Graduating Student Survey – 2008

Sue Erickson
Carmen Williams
Offiice of Institutional Research
July 31, 2008

The UND-developed Graduating Student Survey (GSS) was designed and first used in 1991 giving UND the capacity to conduct an exit survey of graduating seniors. The GSS survey has been administered every three to four years since its inception and is intended to extract a variety of information from the students including such things as, overall satisfaction with the university experience, college-related goals, student involvement, cognitive and affective development, as well as future goals and aspirations. Researchers often say to study the successful students. This survey gives the University of North Dakota the capacity to obtain opinions from seniors just prior to graduation.

On March 20, 2008 , a cover letter from the Office of Institutional Research with information about the Graduating Student Survey was electronically mailed to 800 sampled students' emails that had indicated plans to graduate in May 2008. Three follow-up email reminders were sent subsequently. At the end of the data collection period ( April 29, 2008 ), 223 students had returned completed questionnaires. The net response rate is 27.9%.

The results of the 2008 GSS were analyzed and compared to the results from previous studies. Below are some findings from the 2008 GSS:

•  The top primary reason that soon-to-be graduates give for attending UND was program (33% of males compared to 27% of females). Location was second highest reason given for attending UND (14% males compared to 24% females).

•  The Wellness Center was at the top of the list for most satisfied service, followed by Memorial Union, and Information Technology Systems and Services.

•  The report lists the level of satisfaction on 21 items. The top five most satisfied items are:

  •   Level of interaction with other UND students (88.1%)
  •   Overall social experience (88.0%)
  •   Overall academic experience (85.9%)
  •   Challenge of courses in major (83.6%)
  •   Helpfulness of faculty in major (82.4%)

•  Also looking at the satisfaction levels of the 21-items, six of these have seen a steady increase in satisfaction from 2001, 2004, and 2008 AND are above 50%:

  •   Overall social experience - 79.7% (2001), 84.0% (2004), 88.0% (2008)
  •   Opportunities for involvement in campus activities 66.6% (2001), 71.2% (2004), 79.2% (2008)
  •   Racial harmony 55.0% (2001), 65.9% (2004), 74.3% (2008)
  •   Classroom equipment/facilities 66.3% (2001), 70.4% (2004), 71.7% (2008)
  •   Level of interaction with faculty outside of class 64.9% (2001), 67.8% (2004), 69.7% (2008)
  •   Academic advising in major 60.9% (2001), 62.1% (2004), 67.1% (2008)

•  43.7% of graduates plan to continue their education, which is the highest reported percentage in all prior surveys. Of these 43.7%, 18.6% plan on UND for additional degree (highest to date). 28.8% are undecided of their future plan for additional education (also the highest to date).


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