Cadet Wing surveys scheduled for end of semester

The U.S. Air Force Academy is starting a new process to consolidate cadet surveys this month. In the past, cadets received survey solicitations several time a month, Academy officials said. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The U.S. Air Force Academy is starting a new process to consolidate cadet surveys this month. In the past, cadets received survey solicitations several time a month, Academy officials said. (U.S. Air Force photo)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- How often do you receive emails asking you to fill out a survey or questionnaire? Once a month, twice a month or more often? Cadets, on average, are asked to participate in surveys about three to four 4 times each month -- and those are the ones we know about.

With all the academic, military and athletic pressures on cadets' time, it's not surprising survey response rates on important assessments for the Academy -- climate and sexual assault, to name a few -- are often extremely low.

Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson said it's time to take a hard look at the survey system and make sure surveys correspond to the needs of all cadets.

"This is a chance for us to make changes that will benefit the Cadet Wing by targeting surveys to accurately reflect the concerns of each cadet," she said. "The surveys are an invaluable part of our USAFA 'toolbox' as their results have the potential to lead to positive and progressive change not only for the Academy but for the Air Force."

This month, we'll launch a new process where most surveys and assessments involving cadets will occur during a specified timeframe each semester. This Dedicated Survey and Assessment Time is a big change to the way we've traditionally conducted survey and assessment work; however, the potential benefit to both cadets and the Academy as a whole is enormous.

With this new concept, cadets no longer receive solicitations to take surveys several times each month. They now have a specific timeframe, each semester, to complete a series of Academy-reviewed and approved survey and assessment questionnaires. Additionally, cadets are eligible to receive Academy leadership-selected participation incentives, such as wearing civilian clothes to dinner at Mitchell Hall if they achieve the Academy's desired participation rate. The Academy gains from this new practice as well, with improved data collection methods, significantly higher response rates, and better quality data. It's simply a win-win.

Dedicated Survey and Assessment Time for the spring 2014 semester is May 19 - 23. Cadets have all week to participate and may earn their incentives as early as May 19.
While the overall success of this event rides on the shoulders of the Cadet Wing, it's up to all of us to promote an environment of duty, commitment and service before self.