SUNY Student Opinion Survey (SOS) 2012
the University at Albany is inviting all our undergraduate
students to participate in the SUNY Student
Opinion Survey (SOS). The SOS has been given to undergraduate
students at all of SUNY's colleges and universities every
third year since 1985. This survey helps UAlbany assess various
areas of the academic experience, highlighting the areas where
we are doing well, but more importantly, identifying the areas
where we need to improve. We take the results of the survey
very seriously, so participation is important but voluntary.
information on assessment surveys at UAlbany, you can
go here. For more information about surveys going on in
Spring, 2012, you can go here.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions about the SUNY Student Opinion
long does the survey take?
The last time we administered this survey in 2009, most students took between ten and twenty minutes to
complete it, but you may find that it takes either a bit less
or a bit more time than that.
my responses be kept confidential?
responses will be kept in strict confidence and never released
in a way that identifies you. We always aggregate (group together)
responses when presenting survey results, and only present
results in terms of percentages or averages.
are the data used?
the information to improve our university and the quality
of our programs and services to our undergraduate students.
We need to know where we are succeeding and where we need
to improve. The SOS is one of the most comprehensive instruments
we have, and the only one administered on every SUNY campus.
the other SUNY campuses doing this survey?
SOS is being given to undergraduate students at 25 other SUNY
4-year colleges and universities, so we are also able to use it to compare our progress to that of the other campuses.
if I don't have an opinion about something?
not have an opinion about a particular program or service
or facility. If so, there is a "Did Not Use" or
"Not Applicable" option, or you may just leave the
do you get my Student ID number and why do you need it?
invitation includes a link to the survey. This link is unique
to you, so clicking on it automatically
logs you in to the survey. This
ensures the validity of the survey data --
only real UAlbany and other SUNY students can take the survey and no one can take
it more than once.
we request permissiong to use your ID number in the survey data set is so that we
can compare survey responses by a variety of student characteristics
without having to add a great many additional questions to
the survey. These may include factors such as admit type (freshman
or transfer), class year, full-time or part-time, gender,
major, or others. In order to be able to run these analyses,
we simply use your UAlbany ID number to match your responses
to your student data after you take the survey. Your survey
responses will not be added to your official student
record. We assure you again, in the strongest terms, that your survey responses will never be personally identified
at any time, and your survey responses will be treated with
the highest degree of confidentiality. Thus, while the
survey is not technically anonymous, it is completely confidential.
If you would like to take the survey, but are not comfortable with allowing us access to your ID number, you may choose that option as well, as described in the next paragraph.
After you click on the link in the e-mail, you will see a screen with information about the survey. After reading it and clicking the "Next" button at the bottom of the screen, you will be at a "signature" screen in which you will have three options:
- Agree to let us have access to your ID number and continue to the survey;
- Don't agree to let us use your ID number, and continue to the survey (in this case your ID number will be removed from the data file by the survey administrators at ACT (see below) before it is sent to us at UAlbany);
- Choose not to take the survey.
is administering the survey?
is administered by ACT (American
College Testing, the same company that runs the ACT exam)
under the supervision of UAlbany's own Office
of Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness.
ACT uses survey host "Vovici,"
which uses a secure server encrypted to prevent viewing by
third-parties. The survey invitations and reminders really
are authored by Dr. Sue Faerman, UAlbany's Vice Provost for
Undergraduate Education, even though they are sent by Vovici
and ACT on her behalf.
Administration and Timing
will take place in the months of March and April, 2008, with
the first survey invitation coming on Wednesday,
March 21st. After this, up to two additional reminders will
be sent to students who have not yet taken it, through the
start of Spring Break in April, although the survey will remain
open for some time after that. SOS invitations will be sent
to all undergraduate students at UAlbany who are enrolled in a degree program, regardless of how many credits they are taking this term.
UAlbany, our participation in SOS is supervised by our Office
of Institutional Research, Planning & Effectiveness (IRPE).
SOS is part of UAlbany's broader survey assessment plan, which
also includes the Profile of the American College Student,
the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) the Student
Experience Survey, and a variety of other surveys on more
specialized topics, such as the Campus Center, Residential
Life, Student Activities, Campus Safety, and others.
that we ask you to participate in a lot of surveys; we know
you are busy and we appreciate tremendously all of your time
and thoughtful responses! In return, we promise that whenever
we ask you to take a survey, the results of that survey will
be shared with all appropriate levels of the campus leadership
so that both your praise and your concerns will be heard and
acted upon. You can find summary reports for some of our most important campus surveys, including the 2006 and 2009 Student Opinion Surveys, on our Assessment Reports page.
have any questions or concerns about your participation in
SOS, please contact Joel
Bloom, IRPE's UAlbany's Director of Assessment and Survey Research.