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Campus Surveys - Academic Year 2006-2007

 

 

 

Athletics Survey
872 students help provide input regarding their interest in WIU Athletics and the effectiveness of current marketing and promotional efforts.

  • For students, newspaper advertisements (44.8%), word of mouth (35.4%), and schedule posters (32.2%) were the most effective ways of finding out about upcoming Athletics events. By far the most commonly seen/heard source of Athletics advertising was the Western Courier (78.0%).
  • 62.5% of students feel at least somewhat well informed about upcoming Athletics events, and 38.7% said that advertising efforts at least sometimes influenced them to attend Athletics events.
  • While everyone likes to cheer for a winning team, 41.7% of students said a team's win-loss record was not an important factor in determining whether they went to an Athletics event, and only 27.0% considered a win-loss record as very important.
  • Students highly preferred Saturday afternoon Athletics events, with other times having little preferential difference.

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GoWest Transit Survey
662 students responded to the survey, providing valuable information that GoWest will be able to use to improve service, something 1.5 million riders per year take advantage of.

  • 84.5% of students ride GoWest, with 82.4% using it at least once a week and 40.6% using it more than once a day.
  • 78.3% of students rate the value of GoWest service they receive for their student fee dollars as Good to Excellent.
  • Getting to class is the biggest reason students use GoWest (87.8%), with nighttime leisure (37.4%) and getting to shopping areas (23.4%) being other common reasons for riding GoWest.
  • GoWest has helped address parking concerns on campus, with 28.0% of students saying that having GoWest affected their decision of whether or not to bring a car to campus.
  • The most requested GoWest improvements, even if they caused an increase in student fees, were more shelters at bus stops (67.1%), automatic vehicle locators that would enable PDAs to show real-time bus locations (47.7%), more system map guide signs on campus (36.6%), and more benches at bus stops (34.7%).

Honors College Faculty Awareness
132 WIU faculty members helped the Centennial Honors College evaluate how aware faculty were of the opportunities they have to interact with the Honors College and Honor Students.

  • While 96.0% of faculty were aware that WIU has an Honors College, only 59.2% have ever been involved with the Honors College Program.
  • Of faculty who have been involved with the Honors College, most (66.67%) had done so by providing in-course honors for Honors Students in their regular classes. 24.1% had taught a specific Honors Seminar.
  • Despite a relatively high awareness of and involvement in the Honors College, there were still areas in which the Honors College needs to better inform Western faculty. For example, only 57.7% knew that there were specific WIU courses that only Honors Students can take and only 25.4% knew that academic departments can establish their own requirements for Honors College students who are majoring within their department.
  • 59.2% of faculty knew a colleague who taught in the Honors College and 62.9% were at least somewhat interested in teaching in the Honors College themselves.

Theatre Alumni Survey
86 WIU's Theatre alumni from before 1990 up through 2006, 51.2% with MFAs and 48.8% with BAs or BFAs, helped evaluate the program as it prepares for its upcoming NAST accreditation self-study. Among these alumni, acting was the major focus (43.0%) with the remainder about equally split between directing, production/design, and theatre studies.

  • Alumni consistently gave the Theatre program high marks, rating the overall quality of the WIU Theatre department as a 4.4 of 5, the quality of their particular focus of studies as a 4.3 of 5, compared to a 3.9 of 5 for the overall quality of WIU studies outside of the Theatre department.
  • Each of the specific areas of study within the Theatre department also received high marks, with Theatre History leading the way at 4.4 of 5, followed closely by Acting and Design/Technology, both at 4.3 of 5. While still receiving relatively high marks, Musical Theatre and Arts/Stage Management received the lowest ratings at 3.8 of 5.
  • Students also tended to indicate that they had adequate performing and production opportunities. Highest ratings were for designer in workshop productions (91.2%), actor in workshop productions (90.2%), and directing workshop productions (87.8%). Areas with the lowest adequate opportunity ratings were dramaturgy (50.0%), teaching (61.0%), and directing full productions (61.3%).
  • Perhaps the highest accolade is that 93.9% of Theatre alumni would recommend Western to someone interested in studying theatre.

Dads' Weekend Spring 2007
51.7% of the Dads who participated in Dad's Weekend helped evaluate the experience.

