Students Give Northwestern High Marks in Academic Excellence

Kate Martin | August 16, 2013

Student satisfaction survey results show confidence in the University, as well as room for improvement.

Responses to a recent student satisfaction survey, focused on the quality of education and campus life at Northwestern Health Sciences University, indicate both confidence in the university and room for improvement.

The survey yielded a 42 percent response rate, or more than 336 students. This is a historically high response rate and “[…]shows that students have a vested interest in the quality of education and campus life at Northwestern,” says James Riley, research analyst in the Office of Institutional Research and Strategic Planning.

The top score related to academic excellence, with 87 percent of students responding Strongly Agree to the prompt, “There is a commitment to academic excellence on this campus by faculty.” Similarly, 82 percent strongly agreed with the statement, “I would recommend Northwestern to anyone interested in pursuing a career in health science professions.”

The low score, with 51 percent strongly agreeing, was in response to “I am learning to understand the business aspects of practicing professionally.” This response item addresses services and experiences that are available to prepare students for operating a business. The low positive response on this item demands that Northwestern provide more resources to help students start their own practices and manage their careers after graduation.

What about students’ written comments – is anybody listening?

The survey garnered extensive and thoughtful written comments by students, which are receiving the attention they deserve. Common themes from the written comments include:

  • Improve quality of students/being more selective
  • Increase interdisciplinary experiences in classrooms, clinics, and extracurricular activities
  • Consistently demonstrate academic integrity, fairness, and rigor
  • Improve technology across campus – wireless, available technology, and use of academic technologies
  • Increase relevant, real-world business preparation for setting up and maintaining a professional practice

What are the next steps?

A University Task Force comprised of administrators, faculty and students will be charged with developing an action plan by September 30. The action plan will outline specific steps for addressing the two lowest and two highest performing categories. Specifically, the plan will include an outline of specific steps needed to improve scores related to career preparedness and interdisciplinary learning opportunities, as well as to continue positive outcomes in the areas of student loyalty and instructional excellence. “Student responses have provided the University with clear, definitive feedback on how to improve the student experience at Northwestern,” says Riley.

Any questions, comments or feedback may be directed to James Riley at ext. 343.

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