Survey Results 2011

In spring 2011, all graduating seniors were asked to fill out an online survey that measures their opinions about general education. The survey lists each of the student learning outcomes for each of the competencies and liberal studies areas within general education, and it asks the graduating seniors to rank, on a scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree), whether or not they believe those outcomes were met in their general education courses

There was a 37 percent response rate; 283 students completed the survey. Of the respondents, 165 were men and 118 women. Of the respondents, 274 were between 20–25 years old. Of the respondents, 44 were transfer students. At the end of the survey, students were invited to post comments, and 55 of the respondents chose to do so.


Total reports - 283


  • Male - 165
  • Female - 118


  • 20-25 - 274
  • 26-35 - 4
  • 36+ - 5


  • Yes - 44
  • No - 239


  • Accounting - 4
  • Agricultural Business/Education - 12
  • Animal Science - 18
  • Art - 3
  • Biology - 21
  • Broad Field Science - 0
  • Business Administration - 35
  • Chemistry - 3
  • Civil Engineering - 11
  • Communication Technologies - 11
  • Comprehensive Business and Economics - 0
  • Computer Science - 2
  • Criminal Justice - 15
  • Economics - 0
  • Electrical Engineering - 7
  • Elementary Education - 5
  • Engineering Physics - 5
  • English - 2
  • Environmental Engineering - 3
  • Geography - 1
  • German - 0
  • History - 1
  • Individually Contracted Major - 0
  • Industrial Engineering/Technology Management - 15
  • International Studies - 3
  • Mathematics - 2
  • Mechanical Engineering - 28
  • Music - 2
  • Ornamental Horticulture - 2
  • Philosophy - 0
  • Physical Education - 3
  • Political Science - 0
  • Psychology - 6
  • Reclamation, Environment and Conservation - 3
  • Social Science Comprehensive - 1
  • Software Engineering - 4
  • Soil and Crop Science - 2
  • Spanish - 1
  • Speech Communication - 1
  • Technology Education - 1
  • Theater - 1

Average Responses:


  1. Understand written language, including various stylistic devices.
    • Average = 3.025
  2. Recognize the importance context has for meaning.
    • Average = 3.166
  3. Conceptualize a topic in order to establish a purpose for writing, while keeping in mind the intended reader.
    • Average = 3.198
  4. Arrange ideas logically and present them coherently
    • Average = 3.297
  5. Imaginatively shape my writing.
    • Average = 2.954


  1. Develop problem solving skills using the methods of mathematics.
    • Average = 3.237
  2. Recognize patterns to solve problems.
    • Average = 3.24
  3. Work with the fundamental notions of number and space.
    • Average = 3.134
  4. Distinguish between valid and invalid reasoning.
    • Average = 3.039
  5. Remain alert to the plausibility of solutions.
    • Average = 3.113


  1. Understand the process of human communication.
    • Average = 3.204
  2. Access and organize information logically.
    • Average = 3.261
  3. Design and deliver speeches effectively.
    • Average = 3.336
  4. Develop critical listening and reasoning skills.
    • Average = 3.194

Wellness and Physical Activity

  1. Assess my overall fitness level.
    • Average = 3.25
  2. Understand what lifestyle changes are required to improve my overall fitness.
    • Average = 3.226
  3. Develop an appreciation for, and basic skills in an activity which if pursued will promote a lifetime of fitness and enjoyment.
    • Average = 3.226

Ethnic Studies

  1. Explore the history, culture, customs, values, lifestyles, and contributions of populations of color in the United States.
    • Average = 2.979
  2. Investigate the social and political structures that support racism and sexism.
    • Average = 3.0
  3. Recognize the influence that my own culture and experiences have on my attitude toward women and minorities.
    • Average = 3.032
  4. Understand multiple viewpoints regarging ethics and justice.
    • Average = 3.117
  5. Examine the scholarship that depicts, analyzes and articulates opposition to racism.
    • Average = 2.898

Fine Arts

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the history and heritage of the fine arts.
    • Average = 2.866
  2. Develop a greater appreciation for the fine arts and their value and relevance in out daily lives.
    • Average = 2.816
  3. Demonstrate consideration of a variety of artistic patterns in thought and expression.
    • Average = 2.84