  • 71.4% of Dads traveled more than 200 miles to take advantage of Dads' Weekend, with 67.2% making the trip without other family members. While most Dads (62.39%) opted to spend the weekend in a local hotel, 20.5% stayed with their student.
  • The special edition Dads' Weekend T-shirt was a hit with Dads, with only 10.8% not liking the design.
  • Efforts to fit the event better into Dads' schedules was appreciated, with only 2.5% not liking the move of the opening reception from Friday to Saturday night, and only 7.6% didn't think having Rocky attend to have pictures taken with the Dads.
  • The top activities Dads participated in during the Weekend event were the Golf Scramble and Luncheon (45.0%), the Dads' Saturday Night Dinner (33.9%), and the Dads' Farewell Breakfast (28.4%) with made to order omelets.
  • 89.7% of Dads said they would definitely recommend this event to other Dads and 96.5% are interested attending a future Dads' Weekend, perhaps this time with the number 1 requested additional activity (51.8%), a fishing derby.

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Conversation Partners
Conversation Partners is a program where International and American students have an opportunity to meet and learn about each others' culture while helping an international student master English. This survey asked current participants to evaluate the program and provide suggestions for improvement.

  • 65 students, including 38 American and 27 International students provided input.
  • Class presentations were the primary way (52.6%) American students found out about the program. Although several of these courses offered class credit for participating, 46.0% of students said that an interest in other cultures was their primary reason for taking part in the program.
  • Despite an obvious interest in practicing English (40.0%), International students also valued the program as a way to learn about US cultures (32.0%) and to meet new people (28.0%).
  • 66.1% of participants gave high marks to the program, and 55.7% were able to meet with their Conversation Partner at least once per week during the semester. In addition, 85.0% of participants readily said they would be a Conversation Partner again.

Graduate School
More than 400 WIU grad students (19.1%) help evaluate grad school admissions, orientation, assistantships, and informational resources.

  • Among the 31.8% who has applied to other graduate programs, most had applied to between 1 and 3 other schools, but WIU was typically their 1st choice (45.8%).
  • The Internet was the key source of information about other graduate programs (86.3%), indicating the increasing importance of Western's web presence. In comparison to other schools, 62.6% felt WIU's Graduate School website was easy to navigate and 67.6% said it contained all of the information they needed.
  • Although current grad students feel the WIU Graduate School website is well organized (74.0%), is easy to find information on (67.3%), and provides the information they need (77.9%), only 20.4% report using it more than once per month.
  • Departmental new graduate student orientation sessions met with mixed feelings, perhaps because 30.6% did not know if one was actually offered by their department.
  • Just over half (57.8%) of respondents indicated that they had an assistantship, with most having full-time (76.4%), non-teaching/research assistantships (84.8%). Among those with assistantships, 77.8% felt their assistantship had enhanced their education.

Academic Advising
WIU freshmen and juniors were asked to evaluate the quality of academic advising they receive. Results will be used to help improve advising campuswide. Results were consistent among both freshmen and juniors.

  • Of the 122 freshmen who responded to the survey (6.4%), they:
    • most strongly agreed that their advisor maintains confidentiality (1.52), that their advisor treats them as an adult (1.64), and that their advisor listens carefully to their questions and concerns (1.79). [1 = strongly agree, 2 = agree, 3 = slightly agree, 4 = slightly disagree, 5 = disagree, 6 = strongly disagree]
    • much less strongly agreed that their advisor encouraged them to participate in extracurricular activities (2.74), referred them to campus resources and services (2.59), and understands and effectively communicates the use of the Student Degree Plan (2.40).[same scale]
    • check their WIU email frequently (1.27) and are able to utilize the STARS student record system (1.46), but are less able to interpret the Student Degree Plan (2.38) and the catalog and WARD report (2.35). [same scale]
  • Of the 268 juniors who responded to the survey (9.7%), they:
    • most strongly agreed that their advisor maintains confidentiality (1.50), that their advisor treats them as an adult (1.51), and that their advisor listens carefully to their questions and concerns (1.73). [same scale]
    • much less strongly agreed that their advisor encouraged them to participate in extracurricular activities (3.19), referred them to campus resources and services (2.73), and understands and effectively communicates the use of the Student Degree Plan (2.31).[same scale]
    • check their WIU email frequently (1.27) and are able to utilize the STARS student record system (1.22), but are less able to interpret the Student Degree Plan (2.26) and the catalog and WARD report (2.18). [same scale]

Transfer Student Needs
For freshmen, WIU created the First Year Experience program, but the special needs of incoming transfer students has received little focus. 16.6% of students who entered WIU with 30 or more college hours helped identify program and service needs for transfer students. This input will form the basis of a pilot effort beginning Fall 2007 that focuses on the incoming transfer student.

