September 5, 2018

SUNY Empire Rated No. 1 in Overall Student Satisfaction

Since 1994, the College Has Earned Top Rankings in the SUNY Student Opinion Survey If Starting Over, Students Say They Would Choose SUNY Empire Again

Image of a satisfied student
Students report high levels of satisfaction with SUNY Empire State College.

SUNY Empire State College students have again reported the highest levels of satisfaction with their overall college experience in many key areas in the 2018 Student Opinion Survey for State-Operated Institutions, which is offered on a triennial basis.

SUNY Empire has earned the top rankings in many key areas in each survey since the college first participated in 1994. Specific areas of high student satisfaction include academic support and student services, critical thinking and effective writing, and acquisition of knowledge for further academic study and lifelong intellectual growth.

Students also say if they were starting college over, they would choose SUNY Empire again.

“High levels of student satisfaction, particularly over a sustained period of time, reflect the creativity and innovative spirit, dedication and commitment to teaching and learning and the hard work of our faculty, professional and support staffs and, most importantly, SUNY Empire’s nontraditional, adult students,” said SUNY Empire State College Officer in Charge Mitchell S. Nesler.

High levels of student satisfaction in academic services, environment and experiences include:

  • General academic advising.
  • Availability of courses in the major.
  • Availability of general education courses.
  • Availability of online courses.
  • Quality of instruction.
  • Intellectual stimulation by the material covered in class.
  • Feedback received from instructors on the quality of students’ work.

High levels of student satisfaction with college services and environment include:

  • Financial aid.
  • Course registration.
  • Billing and payment.
  • College bookstore.
  • Faculty respect for students.
  • Non-teaching staff respect for students.
  • New student orientation.

High levels of student satisfaction with learning outcomes include:

  • Acquiring analytical thinking skills.
  • Writing clearly and effectively.
  • Acquiring knowledge and skills for further academic study.
  • Acquiring knowledge and skills for intellectual growth throughout life.

Since the 1994 survey, SUNY Empire has ranked first in response to the question, “How satisfied are you with this college in general?” and, since 2003, first to the question, “If you could start over, would you choose this college again?”

Since 2003, when the survey was updated, SUNY Empire State College also has ranked first the following areas:

  • General academic advising.
  • Quality of instruction.
  • Intellectual stimulation by material covered in class.
  • Feedback received from instructors on the quality of students’ work.
  • Faculty communicated effectively in class.
  • Faculty respect for students.
  • Non-teaching staff respect for students.
  • Availability of courses in the major.
  • Availability of general education courses.
  • Availability of online courses.
  • Financial aid services.
  • Course registration process.
  • Billing and payment process.
  • College bookstore services.

Many of the areas listed above ranked first or second, beginning with the 1994 survey. The survey has been administered since 1988. The college first participated in the survey in 1994 and in all subsequent years it was offered.

About the SUNY Student Opinion Survey for State-Operated Institutions

The SUNY Student Opinion Survey project periodically collects background, attitude and opinion information from samples of students – particularly undergraduate students – to explore and assess the following:

  • College impressions and plans.
  • Satisfaction with services, facilities and environment.
  • Perceived college outcomes.
  • Frequency of selected academic experiences.
  • Extent of campus contributions to student growth/preparation.

In most instances, students respond to survey questions and select from a range of responses, or levels of satisfaction, from very satisfied to very unsatisfied, which are coded 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1. In addition to reporting levels of satisfaction in many areas, the survey ranks the results among SUNY’s other specialized colleges, its colleges of technology, comprehensive colleges and university centers.

In reviewing the survey results, the demographics of SUNY Empire's nontraditional student population should be taken into account. Nearly 82 percent of SUNY Empire students responding were older than 25, for example, while 10 percent of the students responding from other SUNY institutions said they were older than 25.

Additionally, nearly 68 percent of SUNY Empire students reported they took most or all of their courses online. At the other four-year campuses, three percent reported they took most or all of their courses online.

Finally, 55 percent of SUNY Empire students transferred from a two- or four-year college, while 25 percent of students from the other campuses reported they transferred; and more than 35 percent of SUNY Empire students reported they spent more than 40 hours each week in the care of their families, compared to 17 percent at other campuses.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College educates nearly 18,000 adult students in person, online and through a blend of both, at more than 30 locations in New York and worldwide at eight international sites. Together with one of SUNY Empire’s more than 1,300 faculty mentors, each student designs his or her own customized pathway to a college degree that accommodates his or her schedule and awards credit for prior college-level learning. SUNY Empire awards more than 3,000 degrees annually and 94 percent of graduates stay in New York state. Today, more than 84,000 SUNY Empire alumni are entrepreneurs, veterans and active members of the military, professional athletes, teachers, medical professionals and leaders in their field, as well as in their communities. To learn more, visit www.esc.edu and follow the college on social media @SUNYEmpire.

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