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Compact with Texans

Customer Service Report

Introduction  and Definition of Customers

Texas Woman’s University, in our approved Compact for Texans report, described ourselves as a public Doctoral Intensive university.  Texas Woman’s University is a comprehensive, public university, located in Denton, Texas.  A teaching and research university, TWU emphasizes the liberal arts and professional studies with 147 programs at the bachelor’s, masters, and doctoral level.  Our compact set forth principles and defined the rights and standards that TWU’s customers should expect.

The customer service representative at TWU continues to be Dr. Monica Mendez-Grant, Associate Vice President for Student Life.  Contact information for Dr. Mendez-Grant is PO Box 425379, Denton, TX  76204-5379, (940) 898-3615, mmendezgrant@twu.edu.

Our compact defined our customers as students of all classifications and, when appropriate, their families and their communities, such as schools.  Service provided for our students include admissions, financial aid, registrations and records, student life services, human resources, academic support services and academic offerings through academic departments.

Customer Service Principles and Objectives

Objectives

  1. Continually seek to improve the quality of the education and services offered to students by TWU personnel.
  2. Value, recognize, and reward customer service efforts by TWU personnel.
  3. Annually use assessment tools and evaluation systems that will assess student expectation from the educational experience.
  4. Develop an approach to service based on user friendliness that is designed for convenience, ease of communication and prompt response.
  5. Use multiple communication sources to deliver information that is timely and relevant.
  6. Conduct regular evaluation of complaint procedures for effectiveness and user friendliness.

Principles

  1. The facilities used by students and their families shall be well maintained, clean, properly presented, and accessible.
  2. The TWU staff members who provide services are dedicated to quality customer service. Training programs, which promote customer service, are available to all employees and required for some. Frontline staff are expected to be readily identifiable through nameplates or tags.
  3. Communications with customers should be courteous, accurate, and efficient. A toll-free number is provided for use by new students and their families. Directories to campus offices and services are widely available. The Student Handbook, Catalogues, Course Schedules and the TWU Internet web pages clearly communicate the various formats and procedures for communication with various services and programs.
  4. The university and its staff will respond to each customer in a timely manner as described below:
    • A response to email inquiries will be provided within two working days or less.
    • A response to written inquiries will be provided within five working days or less.
    • A response to telephone inquiries will be provided by the next working day.
    • Inquiries in person will be handled immediately whenever possible, with any necessary follow-up to be completed within two working days or less.
  5.  Printed materials from TWU will be accurate, timely, and informative.

Customer Service Complaint Procedures

Academic and student service related complaint procedures are provided annually in the Student Handbook. The Office of Student Life may advise students who are uncertain about approach procedures. Customer Service evaluation forms are available in each "front line" service office. These forms can be completed and submitted directly to the supervising Vice President. Customer service complaints may be reported verbally, in writing or by email to Dr. Monica Mendez-Grant, Associate Vice President for Student Life. Customers filing a complaint can expect a complaint summary settlement report within five working days.

In addition, customer satisfaction surveys are administered regularly. Results of these surveys are used in training and in university planning for continuous improvement.

Description of the Survey Methods and Analysis of Data

The Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI) is a commercial survey instrument produced by Noel-Levitz that is designed to measure students' satisfaction with their college experience.  To give the university time to act on the information, it is administered every three years.  While colleges measure student satisfaction for many reasons, according to Noel-Levitz, “chief among them is that student satisfaction plays an important role in student engagement, learning and success. Institutions that measure satisfaction can understand this role, can systematically improve the quality of their undergraduate experience, can offer more educational value to students and families,” and can meet the “demands for accreditation and accountability.” 

The SSI was last administered at Texas Woman's University during the fall semester 2010 under the supervision of the Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness and Research. The surveys were made available online to all students enrolled at TWU in keeping with the recommended methodology. 3188 surveys were returned and analyzed by Noel-Levitz.  A separate distance learning survey, the Priorities Survey for Online Learners (PSOL), was administered by the Office of Lifelong Learning and PSOL results are reported separately.  