  • Campuswide, 46.9% of transfer students opt to live in campus housing for at least their first year, citing the convenience (63.8%) and proximity to campus (39.4%) as their primary reasons. This provides the opportunity to have specialized transfer student programming in the residence halls.
  • 65.1% said they would have benefited from programming specialized for transfer students in the residence halls and 44.8% would have chosen to live on a Transfer Student floor had it been available.
  • However, given that 53.1% of transfer students choose not to live on campus when they come to WIU, programming needs to expand beyond the residence halls so that all transfer students can benefit. The pilot effort that will be developed over the summer with provide a variety of academic and social opportunities designed to help transfer students readily feel part of the WIU community.

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Civil Service Computer Training Needs Assessment
More than 300 WIU Civil Service workers (34.4%) provided input regarding their need for and interest in computer training opportunities. These findings will help Human Resources develop training modules and opportunities for Civil Service employees.

  • 97.4% said their job required computer knowledge and 88.3% were interested in computer training opportunities.
  • With a survey focus on Microsoft Office suite, 66.4% had a current need for Excel training, 49.0% for Word training, 38.1% for Access training, and 27.0% for PowerPoint training. In addition, 22.4% were interested in Internet training and 18.3% identified other priority computer training needs.
  • Word users felt most proficient in editing, saving, and printing documents (3.51); preparing memos (3.16); and preparing business letters (3.10). They were less proficient with more advanced features such as using Macro commands (1.64), producing documents with a linked Table of Contents (1.75), and creating complex tables (2.01). [1 = limited knowledge, 2 = can do with help, 3 = self proficient, 4 = proficient]
  • Excel users were most proficient in entering data (3.18); using basic formatting features such as row width (2.92); and modifying workbook data (2.89). They were less proficient with more advanced features such as using Macro commands (1.50), using Excel list management (1.57), and creating Excel applications (1.66). [same scale]
  • While PowerPoint users were relatively proficient with basics such as using ClipArt or WordArt (2.16) and creating title and bullet slides (2.15), they lacked proficiency in merging presentations (1.64) and in creating interactive presentations using hyperlinks and action buttons (1.67). [same scale]
  • Proficiency with Access was very low, with even the design, creation, and modification of databases and tables being rated below "able to do with help" (1.75) and database query skills rating as only "limited knowledge" (1.34-1.39). [same scale]

RA Satisfaction
Nearly half (68 of 138) of the campus RAs helps evaluate RA training programs, comment on their job satisfaction, and offer suggestions for improvement.

  • RAs reported the highest levels of satisfaction with the opportunities they are given to grow and learn (3.87), their job responsibilities (3.84), and with their expectations and know what is expected of them (3.79). [1 = not at all satisfied, 3 = neutral, 5 = very satisfied]
  • RA satisfaction was lowest for the amount of recognition and praise the receive (2.63) and the structure of their training (2.68). [same scale]
  • Of those RAs not graduating, 64.8% plan on returning as an RA for the 2007-08 academic year, and only 11.1% were not returning due to dissatisfaction.
  • RAs recommended improvement in the meal plan RAs receive, with only 34.5% feeling that the current plan was adequate, and 52.5% suggesting a $100 increase in meal purchasing power.
  • While 86.9% of RAs would be willing to work residence hall desk stations for 2 hrs/wk as part of a proposed compensation plan, only 52.5% would be willing to add 24-hr rotating weekend coverage responsibilities. Overall, 80.3% of RAs were in favor of the proposed compensation plan which would increase their responsibilities, but also increase the compensation they receive as RAs.

