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Word-frequency analysis - Part 1

Word-frequency analysis - Part 1

Our team has been hard at work taking your responses to the Strategic Planning questions and turning them into data that will help us create a vision to guide us through the next five years.  The process is both comprehensive and interesting, and I hope you'll see how much we appreciate the suggestions you submitted to us during our planning sessions, via mail survey, and online.  

What I'd like to share with you today is a little tool called "word-frequency software."  Word-frequency software uses statistics to identify frequently used key words in large pieces of text - our example here being the thousands of words used in the responses we received from all the participants in the survey.

By utilizing the word-frequency system, we've been able to identify some broad, general themes from the answers we received from our participants. (That would be you!)

Here's what the software suggests as a general interpretation of your answers for each of the original strategic planning questions, based on the amount of times key words and phrases were used:

Question 1: What is your first thought when you hear the name "McNeese?"
Our word-frequency analysis indicates that the response to Question 1 clustered around the idea that McNeese is a university offering a quality education in a home town environment with a strong athletics tradition.  (Geaux Cowboys!)  

Question 2: What do you love most about McNeese?
The answers for Question 2 indicate a love for McNeese's small, community atmosphere, specifically the small class sizes and accessibility to our faculty, that provide a solid and affordable education for our students.  Or, as our motto says: "Excellence with a Personal Touch."

Question 3:  Whether you love it or not, what do you believe is McNeese's greatest strength?
The responses for Question 3 are extremely similar to the responses of Question 2, but also frequently mention our athletics and academic programs, as well as a number of responses specifying the nursing program as the university's greatest strength.

Question 4: What is McNeese's most glaring area for improvement?
Answers for Question 4 varied widely in range with a high focus on issues related to protecting the quality of our students and faculty members, both academically and professionally.  Other concerns were related to buildings/facilities and communication within the university and with the community. 

Question 5: What opportunities should McNeese seize within the next five years?
The most-frequent responses to Question 5 also varied widely in range, and centered largely on investing time and resources in students, programs, online classes, community involvement and campus utilization and improvement.

This is part 1 of 2.  Look for part 2 soon to see the word-frequency analysis for questions 6 through 12, as well as a sneak peek into what we'll do with the data next.

And don't forget-the word-frequency analysis is only one of many tools we plan to use as a foundation in the preparation of a strategic planning document.   We hope to present the results of more specific, in-depth analyses later this spring.