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Why Students Choose MTC to Further Their Education

Jul 13, 2021

Three questions that Midlands Technical College sought to answer with student satisfaction surveys:

1) Why do students choose MTC?
2) What makes them stay?
3) How do they truly feel about their college?

For the past three Fall terms, MTC partnered with Ruffalo-Noel-Levitz (RNL) to administer their proprietary Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI) online. The results of the three-year (2018-2020) survey were recently released.

“This kind of detailed research is critical to helping us understand what is important to our students,” said MTC President, Dr. Ron Rhames. “We have to know what we are doing right, and identify areas where we can seek improvements.” 

The survey was open to all first-time, full- and part-time, degree-seeking students. Nearly 2400 surveys were completed over the three-year period, averaging 785 student respondents per year.

The survey asked respondents to rate the importance and satisfaction of each item on a scale. This allowed RNL to identify areas of strengths and challenges. RNL defines “strengths” as items in both the top half of importance and upper quartile of satisfaction. They define “challenges” as items in the top half of importance and the bottom quartile of satisfaction or upper quartile of the performance gap.

The four major topic areas of the survey were: instruction, campus environment, process-function, and advising. Below are the strength rankings in the four categories.

Instruction – Strengths

•    Library resources and services are adequate.
•    Nearly all of the faculty are knowledgeable in their fields.
•    Faculty are usually available after class and during office hours.
•    There is a good variety of courses provided on this campus.
•    I am able to experience intellectual growth here.

Campus Environment – Strengths

•    Parking lots are well-lighted and secure.
•    The campus is safe and secure for all students.
•    Computer labs are adequate and accessible.
•    Students are made to feel welcome on this campus.
•    This institution has a good reputation within the community.
•    On the whole, the campus is well-maintained.

Process/Function – Strengths

•    Admissions staff are knowledgeable.
•    Tutoring services are readily available.
•    The assessment and course placement procedures are reasonable.

Advising – Strengths

•    My academic advisor is approachable.
•    Campus item: My academic advisor helps me use online resources to register for classes.
•    Campus item: My advisor connects my program of study to my career goals.
•    Campus item: My academic advisor helps me select appropriate courses.

“The results of the student survey are a welcomed sight for everyone at the college,” said Dr. Ron Rhames. “They serve as a direct reflection of our dedication to improving every aspect of the student experience at MTC.”

The strengths highlighted in the satisfaction surveys, along with its rigorous degrees and programs, highlight why MTC continues to serve as one of the top choices for higher education.