A1300.45 Institutional Research Policy on Survey Use


Surveys are a popular method for gathering information and feedback from participants The purpose of this policy is to provide a coordinated approach to surveying prospective students, current students, alumni, faculty, staff, employers, community members, and other stakeholders in order to:

  • Ensure that survey design, administration, analysis, and reporting are methodologically sound.
  • Ensure that surveys conducted on behalf of the College adhere to consistent standards of quality.
  • Minimize collection of duplicate data and “survey fatigue” by combining data collection needs whenever possible and appropriate, and managing the number and timing of multiple surveys to the same group of respondents.
  • Ensure appropriate distribution and use of survey results.
  • Maintain a thorough and accessible record of survey tools and results.



A survey is defined broadly as any means of data collection in which questions are presented to participants in a paper, oral (e.g., interview, focus group), or electronic (e.g., email, web) format for the purpose of evaluating/assessing College programs, functions, or services; or gathering feedback from respondents for decision making and continuous improvement. Respondents include, but are not limited to, prospective students, current students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, administrators, employers, and other community members.



This policy applies to all surveys conducted by or on behalf of SCC, its employees, offices, services, departments, divisions, and programs. Survey data will be used to further the interests of the college and aid in making data based decisions.

The following forms of data collection are EXEMPT from this policy:

  • Student evaluation of individual courses and instruction.
  • Surveys conducted by faculty as part of instruction with students currently enrolled in their class or classes.
  • Systems for electing students, faculty, or staff to leadership positions within College committees or organizations.
  • Feedback instruments used in the evaluation of employee performance.


Policy Statement

All surveys, internal and external, must be reviewed and approved by the Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness prior to being implemented.

A copy of all surveys, datasets, and associated reports that are generated by the surveyor(s) will be provided to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness electronically for retention in a survey archive.


Responsibilities and Procedures

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness will:

  • Provide consultation on the development and administration of surveys and analysis of results.
  • Review and approve survey requests (including those requests from researchers outside of SCC (e.g. doctoral students with IRB approval through their own institution).
  • Maintain a survey archive.
  • Annually review the scope and effectiveness of this policy and associated procedures.

Individuals requesting to conduct surveys will:

  • Work with the Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness on creating a survey instrument or submit a draft for review
    prior to implementing a survey.
  • Provide the Office of Institutional Effectiveness with a copy of all datasets and associated reports of findings.

Revised: July 2016