Student-Athlete Focus Groups and Surveys

The Department of Athletics and the Faculty Athletics Committee (FAC) collect annual data from student-athletes regarding their academic, athletic and personal experiences at the University. The office of Student-Athlete Development collaborates with the Educational Foundation to track varsity student-athlete alumni for networking opportunities.

20.0 Student-Athlete Focus Groups and Surveys

The Department of Athletics and the Faculty Athletics Committee (FAC) collect data from student-athletes regarding their academic, athletic and personal experiences at UNC. This information is gathered through focus groups and exit surveys followed by interviews with a sport program administrator.

20.1 Focus Groups

The FAC organizes a focus group meeting every spring with student-athletes on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which includes seniors as well as sophomores and juniors. The meeting is usually arranged around a meal in the evening during mid March/early April. Each table is asked to participate in an open-ended discussion on a specific topic. A note taker from each table submits notes to the FAC member(s) responsible for compiling the data into a report that is submitted to FAC and the Department of Athletics by the beginning of the following academic semester.

20.2 Exit Surveys

Exit surveys are administered to all graduating student-athletes by the Department of Athletics. While the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) requires member institutions to complete exit surveys, the NCAA does not receive any data or reports from these surveys. The Department of Athletics determines how exit surveys are administered and how the data is used. In spring 2014 the Department of Athletics began using Qualtrics, an online survey and data administration tool, to administer the surveys.

The Student-Athlete Experience Survey is one of the most important tools the Department of Athletics uses to evaluate each of UNC’s sport and student-athlete support programs. To ensure honest feedback, student-athletes are fully informed about how the survey results will be used. Individual surveys are not shared with others; rather, collective results (with no names referenced) are shared with appropriate department and University leaders responsible for enhancing student-athlete services and programs.

Each sport program administrator or designee should administer the survey to graduating students on their team(s) and then meet with graduating students individually. The sport program administrator or designee distributes an email from the Director of Athletics to all graduating students on the team. The email links to the Qualtrics Student-Athlete Experience Survey. Students are given a deadline to complete the instrument and are asked to schedule an interview with the sport program administrator. The student should have completed the survey prior to scheduling an interview with the sport program administrator or designee.

To prepare for administration of the survey, the Department of Athletics trains all sport program administrators or designee on effective interviewing skills and consistent communication.

Information from the survey can be shared at the end of each sport season with the FAC, coaches and Department of Athletics managers (e.g., Sports Medicine and Strength and Conditioning), as well as with other University departments (e.g., the Academic Advising Program). Survey results and focus group feedback are carefully considered and, when possible, are used to inform programmatic changes. One example of change that has occurred as a result of feedback from student-athletes is increased availability and frequency of tutoring services offered by the ASPSA.