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Campus Surveys - Academic Year 2008-2009


Grad School Visit Survey
In a new initiative, Western's Graduate School is seeking input from prospective graduate students who come to tour campus. Following their visit they are invited to respond to an online survey to help assess their visit and likelihood of choosing WIU for their graduate studies. By the end of June 2009, 11 prospective graduate students had completed the survey. (Contact the Admissions Office, at for more information.)

  • 70% of the prospective graduate students rated their meeting with a Graduate Admissions staff member as Very Good to Excellent, while 30% rated it as Fair to Average. In addition, 90% of the students rated the effectiveness of staff in answering their questions as Very Good to Excellent, while just 10% rated it as Fair to Average
  • When the prospective graduate students met with the departmental advisor of the graduate program they were interested in, 100% rated both the informativeness of the advisor, and the advisor's effectiveness in answering their questions as Very Good to Excellent.
  • 91% of the prospective graduate students said that their campus tour guide was knowledgeable about Western and able to answer their questions; and while 91% felt the length of the campus tour was satisfactory, 9% did disagree with this assertion. Similarly, 91% said the campus tour included all of the areas they were interested in, while 9% did not agree, with 91% saying that the facilities and appearance of campus met their expectations
  • Of the visiting prospective graduate students, only 18% had already been accepted by Western's Graduate School, and they were split 50:50 on whether their visit reinforced their decision to attend WIU.
  • All 100% of the visiting prospective graduate students who had not yet been accepted to WIU said that based on their campus visit they were very interested in attending Western.

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Campus Visit Evaluation
As students make exploratory visits to Western's campus, the Admissions office invite them to provide input on their visit, what they though of Western, and the likelihood that they will choose to attend WIU. From July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009, 150 prospective students completed the survey. (Contact the Graduate School, at for more information.)

  • 42% of the prospective students indicated that a WIU Admissions Counselor had visited their High School, with 42% of those students having the opportunity to meet with the Admissions Counselor . In addition, 42% had attended a College Fair, and of those, 51% had spoken with a WIU Admissions Counselor at the Fair.
  • For 85% of the students, this was their first visit to WIU, while for those who had already visited, 79% said this was their second visit to campus. Only 19% of the prospective students had not visited any other college campuses, with 48% having visited at least 2 other campuses.
  • Among those students who had visited other college campuses, 66% rated Western as being better, while 26% said it was about the same, with only 8% saying Western was not as good.
  • During their campus visit, 96% of the prospective students said the group presentation they attended was valuable, 96% said the campus tour was a good experience, 98% said their campus tour was knowledgeable, 94% said the residence hall tour was good, 91% said lunch at the campus dining facility was good, 95% said their meeting with faculty was productive, and 100% said their individual meeting with an admissions counselor answered all of their questions.
  • 50% of the prospective students said it was very likely that they would decide to attend Western, while an additional 40% said it was at least somewhat likely, and only 10% said that is was unlikely that they would be coming to Western. Among all of these prospective students, 65% rated Western as their 1st choice college/university, while 20% rated it as their 2nd choice and 15% rated Western as their 3rd or lower choice.

WIU Website Redesign Concept Campus Feedback Survey
As a follow-up to the initial Internet Technology Advisory Committee (iTAC) redesign of the WIU website presence, the intermediate solution recommended by the President's Cabinet was presented the campus community for review and comment. Of the 13,969 members of the entire campus community, 1,131 responded to the opportunity to view and evaluate the proposed homepage redesign, with 499 provided additional comment beyond the general demographic information requested the and the grading of the current and proposed homepages. Based on this campus feedback, a modified redesign was presented to and approved by the President's Cabinet on June 23, 2009. As presented immediately below, look for the new web look to soon appear across the campus web presence. (Contact Richard Chamberlain, Executive Director of University Technology, at for more information.)

New WIU web homepage design

New  WIU web redesign

Intermediate WIU homepage

Original  WIU Homepage

Intermediate WIU homepage

Intermediate Homepage Redesign


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Environmental Education Critical Thinking - #2
Following the Environmental Critical Thinking survey conducted earlier in the year immediately following their lessons on the environment, the same group of Delaware, Texas, and Utah high school students were asked to participate in the evaluation survey a few months later to help judge the retention of their newly developed environmental education critical thinking skills. Of the 244 students in the "initial-survey" group, 219 participated in the "post-survey" effort. (Contact Marie Cheak, WIU-QC Curriculum & Instruction, at for more information.)

  • In evaluating the students' ability to make direct conclusions from given facts or data, correct conclusions increased slightly over time from 55.6% to 56.5%.
  • When students were presented with the more difficult task of going beyond the information given to make inferences about it, the students ability to make the most correct inference decreased slightly from 53.4% to 52.3%.
  • Students were finally challenged by the even more difficult critical thinking exercise of identifying the biases represented by persons presenting views. Here the students improved their ability to identify the most correct bias determination 40.2% of the time, up from 36.0%.
  • Initially 85.4% of the students indicated that their classroom experience had increased their knowledge and ownership of environmental issues and problems, with this number rising to 91.5% at the post-survey point. Student sense of a moderate to significant change also increased 59.5% to 64.3%.

Dads' Weekend Spring '09 Evaluation
212 Dads who attended Western's 5th annual Dads' Weekend were asked to provide input regarding their experience. (Contact the Student Assistance and Parent Services Center for more information.)

  • 60% of Dads traveled more than 200 miles to attend Dads' Weekend, with the majority (78%) venturing to Macomb on their own, without other family members or friends. However, only 19% braved living with their son or daughter, opting instead of the Union hotel or local Macomb hotel, the Olson Conference Center, and even camping out at Spring Lake Park.
  • 80% of Dads rated the Dads' Weekend webpage as a good resource for finding out about all of the available events.
  • The most popularly attended events were Dads' Farewell Breakfast (47%), Golf Scramble (44%), Dads' Saturday Night Dinner (39%), Discounted Bowling on Saturday (27%), Bowling and Billiards (26%), Cooking with Dad (13%) and Relay for Life (12%).
  • The top rated events were on a 4-pt scale where 1=Poor and 4=Excellent were Massage for Dad and Me, BBQ Sauce Contest, Climbing Towers, and High Ropes Course (4.00), BBQ Sauce Contest , Game Night at the Library (100% good to excellent), Relay for Life (3.83), and Racquetball (3.80). In fact, all but one of the 21 events rated an impressive 3.00 or better, with the movie "The Spirit" ranking the lowest at 2.69.
  • 99% of Dads attending said they are interested in attending a future Dads' Weekend, and the lone holdout indicated that was only because his son was graduating. All 100% would recommend the event to other Dads. Among recommendations for these future Dads' Weekends were more community events (58%) and classroom experiences (40%), along with perhaps considering a fall event so a football game could be included.

Health Sciences Online & Internship Course Evaluations - Spring 2009
Continuing their effort to ensure the quality of their online and internship courses, the Health Sciences department asked all 160 students enrolled in their 9 courses offered online by 6 different faculty members to evaluate their class and professor. 67 students completed confidential evaluations. (Contact Mark Kelley, Health Sciences Chair, at for more information.)

  • Mean scores, on scale of 1=Poor to 5=Excellent continued to generally meet or exceed the 4-point threshold, doing so in 8 out of 11 categories.
  • Meeting or exceeding the 4-point threshold were: Instructor's encouragement of critical thinking (4.25), Instructor's knowledge of the subject matter (4.23), Instructor's ability to explain course requirements at the beginning of the course (4.18), Instructor's attitude toward the class (4.16), Instructor's providing an opportunity for questions & Instructor's organization of the course (4.14), Instructor's concern for students' progress (4.03), and Value of instructor's feedback (4.00)
  • Just missing the 4-point threshold were: Compared to all college instructors you have had, how would you rate this instructor? (3.95), Instructor's ability to motivate students (3.89), and Instructor's ability to explain material (3.87).

YMCA Disability Inclusiveness Survey
Dr. Dean Zoerink, a professor in Western's Recreation, Park & Tourism department, survey 199 midwestern YMCA directors regarding the programs they offered for youth with disabilities. 71 YMCAs responded. (Contact Dr. Zoerink at for more information.)

  • 44% of YMCAs indicated they served rural communities, with 33% serving urban areas, and 22% in suburban regions. Their clientele were predominantly Caucasian/White, but also with good representation of minority populations, particularly African American/Blacks which represented as much as 59% of YMCA clientele in some cases. Although some YMCAs indicated their clientele were more than 90% youth ages 12-18, most YMCAs had a slight predominance of adult and older adult (55+) clientele with 20-39% youth being most common.
  • While full-time staff accounted for only about 1/4 of YMCA personnel, 85% of YMCAs had staff who were professionally certified, e.g., in aquatics, fitness, aerobics, American Humanics, therapeutic recreation, etc.). However, only 29% of YMCAs had at least one staff person who facilitates inclusive services for youth with disabilities.
  • Just over half (53%) of YMCAs responding indicated that their marketing materials reflects the inclusion or the provision of accommodation. Relatedly, 55% indicated that they provide programs in which youth with disabilities participate alongside their non-disabled peers, but without accommodations. However, 33% of YMCAs did have a least a few inclusive programs for those with disabilities where accommodations and supports are provided, and 29% provide accommodations for youth with disabilities to participate alongside their non-disabled peers in all of their programs.
  • 69% of the YMCAs responding were able to provide at least some accommodations for youth with disabilities, with the most common being pool lifts (74%), program modifications (63%), assessment of participant skills (54%), and staff/instructor training in disability awareness (46%).
  • 84% of YMCA report that the ability to provide greater disability accommodation is challenged by financial constraints, with 85% of YMCAs having to find a least part of such funds in their operating budgets. However, a sizeable number of YMCAs do report assistance via donations (38%), grants (29%), and special fundraising (24%) for this purpose.

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Environmental Sustainability Actions on Campus
The 3,820 full- and part-time WIU employees were asked about their use of paper using electronic office equipment such as printers and copiers, as well as their current environmental sustainability practices. 762 employees responded. (Contact Charles Darnell at for more information.)

  • 99% of respondents reported using electronic office equipment within the last 12 months.99% used printers, including 90% who used their printers at least once a day and 37% who printed 10 or more times a day. 85% used copiers, including 68% who used a copier at least once a day and 14% who copied c10 or more times a day.
  • 51% of respondents indicated that they have a desktop printer in their office and 90% reported having a central (networked) printer in their department. Use of desktop printing was more prevalent, with 81% reporting using it a desktop printer and 37% using it 10 or more times a day, compared to 70% using a networked printer at least daily and 19% using it 10 or more times a day.
  • Preference between desktop and network printing was split (52% desktop to 48% network). Among those who favored desktop printing, the top reasons cited were greater convenience 80% and greater confidentiality (48%). Among those who favored network printing, the top reasons cited were faster printing (53%) and higher quality printing (42%).
  • 94% of respondents agreed that excessive use of paper and printing materials has a large impact on the environment, and 78% said they would be willing to reduce the amount of paper they used to print or copy if they better understood the environmental impact of excessive paper use. However, while 98% were away of duplex printing/copying, only 35% always use it and 69% do not have duplex functions on their copier or printer, something 36% noted are not purchased because of the added cost.. And while 84% indicated they had used the clean side of scrap paper when making draft copies of documents, 27% said they had never though of doing it, but 43% also said to do so would be difficult because scrap paper is immediately put into a recycle bin.
  • While there was environmental interest and 61% said they where willing to reduce the use of personal printers for environmental sustainability reasons, fewer (45%) agreed that there was no need to have both desktop and networked printers in their department/area.

