New AHEPPP Survey Builder

My favorite part about AHEPPP is the way that we share resources. Our members—truly the best of the best—take pride in being able to share their work and programs and support one another. This is something that makes our organization stand out in the field of higher education. One area in which I personally have been able to support my colleagues over the years is by sharing the survey I send to my parents. I know that assessment is an area in which many of us struggle. In fact, data from the 2021 Survey of Family Engagement and Programs at Colleges and Universities showed that fewer than 25% of professionals who work with families are doing any type of survey of their family events, programming, and use of resources. 

Assessment is vital to increasing the value and understanding of our field. While COVID-19 has definitely brought to light the importance of parents as part of our university communities, the hard truth is that, in a budget cut, small offices are likely the first to go. We need to advocate for ourselves and the families of our students to show how the value our offices bring to the university, and one easy way to do this is through assessment. A survey is a great place to start.

A survey of your parents can help you understand so much about your work, including:

  • What resources families like and, more importantly, what resources they use
  • How they use your resources
  • How your resources positively impact students
  • Who is using your resources
  • If your programming is meeting its goals
  • The parent perspective on their student’s experience 

There are many things to consider before you build a survey:

  • What survey tools do you have access to?
  • How will you distribute your survey to parents?
  • How will share results with campus partners and leadership?
  • What questions should you even ask? 

Good news, AHEPPP friends: we’ve got you covered, at least with that last question! 

I’m so proud to share the newest AHEPPP resource: The Survey Builder and Planning Guide (login required). This members-only resource is exactly what you need to get started on your own parent survey. Along with tips on how to gather results and use your findings, the guide includes nearly 60 survey questions for you to choose from in creating your own survey. Think of it as a choose-your-own adventure guide—we provide the questions and responses, and you get to select the ones that make the most sense for your institution and goals. Even starting with your top five questions will make a big impact and set you on a path to a bigger assessment in the future. 

I’m confident that the information in this guide will take away some of your fear when you hear the word “assessment.” 

I can’t wait to share assessment successes and to hear some of your survey results at the upcoming webinar and future AHEPPP Conferences! 

Chelsea Petree, Ph.D. is the Director of Parent & Family Programs at Rochester Institute of Technology and the current President of the AHEPPP Board of Directors. 

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