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Data Collection through Survey (Policy)

Office of Origin: Accreditation, Strategic Projects, & Quality 
Responsibility: Dean, Accreditation, Strategic Projects, & Quality
Original Date Adopted: 09-26-2022
Dates Reviewed: 09-26-2022
Last Date Board Approved: 09-26-2022

Administrative surveys are important tools for collecting information used to inform decision-making at Lake Michigan College (the College) and as part of the evaluation process. The Office of Accreditation, Strategic Projects, and Quality (ASPQ) is responsible for managing internal surveys of the campus community (employees and students) and external surveys of College constituents and stakeholders. To accomplish the goals of informed decisions and evaluation, surveys must be approved and conducted through the ASPQ.

The goal of this policy is to ensure efficiency, accountability, and consistency in the administration of surveys and data collection efforts.  This policy is intended to:

  • Eliminate unnecessary and duplicate data collection efforts.
  • Reduce survey fatigue.
  • Improve the response rate and quality of results for all data collection projects.
  • Alert departments and researchers to existing available data (where appropriate).
  • Ensure that collected data is valid, reliable, and secure.
  • Ensure appropriate distribution and use of survey results.
  • Ensure that data collection projects do not violate privacy, confidentiality, and/or policies.

This policy primarily applies to administrative surveys but may also apply to pulse and research surveys. In instances involving research surveys, this policy does not supersede the policies and procedures of the College’s Human Subjects Institutional Review Board (IRB). Researchers are still responsible for obtaining the required IRB exemptions, permissions, and approval, when applicable. Survey projects meant to fulfill requirements from external governing entities, such as federal compliance offices, must also adhere to this policy as a measure of quality assurance.


  • Administrative Survey: Any organized effort to collect information from individuals who comprise a significant proportion of the population of interest in an effort to improve institutional, divisional, or departmental and/or programmatic effectiveness. Administrative surveys may target any part of the College community (students, employees, alumni, parents, or other persons of interest) and may address such topics as academic, student services and support, personnel, management, or environmental issues.
  • Pulse Survey: Collect information for decision-makers or to inform decision-making on policies, practices, or operations. Surveys may be distributed to advisory boards, industry partners, or any target population as needed. Surveys are typically topical or specific and strive to identify shared perceptions, opinions, experiences, expectations, or “voices” that inform changes to policy, procedure, practice, or operations. 
  • Research Survey: A systematic investigation, including research development, testing, and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. Often, in the conduct of research, data collection occurs using surveys to a significant proportion of the population of interest. Refer to the College’s Institutional Review Board Handbook for more information.

Exceptions to this Policy

The following forms of data collection are exempt from this policy: 

  • Student evaluations of individual courses and instruction.
  • Employee performance evaluations.
  • Surveys conducted by faculty and administered to currently enrolled students in their class(es) as part of instruction.
  • Student originated surveys conducted as part of academic coursework.
  • Surveys that have been approved by the IRB.
  • One-time surveys designed to solicit feedback from participants regarding a specific campus event/program.

For further information contact:
Office of Accreditation, Strategic Projects, and Quality

References:  Protection of Human Subjects in Research policy

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