Survey Research Overview

The assessment of student learning is a shared responsibility at St. Lawrence. While academic department and programs and the Student Life division primarily engage in the assessment of direct student learning outcomes, the Office of Institutional Research is charged with the administration and/or support of institution-wide surveys that provide the College with indirect insights into student learning as well as essential feedback on the educational experiences and work experiences of St. Lawrence students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Data collection is highly intentional: Longitudinal studies typically follow a three-year cycle, allowing us to assess students in their first year and again as outgoing seniors. Other studies are cross-sectional - including all class years and/or multiple constituencies. This provides us with a comprehensive environmental scan at a specific point in time.

Supplemental questions are typically added to consortia or national surveys to explore current topics of interest. Questions are designed in collaboration with multiple constituencies on campus to bundle questions and reduce the number of surveys we ask students, faculty and staff to complete.

Survey results are routinely shared with faculty, the senior administration and the board of trustees. These assessments receive careful consideration in the planning and decision-making and regularly inform committee work.