Statement of Purpose and Procedure for Conducting Student Surveys

In response to rapidly increasing requests to survey Rensselaer students, the Institute has adopted a new Survey Research Procedure designed to manage requests from internal and external constituents to survey Rensselaer students.  This procedure requires any person or group wishing to conduct survey research on Rensselaer students, or wishing to use Rensselaer resources to conduct a survey of students, to gain approval from a Student Surveys Committee, chaired by the Director of the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA). The goals of this procedure are to:

  • Minimize the burden on students being surveyed at Rensselaer;
  • Ensure that the survey is necessary, either to fulfill a strategic objective or to comply with federal accountability or accreditation requirements;
  • Facilitate sharing of data and avoid redundancy;
  • Ensure that data collected are valid, reliable, and used to inform decision-making.

Surveys to be administered will be determined each summer by the Committee and a calendar established for the forthcoming academic year. Any individual who wishes to administer a survey to students must file a Survey Request Form with OIRA so that the Student Surveys Committee may add it to the calendar, if appropriate. OIRA will review the request in consultation with the Committee and inform the requestor if the survey request is approved.  Requests will be reviewed in accordance with the four criteria listed above. Since the objective is to minimize survey burden the later a request comes in the less flexibility there will be to allow the survey during that academic year.

This procedure is in addition to, not a substitute for, adherence to Institutional Review Board (IRB) policies. IRB approval may be necessary for any given survey that uses human subjects, and such approval does not guarantee that the survey will be administered. Click here to go to the Institute’s IRB site.

Please note that student course evaluation is exempt from this procedure.