Campus Visit and mp3 Campus Tour Satisfaction Survey
The Admissions Office piloted an effort to develop self-guided campus tours, lending visiting students m3 players to take with them as they toured campus. 26 prospective students visiting campus during the pilot window took the mp3 campus tour and provided their evaluation of this new tool that enables them to learn about campus when they visit individually, rather that in one of the larger tour groups that are guided by Admissions representatives. (Contact Monica Eskridge at for more information.)

  • Of the visiting students, 67% were incoming freshmen and 33% were transfer students. For 73%, this was their first visit to campus, while 73% of the others had visited 5 or more times. 81% of the prospective students had visited at least one other university campus, with 65% saying Western is about the same as the other schools they had visited and 35% saying Western was better.
  • 92% our the mp3 tour takers said they received good instructions on how to use the mp3 player, but fully 100% said it was easy to use and 96% said the mp3 tour was helpful in learning about campus.
  • 81% of the mp3 tour participants listed to 1 or more of the building podcasts, with each prospective student listening to an average of 9 building podcasts. In addition, 65% mp3 tour takers listened to 1 or more of the FAQ podcasts, with each prospective student listening to an average 7 FAQ podcasts.
  • The mp3 podcast tour seemed to keep the prospective students' attention, with 92% spending at least 60 minutes on the mp3 tour, and the new initiative may have paid dividends with 88% indicating that it was likely that they'd end up deciding to attend Western, including 62% who said Western was their top-rated choice and an additional 23% ranking Western second.

Changing Academic Expectations
Drs. Debra Miretzky & Sharon Stevens from Department of Educational & Interdisciplinary Studies invited nearly 7,000 faculty in business, natural and social sciences, and teacher education from all 47 Illinois colleges and universities with programs in teacher education to participate in an online survey about changing academic experiences. More than 1,100 responding faculty met the desired profile of working with traditional undergraduate students, and participated fully in the survey. (Contact Drs. Miretzky or Stevens at or, for more information.)

  • Although reports of college teacher dissatisfaction with the changing student guard have surfaced, regarding lack of student readiness and performance, the overall results of this found instead a general sense of "no change," although faculty expressing a decline did outnumber those noting an improvement.
    • 58% of participating faculty agreed that the overall quality of student performance was adequate, with 41% indicating that student performance had not changed over time, 49% noting a decline, and 10% indicating an improvement.
    • 45% felt that students display critical thinking skills, with 55% feeling this has not changed over time although 39% feel it has decreased, compared to 6% who feel it has improved.
    • Writing skills was viewed as notably low, with only 29% of faculty reporting that student general writing skills were adequate. This was also an area with greater agreement of a decline, with only 38% indicating "no change," compared to 56% noting a decline, although 6% felt they had increased.
  • Questions have also arisen regarding if and how college faculty have changed their teaching styles over the years. Here there is a somewhat greater consensus in the findings, especially related to the increased use of technology and incorporation of additional teaching/learning styles.
    • 81% of faculty indicate that lecturing is an important element of their teaching, and while 66% indicated that their use of lecturing has not changed, 29% indicate they lecture less while 5% lecture more.
    • 80% of faculty indicated that they value the use of technology in the classroom, with 63% say they are using more technology today, while 31% indicate no change and just 3% are using less.
    • 78% of faculty note that group work and group discussion are important elements of their teaching, and while its use for 55% has not changed, 42% are using more if it today compared to just 3% using less.

Go West Satisfaction Survey
The 9,800+ Macomb campus students were asked about their satisfaction with Go West Transit, as well as providing input regarding potential enhancements for the countywide transportation system. 765 students participated in the online survey. (Contact Go West Director, Jude Kiah, at, for more information.)

  • 37% of the participants did not bring a car to campus and 13% said the presence of the Go West bus system affected this decision. And among those with a car, 28% said more restrictions on personal vehicles (access and/or cost) would cause them to increase their use of Go West.
  • 33% of the participating students take advantage of the Macomb community routes, with Route 6 (White) serving Northwest Macomb being the most used route followed by Route 10 (Black) serving the Amtrak station.
  • 77% of participants were aware of Route 4 (Orange) which provides Weekend Late Night Service (Downtown Bars) and 50% of the students had used the Orange route, with 76% of these indicating that the presence of security officers on these buses made them feel safer.
  • Recommendations to increase bus use were topped by greater frequency (60%) and real-time information on waiting time (53%). In fact, 51% of respondents fell that automatic vehicle locators that would enable them to see in real-time where buses were using their Internet connected PDAs or computers would be an enhancement they would be willing to pay for via additional student fees.
  • 69% of participants rated the value they receive for their student fees with regard to Go West as good to excellent.

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Better Campus Living Residence Hall Survey
The 4,300+ students living in Western's campus housing were invited to participate in a survey about potential enhancements to residence hall living. 371 students living in Bayliss/Henninger, Lincoln/Washington/Grote, Higgins, Thompson, Wetzel, Tanner, and Corbin responded. (Contact Tara Monroe, Director of Residence Life, at for more information.)

  • 85% of participants were interested in learning more about recycling opportunities in the residence halls and 72% would like a recycling bin in their residence hall room, but only if they didn't have to pay for it, while an additional 15% were even willing to pay to have a recycling container. Only 13% said having a recycling container, even if free, would not increase their personal recycling efforts.
  • In terms of desired additional residence hall amenities, wireless Internet on all floors and in all rooms of the residence halls was the top preference, followed by an ATM machine and a Red box DVD rental program in a virtual tie for a somewhat distant 2nd place.
  • Regarding potential residence hall facility enhancements, a 24-hr computer lab just barely beat out soundproofing the rooms for the top spot.
  • When asked about what food choices they'd like to see added to the residence hall dining menus, 70% of students asked for more fruit, by far the top choice, followed by boneless chicken wings (48%), the availability of breakfast at dinner (44%), and lean meat (42%).
  • In terms of making the residence halls more desirable for students beyond the 60-hour on-campus living requirement, having the rooms more like apartment style living was the top suggestion, followed by smaller groups sharing bathrooms in 2nd place and more single rooms in 3rd place.

WIU Preliminary Website Review
During Spring 2009 the formation of a new Internet Technology Advisory Committee (iTAC) undertook a study of the WIU website presence. After reviewing college and university websites from across the U.S., combined with in-house graphical and web design expertise, 3 new WIU homepage designs were developed. From these, iTAC strongly supported one which was then presented to President Goldfarb and his Vice Presidents for review. After minor revisions, the proposed design, along with the current WIU homepage for comparison, will be presented to the campus community for review and comment prior to the end of Spring 2009 semester. (Contact Richard Chamberlain, Executive Director of University Technology, at for more information.)

Fencing Club Interest Survey
The 9,800+ undergraduates on the Macomb campus were invited to express their interest in forming a Fencing Club as one of the Sport Teams sponsored through Campus Recreation. 251 students participated in the survey opportunity. (Contact Campus Recreation at for more information.)

  • 206 of the responding students indicated they would be interested in participating or watching the sport of competitive fencing (foil, epee, and/or sabre), including 175 who had never participated in nor watched fencing.
  • Forming a Fencing Club had strong interest from 177 students who said they would would join if fencing were to be offered as a Club Sport at Western, including 33 casual fencers, 10 competitive fencers, and 2 fencing coaches.
  • 68% of those interested in joining a Fencing Sport Club were willing to dedicated 5 hrs/wk to Club Fencing, while 26% were willing to dedicate 10 hrs/wk and 6% were willing to dedicate 15 hrs/wk.

Engineering Technology Survey
The 562 students and faculty in Western's Engineering Technology programs were invited to participate in a survey regarding effective teaching and learning methods in Graphic Communication, Engineering Technology, and Construction Management. 81 individuals participated in the survey opportunity. (Contact the Department of Engineering Technology at for more information.)

  • Both students (71%) and faculty (75%) overwhelmingly felt that practical demonstration was the strategy the best promoted student learning, far above lecture and discussion (overall 15%), project competition (13%), lecture only (1%), and examinations (0%).
  • In terms of whether classrooms should be re-arranged into a U-shaped layout, 61% of faculty but only 36% of students thought this would be effective in promoting learning.
  • Although they could select more than one option, both students (64%) and faculty (67%) strongly felt that a practical lab was the most effective method of assessing learning, followed by homework assignments (overall 41%), multiple choice exams (33%), short answer exams (30%), and essay exams (13%).
  • Students were much more supportive of the use of groups learning activities so develop "lean" thinking that were faculty members. 70% of students supported collective efforts vs. 27% favoring individual efforts (2% other) while faculty were evenly split at 46% preferring collective efforts and 46% preferring individual efforts (8% other).
  • There was wide variation in how both students and faculty felt grading of group projects should be handled.
    • Among students, 34% said collectively with an option for individual grading, 29% said individually with a rubric, 18% said collectively with a rubric, 17% said the average of an individual and collective grade, and 2% said "other."
    • Among faculty, 31% said collectively with an option for individual grading, 23% said individually with a rubric, 23% said the average of an individual and collective grade, 3% said "other," and 0% said collectively with a rubric.

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Intramural Sports Satisfaction
The 795 WIU students involved with Baggo, Basketball, Euchre, Table Tennis, and Wallyball Tournaments during Spring 2009 Intramural Sports were asked about their experience. 204 students participated in the survey opportunity. (Contact Campus Recreation at for more information.)

  • 68% of survey participants were satisfied or very satisfied with their IM Sport Tournament, with 73% likely or very likely to recommend participation to a friend or colleague, and 81% likely or very likely to participate in another IM sport at Western.
  • 61% of students indicated that they established new friendships and/or enhanced existing ones as results of participating in IM sports, with only 14% say they had not (25% neutral).
  • With respect to their IM sport field or court supervisors, 56% of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied their Customer Service, 59% were satisfied or very satisfied with their Professionalism, and 49% were satisfied or very satisfied with their Knowledge.
  • Attitudes about Official were fairly split between satisfied/highly satisfied and dissatisfied/very dissatisfied, while some had neutral opinions. Officials' rule knowledge satisfaction was split 39% satisfied : 40% dissatisfied, Officials' ability to control the game was split 43% satisfied : 43% dissatisfied, Officials' professionalism was split 47% satisfied : 35% dissatisfied.

Personality and Emotion Survey - Spring 2009
177 students participated in the Spring 2009 continuation of a study examining the connection between personality and emotional experience. Students could also chose to participate in follow-up in-depth personal interviews throughout the semester. A brief summary of the survey results are presented below. (Contact Dr. Scott Hemenover in the Department of Psychology at for more information.)

