Survey Gauges Student Views of GCC

NANCY AGBENU
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Last semester many students were interrupted during classes to take a survey for the college. The results for the 2004 Student Survey, compiled by Research and Planning, reveal the majority of GCC students generally give the college services positive ratings and are particularly satisfied with their professors’ helpfulness. Still, many express concerns about parking and class availability.

According to the survey 65 percent of all credit students rate their faculty with “good” or “excellent.” These numbers include 75 percent of all 25-year-old and over students who gave GCC’s faculty an extraordinary good rating.

“College was very intimidating for me when I first started,” said Lisa Allison, 24, who majors in psychology. Nevertheless, it was the teachers who have helped calm these anxieties. “I have enjoyed all of the teachers I have had so far. I had a great English teacher, Patrick Geoppo. He was very down to earth and was very helpful with learning,” said Allison.

According to Edward Karpp, director of institutional research and conductor of the annual GCC Student Survey, reasons for the positive ratings are the campus’ constructive working environment, and that the college understands that everyone is here to help students succeed.

“I absolutely loved my math teacher!” said Freshman Kaci Davis. “Mrs. Sue Jones is so amazing. I have never liked math and she made my learning experience very enjoyable. I actually walked away from the class encouraged about my future in math,” she said.

Karpp thinks another reason for the students’ satisfaction with their teachers is the high quality of experienced faculty and an “atmosphere of academic excellence” at GCC.

For about 15 years GCC has been offering workshops to improve its faculty’s communication skills and encourage teachers in out of college activities like researching or writing books.

“When you give the faculty things to do other than teaching it helps them to stay motivated and not to burn out,” said Superintendent Dr. John Davitt.

The 2004 Student Survey also shows that GCC students are highly satisfied with the technology related services at their college. “The computers are right at our fingertips whenever we need them,” said Bonwell. Ninety percent of the students gave the GCC computer labs very good ratings.

Also, computer availability continues to rapidly increase with GCC students as 95 percent of GCC students have a computer at home and 88 percent of them can obtain access to the Internet at their houses.

Compared to last year, this displays an increase of three percent.
“I find the results about computer use interesting. It is sometimes assumed that community college students are technology disadvantaged when compared to students at four-year institutions, but the survey shows that a majority at GCC have Internet access,” said Karpp.