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Student Reading Newspaper The Challenge: To Know the Students' Needs and Expectations
For many years, Penn State has strived to satisfy its primary clients, the students. Knowing the students' needs and expectations has always been a challenge since there was no formal mechanism to communicate with the students.

The Solution: Penn State Pulse Surveys
As a result, in 1995, Student Affairs initiated "Penn State Pulse," an ongoing series of phone and web surveys aimed at "taking the pulse" of Penn State students on issues that are important to them, their expectations and their overall satisfaction with the various aspects of campus life and academics.

Penn State Pulse is a prime example of continuous improvement in action. It successfully provides the answers to many challenging questions and results in:

  • A 60-70% participation rate
  • Increased communication and teamwork across the university
  • Increased student satisfaction
  • Increased faculty and staff satisfaction
  • Increased participation in goal setting and decision-making processes
  • Streamlined processes and enhanced quality of campus life and services.
Guy on Phone Ballet Photo Bingo Game Drumline
Penn State Pulse Success Stories
  • Diversity Climate - In a survey examining racial issues on campus and measuring the diversity climate, 58% of respondents were found to have socialized with others from different backgrounds. [click here for full report]

  • Healthcare - It was discovered that when assessing students' satisfaction with the University Health Services, 73% of Pulse respondents believed the university is effectively providing information about health dangers. [click here for full report]

  • Newspaper Readership - When measuring educational outcomes and student satisfaction with the newspaper readership program, it was learned that 78% of respondents find the newspaper Readership Program valuable in helping them understand complex political and international issues as well as local issues. [click here for full report]

  • Civility - When Pulse wanted to learn whether Penn State was successful in creating a sense of civility on campus and tracking the changes over time, it found 69% of respondents had developed a close relationship with someone from a different ethnic background. [click here for full report]

  • Drinking - In measuring the effectiveness of current alcohol awareness campaigns, 72% of respondents were aware of 'drink smart' posters. [click here for full report]

  • Late Night PSU - In a survey to measure how well students are provided with quality entertainment in an alcohol-free environment, 74% of students said the program is a good example of 'having fun without alcohol.' [click here for full report]

William Asbury
William Asbury
Former V.P. Student Affairs
 "The Pulse surveys have been very useful..."
 "Customer feedback is essential..."
Betty Moore
Betty Moore
Former Director/Sr. Analyst, Student Affairs Research & Assesment
 "Our office is focused on getting feedback from students..."

   William Asbury
   Betty Moore
   Sharon Mortensen
© 2003. Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment   502 Rider II University Park, PA 16802-4819   (814) 863-8721   fax (814) 863-7031