  • Students were presented with an option of 144 things they might do to reduce their bad moods or emotions, rating on a scale of 1=Never or Rarely to 7=Always or Usually.
    • The 5 most common strategies were - do the things they enjoy (5.10), spend some time alone (5.02), watch movies/TV (5.02), spend time with people who are close (5.02), and go out with friends (5.01).
    • The 5 least common strategies were - do the gardening (1.36), use relaxation tapes (1.46), take drugs (1.53), bury their head in the sand (1.78), and wash the car (1.82)
  • Students were asked a series of 84 questions about how they felt about themselves and their lives, rating on a scale o 1=Strongly Agree to 7=Strongly Disagree.
    • The 3 aspects with the most agreement were - It is important to me to be a good listener when close friends talk to me about their problems (5.50), In my view, people of every age are able to continue growing and developing (5.37), and I enjoy personal and mutual conversations with family members or friends (5.20).
    • The 3 aspects with the least agreement were - I used to set goals for myself, but that now seems like a waste of time (2.10), I sometimes feel as if I've done all there is to do in life (2.10), and I gave up trying to make big improvements or changes in my life a long time ago (2.11).
  • Students were asked about how often during the preceding 2 weeks they had experienced any of 51 stress-related maladies, rating on a scale of 1=Not At All to 5=Extremely.
    • The 3 most common stress-related issues were - worrying too much about things (2.97), feeling low in energy or slowed down (2.91), and feeling easily annoyed or irritated (2.66).
    • The 3 least common stress-related issues were - thoughts of ending your life (1.28), trembling (1.31), and spells of terror or panic (1.38).

Library Course Evaluation - Spring 2009
Students whose professors took advantage of the University Library's single class session opportunity to learn more about using library resources were again invited to provide feedback on this learning experience, with 1,136 student evaluating their library instructors. As was the case in Fall '08, students continued to find the librarians did a good job in explaining how to use the library resources. (Contact University Libraries Dean, Phyllis Self, at, for more information.)

  • On a 5-point scale from 1=Strongly Disagree to 5=Strongly Agree the areas where the librarians scored the highest were:
    • The librarian was knowledgeable about the material (4.50)
    • The instructor's presentation used technology effectively (4.45)
  • On a 5-point scale from 1=Strongly Disagree to 5=Strongly Agree the areas where the librarians scored the lowest were:
    • The librarian encourage student questions and participation (4.24)
    • The session had practice activities that were useful for the assignment (4.30)
  • When rating the librarians' overall teaching effectiveness on a 5-point scale from 1=Poor to 5=Excellent, students rated the librarians at a 4.28 rating.
  • When rating how well the library session related to their class assignment/goals on a 5-point scale from 1=No, Not At All to 5=Yes, Very Well, students rated the sessions at a 4.73 rating.

WIU Bookstore Survey
All 9,768 Macomb campus students were invited to participate in a survey regarding their satisfaction with and wishes for the WIU Bookstore. 459 students responded. (Contact Bookstore Director, Jude Kiah, at, for more information.)

  • While they could select more than one response, 85% of responding students indicated they have purchased their textbooks at the WIU Bookstore, followed by online merchants at 52% and Chapman's Bookstore at 50%, rounding out the top three. Among these students, the WIU Bookstore was their primary textbook buying option (47%), followed by online merchants (26%), and Chapman's Bookstore (21%), well ahead of various other options.
    • Using a scale of 1=Very Much to 4=Not At All, the top three factors that affected where students bought their textbooks were "price" (1.28), "being sure you have the right books for your classes" (1.41), and "availability of textbooks" (1.41).
  • In terms of school and/or art supplies, 77% of responding students indicated they have purchased them at Walmart for 77%, followed by the WIU Bookstore in second place at 41%. Among these students, Walmart was also their primary school and/or art supplies buying option (72%), followed by the WIU Bookstore in second (10%).
    • Using a scale of 1=Very Much to 4=Not At All, the top two factors that affected where students bought their school and/or art supplies were "price" (1.24), and "availability of supplies" (1.49).
  • While 16% of students admitted to never having bought WIU apparel, among those who had, 76% of students said they had purchased it from the the WIU Bookstore, followed by Walmart in second place at 39%. Among these students, the WIU Bookstore was also their primary WIU apparel buying option (72%), followed Walmart in second (20%).
    • Using a scale of 1=Very Much to 4=Not At All, the top two factors that affected where students bought their school and/or art supplies were "price" (1.42), and "quality of apparel" (1.45).

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Workplace Experiences Survey
This survey examined the workplace experiences of 352 U.S. employees, ages 18-65. (Contact Diana Strom at, for more information.)

  • On a scale of 1=Strongly Disagree to 5=Strongly Agree, respondents overall agreed (>3.0) with a variety questions asked about positive working conditions.
    • The most positive responses given for "my work schedule is fair" (3.93) and "my supervisor treats me with kindness and respect" (3.84)
    • The lowest positive responses were for "procedures are designed to provide opportunities to appeal or challenge the decision" (3.13) and "procedures are designed to hear the concerns of all those affected by the decision" (3.14)
  • On a scale of 0=Never to 7=Always, Every Day, respondents overall were positive (>4.0) regarding their attitude about work..
    • The most positive responses given for "I am proud of the work that I do" (5.54) and "I can continue working for very long periods of time" (5.18)
    • The lowest positive responses were for "at my work, I feel bursting with energy" (4.08) and "when I get up in the morning, I feel like going to work" (4.19).

Common Theme Reading "Vote" for 2009-2010 Book Nickel and Dimed book cover
For the 5th consecutive year, the entire campus community was invited to "vote" for the following year's common reading. In keeping with the 2009-10 theme of Dolla rs and Sense: From Personal Finance to World Poverty, the book choices offered by the selection committee were Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit, and the Era of Predatory Lending by James D. Scurlock and Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich. (Contact Associate Provost, Judi Dallinger, at, for more information.)

  • With 1,115 votes cast, the Nickel and Dimed was preferred by a 55% : 45% margin.
    • Students preferred Nickel and Dimed 54% : 46%
    • Faculty preferred Nickel and Dimed 60% : 40%
    • Staff preferred Nickel and Dimed 54% : 46%
  • Funny, poignant, and passionate, this revelatory firsthand account of life in low-wage America - the story of Barbara Ehrenreich's attempts to eke out a living while working as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and WalMart associate - has become an essential part of the nation's political discourse.

Bashboard Business: Cyber Survey
Following up on their earlier survey of K-12 teachers and administrators, the researchers surveyed the nearly 12,000 WIU students about their experience with or concerns regarding cyber bullying at the collegiate level, with 614 students responding. (Contact Jill Myers or Gayle Carper, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, at or GT-Carper; or Laurel Borgia, Curriculum and Instruction at, for more information.)

  • 98% of students used email, 97% used cell phones, 76% used online chatting like Facebook, 65% used iPods, 61% used Instant Messaging, and 17% used handheld devices like PDAs or Blackberries.
  • 86% of students visit Facebook, 81% visit YouTube, 47% visit RateMyProfessor, 42% visit My Space, 30% visit Wikis, 18% visit Blogs, 12% visit Flickr, 12% visit Yahoo Groups, and single digit percentages visit a variety of electronic media sites.
  • 75% of students post comments on sites they visit (especially Facebook @ 93%), with 72% indicating that all of their comments are "signed," while 5% indicated that all of their comments are anonymous..
  • In terms of using the Internet for work or school, 60% of students indicated that they spend 10 or fewer hrs/wk, while 14% indicated that they spend more than 20hrs/week. In terms of using the Internet for pleasure, 60% of students indicated that they spend 10 or fewer hrs/wk, while 12% of students indicated that they spend more than 20hrs/week
  • 55% of students indicated that at some point in time they have been a target of cyberbullying, particularly gossiping @ 21% (spreading rumors of personal details), bashing @ 18% (posting insults), and flaming @ 13% (posting an extremely critical or abusive message).
  • 27% of students admitted to be a cyberbullyer at some point in time, particularly bashing @ 10% (posting insults), and flaming (posting an extremely critical or abusive message), posting tasteless jokes or slurs about others, and Posting sexist jokes or slurs, each @ 5%.

Student Input on Rental Units and Area Landlords
Off-campus WIU-Macomb students were asked to provide input regarding their local rental units in terms of general satisfaction and upkeep. 371 students responded. (Contact the Student Tenant Union or the Student Government Association for more information.)

  • 145 participating students lived in 12 of the 17 advertised Macomb area apartment units, while 214 lived in other rental accommodations, and 12 did not indicated there rental residence.
  • Satisfaction was rated in 39 categories
    • When all of the rental units were combined, 15 of these categories received at least a 4 out of 5 rating, with 5=highly satisfied.
      • These most commonly satisfactory categories were: there are smoke detectors which, when tested, work (4.41); containers and instructions are provided for trash disposal (4.37) water pressure is sufficient (4.31); uses a lease written in language that you can understand, I feel safe in my living space (4.24); hot water is sufficient (4.22); bathing areas are adequate (4.17); appliances work, lighting is adequate in common areas, hallways, and stairwells (4.09); fire safety features are adequate and in working condition (4.08); electrical wiring is adequate, space is free of rodents, roaches, bedbugs, or other pests (4.06); air conditioning is sufficient (4.05); plumbing is free from leaks (4.02); heat is sufficient (4.01).
    • When all of the rental units were combined, none these categories received a 2 or less out of 5 rating, with 1=not satisfied.
  • Repairs were rated in 3 categories: minor, major, and emergency.
    • When all of the rental units were combined, Emergencies (e.g., plumbing, heating, broken doors/locks)received at least a 4 out of 5 rating, with 5=highly satisfied, none these categories received a 2 or less out of 5 rating, with 1=not satisfied.
  • In terms of whether students would rent from their landlords again, individual apartment complex results varied ranging from a best of 2.00 to a worst of 3.67, which an overall average of 2.45 (1=Definitely to 5=Never)

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UCOSO Sexuality Minor Proposal survey
The University Committee on Sexual Orientation surveyed all 616 WIU faculty members to determine if there was sufficient interest in developing additional courses that would support an interdisciplinary minor in human sexuality. 85 faculty responded to the interest survey. (Contact Craig Tollini, at for more information.)

  • While only 8 faculty indicated that they had ever taught a course that focused on human sexuality, including 6 at Western, 35 faculty indicated that they were interested in developing at least one such course
  • Of those interested in teaching and/or developing human sexuality focused courses, 21 faculty indicated that they would also be willing to teach/develop courses that focused specifically on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues.
  • 24 faculty provided contact information to enable further discussion of this issue among those interested in participating in developing and teaching courses that would support a human sexuality interdisciplinary minor.

Website Review
The Internet Technology Advisory Committee reviewed more than 30 university websites to identify features desired in a new WIU website design. Graphic artists from the Center for Application of Information Technologies are using this information to develop mock-ups that will be shared with the campus community in a variety of forums as Western undertakes a thorough website design effort. The goal is to provide not only a more attractive web presence in terms of marketing the university, but also to increase the ease of navigation for both external and internal users of Western's website. (Contact Richard Chamberlain, Executive Director of University Technology, at for more information.)

Faculty Senate Committee Interest
The Faculty Senate utilized online survey technology to collect faculty interest in serving on the various Senate committees and councils. (Contact the Faculty Senate Office at 309-298-1589, or their Executive Secretary via email at for more information.)

