Student Satisfaction Improving in Most Areas

According to the results of a national survey designed to measure student satisfaction across a wide range of campus services and areas, current Berea students are more satisfied than those enrolled five years ago and compare favorably to students at other four-year private institutions. Areas of strength included those related to course content, instruction and faculty quality, advising in major fields, and the ability of students to experience intellectual growth at Berea. Challenge areas included the adequacy of financial aid, registration without conflicts, faculty fairness in their treatment of individuals, and the general enjoyment and sense of security associated with living on campus. Across most major categories of the survey, International students’ ratings were higher than domestic students’ ratings. In general, ratings by African American students and other domestic students were very similar.

This project began in 1998 when a comprehensive student satisfaction survey was first administered (using Labor time for students to participate). The Committee on Student Experience (COSE), comprised of faculty, administrators and other staff representing academics, student life and various programmatic areas, reviewed the results of the survey. The group then worked three years to understand the data, make recommendations to campus and implement many changes where possible. Many other groups and individuals worked on implementing these initiatives as well as finding other ways to improve our system and processes. When the survey was re-administered in 2003, satisfaction had improved in almost all areas.

To know more about the survey results, please read our study (PDF). For a printable version, go to the website and select pages 1 and 2.

Response from the Provost’s Committee

This is a good example of what a difference people working together to improve the system can do. Although last year’s data show improvement in most areas, there are still some student ratings we’ll be examining more closely to better understand and respond appropriately.

For example, we’ve created new financial aid packaging that aligns term bills with the family’s ability to pay. We’ve also eliminated Short Term charges for room, board and fees, and reduced summer housing costs. In the Student Life area, we’ve increased team-based structures to provide leverage for division-wide student development initiatives and support for student clubs and organizations. We’ve also recently completed a comprehensive review of the Labor Program that includes initiatives for re-visioning and revitalizing our policies and procedures. Our new Learning Center in Draper Hall is becoming increasingly effective in supporting the needs of both faculty and students. We continue to renovate student residence halls to include more study and community spaces. In light of these findings, we are also reviewing services and the environment at College Health Services and have developed cross-divisional protocols for various campus events of concern to students (e.g., assault, harassment, suicide, etc.) that will prescribe policy and process in these areas and involve Student Life, Public Safety, Campus Ministry, College Health and the Counseling staff.


We will be sending more Study Briefs over the next few weeks. Please send your ideas, comments, or questions to Judith Weckman ( Also, feel free to contact any of the Provost’s Committee members listed below.

Provost Committee Members
Joe Bagnoli, Associate Provost
Stephanie Browner, Dean of the Faculty
Jackie Burnside, Associate Dean of the Faculty
Delphia Canterbury, Staff Support
Jamie Ealy, Director of Admissions
Don Hudson, Associate Provost for Advising and Academic Success
Dave Porter, Provost
Judith Weckman, Director of Institutional Research and Assessment
Gail Wolford, Vice President for Labor and Student Life