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STUDENT ISSUES & ADVISORY COUNCIL 2011-2012 SURVEY RESULTS & ANALYSIS

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The following pages contain the full report of the 2011-2012 College of Communication Survey. Communication Council’s Student Issues and Advisory Committee (SIAC) has carefully dissected and considered each of its recommendations in response to each College-Wide Imperatives and Departmental Questions. This report includes information, analysis, and student imperatives for the following issues: • • • • •

Four-Year Graduation Rates Online Courses in the College of Communication Academic Advising Study Abroad Degree Specfic Inquiries

AUTHORS: Jannah Deis, SIAC Committee Chair Kaitlyn Clark, SIAC Member Faith Daniel, SIAC Member Gloria Delgadillo, SIAC Member Darlene Garcia, SIAC Member Robert Milligan, SIAC Member Bailey Mintz, SIAC Member Vanessa Saldivar, SIAC Member Wynden Williams, SIAC Member SPONSORS: Patrick White, Communication Council President Bobby Hammelman, Communication Council Vice President

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OVERALL RESPONSE ANALYSIS Responses by Major 1% Advertising 18%

17%

CSD 7%

14%

13%

CMS Journalism PR RTF

31%

Communication Undeclared

Responses by Classification 2%

24%

26%

Freshman Sophmore Junior

24%

24%

Senior Graduate Student

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COLLEGE-WIDE IMPERATIVE: FOUR-YEAR GRADUATION RATES

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How important is it to you to graduate in four years? 350

294

300

250

200 148

150

100 59 50

0

33

Very Important

Important

Neutral

Unimportant

What are the barriers you currently see to graduating in four years? 300 260 250

200

174 156

150

135 102

105

None

Financial Burdens

100

50

0

More than one major/minor

Course Availability

Semesters Abroad

Time intensiveinternships

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RESPONSE ANALYSIS While the majority of people think that it is important to graduate in four years, the biggest barrier they see is having more than one major/minor • Emphasize degree specialization rather than adding on additional degrees/minors • Emphasize starting early for those who do pursue multiple degrees • Create a year-to-year checklist to help students better plan their degrees • Explore Degree in Three option

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COLLEGE-WIDE IMPERATIVE: ONLINE COURSES

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Have you taken an online course in the College of Communication?

11%

Yes No

89%

In which department(s) did you take an online course? 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0

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Advertising

Communication Sciences & Disorders

Communication Studies

Public Relations

Journalism

Radio-TV-Film


What was the format of the online course?

2%

10%

A virtual classroom with regular online meeting times Online interaction plus faceto-face meetings

27% 62%

All virtual but no regular meeting times Other

Do you feel that you received the same quality of education that you would have from a traditional classroom setting? 25 20 15 10 5 0 Yes, very much

Yes, somewhat

Neutral

No, not really

No, not at all

Unsure

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HYBRID-STYLE CLASS ONLY: Do you feel that you received the same quality of education that you would have from a traditional classroom setting? 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Neutral

No, not at all

No, not really

Yes, somewhat

Yes, very much

RESPONSE ANALYSIS While currently only 11% of students have taken an online course in the College of Communication, this number will steadily increase as efficiency demands from the Board of Regents and the state continue to rise. The College of Communication has the ability to be the leader in the world of online classroom communication and education, and there are some very telling signs to point our college in the right direction. Moving forward, we should: FIND WAYS TO EXPLORE AND EXPAND ONLINE HYBRID-STYLE COURSES 62% of students took online classes with regular online meeting times Of these students, an overwhelming majority reported that they received the same quality of education as they would have from a traditional classroom, versus a very mixed sentiment when students were polled across online course formats.

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COLLEGE-WIDE IMPERATIVE: ACADEMIC ADVISING

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Do you feel that you have enough access to academic advising?

5%

13% Yes No 83%

Do you try to take advantage of your advisor’s walk-in hours, or do you only use scheduled appointments?

2%

Yes, I use walk-in hours

38% No, I only want to see my advisor during a scheduled appointment time

60%

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My advisor doesn't offer walkin hours so I can only see him/ her during a scheduled appointment.


When/why do you typically try to see your advisor? 13%

I visit with my advisor regularly to discuss my progress towards degree Shortly before my registration period to discuss what classes I should take I only see my advisor when I have an urgent problem that I need him/her to fix

21%

66%

Are you aware of the Comm Be Advised initiative?

36%

48%

Yes, and I have visited with my advisor as a result Yes, but it has not persuaded me to see my advisor

16%

No

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RESPONSE ANALYSIS STUDENTS FEEL THAT THEY’RE GETTING WHAT THEY NEED, BUT THERE ARE STILL WAYS TO GET THE MESSAGE OUT BETTER: 66% only see their advisor shortly before registration 48% of students said they had never heard of the Comm Be Advised initiative The “Comm Be Advised” effort works to help ease registration-time congestion, but a majority either do not know about it, or do not see the need to do so early Moving forward, we should: • Work to increase adviser visibility and work with department chairs to help disseminate messaging by more heavily promoting the Comm Be Advised Week • Utilize the professors and student organizations to disseminate information

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COLLEGE-WIDE IMPERATIVE: STUDY ABROAD

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Have you or are you planning to study abroad?

