MPact 2025 + SERU Measures
The President's systemwide strategic plan, MPact 2025 is the guiding framework for the University through the year 2025. Two of the five main commitments from the plan are "Discovery, Innovation, and Impact" and "Community and Belonging". The University collects data from the SERU survey that can help to measure the success of the goals and action items related to the sense of belonging and undergraduate research opportunities. These results will be tracked, and reported on, on an annual basis beginning in 2021.
SERU Assessment at the U of M
There are several ways in which stakeholders can make use of the data:
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 using the online reporting tool.
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? Is there a significant difference in responses by class-level or race/ethnicity?).
These types of analysis may be conducted (schedule permitting) on an ad hoc basis by sending a request to [email protected]
Impact of SERU Data on the Student Experience
Results from the SERU Survey are used in a variety of ways at the University of Minnesota. Responses provide actionable information for faculty, staff, and administrators. Below are a few examples of how various units/programs, colleges, and administrators are using results for change.
If you would like to share how you have used SERU data in your work, please fill out our form below.
Case Study: Improving International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS)
The ISSS has utilized results from the SERU survey to help shape the International Students Preparation Course (iPrep). The data is analyzed annually to identify areas of concern specifically for international students. Based on previous results, ISSS has made changes to the iPrep in the areas of campus climate and ways to seek help, as well as around academic success and interacting with faculty and other students.
- XI YU, EVALUATION SPECIALIST
Case Study: Improving the Transfer Student Experience
Collaborations Across Campus
Each year, we continue to expand SERU research collaborations across campus. These collaborations have included formal analyses, presentations, descriptive reports, and data exchanges.
- Office of Equity and Diversity
- International Student Services
- TRiO Student Services
- Leadership Minor
- Office of Public Engagement
- Office of First-Year Programs
- Office of Student Affairs
- Carlson School of Management
- College of Continuing and Professional Studies
- Learning Abroad Center
- Honors Program
- North Star STEM
- Disability Services
- College of Liberal Arts
- Writing-Enriched Curriculum
- Women's Center
- College of Education and Human Development
- Academic Advising Network
- Career Development Network
- Office of Student Engagement
- University Libraries
- College of Biological Sciences
- College of Science and Engineering
- College of Design
- College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Management
- Undergraduate Professional Programs
- Specialized Program Accreditation
If you are interested in utilizing SERU data for your own college or department, please email [email protected] for details.
U of M Uses: Connecting the U of M Campus around the Student Experience
The SERU survey has served as a bridge that has connected the campus to the student experience on many levels because it provides a common language and base of evidence around which we can convene conversations on our campus about the student experience. The data collected have been extremely useful in serving as a source of evidence for program evaluation, service enhancement, college and program assessment, accreditation and accountability, and research to improve the undergraduate student experience at the U and beyond.
Academic Program Review
- Department/program level results can be produced to provide student input on program quality and services, as well as comparisons within the institution and across all participating institutions. Results can lead to discussions about what the program is doing well, and potentially help identify areas for improvement.
- The power of the SERU as a census survey allows us to analyze the impact of individual interventions and programs; for example, we worked with the Office of First Year Programs and the Office of Undergraduate Education at the University of Minnesota to document the beneficial impact of our Welcome Week program, and to better understand the issues contributing to difficulties with transfer student retention
Accountability & Benchmarking
- The SERU results play an important role in the University of Minnesota's metrics framework for reporting to our Board of Regents and the public.
- One significant initiative on campus is increasing high-impact educational experiences such as our writing-intensive courses. We can see we have been successful in increasing the proportion of our students who have participated in writing-intensive courses to a higher level than our AAU peers.
- The University of Minnesota Twin Cities was last accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association in 2015. We used measures from the SERU survey as indirect indicators of student learning and development and the data delivery approach as a model for using our data to improve our programs and services.
- In addition, several departments regularly use SERU data as a source of evidence for their re-accreditation efforts (e.g. Journalism, Mortuary Science, etc.).
Assessment of Student Learning
- The SERU survey serves as a tripartite process for the University's assessment of student learning process. Questions from the survey, and our institutional wildcard, have been aligned to each of our University Student Learning Outcomes and Student Development Outcomes.
- Undergraduate programs are strongly encouraged to utilize SERU results in their annual assessment reports. Survey results should supplement their course-based assessments to provide a holistic review of student learning (faculty input and student input).
Research and Advocacy
- University faculty and staff have used the SERU data for research on the student experience and student success, including on-campus meetings and conferences, and peer-reviewed scholarly publications
- Through these avenues, the SERU survey allows us to advance our understanding of higher education and to contribute to national conversations about effective educational practices and encouraging student success
The University of Minnesota has created reporting tools for comparing both for internal use and for use by the SERU Consortium members, which allows detailed program-level comparisons with consortium partners to disentangle effects related to institution, major program, stage of enrollment, method of entry, and many other relevant factors.
- The SERU can be used to understand the experiences of students participating in particular programs; for instance, we worked with the advising community at the University of Minnesota to develop open-ended questions for the wildcard module to provide rich data for improving services.
- The flexibility of the SERU survey structure allows us to leverage the full range of the survey in conjunction with specific local questions and needs.
- The census coverage and program-specific questions of SERU also allow us to provide deep analysis for colleges and programs.
Examples of External Research Studies
The use of consortium-wide SERU data has been used in a number of local, national, and international research studies, publications, and presentations. A few examples are included below.
Additional SERU research and publications can be viewed from the CSHE SERU website.
Examples of Presentations, Reports, and Analyses Using SERU Data
National and International Conferences Using SERU Data
- Internationalizing the Curriculum and Campus Conference
- National Institute on the Study of Transfer Students
- Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE)
- 31st Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience
- American Evaluation Association (AEA)
- Leadership Educators Institute (NASPA and ACPA)
- Minnesota College Personnel Association (MCPA)
- International Association for Research on Service-learning and Community Engagement (IARSCLE)
- Association for Institutional Research in the Upper Midwest (AIRUM)
- Association for Institutional Research (AIR) Forum