Mobile Device Survey
940 of the nearly 14K members of WIU campus community responded to a survey about their current and desired future uses of mobile technology. The results of the survey will help guide Western as it explores new uses of technology to enhance the living and learning experience. (Contact Sean Cordes, University Library, at for more information.)

  • 81% of respondents currently use a cell phone and 44% currently use an MP3 player, but if their future desires come true, this would change markedly, with Smart Phones jumping the the preferred technology by 57% and cell phones decreasing to 42% and MP2 players decreasing to just 27%.
  • The biggest current use of mobile technology is reading (81%) and reading (80%) text messages and using the device as an alarm clock (69%). While these would remain top uses (52-60%) in the future, greater use of mobile technology would into other areas, such as checking email (67%) and checking the weather (60%).
  • Based on future forecasts reported by the campus community, the areas of mobile technology use that would see the greatest increase are checking the bus schedule (up 404% from 5% to 25%), reading eBooks (up 328% from 7% to 28%) and paying WIU bills (up 314% from 5% to 21%). The former top uses of text messaging and alarm clock use would see the greatest decrease (24-25%) in use.
  • Mobile devices are used most commonly from home (96%) and least commonly in the classroom (59%) and campus users don't expect these relative rankings. However, the primary desired use of mobile technology in the future is from anywhere on campus, with a 20% increase seen from 73% to 88%.

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CBT Dean Review
The 180 faculty and staff members in the College of Business and Technology were invited to participate in the mid-term evaluation of Dean Erickson. Of these, 99 provided feedback that will help improve the Dean's success in leading the College in the coming years. (Contact Tej Kaul, Chair of Information Management & Decision Sciences, at for more information.)

  • As this is a confidential evaluation process, the CBT Dean Evaluation Committee will produce a summary to share with the Provost and the Dean. If further survey/evaluation results are made public, a link will be provided here.

Infant & Preschool Center - Summer 09 Interest survey
The nearly 14K members of WIU campus community were invited to respond to a survey to determine the need for a summer session of WIU's Infant & Preschool Center that would. Based on a similar survey in Spring 2008, the Center has its second summer session last year. This year, 135 individuals responded to the survey. (Contact Ann Curtis, WIU Infant & Preschool Center, at for more information.)

  • Of the 135 survey respondents, 39 had a definite interest in a summer program for their young children, while 25 had possible interest. Further results follow for those 64 with at least some interest in the Infant & Preschool Center offering an 8-week summer session program.
  • 50% were interested in full-time enrollment for their children, with 25% seeking part-time enrollment and 25% undecided.
  • In total, faculty, staff, and students interested in seeing a summer program represented 64 children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. In last year's survey, there were 81 parents with at least potential interest, representing 104 children, although a lower 41% were interested in full-time care.
  • The Center staff will be meeting with the Provost's office to determine if this is a sufficient interest level to again offer summer term programming.

Gender Perceptions of Muscle Groups
Scott Mezzano, a graduate student in Kinesiology, conducted online research above gender perceptions of muscle groups so that professionals in the exercise industry could more effectively develop training regimens for their clients. 984 students in various physical activity courses were invited to participate, with 319 providing input. (Contact Scott Mezzano at for more information.)

  • Survey respondents were 53% male and 47% female; spread fairly equal across the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior classes; and fairly well represented the ethnicity of the WIU campus, with 86% white, 7% black, 4% Hispanic, 1% Asian, and 3% not identifying.
  • 85% of the students indicated that they currently exercise, with 33% indicating that they had been a regular exerciser for 8 or more years and 54% exercising between 2-6 hours/week.
  • Aerobic training (cycling, swimming, running, aerobic classes) was the preferred type of training, followed closely strength training in 2nd and recreational or competitive sports in 3rd place.
  • By far the top two reasons for exercising were health and wellness and personal achievement with very little interest in exercising to impress members of the same or opposite sex.
  • When asked what muscle area they focused their exercise on and also what muscle area they felt members of the opposite sex were most attracted to:
    • males focused most on their pectorals/chest, biceps/front of upper arm, and abdominals/stomach and felt that women were most attracted to men's abdominals/stomach, pectorals/chest, and biceps/front of upper arm.
    • females focused most on their abdominals/stomach, obliques/sides of stomach, and gluteals/butt and felt that men were most attracted to women's abdominals/stomach, gluteals/butt, obliques/sides of stomach.
  • Both males (22%) and females (20%) indicated very little interest in changing their exercise habits if this research indicated that a change in muscle group focus would be more attractive to the opposite sex.

Provost Evaluation - Spring 2009
Each of the 638 Faculty Senate eligible members was invited to participate in the annual evaluation of the Provost's performance. Of these, 264 provided input in the Total Campus Enterprise; Academic Goals; Personnel, Faculty Relations, and Campus Issues components of the Provost's responsibilities. (Contact the Faculty Senate office at for more information.)

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President Evaluation - Spring 2009
Each of the 638 Faculty Senate eligible members was invited to participate in the annual evaluation of the President's performance. Of these, 252 provided input in the Total Campus Enterprise; Academic Goals; Personnel, Faculty Relations, and Campus Issues components of the President's responsibilities. (Contact the Faculty Senate office at for more information.)

Study Abroad Program Evaluation - results coming soon
Western's Office of Study Abroad asked the 34 students who had participated in Study Abroad during 2008 to provide feedback on the program. 17 of these students gave insight regarding their experience. (Contact the Office of Study Abroad in the Center for International Studies at for more information.)

  • These 17 students studied in 8 different countries (Australia, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Spain). While the majority (11) were seniors, there were also sophomores (1), juniors (5), graduate students (1).
  • The top two reasons cited for influencing their decision to study abroad were wanting to experience other cultures/viewpoints and a desire to travel.
  • Only 4 of the students indicated that their study abroad program required the use of a foreign language, and 3 of them felt they had adequate language proficiency in advance, with all 4 indicting that they made good progress with their language skills during their study abroad program.
  • Outside personal experiences varied greatly, from 5 students at $500-$999 on the low end to 4 students at $4000 or more on the high end, depending largely on the length of their stay and their choice of what to see, do, and buy.
  • When asked about the most positive aspects of their study abroad program, comments like "Growing as an individual. Seeing the world! were typical, as was "It was a great personal growing experience for myself. I got to do a lot of soul searching along with thinking about my future and what I really wanted to do as a career for the rest of my life."
  • Participants were in unanimous agreement that the study abroad experience has influenced their ability to cope with and adapt to new and different situations, as well as increasing their desire to travel abroad, and all but one student said the experience altered their word view.

Critical Thinking Survey for Environmental Education - #1
A group of high school students in Delaware, Texas, and Utah whose teachers had received environmental education training were asked to participated in survey evaluating their critical thinking skills related to the environment, with 244 students agreeing to participate. (Contact Marie Cheak, WIU-QC Curriculum & Instruction, at for more information.)

  • Students were first evaluated on their ability to make direct conclusions from given facts or data. On average, they were able to make the most correct conclusion 55.6% of the time.
  • Students were then presented with more difficult task of going beyond the information given to make inferences about it. On average, the students were able to make the most correct inferences 53.4% of the time.
  • Students were then challenged by the even more difficult critical thinking exercise of identifying the biases represented by persons presenting views. On The students, on average, were able to make the most correct bias determination 36.0% of the time.
  • Among the student participating in this survey, 91.5% said that their classroom experience had increased their knowledge and ownership of environmental issues and problems, with 64.3% indicating that they it had made a moderate to significant change.

Human Resource's Training and Development Needs Assessment Survey
All 2,135 Western employees were invited to participated in a survey regarding the types of training and professional development opportunities they would like to see provided. 497 individuals responded comprised of 45% Civil Service, 34% faculty, and 22% COAP. (Contact Anita Sells, Human Resources, at for more information.)

  • 84% of participants had participated in some sort of WIU training opportunity and 88% were confident that their supervisors would support their participation in training and development opportunities, indicating both interest and availability.
  • Of the 36 possible training topics listed in the survey, 16 garnered support by more than 25% of the respondents. Computer Skills was by far the top requested training at 60%. Stress Management was a strong second at 41%, with Efficiency/Effectiveness and Management/Leadership tying for third at 36%. In addition nearly 100 other ideas for training topics were suggested by participants giving Human Resources a strong guide regarding the training and professional development needs and interests of WIU employees.
  • Quarterly (44%) or monthly (30%) training opportunities were most preferred, with the overwhelming majority (73%) preferring sessions of no more than 2 hours length. Although day of week preference was variable with a slight mid-week peak, the traditional M-F time frame was highly preferred, with only 6% willing to participate in weekend training. Likewise, the preference was during regular 8am-5pm work hours, with only 5% preferring evening sessions.
  • In addition, 54% of participants were also interested in either before or after work sessions that looked beyond the work environment, and focused on their personal interests or hobbies.

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wiutv3 Viewer Satisfaction Survey
WIU faculty, staff, and students were surveyed regarding Western's own television station, wiutv3, with 916 individuals responding. (Contact Sharon Evans, Associate Dean College of Fine Arts & Communication, at for more information.)

  • While 42% of respondents watched wiutv3, 13% did not know that this campus-produced station existed, despite the high quality of programming (good to excellent) reported by 51% of the viewers and 53% of viewers said indicated that they have recommended wiutv3 programming to others.
  • 65% of wiutv3 views watched the station on Comcast Ch.3, 29% through the residence halls, and 6% through McDonough Telephone Ch.9, including 5% who accessed more than one view option.
  • The 6pm-12midnight period was the most viewed, with 68% of viewers indicating that they watched wiutv3 during this time period. Although 88% of viewers indicated that they watched during more than a single 6-hour time period, the overwhelming majority (92%) indicated that they watched wiutv3 less than 5 hours per week.
  • By far the most watched wiutv3 programs was WIU Sports (64%), followed by wiutv3 News (34%) and "Across the Miles" (32%).

Cyber Technology in Schools
Faculty and administrators from school districts in 20 Illinois Regional Offices of Education were asked to provide input regarding the use and misuse of cyber technology in their schools and among their students. 533 faculty and 133 administrators responded. In general, faculty responded based on their particular school, while administrators responded for either their specific school or their larger encompassing district. (Contact Jill Myers or Gayle Carper, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, at or GT-Carper; or Laurel Borgia, Curriculum and Instruction at, for more information.)

  • Relatively small school enrollments of 433 or less, the 2 smallest choices, being most represented (57%) by respondents, compared to the upper 6 class sizes. This smaller school size was also represented by 60% indicating that their schools were in rural areas with a population of less than 15,000 although medium cities of 30,000-74,999 were nearly twice as common (22%) than small cities of 15,000-29,999 (13%). High schools (grade 9-12) represented the majority of respondents (51%), followed elementary schools (grade PreK-6) at 33%, and junior high (7&8) at 16%.
  • While 64% of administrators indicated that their school or district had a formal policy for handling and/or responding to suspected incidents of cyber bullying, only 19% of faculty concurred, with the majority of faculty(61%) indicating they were not sure if their school did or not.
  • Administrators seemed more prepared to recognize and respond to cyber bullying, with 48% indicating that they had received training on cyber bullying and school behavior, compared to only 17% of faculty who had received such training. Similarly, administrators seemed much more aware of cyber bullying incidents, with 45% noting that they had had a student, faculty member, or administrator comment about or report a cyber bullying incident to them, whereas such an incident had been reported to only 13% of faculty.
  • There was strong agreement, however, among faculty and administrators that they have a responsibility for dealing with cyber bullying that occurs during the school day or through the use of the school's technology (86-99%) and cyber activity that occurs during the school day or through the use of the school's technology (84-94%). When the cyber bullying and or cyber activity occurred off campus, the personal level of responsibility was view as much less, at 15-33%. Likewise, administrators and faculty agreed that the school system should be concerned about regulating electronic conduct that occurs on campus (97-98%), involves threats of immediate harm (91-92%), or deviates from acceptable academic content and language (76-82%).

