Student Surveys (Locally Developed)

For program-level assessment, student (or alumni) surveys can provide valuable feedback from students about their educational experiences, motivations, rationales, and confidence or perceived gains in their knowledge, skills and/or abilities, and give students an opportunity to “weigh in” on their undergraduate experience. Student surveys may be locally developed or a standardized instrument (e.g., the National Survey of Student Engagement). This webpage and its resources are focused on locally developed student surveys in the context of program-level assessment, see our National Survey of Student Engagement webpage for more information about NSSE and program-level assessment.

Depending on the program, what feedback is needed/desired from students may vary. Survey questions may include those about curriculum, faculty, offices and services, social opportunities, and career preparation. For program-level assessment, some questions should gather information related to program-level student learning outcomes (SLOs) — for example, senior exit surveys should include questions related to learning in the major and not just satisfaction with classes, services, or the college experience in general.

Note: Data from student surveys may be quantitative (numeric) or qualitative (textual). See Assessment Data Analysis for more information about quantitative and qualitative data.

Student Surveys Toolkit

The resources below are intended to help departments and programs as they develop, implement, and refine local student surveys for assessing student learning as part of program-level assessment. ACE is available to collaborate with undergraduate degree programs to develop online student surveys, such as senior exit surveys, that include questions about student learning outcomes for program-level assessment; contact us for additional information.

Note: A system-wide site license for Qualtrics, WSU’s preferred survey tool, is available to all WSU faculty, staff, and students, as recommended by a work group convened by the Provost’s Office.

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OverviewQuick GuideACE - WSUQuick Guide to Senior Exit Surveys for Program Assessment (PDF)Resource intended to help WSU programs and faculty consider good practices for developing and updating senior exit surveys for program-level assessment
SamplingQuick GuideACE - WSUQuick Guide to Sampling, Sample Sizes, and Representation (PDF)Resource intended to help WSU programs and faculty consider good practices for considering sample sizes and strategies for program-level assessment
Data StewardshipQuick GuideACE - WSUQuick Guide to Assessment Data Stewardship for Academic Programs (PDF)Resource intended to help WSU programs and faculty consider good practices for collecting, managing, and using program assessment data that align with WSU’s Executive Policy #8

Additional Resources and Scholarship


Note: Please contact ACE to borrow a book.

Suskie, L. (2018). Part 4: The assessment toolbox. In Assessing Student Learning: A Common Sense Guide. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.


Suskie, L. Blog posts categorized ‘How to Assess’, A Common Sense Approach to Assessment in Higher Education Blog.

University of Hawaii at Manoa Assessment and Curriculum Support Center. How To: Choose a Method to Collect Data or Evidence Website.