March 18, 2022

New in-house survey will assess student engagement, needs

As part of Wayne State’s ongoing efforts to enhance students’ learning and experiences, a collaborative group of campus leaders has finalized a new survey to better understand the university’s unique student population. The Survey of Warrior Educational Engagement and Transformation (SWEET) will be distributed via email to all undergraduate students on March 22. Participation is voluntary and confidential, and will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The survey will also be available to students on Canvas and Academica.

Faculty and staff are asked to encourage student participation in the survey by April 22 to help identify Wayne State’s strengths and challenges from their invaluable perspective. Multiple-choice questions will ask students for feedback on their experiences with WSU’s campus environment and activities, learning and instruction, health and wellness, and more. The survey will also inquire about students’ experiences with faculty, academic advisors and support services, learning during the pandemic, and their courses and study habits.

“While the process of seeking student input is always important, knowing how our students are experiencing campus at this critical point, where we’ve made so many adaptations because of the pandemic, will help us better serve them now and in the future,” said Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Mark Kornbluh. “I am proud of the work we have done to think critically about students’ needs and involve them in our process improvements.”

Built to replace the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), SWEET aims to explore the student journey from start to finish, rather than focusing solely on entering first-year students and graduating seniors. Creating a new survey in-house allowed the university to tailor questions to Wayne State’s specific campus experience and unique student population. The ability to survey the entire undergraduate population will help capture the experience of students at every point of their education experience and allow the university to identify opportunities to provide better support.

“The Warrior student experience is quite unique. This tailor-made survey will provide rich, meaningful data to help us better understand the complexities of the student journey at WSU, which will allow us to provide our students with the best possible support and resources to be successful,” said Darryl Gardner, senior director of Academic Student Affairs,  who has co-led the project with Laura Woodward, director of testing and assessment, and Alicia Roman, institutional research reporting and workflow analyst.

Survey reporting will be available for students, faculty and staff to view on the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis' (OIRA) website in the summer.

“We want students to know their input is valued and will be used to improve Wayne State and the student experience,” said Roman. “Public access to this information is important to cultivate a culture of confidence and change.”

The survey was developed with collaborative, interdisciplinary input from deans, administrators, academic advisors and representatives from Career Services, Student Success, admissions, counseling, the Dean of Students Office, the Student Senate, the Academy of Teachers, Academic Senate’s Policy Committee, the Office of Multicultural Student Engagement, and others. SWEET will be conducted by Wayne State's Testing, Evaluation and Research Services.

Additional details about SWEET can be found at For more details on the survey, please contact Laura Woodward at

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