Macomb Chamber of Commerce & Downtown Development Corporation Survey
In December, the Macomb Chamber of Commerce & Downtown Development Corporation (MCCDDC) asked its membership to evaluate the success of the Chamber and Development Corporation merger, how satisfied they were with the benefit is afforded to members, and the value of their programs. 111 MCCDDC members responded. (Contact Garry Johnson, VP Student Services, at for more information.)

  • The membership benefit taken advantage of most often was listing in the Community and Membership Directory (88%), followed by hosting or participating in Business After Hours (64%), listing on the MCCDDC website (55%), and enrollment in the Gift Certificate Program (50%).
  • 89% agree that the strengths and focus of the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Development Corporation have been maintained since the 2004 merger of the two organizations.
  • With Business After Hours being the 2nd most popular membership benefit, it's not surprising that 97% viewed the program as being a good opportunity to meet and network with fellow business members in the Macomb area community. The top 3 attended BAH events were June 18th at the Macomb Airport Authority (55%), February 20th at the Macomb Country Club (54%), and December 17th at First Bankers Trust (52%).
  • Transportation was a "hot topic," with 99% of members judging that the MACCDDC was an effective advocate for area transportation needs. 76% viewed US 336 between Macomb and Peoria as the greatest transportation priority moving forward. However, local transportation issues were also important, with 91% viewing parking on the downtown square as an issue, although somewhat fewer (82%) thought that the City of Macomb should be asked to start enforcing the 2-hour parking limit.
  • Of the events sponsored by the MCCDDC, the most popular in 2008 were the Farmer's Market (77%), Dickens on the Square (69%), and the Al Sears Jazz Festival (42%).

uTech Support Needs Assessment
The 12,699 students, faculty, and staff of the WIU-Macomb campus were asked about their satisfaction with the uTech Support Center/Help Desk following the January 1, 2008 technology reorganization, as well as the type of services they would like to see provided. 848 individuals responded. (Contact Richard Chamberlain, Executive Director for University Technology, at for more information.)

  • 66% of respondents had contacted the uTech Support Center in the past, 31% had not, and 3% did not know that Western had a Technology Help Desk.
  • Among those who had called the uTech Support Center, 65% rated service as usually to always excellent.
  • The most common reasons for contacting the uTech Support Center were Zimbra use issues (29%); hardware issues such as computers, monitors, and keyboard (28%); and password resets (26%) or related log-on issues (25%).
    • Given the high numbers of password/login issues, it is not surprising that 72% of users felt that the university should move to an automatic password resetting option.
  • In terms of requested features:
    • 70% of respondents felt that the ability to create a help request online rather than calling in was an important to critical-must have need, with 60% viewing the ability to track the progress of their help request online as important to critical-must have, and 79% arguing strongly for being able to have a time estimate for issues that could not be resolved over the phone.
    • most users wanted self-help options, with 69% seeing the development of an online searchable database of common solutions as important to critical-must have, with 59% also feeling that online chat support was an important to critical-must have need.
  • Technical training was viewed as important for uTech Support Center staff, with the majority of users deeming it important to a critical-must have need in terms operating systems and common software:
    • Windows XP operating system (81%), the Windows Vista operating system (67%), and the Macintosh OSX Apple operating system (53%)
    • The Zimbra Collaboration Suite (87%); Microsoft Word (84%), Excel (76%), Powerpoint (72%); and the Internet browsers Explorer (73%) and Firefox (71%)

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Career and Personal Satisfaction Among Workers in China
During 2007, and again in 2008, workers in various provinces of China were surveyed regarding their professional and personal job satisfaction. 428 Chinese workers responded. (Contact Barbara Ribbens of the Management Department, at for more information.)

  • 54% of respondents felt that their career choice was a good occupational decision for them, with 51% feeling that their career enables them to make significant contributions to society.
  • While just under half (49%) felt that their career fits them and reflects their personality, only 12% intend to change careers
  • 62% see their careers as an integral part of their life with all but 15% seeing a nearly equal parts family person and career person, though certainly some tended slightly one way or the other.
  • Likewise, Chinese workers find satisfaction and importance in both their career and family, with nearly equal numbers reporting that the major satisfactions in their life came from their family (50%) vs. their career (51%), while similarly equal numbers reported that the most important things that happen to them involve their family (54%) vs. their career (51%).

General Education Writing Review
The 260 WIU faculty who taught general education courses other than English 180, 280 and Communication 241 during Fall 2008 were asked to provide input regarding the amount of writing required in their courses. 154 faculty responded. (Contact Phyllis Rippey, Council on General Education Chair, at for more information.)

  • 78% of the faculty members taught smaller section GenEd courses of 50 or fewer students, including 23% who taught the very small 20-max enrollment FYE courses Only 22% of faculty reported teaching GenEd courses with more than 50 students.
  • Small, less than 50 students, GenEd courses had significant writing requirements, with 66% requiring more than 5 pages of writing and an additional 20% requiring 2-5 pages of writing, although 7% of faculty required no writing. In these small classes, 61% of faculty provided students with the opportunity for writing revision after receiving feedback
  • Large classes, with more than 50 students, still had considerable writing, with 53% having 2-5 pages of writing, 26% having more than 5 pages of writing, and only 9% having no required writing. Opportunities for revision were considerably less in these large classes, occurring in only 35% of the larger classes.

Biology Assistance Center Evaluation
The 843 students enrolled in Biology 100, Botany 200, and Zoology 200 during Fall 2008 all had the opportunity to utilize the Biology Assistance Center. 76 completed a survey about the value of the Center. (Contact Amber Ruskell at for more information.)

  • While just 31% reported using the BAC, 96% noted that their lab instructor was effective.
  • In looking at the most desired hours of BAC operation, 2-4pm was the clear favorite by 48% of the survey participants, followed by 12noon-2pm among 26%.

Health Sciences Online Courses Evaluation - Fall 2008
In an effort to ensure the quality of their online courses, as well as their traditional classroom course, the Health Sciences department asked all 187 students enrolled in their 9 courses offered online by 5 different faculty members to evaluate their class and professor. 116 students completed confidential evaluations. (Contact Mark Kelley, Health Sciences Chair, at for more information.)

  • 82% of students rated their instructor's knowledge of the subject matter as above average to excellent, with 59% indicating that their instructor did an above average to excellent job of explaining the course material and 69% of students rating their instructor as above average to excellent in their ability to explain the course requirements at the beginning of the course.
  • 73% of students rated their instructor's attitude toward the class as above average to excellent and 65% noted that their instructor did an above average to excellent job of providing the opportunity for questions.
  • 75% of students rated their instructor above average to excellent in terms of encouraging critical thinking and 60% felt that their instructor's concern for their progress as students was above average to excellent, with 56% noting that their instructor did an above average to excellent job of motivating students.
  • Indicative of the high quality of the online course offerings, 59% of the responding students rated their online Health Sciences course instructor as above average to excellent.

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Eldercare Needs Assessment
A combined effort of the Western Organization for Women, the University Professionals of Illinois, and Human Resources, all 2131 WIU employees were asked to provide input on eldercare to help determine needs and resources faculty and staff face so that issue can be more adequately addressed. 497 employees responded. (Contact Molly Homer in the Centennial Honors College at for more information.)

  • 53% of respondents have had the responsibility of providing care for or assistance to an elderly person while they have been WIU employees, with 76% having provided eldercare for parents and 26% having provided eldercare for in-laws.
  • 49% are currently providing eldercare support, with 29% being the primary caretaker. Primary types of care provided are transportation (70%), help with medical decisions (64%), shopping and/or other errands (63%), help with personal affairs (62%), housecleaning and/or yard work (57%), meal preparation (46%), physical care (32%), financial support (24%), and respite care for the primary caregiver (21%).
  • Eldercare is significant issue for many, with 34% indicating that their need to provide care or assistance for an elderly person has factored into their career decisions.
  • Participants provided strong support for a wide variety of potential employment benefits related to eldercare. These included flexible work schedules (71%), paid time off specifically for eldercare (68%), information about resources available in the area (56%), an eldercare leave back (45%), long-term care insurance (45%), elder daycare (32%), and support groups (27%).
  • Among the 122 respondents who are members of the UPI bargaining unit, 85% supported efforts by UPI to gain eldercare benefits during the next round of contract negotiations.

Library Course Evaluation - Fall 2008
Beyond traditional library courses, the library faculty also offer many single-session classes to help students learn how to use library resources. In Fall 2008, faculty from 40 different academic areas requested librarians to offer these sessions for their classes with 1,590 students completing session evaluations. (Contact Sean Cordes in University Libraries at for more information.)

  • English faculty requests were far the most common, representing 41% of all student evaluations, followed distantly by History (9%) and Psychology (7%).
  • Students reported high levels of satisfaction with these class sessions with 95% indicating that the lesson content was presented clearly and understandably, with 90% noting that the session had practice activities that were useful for their class assignments, and 94% feeling that the librarian had used relevant and engaging examples to describe the topic.
  • Students overwhelming (98%) viewed the librarians as knowledgeable about the material and 98% rated their teaching effectiveness as good or better, including 52% providing an excellent rating.

Graduate & Family Housing Resident Satisfaction Survey
The 293 students who live in Graduate & Family Housing (GFH) were asked to evaluate these campus housing communities. 86 students responded. (Contact George Holman in the University Housing and Dining Services at for more information.)

  • Overall, residents were satisfied with their campus housing, with 79% feeling they had a good level of privacy in their apartments, 71% finding the level of noise reasonable, 82% being satisfied with parking availability, and 65% noting that well that repairs were made on a timely basis.
  • Residents were also satisfied with amenities, indicating that the Internet service provided was fast enough to meet their academic (69%) personal (65%) needs, that the cable television service offered a variety of programming options (65%), and that that their were adequate laundry services with machines usually available (72%).
  • Areas which achieved below 50% satisfaction and thus should be addressed include cleanliness of outdoor areas (47%), apartment furniture (32%), and sufficient vending machines (24%).
  • Unlike traditional on-campus students living in the residence halls, GFH residents are not involved in housing community affairs, with 71% being indifferent to whether the Community Council had met their needs and only 19% ever attending a Community Council sponsored event. However, 65% of residents did take advantage of the online GFH newsletter, the Village Voice.

