We asked. You spoke. We're listening!
Independent Surveys Say Westwood College Students Are Significantly More Satisfied With Their Educational Experiences Than Students At Other Colleges
Every two years, we ask Noel-Levitz to conduct a student satisfaction survey that compares Westwood's results with those from other private four-year colleges and universities. In January, more than 4,000 of you (current Westwood College campus and online students) answered these surveys to assess what attributes you find most valuable at Westwood and how satisfied you are with them.
The surveys compare Westwood's campus results with 124 other private four-year colleges, such as Colorado Technical University, Hawaii Pacific University, Concordia University and Eckerd College. Westwood College Online results are compared against 87 national online campuses, such as Colorado State University, Minnesota State College, University of Illinois, University of Houston and American InterContinental University.
The information Westwood receives from your responses provides invaluable feedback to build on our strengths and helps determine what actions to take for any areas of concern–all toward making your experience at Westwood more productive and rewarding.
And the results are in:
The good news is that campus student satisfaction significantly improved in all of the nine areas measured in the survey. (Chart 1) Students were most satisfied with the area of instructional effectiveness indicating their positive impressions about our faculty and our curriculum. Even more impressive is that Westwood students are more satisfied than the comparison group of the private four-year colleges in all nine areas.
The great news is that the results also improved in all areas from 2006-2008 and 2008-2010. The responses indicate a strong, healthy trend for Westwood as an institution that is continuing to improve and meeting students' ever-increasing expectations.
"It is a strong achievement to have such significant improvement across the board on almost all the items," says Julie Bryant, associate vice president of retention solutions at Noel-Levitz.
Overall, 85 percent of Westwood College Online students are somewhat satisfied to very satisfied with their Westwood experience. In four out of the five areas measured in the survey, online students were at least as satisfied or better than the national benchmark group.
Chart 1: Westwood College Campus Student Satisfaction vs. National Benchmark
Chart 1: Westwood College Online Student Satisfaction vs. National Benchmark
Westwood students also indicated specific items in which Westwood College is particularly strong.
Note: This is not a complete list of the items. Not all items appeared on both surveys.
- The content of the courses within my major is valuable. (campus)
- Faculty members have practical experience in the subject areas in which they teach. (campus and online)
- There is a commitment to academic excellence on this campus. (campus and online)
- My academic advisor is knowledgeable about requirements in my major. (campus)
- Most of my classes get me actively involved in learning. (campus and online)
- Financial aid counseling is available if I need it. (campus)
- The campus staff members are caring and helpful. (campus)
- Registration for online courses is convenient. (online)
How will Westwood respond to these results?
"While we're thrilled with the continuous upward trend in our students' responses, this is not the time to rest on our laurels," said Dr. Eric Goodman, Westwood chief academic officer. "We'll continue to do what we've done in the past, and that's to work with our campuses, both on ground and online, to build on our strengths and come up with plans to turn our opportunities into new positives."
After the results of the 2008 Noel-Levitz surveys were released, Central Administration and staff and faculty on each campus developed a game plan to improve the student experience based on the results. Among those initiatives are:
- Employer Relationship Managers
Dedicated resources focused on buildingWestwood's strategic relationships with employers and identifying immediate career opportunities for students and graduates
- Program enhancement
Current and relevant curricula updates to keep pace with the evolving job markets
- Improvements to the student financing process
Timely, more transparent, more efficient methods to help students through the process
"There has been an improvement over the last two years that reflects Westwood's commitment to continuous quality improvement," continues Noel-Levitz's Bryant. "It's obvious that Westwood has taken the results to heart. If a school is not using this data to make changes, their scores tend to stay the same or drop. Westwood's improvement is a reflection of how seriously it takes the survey results. Your students know and understand this by their responses."
Your Campus Results
Every campus will be putting together an action plan to improve the student experience based on the specific feedback from students at your campus. By the end of May, your campus president will share your campus results, as well as the strengths and opportunities, and the specific changes and improvements your campus has committed to.
Anna Rebollar, 2009 Medical Assisting Graduate
Seven months into her job as a medical assistant for a family practice in the Melrose Park area of Chicago, Anna Rebollar says that she loves her job and particularly enjoys the variety of tasks she faces in any given day. From reporting lab results to patients, ensuring exam rooms are clean and stocked, checking in patients and assisting with relaying prescription refill requests, Rebollar's day is never the same from start to finish. One of the highlights for Rebollar is assisting the doctor with minor surgical procedures. "I love to watch," she says. "Everything is so exciting for me!"
Rebollar graduated from the Chicago O'Hare Campus in 2009. She credits Westwood with helping her expand her knowledge and says that the one—on—one training helped prepare her to tackle her job. Rebollar admits that things are different once you're on the job, so she encourages Westwood students to pay attention to their instructors.
"You cannot make mistakes in the medical field, and people expect you to have the answers," says Rebollar. "So, give it your best and don't settle for one thing. Push and improve yourself."
The Westwood 100–Honoring Our Outstanding Grads
Each month we highlight a successful Westwood College graduate in The Buzz. Given that we can only honor one per issue, however, we are thrilled to announce the Westwood 100, an exclusive showcase that will feature compelling stories of Westwood graduates who changed their lives by completing their degrees and starting their careers.
One hundred outstanding Westwood graduates will be chosen for their inspirational and encouraging stories that will inspire future generations of Westwood students to work equally hard to achieve their own dreams. If you know any outstanding graduates, ask them to visit Westwood100.com where they can fill out the short survey.
PATH to Success Scholarships–Thank you to those that participated
The PATH to Success Scholarships were announced in the March issue of The Buzz, and the last day to submit applications was April 30, 2010. Thank you to everyone who participated! We appreciate you taking the time to submit an application, and essentially taking personal responsibility for your future by creating a career plan.
To review the terms and conditions of the scholarships, please visit westwoodpathscholarship.com.
We will be announcing the winners in late summer, so for those that applied, be on the lookout!
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