11%

Yes, I have

34% 34%

Yes, I am planning on it Unsure No

21% What were the most rewarding aspects of your study abroad experience? 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

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Knowledge of Impact on my Impact on my foreign affairs career studies & cultures

Foreign language proficiency

Personal development (self confidence, maturity, etc.)

Civic engagement


What would you say is/ was your biggest barrier to studying abroad? None

2% 3%

3%

3%

8%

Finances

4%

Not sure it will fit into my fouryear graduation plan/it will increase my time to graduation Campus Involvement (athletics, leadership, etc.) Personal reasons

26% 51%

Academics Fear of leaving comfort zone Language

RESPONSE ANALYSIS More than half of students surveyed have or are planning on studying abroad, but 21% are unsure of how to do it. AFFORDABILITY AND FITTING STUDY ABROAD INTO A FOUR-YEAR DEGREE PLAN ARE THE BIGGEST BARRIERS Moving forward, we should: • Emphasize scholarship portals and ways to decrease costs • 2nd biggest barrier to studying abroad is fitting it into their graduation plan • Emphasize the “story-telling” aspect of study abroad • Create study abroad degree plan checklists for specific programs based on their curriculum

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DEPARTMENTAL BREAKDOWN: ADVERTISING & PUBLIC RELATIONS

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How would you currently grade the quality of education in your department? Advertising 50 40 30 20 10 0

A

A-

B+

B

B-

C

D

F

D

F

Public Relations 40 30 20 10 0

A

A-

B+

B

B-

C

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Have you found all of your courses in the advertising degree to be helpful in preparing you for a career in the Advertising industry?

21%

Yes No

79%

Have you found all of your courses in the PR degree to be helpful in preparing you for a career in the PR industry?

26% Yes, all of my classes have been helpful No, some of my classes have not been helpful 74%

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what courses do you feel should be transformed to better prepare you for a career in your field? Advertising

Advertising Research (344K) • “I would’ve loved a class with more research case studies and helpful hints on how to use certain databases, articulate our findings into professional documents, or other knowledge that would help us in our future career paths.” Communications Management (ADV 370, PR 367) • “doesn’t accurately represent the role of strategic thinking and the way communications planning actually happens in the industry, and having to develop communications solutions for brands that are no longer in existence…”

Public Relations

GENERAL SENTIMENTS • “I wish more classes on certain types of PR such as nonprofit PR, or PR in the fashion industry were offered rather than advertising.” INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC RELATIONS • “I feel like a lot of the information presented is not essential to learning the practice of PR. The background information is good to know…” • “The course is lacking relevancy to the industry [in today’s world].”

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RESPONSE ANALYSIS From the survey, students in the Department of Advertising & Public Relations truly feel that the program is performing well and that they are receiving a top notch degree; however, there are certain elements of specific courses that were pain points for students. 24% of students in the department felt that there are courses that need to be changed in various ways, all of which can be easily changed to impact students and their takeaways from these courses. Moving forward, we should: WORK TO IMPROVE KEY COURSES IN THE DEPARTMENT: Advertising Research (344K): • Explore ways for courses to use real-world data that allows students to research issues that will have a real-world and more relevant impact • Explore ways for students to interact with more up-to-date databases and tools Communications Management (370, 367): • Revamp the course material book to include more relevant and up-to-date Harvard Business Review (HBR) case scenarios for students to use for the creation of their hypothetical communication strategy solutions. Introduction to Public Relations (319): • Explore ways to blend historical cases to ensure that the course material helps students understand “today’s industry” • Consider exploring and expanding the Public Relations curriculum to fit widely varying interests among students in the department (e.g. event planning, non-profit, fashion, etc.)

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DEPARTMENTAL BREAKDOWN: COMM. SCIENCES & DISORDERS

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This year the questions for the CSD Department were based on Online Summer Courses, Individual Tutoring, and Smaller Course sizes. From these topics we devised the following questions and discovered some very interesting results.

WHAT PATH ARE YOU ENROLLED IN?

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How would you currently grade the quality of education in the department of Communication Sciences & Disorders?

Would you be interested in taking Summer CSD online courses that do not require you to be in Austin or on campus?

25


What CSD courses would you prefer to see offered online?

26


Are you interested in having individual tutoring offered for CSD courses?

What CSD classes do you feel individual tutoring is most needed?

27


Would you be interested in having supplemental instructional (SI) sessions for your CSD courses where TAs offer extra help in your classes?

How important is having a small CSD course size to you?

28


Are you interested in having individual tutoring offered for CSD courses?

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RESPONSE ANALYSIS Based off the results of our survey we discovered that students are pushing for a greater number of online course offerings and looking for the CSD Department to explore ways to transform course/curriculum for the larger introductory courses. Exploring ways to create smaller communities in larger classes would be a solution to giving the students a new opportunity to learn in larger classes. Creating “group learning” environments, such as SI sessions would be a way to developing those smaller communities. The responses that we got back from our survey have given us an insight to what the students would like to see added to the CSD Department but overall it shows how they are happy with their department. Moving forward, we should: FIND WAYS TO ENHANCE THE ONLINE LEARNING EXPERIENCE: Explore ways to transform course/curriculum CSD 306K, CSD 313L GIVE STUDENTS THE INTIMATE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT THEY CRAVE: Explore ways to create smaller communities in large classes Create “group learning” environments Secondary Instruction sessions

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DEPARTMENTAL BREAKDOWN: COMMUNICATION STUDIES

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BREAKDOWN OF RESPONSES BY TRACK:

How would you currently grade the quality of education in your department?

