How First Term Survey Data Makes a Difference for Student Success in 2020-2021

What we learned through the First Term Survey in 2020

Each semester, DASA Assessment invites all new first-year and transfer students to take the First Term Survey so that DASA can learn more about students’ acclimation experiences. In fall 2020, we learned new insights about how students have adapted to an unprecedented semester and areas where they could use additional support from faculty and staff. With new data available about students’ virtual engagement, utilization of NC State services, sense of community, and their psychological and academic wellness, DASA Assessment set out to share the results with stakeholders in the Division of Academic and Student Affairs.

Campus stakeholders engage with student data

In spring 2021, DASA Assessment presented the First Term Survey results to students, faculty and staff across campus through web content and unit-level presentations. The presentations are tailored to each unit and topics covered include virtual engagement, academic success, and wellness and connection. Presentations in spring 2021 include University Housing, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Leadership in University College, Student Leadership and Engagement, Associate Deans of various NC State colleges, faculty in the College of Sciences, and the University Activities Board.  

With such a variety of campus stakeholders engaging with the data, including student-led organizations, more faculty, staff, and student organizations across campus are taking it upon themselves to continuously improve their programs and practices to better support students.

How results will be used to support student success

Fall 2020 results will be used by many DASA units to improve and inform their programs and services that they provide.  Even students have begun thinking of ways to use what they learned from First Term Survey data. More specifically, the University Activities Board (UAB) received a presentation tailored around virtual engagement and used the information to brainstorm for future events. This included marketing strategies, ways to be more interactive, and ideas for future events. Yazmin Sanchez, Junior in Biological Sciences and Chair of the P.A.C.K. Committee in UAB, commented:

“The data about students’ virtual engagement and other findings from the First Term Survey will be useful for UAB moving forward. I’m excited for us to use this information for planning future events!”

Actions and decisions made from survey data may address services and programs in academics, wellness, or engagement, but they all seek to improve student success at NC State.

How your unit or group can learn more about First Term Survey results

First Term Survey results are available online at go.ncsu.edu/first-term and a summary of fall 2020 findings is available as well. DASA Assessment provides the opportunity for units to receive a presentation that is specific to the unit. Request a presentation from DASA Assessment by contacting Jordan Luzader at jdluzade@ncsu.edu.

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