Siena College administers a number of nationally normed surveys to our student body. Two of these surveys are administered by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE): the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), and the Ruffalo Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI).  Various other student surveys are administered by other offices across the college. The OIE office maintains a central schedule for all of these surveys, and also maintains a policy guide for the administration of surveys to the student body.


March 2012 (under review)

Siena College is committed to the importance of making data-informed decisions. For this reason, the college recognizes the importance of collecting data through multiple channels, including surveys. However, while acknowledging the importance of the type of data supplied by surveys, the college is also committed to respecting the time and privacy of all members of the Siena community, especially our students. For this reason, the college has formulated a set of guidelines to promote the optimal effectiveness and appropriateness of the survey administration process.

Purpose of Guidelines

The goals of these survey administration guidelines are as follows:

  • To protect our students from being over-burdened by frequent and sometimes redundant surveys.
  • To reduce or eliminate the deployment of surveys which collect very similar types of information.
  • To develop a schedule of survey distribution that avoids “clumping” of multiple surveys targeting the same population at the same point in the academic year.
  • To help improve response rates for institution-wide surveys.
  • To provide a channel through which individuals or organizations conducting a survey can seek technical advice on survey construction and deployment, if needed.

General Guidelines for Survey Administration

Before developing or deploying a new survey, a determination should be made of whether the desired information is already available from existing surveys or other sources. Please contact Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) for information on available survey data.

Any survey which collects sensitive and/or confidential information will require Siena Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, as there are possible legal ramifications in the deployment of such surveys. (This is for the protection both of our students and of the survey administrator.) For more information about the IRB process at Siena College, please refer to the Siena IRB website.

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval Process

As noted above, the Siena IRB Committee should be consulted on all survey projects administered through the digests.  However, not all surveys require IRB approval. Others may require IRB approval but may be categorized as exempt.  Please refer to the Siena IRB website for details.