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Are you aware that there are CMS courses offered online?

HAVE YOU EVER TAKEN AN ONLINE CMS COURSE?

If no, would you be interested in taking an online CMS course?

33


Have you had or are you planning to have a communication-related internship before you graduate?

Are you interested in conducting research in your area of study?

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RESPONSE ANALYSIS Online Courses: 72% of CMS students want to take a Communication Studies online course at some point in their college career. However, only 37% of students were aware that CMS courses were offered online and only 8% have actually taken an online CMS course. Moving forward we should: (1) Inform students on what courses are already offered online This could be accomplished through an email from the advisors or a list posted online. Explore ways to transform course/curriculum for new classes that will be offered online in the future. As more classes are offered online, we need to explore ways to transform courses and course curriculum so that classes continue to be effective even through the new medium. INTERNSHIPS: 68% of students plan on having a communication related internship before they graduate. CMS majors need guidance in finding relevant internship fields. Moving forward we should: (1) Work with CCS to receive “major-focused� career information A CMS degree is very broad and tends to prepare students for a career in the academic arena. Working with CCS to find out what careers CMS students can pursue besides a career in academia can help students find out what types of internships they should look for. (2) Emphasize importance of real-world experience Students will eventually be working in the real-world. We should emphasize to students that they need some type of real-world experience before they graduate, such as an internship, so that they are ultimately better prepared for their career. Research: 38% of students are interested in conducting research while 42% are unsure. Promoting research opportunities Moving forward we should: (1)Promote the benefits of conducting research Because so many students are unsure if they want to conduct research, we should inform student of the benefits of doing research. This could be accomplished through the advisors, through emails to students or online. (2)Promote current research opportunities 38% of students are already interested in conducting research. Informing students on what research opportunities are available and how they can start getting involved should increase actual student involvement in research.

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DEPARTMENTAL BREAKDOWN: JOURNALISM

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How would you currently grade the quality of education in your department? 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

A

A-

B+

B

B-

C

D

F

Would you attend an open forum with the Director of the School and journalism professors, if it was available, to discuss specific issues facing journalism students?

21%

Yes No

79%

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Do you understand the facets and functions of the new curriculum, which starts with students entering UT in the Fall 2012 semester?

12%

40%

Yes Somewhat No 48%

Once it is finalized and approved, how would you prefer to be informed about these upcoming changes to the curriculum? 180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0

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Via detailed emails

Postings on the School of Journalism website

Town hall/ information sessions


RESPONSE ANALYSIS STUDENTS WANT TO STAY INFORMED: 79% of students said that if the Director of the School and journalism professors were to hold a discussion, about specific issues facing students, they would attend. Moving forward, we should: We should enact conversations, and give students an outlet to voice their questions and concerns in an open forum format, the time and nature of which should be collaboratively determined with the students. Work with various student organizations to help disseminate information. STUDENTS WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEW JOURNALISM CURRICULUM: 88% of students do not understand or only somewhat understand the changes being made to the curriculum. Moving forward, we should: We should begin to explore ways to get the information concerning things, such as course offerings to students now rather than later, now that the new curriculum has been approved. A majority of students said that when the curriculum has been finalized they we like to receive the information mainly by email. We should use this information to find ways to make the emails as concise and easy to understand as possible.

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DEPARTMENTAL BREAKDOWN: RADIO-TELEVISION-FILM

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How would you currently grade the quality of education in your department?

What careers are you interested in pursuing with your RTF degree?

41


What would you like to learn about to better prepare you for your career?

Which of these things would you like to see more of in the RTF department?

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RESPONSE ANALYSIS Students need ways to explore their fields beyond the classroom: 70 students indicated that they are interested in finding additional career information, and more than 60 students indicated that learning imperatives for them to succeed include obtaining easier access to necessary equipment and finding opportunities to help ease the costs of showcasing their work. Moving forward, we should: Explore and promote alternatives for students to get access to equipment (i.e. rental centers and inexpensive tools used by other students. Promote and foster ways for students to promote themselves with student-led film initiatives such as University Film Makers Alliance Jump Cut Film Festival which allows students the opportunity to showcase their work and be critiqued by leading industry professionals Students want real-world experience now: 70 students indicated that they are interested in finding additional career information, and many more are interested in finding additional opportunities and ways to stay ahead of the curve in the field of RTF. Moving forward, we should: Promote local internship and experience opportunities, particularly through vehicles such as Communication Career Services (CCS), advisor emails. Work closely with CCS to help recruit and offer more diverse RTF career opportunities.

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SIAC 2011-2012 Survey Report  

Report and recommendations from the 2011-2012 College of Communication Student Survey

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