Graduating Student Survey (GSS)
About the Survey
Each graduating student from BYU–Hawaii is required to complete a comprehensive survey evaluating their educational experiences. After graduation, transcripts or copies of diplomas are not released by the Registrar’s Office until the survey is completed. Taking the Graduating Student Survey (GSS) is included on a “to do” list distributed by the Registrar’s Office at the time students apply for graduation, and a reminder is sent to students prior to the release of the survey (see sample email notification to students).
The GSS is released to all graduating students about 2-weeks prior to their departure from campus. This is to allow each student sufficient time to update the University on their plans after graduation and to provide the latest contact information (which is used by the Alumni Office, Career Services, Registrar, and academic and several other departments to keep in touch with graduates once they leave campus). The survey is completed online from any location and includes both closed and open-ended questions (see sample survey). This survey was developed in-house and has been used in a variety of formats since 2000 (*see Brief History of the Graduating Student Survey).
How Survey Information is Shared and Campus Community Engaged
Once the survey is released, the office of Planning, Institutional Research, Assessment & Testing (PIRAT) shares survey results (unedited) through a report link they provide to both academic and administrative departments on campus (see sample email notification to departments). Departments are encouraged to review student comments and feedback. The survey program allows departments to filter responses to fit their individual information needs, and to download data from the survey to do further statistical analysis if desired. Departments also use survey results in department meetings and retreats, and some as secondary evidence to measure outcomes in annual assessment plans (see sample annual assessment plans from Academic Advising, Career Services, EIL, International Business Management, Library and Information Services, Religious Education and Special Education).
At times some departments will request a more in-depth study of survey results for program reviews and other special needs. A member of the PIRAT team will then put together detailed summaries for these departments (see sample reports for International Business Management and Social Work). In addition, a faculty-mentored student research team helps evaluate and share information with the larger campus community.
Information from the survey is also shared with the GE committee and university councils, including the BYU–HawaiiSA Student Advisory Council (SAC) which looks for ways to improve the campus experience for students. Strategically, the President’s Advisory Council also reviews student comments and feedback from the survey. In 2008 results from the survey were shared with the University’s newly appointed “Design Team” to help in looking at areas on campus that needed strengthening (through restructuring services and/or alignment with key campus functions and the overall University mission).