What is the SERU?

The Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) survey, based at the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California-Berkeley, was created to expand knowledge about the undergraduate student experience. Results are used to improve curricula, increase research opportunities, improve services, and inform policy related to undergraduate education.

Why should I take the SERU?

Your input will help the administration improve the student experience and educational outcomes here at USC. It will help us understand how the USC student experience compares to the experience of students at other major research universities. Additionally, the data will be gathered over a long period of time and shared with other universities who participate in the SERU to gain a greater understanding of educational best practices at leading research universities.

Is the data gathered on the SERU confidential?

Yes. Your identity and responses on the SERU will remain confidential.

What types of questions are on the SERU?

The SERU questions cover a broad range of topics, from the amount of time spent studying to the type of research experiences undergraduates enjoy — a snapshot of undergraduate life at research universities. Questions also gauge the impact of college on such areas as critical thinking, writing and revising term papers, academic preparation, research experiences, overall satisfaction and time management.

Who is eligible to take the SERU?

Degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled at USC, who are at least 18 years of age, are eligible to take the SERU. Students in the following categories are not eligible to take the SERU survey:

  • Students under the age of 18 as of March 21, 2016
  • Graduate students
  • Professional students
  • Non-degree seeking students
  • Correspondence students

Could you explain more about the prize drawings?

In total, 3 Beats Studio Wireless Headphones, 2 Fitbit blaze , 12 Fitbit charge, 2 Samsung Gear VR (Oculus), and 3 USC footballs signed by our head coach, Clay Helton will be awarded during the survey administration. The schedule for the prize drawings is as follows:

  • April 6th: 1 Beats Studio Wireless Headphones, 1 Samsung Gear VR Oculus, 2 Fitbit charge
  • April 20th: 1 Fitbit blaze, 2 Fitbit charge, 1 USC football signed by head coach, Clay Helton,
  • May 4th: 1 Beats Studio Wireless Headphones, 1 Samsung Gear VR Oculus, 2 Fitbit charge
  • May 18th: 1 Fitbit blaze, 2 Fitbit charge, 1 USC football signed by head coach, Clay Helton,
  • June 1st: 2 Fitbit charge, 1 USC football signed by head coach, Clay Helton,
  • June 15th: 1 Beats Studio Wireless Headphones, 2 Fitbit charge

Winning any prize eliminates you from eligibility for all subsequent prize drawings.

How will this information gathered on the SERU be used?

The administration at USC will use the results to inform policy related to curriculum development, campus services, co-curricular learning, and student social development. USC and other participating research universities will contribute their survey data as part of a research consortium organized through Berkeley's Center for Studies in Higher Education. The aggregated data will be used by researchers, professors and students from various countries to gain a better understanding about how to improve the college experience.

How long does the survey take to complete?

The SERU takes approximately 20-25 minutes to complete.

Who developed the SERU?

To learn more about the history of the SERU, please visit Berkeley's Center for Studies in Higher Education at: http://cshe.berkeley.edu/research/seru/.

What other universities participate in the SERU?

Twenty-three research universities administer the SERU to undergraduate students, including all nine undergraduate campuses of the University of California system, Rutgers, University of Florida, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, University of Minnesota, University of Oregon, University of Pittsburgh, University of Texas at Austin, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of Virginia, Texas A&M University, University of Iowa, Purdue University, and Indiana University-Bloomington. USC, the first private university to join the consortium, was its 18th member.

How is the SERU different from other surveys?

The SERU is more comprehensive than other surveys and includes a wide of range of questions specifically focused on student experiences at research universities. Additionally, the SERU is readily customizable, allowing the introduction of questions specifically tailored to USC.

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