Utilizing a seven-point scale (1=not satisfied at all, 7=very satisfied), the SSI is designed to collect feedback on 73 general expectation items and 6 items specifically defined by TWU.  On each item respondents rate both the importance of the specific expectation as well as their satisfaction with how well that expectation is being met.  “Means for importance and satisfaction for individual items are calculated by summing the respondents’ ratings and dividing by the number of respondents. Means for importance are typically in the range of 5 to 6 and mean satisfaction scores are typically in a range of 4 to 5.  A performance ‘gap’ can be determined by comparing the difference between the importance rating and the satisfaction rating.  Typical performance gaps vary based on the type of institution and the population surveyed.”  (Noel-Levitz)

Respondents also were asked to rate their satisfaction with 6 items designed to assess TWU's commitment to specific student populations and to rate the importance of 9 items that assess pre-enrollment factors.  Finally, respondents were asked to rate 3 summary items related to their college experience.  A national sample was provided comparing satisfaction information from TWU with that of other four-year public universities.

Summary reports for target populations were provided comparing TWU student responses to a national sample of students at other four-year public institutions.  Responses among the target populations were provided according to the following:  age (18 and younger, 19-24, 25-34, 35-44), ethnicity (African American, White/Caucasian, Hispanic), class load/class level (full-time, freshman, sophomore), residence (residence hall, off-campus housing, parent's home), grade point average (2.0-2.49, 2.5-2.99, 3.0-3.49, 3.5 or above), and employment status (full-time off campus, part-time off campus, full-time on campus, part-time on campus, not employed).    A year-to-year report was provided which allows us to compare TWU student perceptions over time.

A strategic planning overview provided by Noel-Levitz lists the strengths (high importance and high satisfaction) and challenges (high importance and low satisfaction and/or large performance gap) as indicated by SSI respondents at Texas Woman’s University.  This report provides the best summary of TWU results for immediate action planning. 

Results are as follows:

  • 93.55% Texas residents
  • 89.65% female
  • 16.99% African American, 14.01% Hispanic, 51.88% Caucasian
  • 5.31% ages 18 and younger, 24.67% ages 19-24, 29.26% ages 25-34, 21.84% ages 35-44, and 18.92% 45 and older
  • Freshman and sophomores comprised 13.58% of respondents, 33.62% of respondents were upperclassmen, and graduate and professional students comprised 49.73% of respondents. 

Strategic Planning Overview

This report identifies the areas that matter most to TWU students, where the university is meeting its expectations, and where the university has room for improvement.  It also highlights how the university compares with a national sample of 4-year public universities.  The overview identifies our top strengths and our top challenges.

“Strengths are items with high importance and high satisfaction.  Challenges are items with high importance and low satisfaction or large performance gap.  Occasionally, one or two items may appear as both strength and a challenge.  This occurs when an item has very high importance, relatively high satisfaction as well as a fairly large performance gap.  The satisfaction score may qualify it as a strength, while the performance gap qualifies it as a challenge.  It is important to emphasize the challenge aspect because of the high level of importance placed on the item by students.”

The Strategic Planning Overview also summarizes how the universities results compare with the comparison group by listing TWU’s strengths and challenges.

A total of 16 items were listed as “strengths.” These items are identified as above the mid-point in importance and in the upper quartile (25%) of satisfaction scores. The strengths are listed in descending order of importance.

  1. Nearly all of the faculty are knowledgeable in their field.
  2. The content of the courses within my major is valuable.
  3. The quality of instruction I receive in most of my classes is excellent.
  4. My academic advisor is knowledgeable about requirements in my major.
  5. I am able to experience intellectual growth here.
  6. Major requirements are clear and reasonable.
  7. The campus is safe and secure for all students.
  8. There is a commitment to academic excellence on this campus.
  9. Security staff respond quickly in emergencies.
  10. Computer labs are adequate and accessible.
  11. This institution has a good reputation within the community.
  12. Faculty are usually available after class and during office hours.
  13. Library resources and services are adequate.
  14. On the whole, the campus is well-maintained.
  15. The assessment and course placement procedures are reasonable.
  16. Students are made to feel welcome on this campus.

A total of 14 items were noted as “challenges.” These items are identified as above the mid-point in importance and in the lower quartile (25%) of satisfaction or the top quartile (25%) of performance gap scores. The challenges are listed in descending order of importance.  

  1. I am able to register for the classes I need with few conflicts
  2. The instruction in my major field is excellent.
  3. Tuition paid is a worthwhile investment.
  4. Faculty are fair and unbiased in their treatment of individual students.
  5. Faculty provide timely feedback about student progress in a course.
  6. Parking lots are well-lighted and secure.
  7. My academic advisor is concerned about my success as an individual.
  8. This institution shows concern for students as individuals.
  9. Adequate financial aid is available for most students.
  10. I seldom get the “run-around” when seeking information on this campus.
  11. Financial aid awards are announced to students in time to be helpful in college planning.
  12. Graduate teaching assistants are competent as classroom instructors.
  13. Billing policies are reasonable.
  14. Faculty take into consideration student differences as they teach a course.

