Based on positive and negative feedback from a survey conducted in March, the stage has been set for Marywood’s brand refresh initiative Project Mint.
Marywood’s Marketing and Communications department partnered with higher education research and consulting firm Stamats Inc. to gain insight on the community’s perception of the university.
Stamats is a marketing company that provides higher education businesses with market research data. Some of the schools they have worked with include UCLA, the University of Michigan and Cornell Tech.
Officials from Stamats and the Marywood Marketing and Communications department presented the survey results on Tuesday, May 1 in the Latour Room of the Nazareth Student Center.
Marywood students, faculty, staff and parents of students received an email from Stamats and Marywood’s Director of Marketing James Brown in March with a link to the survey.
Surveys were conducted both internally and externally. Internal surveys included responses from members within the campus community such as faculty, staff, students and parents of students.
External survey results focused mainly on responses from students who had considered Marywood but decided to seek out higher education elsewhere.
Both the internal and external results provided varying responses. Market researchers analyzed a total of 1,181 responses to the survey.
Seventeen percent of Marywood faculty and staff, 18 percent of students and 18 percent of parents responded to the survey.
Those who took part within the campus community ranked Marywood as a “good to average” university, citing the quality of faculty and staff, welcoming atmosphere and academic qualities as strengths and the lack of parking, lack of dining options, food quality and overall cost as weaknesses.
Information from the survey showed that 54 percent of faculty and staff, 81 percent of parents and 68 percent of current students said they would recommend Marywood to someone planning to attend college.
Five percent of faculty and staff, three percent of parents and six percent of current students said they would not recommend Marywood, while the remainder said it “depends.”
According to Stamats Vice President for Client Services Beatrice Szalas, who conducted a large portion of the presentation, the participation percentage shown by faculty and staff is not as high as it should be. According to Stamats, the average response rate by faculty and staff for institutions similar to Marywood is 30 to 35 percent.
“Our own faculty and staff are not our cheerleaders right now,” said Szalas. “If we in this room cannot be excited about Marywood and what we offer, how in the world are we going to get people out there to get excited and want to be here?”
Brown said he believes a lot of positives came out of conducting the research and that the results will benefit Project Mint moving forward.
“Like every institution, I think there’s opportunities to improve, and you can’t figure out how to improve until you know what to you need to improve… and I think we have enough information now that we can develop a game plan to do that,” said Brown.
Marywood President Sr. Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D. said she was not surprised by a lot of the results and was pleased to hear the responses regarding Marywood’s academics and atmosphere.
“I think overall I didn’t really get any surprises,” said Persico. “I was really happy to hear that people in general are proud of our programs… [and] was also very happy to hear that people feel this is a friendly and welcoming place to be.”
Persico also expressed her disappointment regarding survey participation from within the campus community.
“I was sorry that the participation from among the people here on campus was not as strong as it typically is on other campuses,” said Persico. “I do wonder if more people had participated, if the outcomes could’ve been a little bit different.”
Brown ended the presentation expressing optimism for the future of Project Mint.
“There’s a lot of people who really want this university to succeed,” said Brown. “There is a lot of really positive assets here and there is a lot of opportunity here. We just need to figure out how to unlock that potential.”
Following these survey results, Stamats sent out a follow-up survey asking participants to evaluate four statements describing Marywood.
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