Determining the Student Services which Align with Undergraduate Student Expectations A Study of Student Perceptions and University Service Delivery

Chin-Yen Alice Liu, Kevin J. Jones


Extant research demonstrates that student support services are a vital link in the success of students and a major component in student per- sistence to graduation. This paper reports the results of an empirical study examining enrolled undergraduate student attitudes and expec- tations regarding student services at two-similarly-sized universities in a major metropolitan area in the southwestern United States. Using survey data and a sample of several hundred students at each school, it analyzes their knowledge of and attitudes about student services, such as health services, career counseling, computer laboratories, student organizations and clubs, and sporting events. This study compares student perspectives at private versus public universities and further analyzes possible differing student needs and expectations that may occur among various student demographic groups. The results of this study are important for several reasons. First, it compares student and administrator perspectives on university services to see if they are similar or if there are possible differences in their views. Since the data informs universities about student attitudes and expectations, the data can help universities to do a better job in aligning services to student perceived needs. Second, the study tests the view that students at private universities may have higher expectations of services versus public university students, and then we explore possible differences between various student demographic groups, clarifying how the needs and expectations may differ among these demographic groups. Finally, the results can help universities to determine the services that are viewed as most critical and invest in those services which are more successfully attracting and retaining those students.

Keywords: student services, university services, student expectations, quality function deployment

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