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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Check out the USF Poly student survey results

16

September

We mentioned the student survey recently gathered at USF Polytechnic in our story today about the USF Poly presentation made to the Board of Governors. It showed that the majority of respondents were opposed to the school splitting off from the main USF system.

Well, we just got the full results from USF Poly's student government president, which was sent to BOG chairwoman Ava Parker. Check it out:

As student government President of USF Polytechnic I would like to address this issue and provide you with a summary of the opinions of the current student body obtained through a recent survey sent to the approximately 1300 students who designated USF Polytechnic as their home campus.  A response rate of 14.5% (188 responses) was achieved.  

  • 87% of the respondents were undergraduate students.  (Note:  Results of the survey questions did not significantly vary between undergraduate and graduate students.)
  • 50% of the respondents were female and 48% were male.
  • The two main reasons identified for attending USF Polytechnic in order of priority was the USF name and the location. 
    • The USF name was identified as important for the following reasons:
      • It’s an established university among Florida’s state universities. 
      • It has name recognition when marketing to potential employers.
      • The college degree has a higher value with the USF name on it.
    • The location was identified as being more convenient for students to attend than driving to Tampa.  The school provided the goal of being enrolled in major state university with smaller classes and without the drive.
  • 84% of the respondents indicated that they were in disagreement with the idea of the university separating from USF and becoming an independent university.
  • 66% of the respondents indicated that they would not continue to attend the university if it separated from USF. 
  • 55% of the respondents indicated that they did not see any advantage to attending a Polytechnic University in lieu of a standard university. 

The survey results of the respondents clearly indicates the decision to attend USF Polytechnic was not based on the purported advantages of the polytechnic model, but was largely made based on the school being a part of the University of South Florida and secondly its’ location.  As a result of this primary and significant deciding factor there are concerns about the value of the degree should the school become an independent university.  Further there are concerns about how potential businesses where graduating students may be seeking employment opportunities will perceive the value of the degree should the school no longer have the USF affiliation.  Though it is understood that a college degree alone does not ensure that a student will be selected for a position it is realized that graduation from a school with name recognition and perceived value does factor into the selection process.   

While the student body of the University of South Florida Polytechnic is not in favor of separation from the University of South Florida should a decision be made in favor of separation it is recommended that a transitional plan be developed for existing students.  This transitional plan would allow students currently enrolled at the time of the separation to be grandfathered under the current affiliation with the University of South Florida and have the USF name attached to their diplomas.  This will meet the expressed expectations of the current students and fulfill the implied promises of the school when the students enrolled.  It would be expected that any new students would have made their decision to attend the university based on a separate set of criteria established and marketed to them.  

I would ask that you and the members of the Board of Governors give the opinions of the current students of USF Polytechnic, as expressed in the survey results, equal consideration as that of the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce and the Polk County businesses and civic leaders.  

Respectfully,

Kathryn E. Bevilacqua

Student Government President

 

University of South Florida Polytechnic

NOTE:  Survey Percentages were rounded to the nearest whole number.  

 

[Last modified: Friday, September 16, 2011 2:14pm]

    

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