Assessment

The SERU survey data can be used to assess program effectiveness, benchmark with peer and aspirational universities, and gather unique insights about the experiences of students. Additionally, SERU data yields additional demographic information not captured in institutional data sets (e.g. immigrant status, religious preference, etc.); as such, it provides a rich source of information about University of Minnesota-Twin Cities students not currently captured in other institutional surveys.

The SERU survey has over 600 questions within several thematic areas: academic engagement, civic and community engagement, student life and development, and student satisfaction. Each year, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities also develops a wildcard survey module each year addressing questions pertinent to various stakeholders on campus (e.g. academic advisors, administrators, etc.).

There are several ways in which stakeholders can make use of the data:
Descriptive analyses: descriptive analyses are typically more simple analyses of the data (e.g. the percent of students who study abroad each year, the average number of hours students sleep each night, etc.). Currently, all students and University community members have access to descriptive results that can be filtered by college and students’ level (e.g. lower- or upper-division) <oir.umn.edu/seru prior results page>.

Inferential analyses: typically, inferential analyses aim to make inferences about the data that extend beyond simple analyses. Inferential analyses often seek to examine the ways in which variables are predictive or related to specific outcomes (e.g. do students who participate in Welcome Week have a greater sense of belonging and greater academic success compared to students who do not participate in Welcome Week? <link to the Welcome Week presentation>). These types of analysis are frequently conducted by the Office of Institutional Research for institutional-wide efforts to engage undergraduate students and promote their success.

If you are interested in utilizing the SERU data for your own college or department, please email us <seru@umn.edu> for details.

Targeting Opportunities for Engagement through Student Affairs

Some examples include considering participation in Study Abroad, Community Service and other co-curricular activities that are designed to foster learning and help students experience sense of belonging.

Examples of Departments and Programs that Have Used SERU Data on Campus
  • Entire campus community that accesses the on-line SERU reporting suites
  • First-year Programs
  • Office of Public Engagement
  • Office of Student Affairs
  • UMN Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning
  • Office of Faculty Affairs
  • Office of Equity and Diversity
  • Writing Enriched Curriculum Program
  • Board of Regents
  • Researchers Conducting Economic Impact Studies
  • Office of Institutional Research
  • College of Biological Sciences
  • College of Science and Engineering
  • Enrollment Management Group
  • Office of Planning and Analysis
  • Undergraduate Education
  • College of Education
  • Undergraduate Student Government
  • Office of Greek Life
  • Office of Financial Aid
  • College of Liberal Arts
  • Academic Advising Network
  • Student Union and Activities