Library Liaison Program Survey
In Fall 2007, University Libraries initiated a Library Liaison program to help faculty get more out of their library. With each academic department assigned a librarian to serve as their library liaison, faculty members were ask to evaluate the program after its first year of operation. 156 faculty members representing 36 of Western's academic departments responded. (Contact John Stierman in the University Libraries at for more information.)

  • Two-thirds (66%) of faculty felt the Library Liaison program benefited them and/or their students, while only 7% felt that it did not and 27% were unsure.
  • 80% of faculty had been in contact with their Library Liaison, generally on an as-needed basis.
  • 95% of faculty felt the library provided access to the information resources they needed for their classes, with only 5% feeling this not to be the case, but just 88% of faculty gave assignments that required their students to utilize library information resources.
  • Although the majority (59%) of faculty had involved their library liaison in helping them integrate library resources into their assignments, whether consulting with them about assignments, having them create a class web guide, or provide in-class instruction to their students; most faculty were generally not interested (61%) in learning how to use library information resources for their assignments.

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Western Walks Program Evaluation
240 employees who had participated in Western Walks programs were asked to provide input on the program and the impact it has had on their health. 128 walkers responded. (Contact Cathy McMillan in the Department of Kinesiology at for more information.)

  • Western Walks is clearly a well-received program, with 96% indicating that their participation was an enjoyable experience and 98% indicating that the paths/trails were easy to follow, and 100% felt safe walking the paths.
  • Fall 2008 represented the 3rd Western Walks Week, with 60% indicating they has participated; while 62% had participated in Spring 2008 and 79% had participated in the first Western Walks Week during Fall 2007, with the majority walking for 20-40 minutes (69%) at a moderate pace (72%).
  • While some participants only participated once during the designated week-long event, between 21 and 45% had participated 4 times or more, with the frequency trend being higher at program initiation than in its 3rd offering, much as was the case with participation in general.
  • As evidence of the hoped for health lifestyle benefit outcome of the program, 54% indicated that they use the paths outside of Western Walks Week with 74% using them a few times a week to a few times a month, slightly more often than the 67% who what at about the same frequency off campus.
  • Further health benefits were recognized by the 86% who reported feeling less stressful on a day of walking and the 72% who had realized long term health benefits from participating in physical activity.

Zimbra Productivity Impact Study
All 2,0129 Western employees were invited to participate in a Business graduate student's research projects exploring the impact of Information Technology, such as Zimbra, on productivity and job satisfaction. 528 employees responded to the survey request. (Contact Chineze Christopher at for more information.)

  • In terms of general confidence, 97% of employees felt they can perform a wide variety of tasks, 98% felt they can work under pressure, and 95% felt they can handle a lot of information.
  • While 77% felt it was more fun to tackle a complicated problem than a simple one and 84% preferred variety to routine, 31% preferred to stick with things they knew, although only 16% don't like the idea of change.
  • In addition, 71% fell that they determine what happens in their life, with under half (41%) feeling that chance has a lot to do with being successful, although half (50%) did admit that being at the right place at the right time is essential for getting what you want in life.
  • With specific regard to Zimbra, 93% use Zimbra for email at least once a day, will 45% use Zimbra for managing and scheduling appointments at least once a day. Use of Zimbra's online collaboration of documents and spreadsheets is used much more rarely 56% indicating they had never used this feature, while an ever greater 74% had never used the instant messenger feature of Zimbra.
  • Among the usability of Zimbra, 60% felt it loaded fast, 60% said it was simple to use, 63% said it launches and runs right away, and 66% said it was always available for use.
  • Overall, 47% of employees said they were at least somewhat likely to say positive things about Zimbra to others, while 34% were at least somewhat unlikely to do so.

Western Well Program Evaluation
Of 2,027 Macomb campus employees invited, 632 responded to a survey regarding the development of a new "Western Well" program designed to help promote behavioral changes that support a healthier lifestyle. (Contact Cathy McMillan in the Department of Kinesiology at for more information.)

  • 99% of survey respondents felt that good nutrition and regular physical activity could contribute to better productivity at work, and 81% had recently given serious thought to making a personal lifestyle change related to better health
  • While 62% of employees were already involved in practices that relate to better health, only 23% felt they are able to get in as much physical activity at they feel is appropriate for their own better health, while more than double (48%), feel they do eat nutritiously.
  • Walking was the most popular activity employees were interested in participating in as a group if they were aware of others who shared their interest (76%), with strength training and health cooking tying for a distant second at 45%.
  • Group sport activities did not hold the same level of interest, but 39% were interested in both bowling and volleyball, with badminton coming in a close 3rd at 30%.
  • While recent Western Walks programs were held at lunch time, 44% of employees said that after work would be their preferred time to participate in a wellness program, compared to 40% during lunch, with the remainder preferring before work.

Financial Aid Customer Satisfaction Survey
Western's Financial Aid Office again contacted undergraduate students who are receiving some type of financial aid to learn of their customer satisfaction so that any indicated improvement efforts could be addressed. This fall semester, 7,850 students were contacted, with 598 responding. (Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.)

  • Students prefer to contact the Financial Aid Office via email (43%) or by phone (37%), with only 6% preferring to make appointments, while 14% tend to drop in when they have a question or wish to see an advisor.
  • 95% of students use STARS to check the status of their financial aid, with 70% knowing that you can cancel or reduce their Stafford Loan on STARS.
  • 93% of students rated their contact with front desk/reception staff as friendly and courteous, and 91% rated their contact with the Financial Aid advisors as friendly and courteous.
  • 78% of students felt that the Financial Aid Office answered their questions thoroughly, and 82% indicated that if they leave an inquiry, they receive a response within two business days.
  • Overall, 84% of students said their experience with the Financial Aid Office has been positive.

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Presidential Election Survey - Part 2
As a follow-up to the Presidential Election Survey that was conducted in conjunction with the Mock Presidential Election held on the Western campus in October 2007, students were again invited to participate in a Presidential Election survey regarding their political and issues preferences and knowledge. Of 13,176 students invited to participate, in the 2-week pre-election survey, 1,305 chose to provide input. (Contact Dr. Jongho Lee in the Department of Political Science at for more information.)

  • 83% of students indicated that they were registered to vote, with 97% of those planning to vote, or having already voted.
  • Among Western students, the Barack Obama & Joe Biden ticket was the clear favorite, favored by 64% of students compared to only 25% for the John McCain & Sarah Palin ticket, with the remainder either undecided prior to election day or favoring one of the third-party candidates.
  • Among the responding students, 15% had voted early, 59% said they were very likely to vote on Election Day, and only 16% were somewhat to very unlikely to vote in the 2008 presidential election.
  • Most Western students indicated that they were very closely (31%) or somewhat closely (49%) following the 2008 presidential campaign.
    • 81% said they watch national network news on TV at least 1 day a week, including 22% who watch it every night.
    • 75% said they read a daily national, state, or local newspaper at least 1 day a week, including 17% who do so every day.
  • Students were strong in their belief of the democratic process in the United States, with 18% believing that someone like them has a lot of in influence on deciding the course of this country, while at additional 38% felt that had at least some influence, compared to 33% who felt they had very little and 11% who felt they had none.

Cyber Security Awareness Quizzes
October as Cyber Security Awareness week, with Western's Chief Technology Security Officer, Mr. Mike Rodriguez challenging WIU students and employees to test their cyber security awareness with weekly quizzes. The weekly articles can be reviewed at the uTech website,, and following the Technology Security link to the Awareness page where articles are archived. (Contact Mike Rodriguez, Chief Technology Security Officer, at for more information.)

  • Week 1 - Malware (382 students/employees participated, with 365 answering all 4 quiz questions correctly)
  • Week 2 - Social Engineering (353 students/employees participated, with 267 answering all 4 quiz questions correctly)
  • Week 3 - The Impact of Social Engineering (322 students/employees participated, with 221 answering all 4 quiz questions correctly)
  • Week 4 - 10 Steps to Protecting Your Computer (362 students/employees participated, with 195 answering all 4 quiz questions correctly)

International Student Orientation Survey
Of the 134 new international students for at Western, 38 responded to a survey request to help evaluate the New International Student Orientation Program. (Contact the Center for International Studies for more information.)

  • 74% of the new international students had received emails from Western's Center for International Studies prior to their coming to Macomb, with 93% indicating that the information received in these emails was of value.
  • With 76% of the new international students arriving during Orientation Week, it's not surprising that 61% took advantage of the free pick-up service from the Peoria airport or Macomb train station, and 50% took advantage of the temporary housing available in Olson Hall.
  • Overall, 77% of the new students felt that the length of International Student Orientation was about right, neither too long nor too short, and 69% of the students participated in at least most of the orientation activities.
  • Of the 19 distinct aspects of the New International Student Orientation, on a scale of 1 (least positive) to 10 (most positive):
    • the 4 most positive were pick-up service at Peoria airport / Macomb train station (9.07), shopping trips (8.67), banking trips (8.66), and Go West bus information (8.64)
    • and although they were still rated quite highly, the 4 least positive rated were dining hall information (7.08), IFC picnic at Olson Hall (7.11), computer account activation session (7.35) and "The American Classroom" luncheon housing information (7.37)

Student Vehicle Preference Survey
A random sample of 1,300 Western students were asked about their vehicle preferences in a research study by an Engineering Technology Graduate student, with 152 students responding over the 10-day duration of the survey. (Contact Vamsi Kondapalli at for more information.)

  • While only 32% of the students definitely intended to purchase a car or truck within the next 3 years, all were asked what type of vehicle they preferred, with 49% indicating a gasoline engine vehicle, 34% indicating a hybrid gasoline/electric, 12% indicating an all-electric vehicle.
  • When asked to rank the importance of 7 criteria when choosing a car or truck, the #1 criteria was price, followed by fuel economy, performance, style, size, environmentally friendly, and lastly, speed.

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Student Hazardous Weather Survey
New freshmen and transfer students were asked about their experience with hazardous weather and how well prepared they are for the types of hazardous weather prevalent in the Macomb area. Of the 3,328 students invited to participate, 562 (16.9%) responded. (Contact Dr. Redina Herman in the Department of Geography at for more information.)

  • 98% of new students had experienced thunderstorms/lightening, 91% had experienced hail, and 90% had experienced a snow storm, will just over half had experienced a flash flood (51%) or a tornado (56%).
  • Only 4% of new students were not at all confident that they would know what to do to stay safe during hazardous weather here in Macomb, while 31% were very confident and 44% were somewhat confident they would know what to do.
  • New students indicated that the most likely way they would find about current or eminent hazardous weather would be my looking out the window (80%), followed a distant 2nd through 4th place by listening to a local TV station (69%), from tornado sirens (65%), and from another student (65%).
  • 73% of new students said they would definitely seek additional information once they found out there was hazardous weather in the area, with their top resources for information being the Internet (63%), and followed by asking their hall RA (54%), asking another student (51%), and checking the WIU website (47%).
  • With winter soon approaching, only 25% of students with cars in Macomb said they had a "winter weather kit" in their car at 20% did not know what a "winter weather kit" was, although 21% said they felt very comfortable driving in snow and ice, and 36% were at least somewhat comfortable, while just 17% admitted to not feeling at all comfortable when faced with driving in snow and ice.

