Utilizing Data

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. Not every student responds to all 600 questions; instead, each student responds to the same set of core survey questions and is randomly assigned one of four survey modules to complete. Each year, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities develops a wildcard survey module addressing questions pertinent to various stakeholders on campus.

There are several ways in which stakeholders can make use of SERU data. These are highlighted below.

Descriptive Analyses

Currently, all students and University community members have access to descriptive results that can be filtered by college of enrollment and students’ level (e.g. lower- or upper-division). Results can be used to inform users about student experiences, level of engagement, behaviors, and trends. 


Users can compare UMNTC student responses to responses from peer or aspirational universities; for example, comparisons in research experience can be made between psychology majors at UMNTC and psychology majors from similar large, public research universities.

Program or Initiative Assessment

Inferential analyses can be used to examine the effectiveness of a student program or initiative (see example at right regarding Welcome Week). Contact OIR for more information.