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Statewide Survey Finds Strong Perceptions of UW

December 17, 2018
students walking on campus
Students move between classes during the fall semester at UW. A new statewide survey finds that a strong majority of Wyoming residents believe the university provides excellent undergraduate education and is an appealing place for students to attend college. (UW Photo)

A strong majority of Wyoming residents believe the University of Wyoming provides excellent undergraduate education, has steadily improved in recent years and is an appealing place for Wyoming students to attend college, new survey results show.

Additionally, nearly six in 10 Wyomingites believe UW is spending its budget wisely and is responsive to the needs of the state, according to the biennial election-year survey conducted by the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center.

Asked to rate the university the same way students are graded, 37 percent of respondents gave UW an “A,” and 46 percent offered a “B” rating, with the average of all responses equating to 3.14 on a 4.0 scale.

This year’s statewide telephone survey of 619 Wyoming residents was conducted in October and November, with cellular and landline phone numbers randomly generated to ensure equal probability of selection for all Wyoming residents. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

“It’s gratifying to know that the state’s public university continues to be held in high regard by Wyoming people,” UW President Laurie Nichols says. “As we move forward with implementing the university’s strategic plan, we hope to build even stronger public perception of UW’s academic excellence, desirability for students and their families, and connections to the state.”

Asked if UW has steadily improved during the past several years, 62 percent expressed agreement. The percentage of those who believe UW is spending its budget wisely is 57 percent. And 71 percent agree that UW and the state’s community colleges are working together to provide high-quality education for Wyoming students.

Asked “How well do you think UW appeals to Wyoming students and their families as a desirable place to attend college?,” 28 percent responded “extremely well” and 57 percent “quite well” -- 85 percent combined, a number almost identical to two years ago. Just 8 percent said “not too well” and 2 percent “not well at all.”

Respondents were asked to rate UW’s performance -- excellent, good, fair, poor or “don’t know/not sure” -- on several issues.

-- Twenty-two percent rated UW’s performance as excellent in “providing an excellent undergraduate education,” with 43 percent rating it good (65 percent combined).

-- Asked to rate UW’s performance in “educating young people to participate in Wyoming’s workforce,” 16 percent said excellent and 45 percent good (61 percent combined).

-- Regarding the university’s efforts to maintain a safe campus for students, employees and visitors, 23 percent rated the performance as excellent and 40 percent as good (63 percent combined).

-- On the issue of “being responsive to the needs of the state and its citizens,” 13 percent rated UW’s performance as excellent and 46 percent as good (59 percent combined).

-- On whether UW has “a strong level of engagement with your community,” 17 percent said excellent, 39 percent good, 24 percent fair and 10 percent poor.

-- In rating UW’s performance on the topic of “keeping tuition as low as possible,” 20 percent responded excellent, 36 percent good, 20 percent fair and 7 percent poor.

Eighty-three percent of survey respondents did not have a degree from UW. Of those who did, 44 percent rated the quality of their UW educational experience as excellent and 48 percent as good (92 percent combined). Asked about the relevance of their educational experience, 42 percent rated it excellent and 42 percent good (84 percent combined).

Complete survey results may be found here and here.

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