irWhen I meet someone new, their first question is usually, “What do you do?” And when I tell them I work in Institutional Research at a university, their second question is, “Yeah, but what do you do?”

Sometimes I say, “I make numbers into pictures.” But it might be more accurate to say, “I find answers.”

The university collects mountains and mountains of data about its students, faculty, and staff. We dig into all that data and find answers to questions like these:

  • How many people are enrolled at UMHB?
  • How many of those are athletes?
  • How many are veterans or active duty military?
  • What’s the average age of a UMHB student?

One of the most important things we do is administer surveys. The first one you’ll encounter (if you’re an undergraduate student) this semester is something called the Student Satisfaction Inventory. In it, you’ll see several statements, like:

  • The campus staff are caring and helpful.
  • Students are made to feel welcome here.
  • My academic advisor helps me set goals to work toward.

For each statement, you’ll rate how important it is to you and how satisfied you are with your UMHB experience.

It takes 10-15 minutes for you to complete a survey like this, and it gives us valuable information about where UMHB is doing well and where we have room for growth. But it’s only helpful if students respond and give honest feedback.

The second one you’ll see comes at a pretty busy time of the semester: right before finals. These are the IDEA Student Ratings of Instruction, and they give you an opportunity to rate your experience in the classroom.

These take some time to complete, because you’ll get one for pretty much every course you take. Please take the time to complete the ratings. Faculty use the results of these surveys to improve their courses.

In both the Student Satisfaction Inventory and the Student Ratings of Instruction, you have the opportunity to enter comments. While comments are optional, thoughtful and detailed feedback helps us have a more complete picture of where the university is doing well and where we have room for improvement. As you enter your comments, remember:

Be polite.

Whether you are offering a compliment or a suggestion for improvement, please be respectful with your language.

Be specific.

Be as specific as possible when describing issues or making suggestions. “I didn’t like this course,” is harder to address than, “Sometimes I felt like the assigned reading didn’t relate to the classroom discussion.”

We truly appreciate how well you respond to surveys. Your input helps us improve the UMHB experience.

Institutional Research provides invaluable support toward UMHB’s goal of being the university of choice for Christian higher education in the Southwest. UMHB might be the place for you! We invite you to visit our website to learn more, or stop by for a visit!