New student survey examining correlation between GPA and lifestyle

New student survey examining correlation between GPA and lifestyle

New student survey examining correlation between GPA and lifestyle
June 13
20:54 2017

Devin Rardin | Staff Writer

A new student survey intended to compare and contrast students’ GPA with their lifestyles is expected to launch in Spring 2018 for all UNT students.  

The survey, which is titled the Academic Insights Measure, or AIM, is designed to release every spring semester for graduate and undergraduate students. Harold Woodard, the executive director for student retention initiative, is heading the survey.

“We want to see if there are correlations between GPA and how students spend their time,” Woodard said. “For example, is there a difference in how students who are 3.0 or higher engage the campus compared to those who perform lower.”

Woodard hopes the results will provide assistance to students and their academic career. In theory, students will be able to print out results of the survey, according to Woodard.

“I think ultimately it will increase student awareness about the kind of behaviors associated with academic success, and motivate or inspire them to actually emulate some of their more academically successful peers,” Woodard said.

The survey results will also help UNT resources meet the needs of its students, according to Jason Simon, assistant vice president for data, analytics and institutional research at UNT. Simon is working with Woodard and thinks the data will provide information to help restructure services at UNT.

“Effective institutions of higher education who are really focused on promoting greater levels of student success understand the need to connect decisions with actual data,” Simon said.

Simon said AIM is different from any other survey at UNT. The AIM survey asks students about their campus engagement and habits. Some questions include living situation, employment, where students study, where they sit in class, and how much they sleep.

Simon also mentioned the survey will be private and secure to accommodate for these types of questions.

The AIM survey is a variation of a project from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, UNC. Woodard worked at the Center of Student Success and Academic Counseling at UNC where he administered a similar survey to students in their counseling program.

This survey was only for students with a 3.0 GPA or higher. When Woodard moved to UNT, he wanted to implement the same type of survey, but reach a wider group of students.

He started work on the UNT survey in Fall 2015. A group of graduate and undergraduate students helped craft and polish the survey.

“I would want other students to know that they were well represented in the planning process,” Simon said.

A pilot survey was conducted at the residence halls last spring. A total of 350 surveys were completed, but the results have yet to be released. After learning from the pilot, Woodard hopes to avoid what he calls “survey fatigue” during the launch.

Simon said this concern is due to the fact UNT students tend to respond to surveys at a lower rate than peer institutions.

“I personally don’t do a lot of surveys, but I know that I probably should because they are helpful,” UNT alumni Dana Joe said.

Brenna Escamilla, another UNT alumni, said she thinks the surveys are necessary.

“People don’t like doing them,” Escamilla said. “They think it’s a hassle because it takes away their time, but I think it helps them.”

Woodard and Simon believe once students understand the potential benefits of the AIM survey, they will be more likely to participate.

Pedro Lira, a UNT business junior said he is trying to balance academics with personal life.

“For me personally it is super hard because my personal life includes work, being a part of the Fellowship of Christian University Students, and going to events to pursue God,” Lira said. “It’s hard to add school and studying to that.”

Lira plans to participate in the AIM survey and thinks it will be helpful.

Cassandra Wyant, an accounting senior, sees the value in the AIM surveys.

“[It’s helpful] for others to even see what people take on to their course load and on to their life just to see how they kind of balance out,” Wyant said.

An awareness campaign will start in the fall and Woodard hopes for broad anticipation when the survey launches in the spring.

“The potential good it can do is enormous so I would love to get as broad-based support as possible,” Woodard said.

Featured Image: On the second floor of Willis library, students and work on their assignments at available desks and computers. A new survey called AIM is set to be distributed to students in the Spring 2018 semester, comparing their GPAs with campus involvement and overall lifestyle to help them understand how to improve their grades. Katie Jenkins

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Devin Rardin

Devin Rardin

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