Student satisfaction at Biola comparatively high


Photo by Kelsey Heng

Biolans have generally been satisfied with the recent security measures that have been improved since Fall 2005, which includes the addition of two gatehouse entrances and will continue with the addition of the gated entrance along Biola Ave. that is soon to be in effect.

Biola students ranked Instructional Effectiveness as the most important area of student life, and as the area that they were most satisfied with, according to a survey conducted in Fall of 2007.

942 out of 3550 traditional Biola undergraduates participated in an online Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Survey to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of Biola. Gladys Chan, a C.L.E.A.R. staff member, said that they were pleased with the response rate — a rate that was boosted through the incentive of a draw for five iPod shuffles.

Noel Levitz is a higher education consultant company that conducts surveys on a regular basis. Biola was one of hundreds of institutions that participated in this survey, and has taken part in it since 2000 as part of an assessment project for the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), according to Chan.

Students rated aspects of Biola in several different categories on a point scale ranging from one to seven. Their pick for the top five areas of importance of university life were: Instructional Effectiveness, Student Centeredness, Concern for the Individual, Academic Advising, and Campus Climate.

These areas are nearly identical to what students reported that they were the most satisfied with; only Campus Climate — which includes having a sense of belonging, feeling cared for by faculty and staff, and a sense that tuition money has been well invested — didn’t make this second list.

A comparison of several of the lists resulted in a new list of Areas Needing Greatest Attention, including Quality of Instruction in Major and General Classes, Effectiveness of Registration, and Considering Tuition a Worthwhile Investment. Chan said these areas will be addressed.

“Specific items will be brought to the attention of relevant departments so that we could look at strategies of how to improve the educational experience of our students,” Chan said.

Chan said that some of the issues on the Areas Needing Greatest Attention List, including Quality of Instruction and Valuable Content in Major Classes, were also highly rated by students, yet still deemed improvable. This list was taken from 98 sub-categories of the 12 main categories.

“Since these areas are also very high on their list of importance, there is still a gap between how important it is to them, and how satisfied they are,” said Chan.

She also said while there is no way to tell if the numbers are ‘good’ in and of themselves, they are impressive in comparison to other campuses. A statistical analysis of the satisfaction rate of Biola students compared to other four-year private institutions had positive results.

“Biolans are definitely more satisfied in all of the general categories.” Chan said that this included both CCCU and non-CCCU schools.

Biolans have also been satisfied with the recent security measures; Safety and Security was ranked as one of two of the greatest improvements since Fall 2005 (out of the same 12 categories).

John Ojeisekhoba, the Deputy Chief of Campus Safety, said one explanation for the improved ratings could be that there has been an installation of cameras across campus, which has been ongoing since 2004.

He said that this past year has also seen several security additions, including the 3N notification system that sends a mass message to students in an emergency. Other additions this year have been the two gatehouses at the entrances to Biola. Campus Safety officers now carry tasers, and some of their personnel carry firearms.

“Personnel training has improved significantly, and also personnel training with student development,” he said, and mentioned crime awareness education such as the Rape Aggression Defense Program (ongoing since 2003).

Ojeisekhoba said that an important part of Biola’s Campus Safety Department has been the constant improvement in their relationship with the LA county Sheriff’s office.

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