Personality and Emotion Survey - Fall 2008
351 students participated in the Fall 2008 continuation of a study examining the connection between personality and emotional experience. A brief summary of the results are presented below. (Contact Dr. Scott Hemenover in the Department of Psychology at for more information.)

  • When students were asked about what they try to do to reduce their bad moods or emotions, from a list of 145 options, when rated on a scale of 1=Never or Rarely to 7=Always or Usually:
    • the top 6 actions were: spend some time alone (5.14), spend time with people who are close (5.14), go out with friends (5.12), do the things I enjoy (5.12), watch movies/TV (4.99), and laugh (4.98)
    • the bottom 6 actions were: do the gardening (1.39), use relaxation tapes (1.45), take drugs (1.50), wash the car (1.68), bury my head in the sand (1.76), and write in my journal (1.83)
  • When students were asked how they saw themselves, when rated on a scale of 1=Disagree strongly to 7=Agree strongly,
    • most saw themselves as dependable/self disciplined (5.86) and open to new experiences/complex (5.50),
    • while very few saw themselves at disorganized/careless (2.68) or uncreative/conventional (2.95)
  • When students were asked about how they feel about themselves and their life, from a list of 84 options, when rated on a scale of 1=Strongly disagree to 7=Strongly agree:
    • the top 3 statements were: It is important to me to be a good listener when close friends talk to me about their problems (5.31); In my view, people of every age are able to continue growing and developing (5.20); and For me, life has been a continuous process of learning, changing, and growth (4.97)
    • the bottom 3 statements were: I sometimes feel as if I've done all there is to do in life (2.08); I am not interested in activities that will expand my horizons (2.19); I gave up trying to make big improvements or changes in my life a long time ago

Moms' Weekend 2008 Evaluation
Based on responses of 282 (53%) of the 529 Moms who attended Moms' Weekend, September 5-7, 2008, the 5th annual event was again a success, with many already making plans for next year's event (Sept 11-13, 2009). (Contact the Student Assistance and Parent Services Center for more information.)

  • 85% of Moms traveled more than 100 miles to visit with their WIU son's and daughter's, including 6% who traveled more than 300 miles.
  • While the Macomb Balloon Rally continues to be a great draw in conjunction with Moms' Weekend, 69% said it made little if any difference, and they would have attended regardless of whether anything "big" was occurring.
  • While 6% of Moms commuted from home during the weekend event, 58% either stayed with their son/daughter or in the Olson Conference Center or University Union Hotel.
  • As in the past, the Cooking events continued to be in high demand. Even with the addition of a 2nd event (Pre-game Snack Attack in addition to Cooking with Mom), 34% indicated they wanted to attend, but the class was full.
  • 27% of Moms attended the opening Dinner Reception and 44% attended the Farewell Breakfast, but the Shops at the University Union was the biggest draw, with 66% of Moms participating. The Horn Field Campus events were also popular, with 13% enjoying the Climbing Tower and Nature Hike.

Peer Group and Smoking Behavior
Following up on an earlier her pilot study WIU seniors were surveyed about their smoking/non-smoking behaviors, and those of their peer groups. From 3,334 soon to be graduates, 622 across 51 different majors responded for a 19% response rate. (Contact Sharon Larson at for more information.)

  • 64% of student had smoked a cigarette at some time in their lives, but of these, only 42% had smoked within the last 30 days, with that group being split 50:50 between whether they had smoked at least 1 cigarette every day.
  • Among potential peer groups categories, the dominant "most important" peer group, at 42%, was people students live with, followed by fellow students in their major at 20% distant second.
  • The overall 27% of WIU students who are considered smokers, based on having smoked cigarettes within the last 30 days, appeared to smoke more than their most important peer groups members, with 81% saying that most of their peer group members do not smoke.
  • Using graduation as a typical time students consider making major life decisions, the 168 responding students who were classified as smokers were asked about the potential for them to quit smoking at graduation time.
    • 91% though it would be wise to quit smoking at graduation and 81% thought it would be a good thing to do.
    • About half of these 168 smokers look likely to accomplish this, with 49% indicating they thought it would be a relatively easy thing to do and 49% also saying they intend to quit smoking at graduation time.
    • With confidence playing a major factor in success, 75% indicate they are confident they could quit smoking at graduation if they really wanted to.
  • With 79% of all responding students saying they identify very strongly with their "most important" peer group and 75% saying that being a part of their peer group is important, this may provide additional incentive to helping smokers quit smoking as 87% say that their "most important" peer group would agree that quitting smoking is a good idea. However, only 16% indicate that the members of their peer group who do smoke intend to quit smoking at graduation time, so more smokers are planning to quit than their non-smoking peers realize.

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Athletic Participation Interest Survey
In an effort to explore how well the current 10 men's and 10 women's NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics program at Western is meeting the competitive athletic interest of WIU students, all undergraduate were invited to participate in an online survey regarding their interest in competing, level of athletic ability, and willingness to commit the time and energy required to be a successful Division I student-athlete. In addition to potential intercollegiate athletic expansion, the survey results may also lead to greater intramural and competitive club team sports. Of 10,743 undergraduate students invited to participate, 831 (8%) responded to the survey. (Contact Intercollegiate Athletics for more information.)

  • Among survey respondents, 8% were current Western student-athletes, 12% were members of a Club Sport team, and 23% were currently participating in intramurals, while 70% said they were interested in participating in some sort of athletic program at Western.
  • The survey considered the 19 men's and 20 women's current NCAA Division I sports, 7 NCAA considered emerging women's sports, as well as additional non-gender specific considerations to gain a fuller grasp of WIU student interest in athletic participation at any level. Students who indicated interest in participating in a currently offered WIU NCAA Division I sport were encourage to contact that sport's head coach.
  • For the 18 sports that Western does not offer for either sex, in addition to Men's Volleyball, the sports with the greatest NCAA Division I expansion interest were:
    • Bowling - 39 students - 11 women and 28 men, however, the NCAA only sanctions Women's Bowling, and as an emerging sport
    • Men's Volleyball - 38 men
    • Wrestling - 41 students - 6 women and 35 men, however, the NCAA only sanctions Men's Wrestling
    • Ice Hockey - 34 students, 5 women and 29 men, with the NCAA sanctioning both Men's and Women's Ice Hockey
    • Lacrosse - 34 students, 4 women and 30 men, with the NCAA, with the NCAA sanctioning both Men's and Women's
    • Rifle - 33 students, 3 women and 30 men, with the NCAA sanctioning Rifle as a mixed Men's and Women's team sport
  • Western's Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, along with Campus Recreation and University Administrators will be reviewing the complete survey analysis to determine where the greatest potential for adding NCAA Division I, Club Sports, and/or Intramural Sports lies when combining student interest and ability, along with the potential for the regional competition necessary for the more competitive interests.

Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) Faculty Shortage Survey
In an effort to ascertain the extent of the current shortage of Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) in Kinesiology departments, 57 universities were invited to participate in a PETE faculty shortage survey, with 37 (65%) responding to the survey request. (Contact Dr. Marianne Woods in the Department of Kinesiology at for more information.)

  • 95% of the school had faculty position openings in PETE during the last year, totaling 50 openings at 35 schools, with 82% being full-time, tenure track positions.
  • The biggest reasons for having open PETE faculty positions were previous faculty members taking positions at other schools (54%), previous faculty members retiring (31%), and new positions being created due to increased program enrollment (20%).
  • Of the 35 schools searching for PETE faculty, 63% rated their search process as poor, with a low number of highly qualified applicants. And even including those with more highly rated searches, 86% indicated that they felt there were few qualified candidates available to fill PETE faculty positions. Searches resulted in successful hires 55% of the time, but among those who were not able to hire, 93% were able to retain the faculty line.
  • For those looking to be hired as a PETE faculty, beyond obvious qualifications, the most important intangibles, as judged very important, were fit within the department (68%), collegiality (61%), area of specialization (50%), quality of presentation and availability to teach a variety of courses (45%), and K-12 teaching experience (44%). Conversely, the least important intangibles were qualifications as an AA/EEO employee (0%), honors and awards received, professional memberships and service, number of conference presentations, and university service (3%).

Non-Enrolling International Student Survey
International students, just like U.S. students, may not decided to enroll at Western even though they have been accepted. The Center for International Studies (CIS) surveyed the 242 international students who were accepted to Western, but did not enroll, to determine if there were areas in which the Center could be more helpful or attentive to international student needs. 83 of these students (34%) responded to the only survey request. (Contact CIS for more information.)

  • While from countries near and far, 64% of the international students initially heard about Western Illinois University from family or friends, followed by 17% whose first knowledge about Western was from the Internet. Only a total of 14% first heard about Western via the traditional channels of agencies or Education USA.
  • When asked to select the top 3 things that initially attracted them to Western, the international students identified friend or family recommendation (38%) possible funding in terms of a graduate assistantship or scholarship (34%), and accredited academic programs (33%) as their leading reasons for considering Western.
  • Of the reasons noted for not deciding to enroll at Western, even though they were accepted, 24% said they decided to enroll at another US university, while 22% said they had insufficient personal finances to attend and anther 22% had their visa applications denied.
  • Of those 19 responders who indicated that they had decided to instead enroll at another US university, student were again asked their top three reasons for selecting another university over Western. Top among reasons was the offer of funding in terms of a graduate assistantship or scholarship (53%) and the ranking of the university (53%), with selectivity of the degree program a distant 3rd at 26%.
  • While Western may find it difficult to compete against greater funding opportunities for international students, at least in the short term, many of these non-enrolling students remain very interested in attending Western, with 73% asking the Center for International Studies to update their application to a future term, including 51% who were hopefully of attending beginning Spring 2009.

College of Fine Arts & Communication Faculty Laptop Program Survey
The College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) sought to survey its 112 faculty regarding their interest in having laptops rather than desktop computers, and how this would affect their ability to integrate technology into their classroom. 83 faculty (74%) of COFAC faculty responded to the survey request. (Contact COFAC for more information.)

  • Faculty were strong in their agreement (88%) that they would like to have a new computer every 3 years, slightly ahead of the 4-year rotation proposed campuswide in the Technology Strategic Plan. COFAC faculty has a slight individual preference for Macintosh computers, with 52% preferring a Mac over a PC vs. 35% preferring a PC over a Mac, with 13% not having a preference.
  • The proposal to consider a laptop program met with considerable interest, with 57% definitely preferring to have a laptop rather than a desktop computer, although 20% preferred having a desktop computer and 23% were not sure which computer type they would prefer.
  • The belief that having a laptop computer would make it easier to integrate technology into their classroom's was somewhat stronger, with 67% in agreement. In addition, 64% felt having a laptop computer would increase their productivity. Training on how to effectively take advantage of a laptop computer would have to be addressed, however, as 22% felt such training would be needed.

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Counselor Education Ed.S. Degree Interest Survey
Western's Department of Counselor Education conducted an online survey of its current students and recent graduates to gain a sense of the need for adding a Ed.S. degree opportunity to help graduates find more advanced employment and due to changes that are occurring in the counseling profession. Of 129 recent graduates, 74 (57%) responded to the survey request. (Contact the Counselor Education department for more information.)

