Using Available Data

What surveys does your institution have in place? How can you use the current data? What new surveys and other research techniques do you have to put in place to gather data to make informed decisions about program development?

We have an employer database where employers can advertise open positions. We also collect data in our Program Advisory meetings (2) and at Career Fairs. Student data starts in Admissions. We have a form that we have prospective student fill out about their goals and what they expect from their education and what they are interested in. This gives them the opportunity to give other areas they are interested in.
To make it better we could add a checklist of different programs that are related to Massage therapy and ones that we are looking to add and see if we have any interest from potential students, current students, and graduates.

That's a great practice. I like the idea of adding a checklist -- to fuel their imagination about what potential careers might be!
Lisa Sharpe

We use various forms of student surveys in our school. Basically, we try to gather information / feedback from the students/graduates and externship sites.

We use graduate surveys, exit surveys, graduate surveys, employer surveys, externship student surveys and externship site surveys.

These written surveys allow us to have up to date student information, students' expectation, information about their employment.

We try to collect information about employment and future educational/ career plans.

We try to get feedback from the externship site/ externship supervisors and try to make continuous improvements and development of our programs.

Our admissions/ enrollment department try to collect information from the current, previous and prospective students and graduates/ alumni by interviewing them. We try to use these data to make continuous improvement/ modification.

I believe, we need to focus more on the employer/ prospective employer surveys. That will allow us to have clear ideas about the current and future employment needs. That will lead to new program development.

Our institution currently has Outreach specialists that are constantly surveying and interviewing potential students. The data obtained from these surveys and interviews provides data on what students are interested in, what employers are looking for and why students are or are not enrolling in our institution. In my opinion, additional information we may need to gather and make public are the job opportunities trend in our area.


Very nice! I think the information gleaned from those NOT enrolling will be the most telling.

Dr. Lisa Sharpe

We utilize a variety of surveys, including mid-course and end-of-course, and end-of-program student surveys. We also conduct employer surveys and just started surveying students who cancel after enrolling.

Because some of our programs are self-paced, I sometimes need to know why students are slowing down or stopping at a certain point in a course. In these instances, I am able to ask the student services department to do a call campaign to find out from students who are hung up on a lesson what is slowing them down.

I recently attended a training on calculating ROI for training, and I realized that in order to isolate the value of a revision to a course, I would need more specific, ongoing data and I am currently brainstorming ways to collect that information. As much as I value, I know students hate being surveyed to death!


I know that too! When one of my previous employers (midsize NFP university) was losing students by the week, one of the deans came up with an idea that sounded good -- all faculty would survey students regarding their satisfaction with that class EVERY WEEK. Well, I think you can imagine how the students reacted after a few weeks. They stopped taking it seriously. MaxKnowledge is, as you know, self-paced, but since we have a highly motivated audience, we don't have as many drops as traditional age students. What were the results of your call campaign? I'd be interested, as we tried this technique too to no avaial. I'd love to know more about your experience in the class regarding calculating ROI for training. These are very interesting experiences and I thank you for sharing!

Dr. Lisa Sharpe