Satisfaction

In general, TWU student responses reflected a higher level of satisfaction with most items than those of their peers at other 4-year public universities.  Faculty and academics also received high scores as did the reputation of the university within the community and the overall safety and maintenance of the campus. 

The items given the highest satisfaction ratings by TWU students with comparison to other students at 4-year public institutions were as follows:

Item

TWU Student Mean Score

4-year National Group Mean Score

Mean Difference

The instruction in my major field is excellent.

5.77

5.47

.30

Nearly all of the faculty are knowledgeable in their field.

6.07

5.68

.39

The content of the courses within my major is valuable.

5.95

5.49

.46

The quality of instruction I receive in most of my classes is excellent.

5.80

5.37

.43

I am able to register for classes I need with few conflicts.

5.53

4.98

.55

My academic advisor is knowledgeable about requirements in my major.

5.86

5.54

.32

I am able to experience intellectual growth here.

5.99

5.55

.44

Tuition paid is a worthwhile investment.

5.67

5.17

.50

Faculty are fair and unbiased in their treatment of individual students.

5.62

5.21

.41

Faculty provide timely feedback about student progress in a course.

5.34

5.08

.26

Major requirements are clear and reasonable.

5.92

5.41

.51

The campus is safe and secure for all students.

6.08

5.30

.78

There is a commitment to academic excellence on this campus.

5.88

5.36

.52

My academic advisor is approachable.

5.74

5.47

.27

Security staff respond quickly in emergencies.

5.79

5.07

.72

There is a good variety of courses provided on this campus.

5.74

5.43

.31

Computer labs are adequate and accessible.

6.02

5.47

.55

Parking lots are well-lighted and secure.

5.36

4.84

.52

Adjunct faculty are competent as classroom instructors.

5.74

5.27

.47

My academic advisor is concerned about my success as an individual.

5.54

5.25

.29

This institution shows concern for students as individuals.

5.59

5.07

.52

This institution has a good reputation within the community.

6.06

5.53

.53

Faculty are usually available after class and during office hours.

5.89

5.59

.30

Adequate financial aid is available for most students.

5.31

4.82

.49

Library resources and services are adequate.

5.96

5.52

.44

On the whole, the campus is well-maintained.

6.16

5.60

.56

The assessment and course placement procedures are reasonable.

5.79

5.21

.58

Financial aid awards are announced to students in time to be helpful in college planning.

5.25

4.84

.41

The campus staff are caring and helpful.

5.63

5.20

.43

I seldom get the “run-around” when seeking information on this campus.

5.21

4.53

.68

The personnel involved in registration are helpful.

5.70

5.18

.52

It is an enjoyable experience to be a student on this campus.

5.67

5.35

.32

Students are made to feel welcome on this campus.

5.80

5.40

.40

Graduate teaching assistants are competent as classroom instructors.

5.50

5.14

.36

Admissions staff are knowledgeable.

5.55

5.08

.47

*Difference statistically significant at the .001 level.

Conclusions

The SSI provides a generally positive view of student satisfaction at TWU. TWU students consistently reported greater overall satisfaction than the national sample. Of the 79 total items on the SSI, TWU responses on 76 of the items showed more satisfaction than the national sample of 4 year public universities. Of the 79 total items on the SSI, 75 items were statistically significant at the .001 confidence level.  

The general student population reported satisfaction particularly in areas of instructional effectiveness, academic advising, and campus support services (i.e. Computer labs are adequate and accessible, library resources and services are adequate).  Items related to academic course work, instruction and faculty were ranked as most important by TWU students.  The areas with a low level of satisfaction were related to parking on campus, financial aid, food in cafeteria, student activity fees, “getting the run around” and channels for expressing complaints. It is the intent of the Division of Student Life to address items of concern.  One way to address items of concern is through University Committees.  Through participation in one of many university committees, students play an important role in policy determination and implementation. 

The information provided in the survey results will be useful in both identifying strengths and challenges and in planning strategies to enhance and improve the experience of students at Texas Woman’s University. 

Campus appearance, the Portal and Blackboard systems, and knowledgeable faculty were among the areas students noted the greatest level of satisfaction in 2007.  Parking and financial aid are areas in which the least amount of satisfaction was noted in the same year.  There was an overall increase in TWU student satisfaction in 2010.