grading system (4.02), their preparation for their chosen occupation (4.0), and the value of information provided by their advisor (4.0). They were also content with the availability of advisors and instructors, the flexibility to design their own program of study, and the variety of courses offered.
The admissions process and registration procedures received high marks from students, who expressed satisfaction with admission and registration procedures, assistance from staff, quality of admissions publications, availability of financial aid, and the availability of courses they wanted at the times they could take them. These items were rated slightly below 4.0.
Respondents held equally favorable views of the college’s rules and policies, the safety of the campuses, and the use of student activities fees.
Opinions about college facilities and laboratories were also positive. Respondents rated their satisfaction with classroom facilities as 4.16. Students were also satisfied with the general condition and appearance of the grounds (4.08) and the study areas (4.03).
Students rated their satisfaction with the college in general at 4.12 and had positive opinions about the attitudes of non-teaching staff toward them, the atmosphere of racial harmony, the college’s concern for the individual, student government, and opportunities for involvement in college activities.
“We value the feedback we receive from our students and pay close attention to their concerns and any trends apparent from our analysis,” said Dr. Norman L. Stephens Jr., president. “The results are generally positive and indicate that our students are mostly satisfied with the education, services, and learning environment they encounter at our college. Nevertheless, we have important work to do to improve our effectiveness. In our ever-changing world, any organization that rests on its laurels will quickly find itself behind the pacesetters with little chance of regaining the lead. Our students and our communities demand very high standards of excellence.”
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SFCC employees can review the 2008 ACT Student Opinion Survey in detail by logging onto the SFCC Institutional Effectives and Curriculum Support Main Menu: http://dudley. From there, click on “Data Analysis” and “SOS.”