  • Among survey respondents, only 36% had continued their education to obtain a Master's degree in Counselor Education, although 82% have considered it.
  • Of responding alumni or current student, 36% were currently serving as a counselor in the K-12 system in Illinois or Iowa. Although an additional 59% marked "other" as their current occupation, the majority of these were either continuing their education or some working in some aspect of the counseling education field.
  • Interest in an Ed.S. Counselor Education program was high, with 84% indicating that they would be interested in pursuing an Ed.S. degree, including 94% who said they would be likely to attend Western if an Ed.S. program offered either second level licensure or advanced practice specialization.
  • Respondents could select multiple options of program interest, with an Ed.S. in Marriage and Family Counseling that would lead to LMFT licensure in Illinois and Iowa being the most desired, with 61% expressing an interest. In addition, 41% expressed interest in an Ed.S. in CACREP accredited Addictions Counseling leading to national (MAC) certification in Illinois and Iowa; 32% of were interested in Alternative Certification as a School Counselor, and 23% were interested in a Recertification Program for School Counseling.
  • A challenge for the Western Counselor Education Department will be in meeting the scheduling demands of a largely already employed workforce where 74% said the traditional, .e.g., MWF 10-2, course schedule was unworkable and undesirable whereas 93% found a 1 night-a-week schedule to be workable and either acceptable or highly desirable.
    • Somewhat less favorable alternative scheduling options included hybrid combinations of online and face-to-face instruction (81% acceptable or desirable) and executive style Friday evening through Sunday afternoon Weekend Academies (72% acceptable or desirable).

Dietetics Internship Survey
7 of 14 students or their dietetic internship (or graduate study) and 10 of their 14 internship coordinators (or graduate advisors) responded to the annual survey from the Department of Dietetics, Fashion Merchandising, and Hospitality (DFMH) designed to help assess the quality of education the students received in Western's Dietetics program. (Contact the DFMH department for more information.)

  • All of the responding dietetics interns said they would recommend Western's Dietetics program to others, with 43% now employed as a dietitian and 43% now attending graduate school. 100% of the responding interns are members of the American Dietetics Association, with some also belong to other related professional associations.
  • After completing their dietetics internship, 86% went on to attain their Registered Dietitian credentials, and 57% have either completed or are nearing completion of their Master's degree.
  • In terms of how well their Western coursework prepared them in various skill areas both the interns themselves, and their internship supervisors or graduate advisors concurred on the high level of preparation the interns had gain in their dietetics program at Western.:
    • 62% of dietetic interns and supervisors/advisors were satisfied to very satisfied with their written communication preparation and 89%were satisfied to very satisfied with their oral communication preparation
    • 100% of dietetic interns and supervisors/advisors were satisfied to very satisfied with their preparation in terms of technical skills, human skills, conceptual skills, problem solving and critical thinking skills, clinical skills, community focus, food knowledge, nutritional knowledge, and professionalism.

FYE Peer Mentors use of Library Research Materials
The WIU Malpass Library staff surveyed Peer Mentors during the summer to learn about their use of library research materials to learn how this might impact the Library's efforts meeting the research needs of the students who would enroll in FYE courses for the Fall '08 semester. 70 Peer Mentors provided their insight. (Contact the Malpass Library for more information.)

  • Google was the #1 place were FYE Peer Mentors began their research or information quests at 57%, with Library databases ranking 2nd at 23%.
  • 41% of FYE Peer Mentors had never attended a library instruction session, although 91% were familiar with the WIU Library's webpage.
  • In terms using various Library resources,
    • 46% of FYE Peer Mentors were comfortable using WestCat, the library's catalog; and 41% knew how to use WorldCat, the worldwide library catalog
    • 88% of FYE Peer Mentors were comfortable using at least one of the library's online databases; while 53% reported knowing how to find peer-reviewed journal articles
    • 77% of FYE Peer Mentors knew how to locate materials, such as books and journals, on the library shelves; and 94% knew where to ask for help when using the library; but only 42% knew how to request materials through inter-library loan

First Year Experience program Peer Mentors Summer '08 Survey
Part of the success of Western's First Year Experience program depends on the involvement of peer mentors. Beginning early in the summer, the Peer Mentor Coordinator sought input from the students selected to be Fall semester peer mentors in order to develop a quality Peer Mentor training effort. (Contact the Provost's Office for more information.)

  • With more than 95% of surveyed Fall '08 FYE peer mentors responding , 28% had past experience as an FYE peer mentor with 92% indicating they were satisfied to very satisfied with their FYE Peer Mentor experience. These experienced Peer Mentors were split on the value additional training would have provided, with 44% believing more training would have been a benefit, but 56% disagreeing that more training would have helped.
    • 100% of past Peer Mentors reported they had been able to actively assist students with the class in meaningful ways
    • 100% of past Peer Mentors reported that they had the necessary skills and strategies for understanding, teaching, or mentoring students
  • Among the 52% of respondents who had previously been in an FYE class with a Peer Mentor, only 13% were somewhat dissatisfied with their Peer Mentor, and again the belief that more training would have made a difference was split, though slightly in favor of more training for these new Peer Mentors, 58% to 42%.
  • Both responders who had been past Peer Mentors, and those who had been enrolled in and FYE course were asked to what extent they agreed that the FYE course experience was beneficial to incoming new freshmen.
    • 81% felt the FYE course helped orient students to campus resources and organizations.
    • 90% felt the FYE course supported interaction between students and faculty.
    • 84% felt the FYE course was effective in providing support networks for and between first-year students
  • In terms of potential improvements, Fall '08 FYE Peer Mentors were asked about the value of including new aspects in the FYE course/program.
    • 64% of Peer Mentors would like to see an FYE class service activity
    • 39% of Peer Mentors would like to see a research project or activity as part of the FYE program
    • 68% of Peer Mentors would like to see some type of diversity activity as part of the FYE program

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Communication Sciences and Disorders Alumni & Employer Surveys
The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD)surveyed recent graduates and their employers regarding how well the program had prepared its graduates for their CSD-careers in an effort to ensure the program adapts, as needed, to ensure a quality educational experience. Responses from 34 alumni, supported by employer results will support the department's American Speech-Language-Hearing Association accreditation process. (Contact the CSD department for more information.)

  • Of the alumni responding, 79% currently hold the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Certificate of Clinical Competence, 88% hold a Speech-Language Pathology license, and 27% have Teacher Certification.
  • Elementary/secondary school is the primary employment position of CSD alumni, with 87% employed in this area. With many serving in more than one position, totals exceed 100% and include 35% employed by hospitals, 24% employed in rehabilitation centers, 24% employed in private practice, and 13% in employed in independent speech-hearing clinics, with only 8% not currently professionally employed.
  • Alumni viewed their CSD education at Western very highly in terms of both course/content areas and clinical experiences, especially in those areas related to working with children where the majority were working.
    • Articulation & Phonological Disorders: course/content 91% good to excellent, clinical experiences 90% good to excellent; with 82% indicating that this area was frequently relevant/applicable to their work
    • Diagnostics: course/content 94% good to excellent, clinical experiences 88% good to excellent; with 94% indicating that this area was frequently relevant/applicable to their work
    • Child Language Disorders: course/content 97% good to excellent, clinical experiences 97% good to excellent; with 82% indicating that this area was frequently relevant/applicable to their work
  • The WIU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic is clearly a quality training aspect of the program with high percentages of alumni rating it as good to excellent: facility @ 85%, equipment @ 85%, tests @ 97%, therapy materials @ 100%.
  • CSD faculty also received high marks of good to excellent: knowledge @ 100%, professionalism @ 73%, teaching @ 97%, supervision @ 82%, accessibility @ 85%, and overall quality at 94%.

Study Abroad Opportunities Survey
853 students responded to the Center for International Studies survey on the awareness of WIU students, and their potential interest in taking advantage of Study Abroad opportunities. (Contact the Center for International Studies for more information.)

  • 98% of respondents would like to travel outside of the U.S., with 63% having already had the opportunity to do so.
  • 96% felt that studying abroad would be beneficial to their education, 99% felt that it would be beneficial to their personal growth, and 93% felt it would be beneficial to their future career.
  • While only 30% of students were familiar with the Study Abroad programs offered at Western, 84% were interested to very interested in taking advantage of Study Aboard opportunities and 82% indicated they wanted to receive more information.
  • Although just 8% of responding students had previously applied to study abroad, with just under half of these actually studying abroad, the positive response from students taking the online survey and their stated interest in learning more and becoming involved with the program may well increase Study Aboard participation in the future.
  • One of the challenges for Western's Study Abroad program staff will be to help the 84% who indicated that costs/finances was their biggest obstacle to being able to study abroad gain a better understanding of the actual cost of participating, as well as the resources that are available to them.

Peer Group and Smoking Behavior Pilot Survey
46 of Western's 490 seniors scheduled to graduate at the end of Summer 2008 helped evaluate a survey which will be used during Fall 2008 to determine the effect of a student's peer group on whether or not they smoke, and on whether or not they plan to quit smoking, if they do smoke. The Fall 2008 survey results will help in developing the most effective ways to help students quit smoking. (Contact Sharon Larson at for more information.)

  • By far the most important peer group among these graduating seniors were the people they lived with, noted by 37.0%, followed by their Greek social Greek fraternities/sororities (19.6%), and the people they worked with (15.2%). These peer groups were strong motivators, with 80.4% indicating they has strong ties to their peer group and 86.7% saying the definitely identify with their peer group..
  • While 67.4% had ever smoked a cigarette, a slightly lower 51.6% had smoked within the last 30 days, and of those, only 37.5% had smoked at least one cigarette every day.
  • Among their most important peer group, 63.3% said that most members of their peer group did not smoke. In addition, 56.2% of the people most important to them thought that the graduating seniors who smoked should quit and 93.8% of these important peers would approve if these graduating seniors quit smoking at graduation.
  • Of the graduating seniors who did smoke on a regular basis, 75.0% felt that quitting smoking at graduation would be good and 93.8% felt it would be wise. Although 68.8% want to quit smoking at graduation, a lower 43.8% said they intend to quit smoking at graduation, even though 77,5% felt confident they could quit smoking at graduation if they really wanted to.

ISBE Reading First Pilot Online Academy Survey
The Center for the Application of Information Technologies (CAIT) piloted an online effort for Illinois' Reading First program. Of the 8 instructors in the pilot online academy, helped evaluate the effort so that CAIT can improve the online program before expanding it on a larger scale. (Contact CAIT for more information.)

  • Only 40% of the pilot instructors had previously taught or facilitated an online course, but all rated the learning modules good to very good and the effectiveness of the Quick Quizzes approach for student review as good to very good.
  • While all again rated the assignments as good to very good, only 80% rated the forums/discussion boards as highly, the same less that perfect rating received for the announcements section.
  • All of the pilot instructors rated the effectiveness of the overall learning content as good to very good, none had any revisions to suggest, al all were satisfied with the Reading First online academy..
  • The design aspects of the Reading First modules is, however, an area where CAIT will look to improve, with only 75% rating the layout and design as good to very good, and only 50% rating the navigation as good to very good. In addition, as this effort progress, CAIT will be working to enhance its technical support for the Reading First Online Academy as while 60% rated the support as good, 40% gave it just adequate marks, below CAIT's standard of success.


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