Gender Studies

  1. Engage in personal reflection and explore implications of the cultural constructs that create and perpetuate gender-based stereotypes and unequal power relationships.
    • Average = 2.947
  2. Engage in personal reflection and explore implications of the contributions of diverse populations of women and persons of varied sexual orientations in transforming knowledge.
    • Average = 2.89
  3. Engage in personal reflection and explore implications of the influence that students' gender and experiences have on their attitudes toward others.
    • Average = 2.965

Historical Perspective

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the past.
    • Average = 3.216
  2. Explore the multitude of circumstances and events that have helped to shape historical judgments, actions, and visions.
    • Average = 3.148
  3. Interpret the sources of historical change in a variety of contexts.
    • Average = 3.145


  1. Understand some of the diverse approaches to questions of human meaning and value.
    • Average = 3.085
  2. Demonstrate competence in critical thinking, reading, and writing.
    • Average = 3.113
  3. Acquire tools for life-long learning in the humanities.
    • Average = 3.039

International Education

  1. Investigate the patterns of world interactions.
    • Average = 2.883
  2. Examine contemporary ideologies, cultures, places, or political and economic systems found throughout the world.
    • Average = 2.954
  3. Become open to the challenges and ambiguities of human plurality.
    • Average = 2.94

Natural Sciences

  1. Discover the patterns, principles, and dynamics of natural phenomena and relate them to issues in my life as a citizen.
    • Average = 3.283
  2. Comprehend scientific methodology and its limitations.
    • Average = 3.304
  3. Engage in the analysis of natural phenomena.
    • Average = 3.29

Social Sciences

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of individual and social behavior.
    • Average = 3.237
  2. Display knowledge of the problems and issues within social sciences.
    • Average = 3.17
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the methods used to study these problems and issues.
    • Average = 3.12


  1. At least one of my courses has addressed issues in ethics.
    • Average = 3.565
  2. My experience at UWP, inside and outside the classroom, has helped me become more sensitive to issues in ethics.
    • Average = 3.25


  • A lot of my experiences came from outside of the class room in the form of life's experiences. In my time at UWP I have seen a continual distancing from the real life events of this present time and a refusal to incorporate these real life learning issues into the class room. It is my opinion that there is a wealth of real life events occurring that can be be appropriately incorporated into the learning environment, especially into the Ethics and EGS study arenas. This failure to incorporate these events into the class room and use them as learning tools is a great disservice to UWP students and to the universities learning objectives.
  • Some general education course professors take the intro classes so seriously that it makes going to class a chore resulting in a bad environment for learning. Learning should be fun!

    We are required to take English courses yet some of the professors at the university write their exams in broken English.

    There are many professors at the university that have a hard time relating to students. I think a professor's job is more than just to give out information. You can really tell when a professor cares about you and how you do in the course and those who don't. Makes a huge difference in the receptiveness of students.


    There are some professors in the industrial studies department that lecture on vital information without any experience in the field. One example would be classes that deal with Solidworks. These professors should be certified in the program before they teach it. You can really tell the difference when you have an experienced person leading class.


    Labs are a huge part of learning. Keeping labs open for students who want to learn is important.

    There really should be a better professor evaluation process in place to weed out the terrible instructors. These folks can really ruin the learning experience.