Drug Slang IQ
Health Ed 442 graduate students challenged the WIU community to test their Drug Slang IQ in an effort to educate the campus and increase their awareness about illegal drug use. Of the 2,069 faculty, staff, and students who accepted the 25-questions challenge, many admitted they had no idea and were often forced to simply guess. Check out the answers. 

  • Scores ranged from 4-96% (1-24 of 25 correct answers).
  • The "easiest" question was #6, with 87.2% identifying "Whack" as not being one of the common terms for cocaine powder.
  • The "hardest" question was #17, with only 12.4% identifying "Max" as being the slang term referring to dissolving the depressant gamma hydroxyl butyrate (GHB) in water and mixing with amphetamines.

University Theme
Students, faculty, and staff were asked to provide input regarding awareness of the University Theme, the impact of theme-related programs, and suggest ideas for the future.

  • 52% were aware that the 2006-07 University Theme was Global Challenges and Personal Responsibility: Cultural Diversity prior to taking the survey.
  • Emailed announcements (65%) and the WIU website (52%) were the primary ways students, faculty, and staff found out about upcoming theme-related programs, with only 36% finding out from posters/brochures and 34% from faculty/staff.
  • Only 8% indicated that they attended the Linda Chavez speaker presentation, but 40% said they would attend similar events in the future, and 76% expressed interest in the topic.
  • Only 4% indicated that they attended the Byron Hurt film and discussion, but 41% said they would attend similar events in the future, and 100% expressed interest in the topic.
  • Only 4% indicated that they attended any of the Lunchtime Dialogs, but 33% said they would attend similar events in the future, and 97% expressed interest in the topic.
  • Although the events had not yet occurred, 34% said they were interested in the Reza Aslan event, 70% were interested in the Danny Glover event, and 50% were interested in the Media Influence Panel with Helen Thomas and Clarence Page.

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Disaster Myths and Facts
Students, faculty, and staff demonstrated a great deal of interest in learning about Disaster Myths and Facts. Of the 1,874 people who participated in the study, 78 (4.2%) were correct in their assertion that all 8 of the statements were only myths, not facts. Check out the answers. 

Political Bias in the Classroom
181 faculty (20.7%) and 235 students (4.7% of sample population) expressed their views on whether faculty exhibited political bias in the classroom. Both faculty and students agrees that political bias occurs in the classroom, with faculty being even more aware of the occurrence. (Contact Dr. Craig Tollini at 209/298-1264 or via email at CD-Tollini@wiu.edu for more details.)

  • 49.8% of students said professors do not discuss political or social issues that are not related to class, while only 28.7% of faculty felt their colleagues did not do this.
  • 76.3% of students and 76.5% of faculty said professors are biased in that they only discuss one side of political/social issues.
  • 72.4% of students and 81.4% of faculty said that professors ignore students who raise alternative points of view about political or social issues.
  • 63.5% of students and 74.7% of faculty said professors do not allow certain topics to be discussed, even though they are relevant to the course.
  • 72.7% of students and 91.5% of faculty said professors give lower grades to students who criticize the political or social position the instructor supports.

FYE Common Reading for 2007-2008  Cover of Last Child in the Woods, selected as FYE reading
A campuswide vote held during Spring 2007 determined the common reading for the 2007-08 FYE program. Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, by Richard Louv, was selected. 

Book Voting for Fall 2008 FYE Selection

 

Homecoming 2007 Theme
Selecting from 3 theme choices, students strongly preferred "Rockin' the Ages" 2:1 over "Around the World in 8 Days" and 4:1 over "Western Travels Through Time."

graph of Homecoming Theme vote

 

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Student Fees
The Macomb campus Student Government Association commissioned an online survey to seek student input regarding student fees, including current satisfaction with student fee areas and recommendations for which areas should receive additional funding.

  • Overall, Facility Enhancement/Life Safety, Computer, and Student Activity fees received the greatest support for increased revenue. Athletic fees, however, received the most "1st place" votes for greater support.
  • Computer Fees topped the list in terms of what students considered important to WIU's overall value at 87.4%, followed by Facility Enhancement/Life Safety Fees (79.6%) and Student Activity Fees (76.2%).
  • In terms of student satisfaction with how each fee area contributes to the overall value at WIU, Computer Fees again ranked 1st (69.9%), this time followed by Transit (Go West) Fees (62.4%) and Student Activity Fees (52.9%).

