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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Texas A&M seeks to learn about undergraduate experience through SERU survey

Students+can+take+the+Aggie+Experience+Survey+at+seru.tamu.edu.
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Students can take the Aggie Experience Survey at seru.tamu.edu.

Texas A&M administration is looking to better understand student concerns and perspectives through the Aggie Experience Survey.

This Student Experience at a Research University (SERU) survey is also administered at several other top-tier research universities across the nation. It specifically focuses on undergraduate experiences and learns more about how students identify and express themselves, and how their experiences at A&M is influenced by academics, and vice versa. The data collected from this survey is then utilized to find what part of the undergraduate experience can be improved through changes in university programs and policies.

Students need to participate in the survey in order for it to be effective and beneficial to the student body said Michael Stephenson vice provost for academic affairs and strategic initiatives.

“Texas A&M is a huge institution with thousands of opportunities for students,” Stephenson said. “The only way for us to understand the ‘big picture’ is through the AES. Students tell us about what they participate in on campus and if it makes a difference. Basically, we want to know if every student’s experience at Texas A&M is positive and meaningful or if we need to make changes. The feedback we get from students is critical.”

Director of Student Life Studies Darby Roberts said every response can go a long way and make a big impact on campus life for everyone.
“Depending on if you’re taking it as a freshman, they might actually see some of the changes that have come from student responses,” Roberts said. “It may not be in the first year that they see it, but they can see it over time in terms of how academic advising is run, or [in terms of] campus climate, how the students on our campus see diversity and inclusion. Even for students who are in their senior year getting ready to graduate, they may not get to see those specific changes, but they’re making a difference for the Aggies that are coming after them.”
According to the 2017 SERU service report, the data collected about undergraduates points out what students are excelling in, as well as things that can be improved to increase student engagement in community service.

“One of Texas A&M’s Core Values is Selfless Service,” the report said. “Texas A&M undergraduates are interested and engage in community service and volunteerism related to issues they find important. Faculty and staff can continue to provide opportunities for students to reflect on the meaning of their participation.”

Since research universities including the University of California, Berkeley and Purdue University use SERU to analyze their undergraduates’ experiences, A&M is able to compare Aggie experiences to other universities and improve the school as a whole.
“Leaders in both student affairs and academic affairs read what students say and we make changes to programs based on student feedback,” Stephenson said. “Other very large universities also administer the survey, so we benchmark our students’ experiences against those at other institutions.”

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