Last week the Student Success Center emailed a survey to all students at our three campuses. We’ve had 985 students respondfor a response rate of around 4%. 

Students were asked about their experiences with academic coursework, campus resources, and campus communications, as well as their life circumstances and plans for enrollment in upcoming semesters (view the survey).


“Classes are conducted well, utilizing online platforms like collaborative ultra, zoom, or Microsoft teams. The biggest problem I’m facing is fatigue. I didn’t sign up for online classes because I know that’s not how I work well. I become tired of staring at a laptop screen for 15 credit hours worth of coursework”. 

“I have gotten MORE work and LESS instruction. I have assignments I have never had to do before and it is bringing my grades down because we are not actually being taught. I have one class out of five that actually posts our lecture.” 

Students highlighted the following positive outcomes: 

  • Instructors are trying their best. They demonstrate care and flexibility and communicate with the class and individual students.  
  • Instructors have updated and simplified their syllabi without lowering expectations. 
  • Instructors have been accommodating with deadlines. 
  • Instructors have made course work accessible. 
  • Synchronous lectures on Collaborate Ultra, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom are great 
  • Pre-recorded lectures and well-prepared voiceover Powerpoints with notes are helpful. 

Students also highlighted some challenges: 

Students’ ability to focus and stay motivated with their learning is impacted by loss of income, housing insecurity, parental and family responsibilities, mental and physical health, and internet and technology access. The experiences are aggravated when instructors are not flexible and responsive to these difficult life circumstances and to questions and concerns about courses, finals etc. 



“Campus services are good, responsive, and available.” 

“The UWM food pantry has been a lifesaver.” 

“Even though there’s resources available online they’re basically useless because they’re unable to physically help us.” 

“Very slow responses from campus staff. Sometimes no response at all.”   

Students highlighted the following positive outcomes: 

  • Good response time and support from campus resources.  
  • Advisors are helpful and quick to respond. 
  • Access and services offered still meet needs and expectations. 

Students also highlighted some challenges: 

  • Uncertainty about what is available and how. 
  • Communication about the availability of resources and services needs to be more effective.  
  • Slow response time or automated response emails. 
  • Lack of access to tutoring. 
  • Frustration with paying for services that aren’t available. 



“I am satisfied with the quality and timeliness of information sent by the university. I know there are many important decisions to make in a short period of time as the COVID situation develops, but so far I’m impressed by how our campus is handling it in terms of communication and the steps they’ve chosen to take.” 

“Campus communications have been quick and very helpful. It would be nice if there were some more straight forward bulleted handouts with updates because some of the emails were very long.” 

“Information is constantly changing, and it feels like no one truly knows what’s going on. Information is vague, and during a time like this, even a short wait for information feels like ages.” 

Students highlighted the following positive outcomes: 

  • Campus information and news is very timely and informative. 

Students also highlighted some challenges: 

  • Slow replies and unhelpful information. 
  • Lack of clarity regarding graduation and commencement as well as guidelines for field work, lab and building access. 
  • Too many emails. 



In responding to the question about their plans for summer and fall, a large percentage of non-graduating students plan to re-enroll. It’s worth noting that while we didn’t explicitly ask about an online-only fall, many students brought up the issue themselves, indicating that a move to a completely online semester may impact their planning.