Exploring the Brandscape, Part 5: Discoveries from the research audit – what we learned in “Driver’s Education”

Posted on Friday, March 5th, 2010 by Debbie Schallock under Conclusions, Integrated Marketing, Research. Tags: , , , , ,

A recent audit conducted by the Research Subcommittee resulted in the opportunity to gain a great deal of valuable information regarding what drives students, faculty and staff to be a part of UNCG.

In looking at the perceptions, beliefs and attitudes of our internal audiences, 14 key drivers were identified as common values among students, faculty and staff. In other words, based on their experiences at UNCG, internal audiences shared what it means to belong to our university community.

The list below captures the drivers that fell within the top tier, the greatest overarching characteristics of the UNCG experience.

  • UNCG offers a clear path to goals. Students who come here have the support they need to move from point A to point B along an inspiring academic journey, which helps them to then become successful in their careers.
  • UNCG provides preparation for academic success. On our campus, students can easily find the resources and inspiring learning environment necessary for graduating with the grades and education they need to move on to graduate school or their careers.
  • UNCG offers a sense of challenge and achievement. Through a challenging curriculum, undergraduate research, internships and a variety of other learning mechanisms, students learn and grow personally, academically and professionally.
  • UNCG is place that encourages a sense of community and belonging. Whether it concerns diversity and inclusiveness, small group interaction, leadership opportunities, or chances to make connections for a lifetime, the environment at our university is welcoming and engaging.

The remaining 14 drivers include strong faculty relationships, individuality allowed via a ‘customized plan’, scholary or expert feel, feeling part of an institution with a strong reputation, desire for diversity, opinions of family and friends, being active beyond the classroom, clear communication, authenticity and feeling that contributions are appreciated.  The information comes straight from our students (mostly undergraduates, but some graduate students as well) through a wide variety of campus surveys, as well as the faculty and staff senate surveys. It is clear to see, that even among our own campus community, these drivers would be expressed differently but they provide a common bond across our shared perceptions and beliefs about our university.

At this time, we are missing a large faction of community voices. Alumni, donors, and the greater community were present in the audit, but their portion of participants was small. This should be addressed in the future, however, as resources become available for this purpose.

By Timothy Johnston, Ph.D.

Timothy Johnston, Ph.D. is dean of the College of Arts and Sciences