Faculty Committees
The Faculty Senate Committee on Committees moved to an online format for seeking faculty interest in serving on the 35 set committees, plus ad hoc committees and search committees to which faculty are appointed to serve.

Female Student Interest in Intramural Programs
Only 27.8% of survey respondents had ever participated in intramurals, but thanks to input gained from this survey, changes could be made that will attract more women to the courts, fields, and other venues.

  • 20.7% of female students on the Macomb campus responded to the Campus Recreation survey providing input that could lead to changes that encourage more female intramural participation.
  • Word of mouth is the way most Western women learn about intramurals, with 58.5% indicating they learned about it from a friend..
  • Team sports are highly preferred (86.1%) over individual and dual sports, and co-rec is nearly twice (23.9% vs 13.4%) as popular as women-only programs, although most (62.7%) female students don't have a preference between co-rec and women's intramurals.
  • Socialization (73.2%) and exercise (72.4%) top the list as reasons why female students participate in intramurals, although a significant 54.0% also enjoy the competition.
  • For female students who haven't participated in intramurals, 58.5% still used the Student Recreation Center at least once per week and 65.1% had seen posters advertising the events, but 89.6% were not aware that Campus Recreation could help them find a team to play on.
  • These former non-participants may soon be counted among the intramural actives, however, as 27.2% were definitely interested in some of the new activities Campus Recreation is considering adding to the intramural program.

President Goldfarb and Provost Rallo Review
Faculty Senate eligible staff utilized secure online survey technology for the second year in their annual evaluation of the performance of President Goldfarb and Provost Rallo. These reports are no longer available from the Faculty Senate website, but should be obtainable upon request at the Faculty Senate office (309-298-1589).

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Quad Cities Young Professionals Network
Most WIU-QC students live in the immediate QC area and would like to remain there following graduation. One of the factors that may help these students find new and better employment opportunities is better knowledge and utilization of the emerging Young Professionals Network.

  • Of 1,156 WIU-QC students, 23.5% responded to the survey about their current and future plans, as well as whether a young professionals network would be of value to them.
  • 78.2% of respondents lived in the immediate QC area and 72.1% wanted to remain in the area after graduation, with 60.8% rating the QC quality of living as above average.
  • Only 4.4% of students were involved in any type of career development program, and only 16.7% had completed an internship.
  • Only 7.6% of students were aware that there was an Young Professionals Network. Yet 50.6% said they would be interested in taking advantage of a program that offered job shadowing opportunities, 41.6% would in interested in participating in a mentoring program to connect to young professionals in the QC area, and 66.9% were interested in receiving an e-mail newsletter with information about local employers, job tips, etc. - all factors YPN provides.
  • More information about the program is available at http://www.ypnqc.org/

Latin Language Interest
WIU is exploring possibility of adding Latin as one of the foreign languages offered on campus. To determine is there was sufficient interest, all current students were surveyed about their interest. Results from the survey will now be reviewed and a decision made about whether to offer Latin at Western.

  • 59.1% of responding students said they would be interested in taking Latin if it offered at WIU, 27.6% were not interested, and the rest were unsure.
  • A surprising number of survey respondents mistook the offering of Latin as being directed toward learning Hispanic/Latin American languages, rather than recognizing Latin as being one of the traditional languages of medicine, science, law, and other disciplines.
  • 70.5% of respondents were planning of going to graduate or professional school after graduation, 9.1% were not, with the rest being unsure of their post-graduation plans..
  • Of the 502 students responding, 25.0% were juniors, 24.2% were seniors, 13.0% were sophomores, 12.0% were freshmen, and 24.4% were graduate students, with a few non-degree seeking students. These 502 students represented 46 different undergraduate and 30 different graduate academic programs with Macomb campus students representing 89.0% of the survey respondents.

Social Security Number Use
The SSN Use Task Force appointed by President Goldfarb conducted two surveys of WIU employees during Fall 2006 regarding the need for and use of SSN data collection and storage. The Task Force will complete its report to President Goldfarb by the end of December 2006 and make recommendations to lessen the need for use of SSN data, with preference instead for using WIU ID data. In addition, when SSN use is necessitated by law or external reporting agencies, the Task Force's recommendations will include steps to ensure that SSN information is securely protected.

