MAP-Works surveys open for all students


As campus-wide MAP-Works surveys come to a close, freshmen weren’t the only ones who participated in the surveys this semester.

Sharon Hunter, coordinator of College Readiness, said the change came about to identify students having difficulties, regardless of year.

“We are surveying all students in support of our focus on degree completion,” she said. “We want to identify any student who may be experiencing difficulty in completing his or her degree goal and provide assistance whenever possible.”

Developed by Joseph Pica of Indiana’s Ball State University, MAP-Works surveys identify at-risk students and inform administration involved with the surveys how best to meet those students’ needs.

“MAP-Works’ retention effectiveness blends sound student theory with proven research, powerful data analytics and years of experience,” the survey’s home page says. “It combines the power of real-time analytics, strategic communications, and differentiated user interfacing, with integrated statistical testing and outcomes reporting.”

The survey questions range from rating a student’s stress levels to things like fraternity/sorority involvement.

Hunter said the answers from surveys will go to administration involved with WKU’s retention efforts, including Housing and Residence Life, advisors, departments, colleges, and even back to students.

“We’re able to talk to students to prevent their leaving WKU as well as get information and outreach to address any risk indicators,” she said.

Hunter said it’s important to help students overcome barriers between them and graduating from WKU.

“I’m sure students have heard Dr. (Gary)Ransdell and Dr. (Gordon) Emslie say that ‘WKU doesn’t want students to come to WKU, we want them to come to WKU and graduate with a four-year degree,’” she said.

Louisville sophomore Elizabeth Gribbins, a political science major, said she felt like the survey was a waste of her time.

“I think they’re mostly a waste of time because I try to answer them as accurately as possible, but then I never see an outcome that really helps me,” she said. “I haven’t seen them try to change anything based on what we’ve said. So what’s the point? They’re just really annoying.”

Gribbins said she completed the survey at the encouragement of her residence hall director and for the prize incentives.

Other institutions that use the surveys to track retention include Harvard, Baylor, Yale, Duke, Bellarmine, Kentucky and Louisville.