By James Hartley
Eastfield students feel secure and welcome on campus but are unsatisfied with academic advising and the speed of feedback from professors, according to a recent survey.
About 800 Eastfield students are randomly administered the Noel Levitz student satisfaction survey every two years. The results are then evaluated and addressed by Eastfield administration.
President Jean Conway said Eastfield administers the Noel Levitz survey because it is “highly actionable.” A committee has been formed to review the results of the 2015 survey and find ways to improve the student experience.
The survey showed that 71 percent of students feel welcome and 67 percent feel safe on campus.
“I feel welcomed and that this campus does a good job of having resources and tutoring and things that people may not even know they need,” computer science major Fernan Deluna said.
According to the survey, 71 percent of students were satisfied with campus cleanliness and maintenance.
“The campus, I think, is really good,” said Shadreck Ntambwe, a social work and counselling double major.
“It’s not just a place where I can come and learn. It’s become more of a place where I can come and talk to my friends and hang out. I just like the environment itself. It’s clean. It’s healthy.”
The survey also showed that students are not satisfied with academic advising. While 86 percent of respondents said it is important that academic advisers are knowledgeable in program requirements, only 57 percent reported satisfaction in that category.
“They kind of just told me the things I need to do, the classes I need to take for my major,” Ntambwe said. “You can tell any student, ‘Hey, you need to take these classes.’ But I think they could be more engaged with the students, … more encouraging.”
“In the past I’ve had advisers that have seemed really hasty,” Deluna said. “They didn’t really advise. They were just like, ‘You should know what you want to do, so tell me and I’ll punch it in the computer.’ ”
Conway said college administration is working to fix these issues.
She also said faculty is trying to provide an engaging experience to students in the classroom.
“I know the goal was to have students engaged with each other, the material and the teachers, inside and outside the class,” she said. “It’s been an intentional road all of our faculty have been on.”
The Office of Student Engagement and Retention and Zone Registration were created in response to the 2013 Noel Levitz survey results to make students’ experiences more enjoyable.
OSER was developed to “help students feel that they have a stronger connection to the college,” Conway said. Zone Registration was created to help students navigate the college registration process more smoothly.
The learning communities program was created after the last survey to help retain and engage students. A group of students takes two or more linked classes together to build relationships and prepare for their careers.
Students enrolled in automotive classes can take English and speech classes that relate to their future work field.
Conway said the learning communities have been successful.
“We want to change lives by giving students educational and career options,” she said.