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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Survey to gauge engineering student opinion

Hoping for more participants, the Student Engineers’ Council is gearing up for another college-wide online survey.
The survey will gauge student opinion on key issues and upcoming projects and will be presented to Dwight Look College of Engineering administration in order to influence the decisions that will affect engineering students.
David Yu, mechanical engineering junior and chair of the legislation committee in charge of the survey, said undergraduate and graduate students will be able to complete the survey.
Yu said once the results come back, the legislation committee will spend weeks analyzing the survey results in order to provide a precise survey to the leaders of the college of engineering.
This semester, the survey will be sent out around Oct. 21 and the presentation is slotted for Dec. 9.
To start it off, the SEC will host a kick-off event to increase awareness and participation in the survey.
Then, the SEC will host a night where students can learn the results of the survey.
“We will make a presentation to the students explaining what changes have happened because of the survey,” Yu said.
Last year, results were presented April 30 to the dean of engineering, the associate dean and department heads. Yu said the officials were able to discuss changes based on the survey results.
Some examples of those changes include awareness of the 25 by 25 initiative, differential tuition spending, study abroad and awareness of the new Engineering Education Complex, formerly the Zachry Building.
“For differential tuition we asked a lot of questions about where students want their money to be spent and what needs to be improved,” said Melinda McClure, president of the SEC. “The top response was professors of practice, and what that means for us in engineering is hiring more professors that have worked in the industry.”
McClure said the survey also gauges awareness of 25 by 25, which aims for 25,000 engineering students by 2025.
According to the survey, in 2013 only 60 percent of engineering students were aware of the 25 by 25 initiative, whereas the spring 2014 survey revealed an increase in awareness to more than 80 percent.
In 2013 only 15 percent of the students approved of 25 by 25, but the 2014 spring survey showed that 61 percent approved of all three principles of the initiative.
McClure said the increase in approval could be the result of increased awareness of the goals of 25 by 25. Originally, McClure said students were concerned that an increase in students would cause a decrease in the quality of the students admitted in the college of engineering.
Student survey participation continues to be an issue for the SEC — just 2,012 students participated last year, a number McClure said was the lowest turnout in years.
Yu said it is important for students to know their voices count.
“Their opinions matter, and it is a great opportunity to reach out and express their opinions and improve their education experience,” Yu said.

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