This week, many undergraduate students will receive an e-mail from Vice Provost Pat Bailey, encouraging them to fill out the UC Undergraduate Experience Survey.
While the thought of filling out yet another survey may have many students reaching for their delete button, the survey may be worth checking out for students looking to have their voices heard.
“UCUES is a cooperative effort among all the UCs along with the office of the president,” said Kathy Davis, an analyst for Student Affairs Research and Information. “It is meant to give administrators insight into the overall undergraduate experience…. It is a unique opportunity for students to share what student life is like and what they would like to see changed.”
Davis said that the survey covers a wide range of topics, the primary interest being in academics. Questions relate to topics such as satisfaction with advising services and accessibility of faculty members and courses. The survey also provides the administration with information about factors affecting academic performance. For example, the survey responses can be used to determine how many hours a student can work without it negatively impacting their academics.
According to the UC Office of the President official website, 28 percent of the UC Davis undergraduate population participated in the last survey.
While questions relating to academics are a main aspect of the survey, Davis said that it covers numerous other topics as well.
“For the UC Davis campus in particular, one of the main focuses of the survey is on-campus climate,” Davis said. “Campus climate relates to the level of respect that students feel on campus. Is the campus respectful of individual differences? Are people treated fairly regardless of factors such as race, sex, ethnicity or sexual orientation?”
Lora Jo Bossio, interim assistant vice chancellor for Student Affairs said that one of the especially helpful aspects of the survey is that it is a UC-wide survey.
“This particular survey is administered at all the UC campuses,” Bossio said. “This allows the administration to look at the Davis campus in relation to all the other campuses.”
Though UCUES is a relatively new survey, dating back only to 2004, it is already having an impact on campus decisions. The Academic Program Review, which is a formal way for students to evaluate their majors’ programs, was recently revamped as a result of responses to previous survey.
“Campuses like Davis rely on student climate surveys to form decisions and create programs,” Bossio said. “The goal of the student affairs department is to enhance the student experience, so [student affairs] really values this type of student feedback.”
Davis said the survey is rather long and requires some thought but that the 20 minutes it takes to fill out is definitely worth the student’s time.
“This survey only comes around every two years, so most students will only have one or two chances to fill it out,” she said. “It is really important that students are aware of this opportunity.”
In addition to the opportunity to share their opinions, all students that fill out the survey will be entered to win either a $10 gift card to the UC Davis Bookstore, a $100 cash prize or a free Kaplan test prep course.
Students will receive a few e-mails throughout May, reminding them to fill out the survey, which will remain open until shortly after the end of the month. The survey is available to all undergraduates over the age of 18 and can be found at universityofcalifornia.edu/ucues.
ERICA LEE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.XXX