When it comes to student satisfaction, Tennessee Tech University really knows how to deliver.
TTU ranked above the national average in a recent survey that measured levels of satisfaction among a total of 114,000 students at 128 of the country's four-year public universities. And that performance improves upon TTU's already excellent rating from 1999.
"These findings actually exceeded our expectations," said Rebecca Tolbert, associate vice president of Academic Affairs. "TTU ranked above the national average when we first participated in this survey three years ago, and we're providing even greater student satisfaction now."
"We have worked as a campus to continue our positive points and to improve upon our areas of weakness during these past three years," she said.
Given as part of the university's enrollment management program, the survey focuses on identifying both strengths and challenges in order to enhance marketing, recruitment and retention.
Categories in which this year's survey respondents said TTU excelled include support services, campus climate and student centeredness. The survey identified a positive reputation within the community, a variety of course options and faculty who are both knowledgeable and approachable as some TTU's specific strengths.
"Results like this show that we are trying to listen to students and to respond to their appropriate needs and wishes," Tolbert said. "The campus community deserves praise for providing such a warm and friendly environment for its students."
TTU President Bob Bell agreed. "These are amazing results that continue to show the great efforts of our faculty and staff across campus in the academic and student service areas," he said. "We have kept the student uppermost in our efforts to deliver a quality education in a comfortable campus environment."
University challenges identified by the survey include housing, parking and registration.
A total of 1,500 surveys were distributed across campus this year, and 1,280 were returned.
Tolbert said that participation rate is excellent. "An institution of our size is recommended or typically expected to turn in only about 800 survey responses," she said.
Of TTU's 1,280 respondents, 24 percent were classified as freshmen, 7.5 percent as sophomores, 24 percent as juniors, 43.5 percent as seniors and 1 percent as graduate students or other.
Most of them — at 95.5 percent — were full-time university students, and 677 of them, or 53 percent, were male.
Tolbert says the university plans to continue giving the survey about every three years in order to measure itself against its past performances.