  • All of this equality stuff is a joke and way to much SUFAC money is being spent on black student union and the Hmong club to sponsor events barely anyone goes to. Let them do there own fundraisers like every other club on campus has to do since they barely get any SUFAC money.
  • Never took a history course here due to AP credits from high school. My freshman year at UWP was a blur and I don't remember much from classes because of all the new lifestyle changes. In my opinion, that is one of the main reasons GenEd courses are useful: to break into college life and new changes.
  • With the rising cost of tuition and the increasingly rigorous graduation requirements, I personally do not believe that general education courses are necessary. I think that our school system should turn to more of a European sort of school system, in which we only need to take classes that pertain to our degree or emphasis. I think that all general education classes here on campus are glorified high school classes that we are wasting money to attend. I think that our university could increase the degree required classes by cutting general education classes, and also produce a more emphasis knowledgeable graduate.
  • UWP has been a wonderful experience; The general education requirements do not challenge students to the extent they should. It shouldn't be a reminder of what you did in high school, it should expand upon that knowledge, and force students to think critically. Students often complain about the uselessness of general education requirements, and maybe they would appreciate them more if they thought they actually had to go to class to try to pass them. I understand the importance of them and that those credits are the ones that set the degrees we receive apart from a tech degree, I also understand that a lot of it comes down to the individual student and their willingness to take advantage of the opportunity they have been given to get an education. however, I would like to see more of the different majors have to take an Agriculture course so they would get a sense of what the agriculture area has to offer and that they will understand the agriculture industry. This is like myself having to take a Theater course.
  • I came from the US Navy to UWP after nine years of service. I was a part of training personnel for three years of that time. During my time at UWP I have had 3 instructors that in my opinion should not be teaching the course that I was in and one of them I don't think should be a teacher at all due to their severe lack of social skills. My question to the university is what checks and balance system is in place and is actually being used that monitors teacher performance during a class and during their time at UWP. I completely understand that diversity of thinking is important for education. Please understand that I am not saying this from the standpoint of a student with a disagreement with a teacher. I once had a conversation with a professor about what they enjoy about teaching here and I was told that part of it was that there was “nobody telling†them how to teach. If that is the culture of the university then how do you ensure that you not only hired quality teacher but that senior teachers are meeting the basic requirements that make them a valuable part of the staff. A senior professor who taught a course for a professor on sabbatical managed to took a course that was a vital part of my education and fail miserably at teaching it. I have an interview tomorrow and I am concerned that there is something that I should have learned in that class that may be the difference between obtaining the job and not. That is something that I believe is truly unacceptable. I hope that you take this concern as being sincere. I believe that the problems I encountered during my time here could be avoided and that a little extra work on the behalf of a talented teaching staff could improve the situation in a timely manner.
  • My major complaint is that many of the Ethnic/Gender courses focus almost exclusively on African Americans and Women as the only alternatives. I learned little if nothing about other minority groups including Latinos, Native Americans, Asians, and GLBTQ. I have taken 3 courses in the Ethnic/Gender field.
  • UW-Platteville is the best!
  • The Freshman Composition classes are directed towards those who have extremely poor writing skills. It was definitely eye-opening to realize what level people are writing at when entering college, however, I'm not sure this is supposed to be the intended purpose. I believe it would be significantly more beneficial to have another option for Freshman Comp-- something aimed at people with a higher writing level and understanding of sentence structure.
  • Overall, I have experienced a very well rounded liberal arts education in addition to my major education. UW-Platteville has helped me, as well as others, think more critically and speak more intelligently about issues society faces today.
  • Should be doing one on how I learned nothing in any of my Communication Technology classes and everything about broadcasting at WSUP radio.
  • I think all students should be required to take a business sense class and an environmental/conservation type of class. Everyone should be aware of basic business knowledge and the human imprint that is affecting the next generation and its environment.
  • The Political Economy of Race, Gender and Ethnicity taught by Broussard was a very informative class that allowed us to learn about the history of race, gender and ethnicity. Then the history was related to current political events and I believe that everyone at UWP should have to take this class. I feel that it helps teach students to explore other cultures around them and to have a open mind to the views of their peers. Although my English teacher was a good instructor, the content of freshman composition was way too easy. I do not feel that I learned anything from freshman comp I and II that I did not already learn in high school. On the other hand, from peer review it seemed that none of my peers knew how to write, so maybe the content is appropriate for some students at this school. Having different level freshman comp courses would have been beneficial for me.
  • These questions too broad to be relevant to individually classes. It's hit or miss.
