By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A large majority of surveyed Wyoming residents believe that the University of Wyoming provides a strong undergraduate education, prepares students to participate in the state’s workforce and is an appealing place for Wyoming students to attend college, new survey results show.
Additionally, 64% of Wyomingites surveyed believe the UW is spending its budget wisely and 60% say the university does an excellent or good job responding 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, 31% of respondents gave UW an “A” and 37% offered a “B” rating, with the average of all responses equating to 3.10 on a scale of zero to 4.0.
This year’s statewide telephone survey of 614 Wyoming residents was conducted in October, with cellular and landline phone numbers randomly selected to ensure equal probability of selection for all Wyoming residents. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
“We’re delighted that the people of Wyoming regard their state’s university highly,” UW President Ed Seidel said. “We intend to do everything we can to build on that foundation and increase our educational and research excellence, as well as our level of service to the state, during a time when the state needs us perhaps more than ever.”
UW received particularly high marks in the survey for the quality of education students receive.
Of the respondents, 23% rated UW’s performance as excellent an “providing an excellent undergraduate education,” with 45% rating it good (68% combined, up from 64% two years ago).
Asked to rate UW’s performance in “educating young people to participate in Wyoming’s workforce,” 19% said it was excellent and 42% said good (61% combined, 1 point higher than two years ago).
Asked “How well do you think UW appeals to Wyoming students and their families as a desirable place to attend college?,” 26% responded excellent and 61% said good (87% combined, up 2 points from two years ago).
Just 7% said “fair” and 1% said “poor.”
Asked if UW has steadily improved during the past several years, 60% expressed agreement (down 2 points from two years ago).
The percentage of those who believe UW is spending its budget wisely is 63% (up 6 points from two years ago), and 69% agree that UW and the state’s community colleges are working together to provide high-quality education for Wyoming students (down 2 points from two years ago).
Most of the survey respondents, 86%, didn’t have a degree from UW. Of those who did, 49% rated the quality of their UW educational experience as excellent and 43% as good (92% combined). Asked about the relevance of their educational experience, 43% rated it excellent and 44% good (87% combined).