The 2005 National Satisfaction and Priorities Report for college students from Noel-Levitz has lots of information gathered from more 675,000 students and more than 860 institutions across North America. They categorize higher ed in four ways: 1) Four-yr. Private Schools, 2) Four-yr Public Schools, 3) Community Colleges, 4) Career/Private Colleges.
There were ten items that were found to be strengths at all four types of institutions. They include:
- I am able to experience intellectual growth (hooray!).
- My academic advisor is approachable (not grouchy, I assume).
- It is an enjoyable experience to be a student on this campus.
- Faculty are available after class and during office hours.
- Nearly all faculty are knowledgeable in their fields (nearly, but not all?).
- The quality of instruction in most classes is excellent (most, but not all?).
There were also three items that were identified as challenges for community colleges that were not challenges for any of the other three types:
- My academic advisor is knowledgeable regarding transfer requirements (but remember, they're not grumpy!).
- Faculty are understanding of students unique life circumstances (they NEVER think that we can possibly understand what they're going through!).
- Classes are scheduled at times that are convenient (we really need to figure out how every class can be held between 10 AM and noon).