More than 1,400 online students responded to a recent survey invitation extended by Brent Wooten, Director of Marketing for Saint Joseph’s College Online, and the results are in. And for Wooten, the results and level of participation all point to positive signs for the College.
“Having more than 40 percent of our students respond to this survey was very encouraging and closely matched the high response rates from previous years,” Wooten says. “The data is used to improve our understanding of our existing students’ needs as adult learners, and to develop better educational services and overall communications. We learned of areas in which we should improve and also areas where we are strong.”
Highlights of the survey include:
- The majority of online students responding (63 percent) said they are pursuing their education to advance their existing career. Another 25 percent indicated some aspect of career development as their main reason for continuing their education. Only 9 percent said they were learning for personal enrichment.
- The top-rated factors in selecting Saint Joseph’s College continue to be the flexibility of course scheduling and online availability. Nearly all respondents (98 percent) indicated “The ability to manage coursework within my individual schedule” was important, while 94 percent said “Rolling admission dates and monthly start dates” or “Completing my program without visiting campus” (90 percent) was important.
- Similar to students across the country, most students use a combination of financial resources to afford higher education. About half (53 percent) use personal savings and/or tuition reimbursement (45 percent), while the percentage of students taking out student loans has more than doubled in the past three years to 27 percent, up from 11 percent in 2009.
- The vast majority of respondents (89 percent) gave top ratings for their overall educational experience and a corresponding percentage (88 percent) also gave top marks for the relevance of their education to their career.
“Businesses throughout the country really value a quality education that incorporates career-relevant skills,” Wooten says. “And Saint Joseph’s College delivers that to its students – no matter where they are located. A student from Kentucky employed as director of an imaging department at a major hospital summed it up well when she told us in the survey, ‘I have had a wonderful experience at Saint Joseph’s. The instructors are super and course material directly relates to my profession.’”