An essay by Dr. Jennifer Sasser, gerontology program director, was published in the International Journal of Reminiscence and Lifelong Learning in January 2015.
- Who are we surveying?
- Is the survey anonymous?
- When can I take the survey?
- How do I take the survey?
- Why are we surveying alumni?
- What does the survey ask about?
- Is this a request for donations?
- How is this different from other survey efforts?
- How long will it take to complete the survey?
- Can alumni start, stop, and return to the survey?
- Will alumni receive anything for completing the survey?
- How are we encouraging alumni to respond?
- What do we expect our response rate will be?
- What can faculty and staff do to help?
- What results will Marylhurst share? When and how will they be shared?
- How will the results be used?
- Who do I contact if I have trouble with the survey, or for more information?
2. Is the survey anonymous?
Yes. The survey is entirely anonymous. We utilize settings in our survey system that disconnect alumni identifying and contact information from responses so that we can't tell whose response is whose. Individual responses won't be shared in their original form to further protect anonymity and confidentiality.
4. How do I take the survey?
Alumni will be invited to complete the survey via email -- use the personal link provided to you in that email to complete the survey. Reminder emails will also be sent to non-respondents up to 3 times before the survey closes on April 26.
5. Why are we surveying alumni?
Alumni have a very important and unique perspective. Responses to this survey help us make sure that we are providing relevant and quality educational experiences for our students, and to consider how we might better support our alumni as well.
This effort is also part of a larger undertaking to assess how well we enact our mission. Data from the survey will contribute to that assessment, along with data about enrollment and financial aid, instructional quality (including student course evaluations and faculty evaluations), and staff and alumni satisfaction, among other things.
6. What does the survey ask about?
The survey begins by asking questions about what alumni have been doing since graduation, including ways in which alumni have stayed connected to Marylhurst. Then alumni are asked to consider how their Marylhurst educational experiences have impacted their life since graduation and about the relevancy of their Marylhurst education to their life and pursuits. Finally, alumni are asked about their satisfaction with Marylhurst, about their degree program, and about some basic demographics that allow us to understand who responded to the survey.
8. How is this different from other survey efforts?
The Alumni Relations office also conducts a survey every other year of all alumni (rather than just a cohort). The Alumni Relations survey has typically been limited to gathering information about alumni interests, events, and updated contact information.
Students, faculty, and staff are also surveyed by Marylhurst about a variety of topics, usually in order to provide data that will help the university improve the quality of academic programs and/or university services.
9. How long will it take to complete the survey?
We estimate that it will take about 15 minutes for most alumni to complete the survey. Some academic departments need specific data to meet specialized accreditation requirements. Alumni with particular degrees will be directed to department specific questions, which lengthen the survey a bit but should add no more than a few minutes to the time required.
10. Can alumni start, stop, and return to the survey?
No. It is possible to navigate back and forth within the survey as questions are answered, but once the survey is finished and exited, it is not possible to return. If you close the survey before it is finished, a partial response will be submitted (and included in analysis, if appropriate).
11. Will alumni receive anything for completing the survey?
Fortunately, we will be able to tell who responded (or didn't), which allows us to offer a token of our thanks for responses -- entry into a drawing for one of several $50 gift cards. If you are selected in the drawing we'll notify you by email by mid-May.
12. How are we encouraging alumni to respond?
In addition to the drawing for thank you gifts as incentives for response (alumni who complete surveys will be entered to win one of several $50 gift cards), we'll also be utilizing alumni newsletters and social media to promote the survey and encourage quality response. Our communications with alumni will include information about the importance of the survey and demonstrate our genuine interest in and need for their feedback
13. What do we expect our response rate will be?
The response rate for last year's survey was about 29% (161 alumni submitted surveys out of the 548 alumni we reached out to). We hope to have a similar, if not better, response rate this year.
14. What can faculty and staff do to help?
If you communicate with alumni who completed degrees in 2010-2011, please encourage them to participate in the survey. Answer questions as you are able or direct alumni to the information on this website as needed. Let alumni know that this is an important effort for us, and an opportunity for them to share feedback that we intend to use to make improvements.
15. What results will be shared? When and how will they be shared?
Responses will be summarized and shared publicly only in the aggregate (i.e., no individual responses will be shared, or data shared in a way that complete responses could be connected to any individual).
Internal reports will be provided that summarize the results for each college or school, and to departments with sufficient numbers of responses as to warrant a separate report (taking into consideration our desire to maintain anonymity and confidentiality).
A report of summarized results at the university level (i.e.. no individual department results) will be posted on Marylhurst's website in early summer.
16. How will the results be used?
We are conducting this survey to learn more about alumni experiences so that we can make improvements that might benefit current and future students as well as alumni. We'll examine the results to look for opportunities for improvement, as well as successes that might highlight what is working well. University leaders will consider the survey results in making decisions about student and alumni support efforts, and in ongoing assessment of how well we serve students and alumni and otherwise enact our mission.
17. Who do I contact if I have trouble with the survey, or for more information?
Jan Dabrowski, Dean, College of Arts & Sciences:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 503.699.6275.