Student surveys to be used for the education and facilities master plan

SOCCCD surveys for input regarding master plan. (Flickr user jgarber (under Creative Commons A/NC-2.0 Generic license)

Andre Mahmoudian

While the South Orange County Community College District is working on its 2011 Education and Facilities Master Plan for Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College, it asked students and employees to provide their input by taking surveys found on the colleges’ websites. The final day to submit a survey was last Friday.

Survey questions directed at students included, “How can Saddleback College help students achieve their academic and career goals?” and “How can Saddleback College enhance state of the art technology?” The responses required students to rank by priority the choices that best would serve their needs.

David Hunt, the principal-in-charge of the plan, said that the college received over 1,400 student responses.

“Some preliminary themes are that course availability, parking availability and food service options are some of the concerns that rank high on Saddleback College student’s priority list,” said Hunt.

Along side with College Governance Groups, the surveys were created by a national architectural and construction management firm located in Irvine called GKKWorks.

“The purpose of the surveys is to gather pertinent data for development of the SOCCCD Education and Facilities Master Plan,” Hunt said. “The survey results will help identify needs and prioritize projects over the next 5, 10, and 20 years.”

Hunt said he expects the survey results will influence master planning decisions in a positive way that will benefit of students and staff.

However, added Hunt, the surveys by themselves are not adequate to gather all the data necessary for a comprehensive and thoughtful long-range plan.

“Exhaustive research is being conducted to assess the educational needs in the community, to forecast growth projections in all areas of the college,” Hunt said. “In addition, we have conducted several meeting with Shared Governance representatives, as well as over 25 focus group interviews with all academic departments and functional areas on campus.”

The participants of the focus groups include students, faculty, staff, administration and district personnel.

“While this plan is developed, there are reviews and discussions already under way for consideration of several facility renovations and new buildings,” said David Bugay, the vice chancellor of human resources for the South Orange County Community College District.

“Among these considerations are a life science building for Irvine Valley College and a science building for Saddleback College, “Bugay said. “Plans for renovation and new construction will become more focused with several projects being finalized and possibly implemented in 2011.”

Hunt added that those who missed the cutoff period to complete the survey may visit the SOCCCD Education and Facilities Master Plan website at where comments are welcome.

Photo credit link: jgarber on Flickr