Campus Climate Survey
In the first survey of campus climate since 2001, much improvement in diversity tolerance was shown, and further direction was gained from nearly 2,600 respondents.

  • Progress was shown with comments such as "Diversity is getting better at WIU and the administration has shown a deep commitment to getting this issue addressed."
  • The most significant factor in students, faculty, and staff deciding to come to and stay at Western was the physical attractiveness of the campus, followed closely by the availability of social and cultural activities and the physical accessibility of the campus.
  • Interaction among diverse groups is an important factor in creating a positive campus climate. Nearly 2/3 have frequent interaction with persons of race/ethnicities and religious backgrounds that differ from their own.
  • Insensitive or disparaging remarks about individual groups are seldom evident on campus, and when they are made, the majority of students, faculty, and staff readily challenged those who made the derogatory comments.
  • The greatest areas for improvement identified were 1) increasing the diversity of persons attending the various multicultural events on campus and 2) greater education related to the acceptance of non-native speakers who speak with a distinct accent.

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Moms' Weekend 2006 Survey
With a survey response rate of 73%, 350+ Moms were excited to give input that will further improve this well-appreciated program.

  • 84.1% of Moms traveled more than 100 miles to attend.
  • 25.6% of Moms stayed with their student (even in the residence halls!!), while 20.4% stayed on campus at the Union Hotel or Olson Conference Center.
  • 96.3% felt the Balloon Rally enhanced the event, but would have come even without it.
  • The most popular event was "Cooking with Mom, with 41.5% wishing there would have been more space available so they could have participated.
  • Almost half (45.6%) attended the new "Jewelry and Craft Show," and gave it a better than 3:1 vote of success.

Honors College Survey
Just over 1/3 of the 550+ WIU Honors College Students helped evaluation the program and, receive a free taco compliments of Diamond Dave's.

  • 72.1% WIU Honors College students joined the program as freshmen.
  • 65.4% of Honors College students come from smaller towns of under 40,000 population, with 44.7% going to high schools with fewer than 200 students in their graduating class.
  • Few students (6.1%) find out about WIU's Honors College from their high school counselor, with most learning about it at a Discover Western program (29.4%) or from another WIU student, faculty member, or advisor (56.1%).
  • 73.2% of Honors College students are involved in WIU student organizations, with 25.7% serving as officers in these organizations.
  • Receptions with executives in your field of study, Ice Cream Socials, and Movie and Popcorn nights were the top 3 events Honors College students would like the program to offer.

Campus Recreation "Get Fit, Stay Fit" Survey
181 former "Get Fit, Stay Fit" participants responded to questions about their fitness habits.

  • 95.6% participate in physical activity at least twice a week.
  • 96.1% are at least somewhat concerned about their health, with 99.4% at least somewhat interested in learning about ways to improve their health.
  • 91.1% understand how to read food nutrition labels, and 97.2% read them at least some of the time.
  • 57.0% have never had their cholesterol checked, while 78.6% get their blood pressure checked at least one a year.
  • Perhaps surprisingly, the 83 participants who had completed the 30 workout program showed no difference in their survey responses that those who had completed only half, or even less of the program.

Diabetes Education Need and Awareness Survey
WIU's Bella Hearst Diabetes Institute surveyed new freshmen about their awareness of diabetes to determine the need for increased education. (Contact Dr. Karen Greathouse at (309)298-1581 or via email at KR-Greathouse@wiu.edu for more information.)

  • 12.6% had a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes, and thus would seem more aware.
  • 59.1% falsely believed that eating too much sugar can cause diabetes.
  • 35.3% did not know their blood pressure and 98.9% did not know their cholesterol levels, both factors indicating lack of personal health awareness.
  • Less than half (42.6%) were aware that 1/3 of those with diabetes don't know they have it.
  • As many at 17.6% reported frequently experiencing symptoms potentially related to undiagnosed diabetes, including feeling of fatigue (17.6%), increased hunger even when eating regular meals (11.0%), and increased urination especially at night (6.6%).

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