Parents’ perceptions of student development (e-mail to St. Olaf community, October 9, 2009)
Many of you may recall we conducted a survey of parents of the St. Olaf Classes of 2008-2012 during the spring 2009 semester. A brief overview of parents’ satisfaction with many offices and services at St. Olaf was sent to the community in July. We now turn our attention to parents’ satisfaction with various academic aspects of the college, as well as with their student’s development with respect to specific intended learning outcomes of a St. Olaf education. Survey responses were received from 1,246 parents.
Overall, at least 90% of our parent respondents are quite satisfied with their student’s development in all the learning outcomes in our survey. In addition, 97% of respondents are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the overall academic development of their student. This has been consistent over the three times we have administered the survey.
Here are a few more items of potential interest:
- In all three administrations of the survey, over 98% of respondents are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the quality of teaching at St. Olaf.
- Also consistent over time, over 96% are satisfied with their student’s interaction with faculty.
- The highest percentages of “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with student development (over 98%) were with the abilities to think critically and analytically, and to speak clearly and effectively.
- The highest percentages of “very satisfied” (over 60%) were with the development of personal and ethical values, and with a sense of personal responsibility and maturity.
- The learning outcome that parents apparently felt least qualified to judge was “comprehension of science and its impact on society,” with over 18% of survey respondents either indicating “no opinion” or not responding at all.
If you are interested in more results, please click on the link below, which contains the survey instrument, detailed response frequencies for each item, and graphs of selected trends over time. Also in July, a brief summary of the survey results was sent to all parents who had been invited to participate in the survey, including this website link: