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Letters to the Editor

Being student centered leads to excellence at SVCC

Survey points to high rate of satisfaction

Steve Nunez
Steve Nunez

At Sauk Valley Community College, we talk a lot about being student centered. This means our students have a sense of welcome, belonging and comfort when they walk in our doors; and our faculty and staff are approachable, friendly, caring and helpful.

When students enroll here, they immediately become part of the “Sauk Family,” and we do our best to support them on their educational journey.

So, how do we know we walk the walk when we say we are student friendly and student centered?

Every other year, Sauk conducts the Student Satisfaction Inventory, a standardized student survey used by hundreds of community colleges. Sauk recently administered the survey, and it confirmed a high level of satisfaction involving student services at the college.

In fact, Sauk outperforms most community colleges in the nation on this survey and ranks in the 90th percentile in most student-satisfaction metrics, including academic services, service and support excellence, campus climate, and student centeredness.

At Sauk, we know students struggle to complete their degrees and certificates because most are part-time, first-generation college students often juggling full-time jobs and family obligations.

No doubt, our students experience anxiety about attending college for the first time and finding a successful life-school balance. Because of this, it’s very important we follow our shared ethical values that:

“Respect the worth and dignity of all people; stand for integrity and fairness; and encourage responsibility, accountability, and persistence in a caring, supportive environment."

Being student centered means we support students through each step on their educational journey. As you might expect, when students experience high rates of satisfaction at their college, they are more likely to stay in school and successfully graduate, transfer, or earn that much-needed certificate.

These are some of the reasons Sauk was recently ranked by the Aspen Institute as one of the best 150 community colleges in the nation. That ranks Sauk as one of the best 10 percent of all community colleges.

Sauk is now in the running for the Aspen Institute’s top prize – the $1M Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

If you’ve never been to Sauk, or it’s been awhile, come on out and give us a look. We can set up a personalized tour of our state-of-the-art instructional and student support facilities, you can talk to one of our highly trained academic advisers, and you can feel what it’s like to be a part of the Sauk family.

See you at Sauk.

Note to readers: Steve Nunez, Ph.D., is vice president of Research, Planning, and Information Affairs at Sauk Valley Community College.

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