  • I feel that some teachers should be monitored more closely; the use of PowerPoint is overused on this campus. I know how to read that is how I got into college; therefore I do not need teachers reading directly off PowerPoint. and if they are going to do that why not make classes cheaper and just put the power points online so i don't have to waste my time and money going to class to have someone read to me that is NOT teaching.
  • I have absolutely loved my time at UW-Platteville. Almost all of my courses have been excellent. I must say that your English professors are beyond stellar and that I would not be the person I am today without them.
  • I am a music education major. Many of these questions do not apply to me because - although I was not a transfer student - I had enough AP credit in high school to satisfy my English, math, and history credits. For those categories I scored 3 for the questions.
  • I have enjoyed my time here at UW-Platteville. I have been blessed with a great Criminal Justice Department headed up with professors with diverse backgrounds and knowledge such as Steve Elmer, Joe Lomax, Ed Ross, and Dr. Caywood. I feel that your program has given me a sturdy foundation which I can continue to build upon. Thank you for providing me with a solid education that will help me succeed in my chosen law enforcement profession.
  • I did not take most of the general education requirements because I already have a degree and returned to UWP for a teaching degree. I have found that the education department is underrated in my opinion. The staff works tirelessly to support students and I truly value their thoughts.
  • Overall, my experience at Platteville was great. I lived in the residence halls during the entire course of my four and half year education at Platteville (I was an RA two of those years). I still believe that I had better experiences within the biology department with the professors than any other department on campus. I believe that is one of the reasons that I am graduating with my degree in biology.
  • I think that most of my classes here at UWP have very beneficial in one way or another. Some of them may not have been very informational but instead the class made you look at the problems with race, sex, and social class. Overall though I think that the fine arts gen ed class is taken as a joke though. No one takes it seriously and everyone just takes it for an easy A.
  • Get new Accounting teachers, not one, in my 4 years here was helpful or caring. I think that all teachers, regardless of how long they have been here, should be required to have students fill out performance evaluations. Just because someone is knowledgeable in Accounting, doesn't mean they know how to "teach" it. If I could do it over, I would have changed my major so that I would never have to take an accounting class at this University, or I would have picked a new University all together.
  • Most of my General Education classes, I didn't take up here since I am a transfer student. Hence the low scores, because I didn't take them here.
  • Most of the classes here are a joke. I hands down learned more at my internship in three months then I learned during school. The fact that I have to take general education requirement that don't have a direct effect on me everyday while there isn't a Into to Agriculture class which all students should be required to take. Most people have absolutely no understanding of agriculture today that its is honestly sad. There are actually people that think food just shows up in the store.
  • Although I believe this survey was more dedicated towards content of my education, I do have one complaint about logistics that I would like to be heard. I believe class rotations should be documented and advertised more effectively. By class rotations, I mean class X is only offered every spring term, or class Y is only offered on the fall term of an odd numbered year. As far as I know these are not made readily available, and I believe they should be posted on the course catalogs/indexes so students can better plan their path to graduation and make sure they can take the classes they are interested in while they are still available. I know there are at least five classes that I could not take and had to take substitutions for because they were not offered this, my graduating, semester.
  • This survey is too wordy and some of the questions are hard to understand, especially in the Gender Studies section.
  • I know this is a four year university and its more science based but I think classes need to be geared more toward real life. To often i think students show up take the notes remember enough to pass the test and forget all of it before they get the grade on their transcript. Some days going to class is so mind numbingly boring I don't even know why I go. My favorite professors are the ones who relate the material to our lives and things we know. When they make it fun and get you thinking about stuff that’s when you learn. You can't get that from staring at words on a PowerPoint.
  • Make sure you have all majors listed in this survey! Mine was not, I am a Early Adolescence Education Major or Middle Level education. I had a great experience in almost all of my classes. I learned a lot and grew as a person. There are those classes that you take that you just don't like or like the professor, but there is no way around that. They will always be there and you just have to deal with it and do the very best you can. My overall experience has been fantastic and I would really recommend this school to anyone.
  • The only change that could probably made to improve the learning experience is to lessen the amount of algebra courses needed to meet requirements to elementary algebra for majors that such courses may not pertain to. Another possible improvement could be to make sure there are tutoring services for more courses.
  • With my transfer credits some reason I was not able to take math classes here. I need to go to a different school to take the classes.
  • At the time of my transfer into UWP I had met all of the requirements for math, science, history, physical education, and was not required to take ethics, though if time allowed I would have enjoyed it.
  • I have really enjoyed my education here at UWP. My teachers in the Criminal Justice field have be extraordinary and beyond knowledgeable. I am very thankful I have taken classes under them. My experience with other general classes has been up and down. My history class was on that I actually learned in ever before. My Anthropology and Humanities classes were beyond terrible. The class did not offer anything that I can use beyond my graduation. The classes were poorly planned out, had no enthusiasm, nor did they keep anyone intrigued. I had a great speech class that gave me many life long lessons. My overall experience here at Platteville has been good, but not amazing. I would of enjoyed just focusing on my specific degree and thought extra classes were pointless.
