March 25, 2024

In-house survey will assess undergraduate student engagement, needs

Students gather on Wayne State's campus on a beautiful summer day.
Undergraduate students will be asked to share their experiences as part of the Survey of Warrior Educational Engagement Survey through May 17..

As part of Wayne State University’s ongoing efforts to enhance students’ learning and experiences, the annual Survey of Warrior Educational Engagement and Transformation (SWEET) will be distributed via email to all undergraduate students beginning March 19. Participation is voluntary, confidential and will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Students have until May 17 to complete the survey and be entered into a drawing for the chance to win a $20 Amazon or Starbucks gift card. Prize winners will be contacted via their WSU email by Friday, May 24.   

“Our students are diverse and unique, and so are their needs,” said President Kimberly Andrews Espy, Ph.D. “We take great pride in that diversity and are always seeking opportunities to better understand and serve our students. Student success and well-being are driving forces behind every decision at Wayne State, and we hope that they will seize this opportunity to directly share their feedback.”

Faculty and staff are asked to encourage students to take the survey, where their invaluable perspective will help the university identify strengths and challenges. Through mostly multiple-choice questions, students will provide feedback on their experiences with campus environment and activities; learning and instruction; courses and study habits; interactions with faculty, academic advisors and support services; and more.

Created by a collaborative, interdisciplinary work group to replace the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and launched in 2022, SWEET aims to explore the student journey from start to finish, rather than focusing solely on entering first-year students and graduating seniors. Creating the survey in-house allowed the university to tailor questions to our specific campus experience and unique student population. The survey aims to solicit responses to the following questions:

  • Are we building student belonging and a positive climate?
  • Are we engaging students in effective learning activities?
  • Are we identifying student needs?
  • Are we providing relevant support/resources?

Last year, the survey offered invaluable feedback about students’ experiences. For example, WSU learned that 80% of respondents become more interested in a subject because of instructor influence, highlighting the significant role faculty play in learning and growth. Additionally, although support services are available, many students are unaware of essential campus resources, prompting the university to rethink how such services are communicated. SWEET also revealed more about the multitude of demands on students’ time, and a desire for a mix of virtual and in-person opportunities, affirming the university’s decision to offer flexible scheduling where possible.

SWEET is the second broad-reaching survey conducted in 2024, following the campus culture and climate study in the winter. While both surveys include questions about belonging, SWEET dives into learning activities and support services and offers an annual snapshot of the current student experience. As an annual survey, SWEET complements the broader campus culture and climate study, which is conducted every few years. Participation in both allows WSU to make timely improvements that will benefit students while they are still enrolled, while also developing long-term strategies to benefit future Warriors. 

“Gathering feedback from our students allows us to routinely assess what we’re doing well and where we can improve,” said Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Laurie Lauzon Clabo. “At Wayne State, we embrace a culture of continuous improvement, and that process is guided by data obtained through these important tools to better understand our students and their evolving needs.” 

Results for the 2024 survey will be available in the fall; meanwhile, previous reports are available online.  

The survey is conducted by Wayne State’s Office of Academic Programs and Institutional Effectiveness. Additional details about SWEET can be found at irda.wayne.edu/sweetsurvey. For more information or questions about the survey, please email sweetsurvey@wayne.edu.

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