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.