  • More options on each of the general education classes.
  • Overall I feel that the number of general education courses required is ridiculous and a waste of money. Do other majors on campus have to take classes in engineering? I don't think so! I could have graduated long ago if it weren't for these overall useless classes that are nothing more than GPA boosters.
  • As of late, the university seems to be more interested in bringing in diversity in their professors, than they are about bring quality educators into the classrooms.
  • Not impressed with the ease of courses outside EMS. Classes outside EMS are not taken seriously by students and some professors.
  • This survey is almost not applicable to my education at UWP. I entered the school with 21 AP credits and did not need to take any Math or History courses. English and Speech were redundant to my earlier education. I completed my Fine Arts requirement at the Study Abroad Institute in Seville, Spain. I feel that my time would have been better spent without some of these courses. However after in-class peer reviews I understand their necessity. My majors are Criminal Justice, Psychology and Spanish. All of my upper level courses in these disciplines were interesting and educational.
  • This school needs to communicate between the art education department and the art department. I had no advisor, and was trying to figure out everything on my own. It was a complete disaster. Not only was it very difficult I now cannot finish my education degree this year. I am very disappointed.
  • I do not know what is meant by the section of international education courses. I had a few foreign language classes in case that is what is meant.
  • I'm glad I attended the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and I will suggest this university to others for future attendance because of how much it has influenced me. The combination of great professors trying to better the incoming generations is at its purest form here at UW-Platteville.
  • Overall I have been unhappy with my general education experience here at Platteville for several reasons. To start, I feel that the required general education classes did not help to round me out as an individual nor improve my knowledge, skills, or beliefs on certain topics such as ethnics or gender. Instead of forcing me to take these meaningless courses I would rather have you leave me with that many free credits. I feel I would have better been able to round out my education by taking courses that I actually wanted to take. At no point during my college experience did I get the chance to broaden my education by taking courses that I actually wanted to take. I at the least wish that the courses I independently chose to take would have counted toward my education. I feel that the education I received towards my major was more than sufficient, but I feel as if I am entering the work force lacking many of the skills that I myself desired that I could have achieved had I been allowed to take courses of my choosing, and have them count towards my education.
  • Didn't learn as much as I thought I would have. A WASTE
  • Professors are knowledgeable. Overall great experience
  • Make students take what is important to their education. I feel that this University turns a blind eye to the reality that we will become well rounded individuals if we take our generals. I firmly believe that this institution, as well as others, make us take generals solely for beneficial financial reasons.
  • After completing this, I don't think my opinion should count for much because in some areas like the natural science, I only had one class here, or other areas like math, I had already taken somewhere else.
  • I felt that my general education courses did me good. I felt that the education course work that I was required to do was by far lacking. I think the department needs to clean out some staff and rework some courses.
  • Get rid of gender studies. Should be allowed to test out of fitness assessment (especially for athletes).
  • I really enjoyed and learned a lot from a few specific GEN EDS: Modern China, Science Tech and Ethics, and Intro to Philosophy. These courses greatly helped me expand my knowledge of many things and improve my critical thinking abilities. A large number of gen eds gave little useful information, and it is doubtful that I took away anything useful from them. The most prime example of this is Intro to Theatre, but there are definitely others whose names I can't remember anymore. One class in particular seemed interesting, but I was extremely disappointed in the content: Native American Experience, with [name deleted]. I signed up for the class with a genuine interest in learning about the "Native American Experience," but he lectured almost entirely on the Civil War and how we were all "White Anglo-Saxon Protestants" and racists. When I attempted to actually learn something from it by mastering the assigned material, I was rewarded by being stood up in the center of class for other students to throw their quizzes at. This man should not be teaching.
  • Mathematics and sciences are the strong component of this campus and deserve more respect
  • I tested out of English comp; was not required to take International Education because of time spent abroad; was not required to take Fitness Assessment due to military service.
  • I am a transfer student and it did not allow me to submit the survey without answering every question, therefore most of the questions pertain to my past school not UWP.
  • I feel the need to clearly have students told what the requirements are for their courses and how it will apply to their major
  • More math should be required for the BCM degree.
  • UWP needs to realize they will never be to the status of other schools if they don't learn to evaluate teachers properly. There are way to many teachers in General Education courses that frankly can't teach. I would advise my future kids to go elsewhere due to the lack of teaching ability here in Platteville. I hope this helps because I know I am definitely not the only graduate who feels this way.
  • The humanities department is especially amazing. I've greatly enjoyed my time here.

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