ERIC Number: ED349887
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-May-13
Reference Count: N/A
Understanding Institutional Image. AIR 1992 Annual Forum Paper.
Terkla, Dawn Geronimo; Pagano, Marian F.
This paper discusses the use of a semantic differential research tool to investigate the image of Tufts University in Massachusetts. Specifically explored are the following questions: (1) What are the differences between the institution's desired image and current image? (2) Do various constituencies view the institution differently, and if so, how do alumni perceptions differ from those of current students? and (3) Does the institution's internal image differ from its external image? The paper describes the various surveys used to collect study data, including obtaining opinions from alumni, faculty and administration, college seniors, college applicants, and the current student population. Study results include the following items: elements of the desired image tended toward the extremes; perceptions differed among the various constituencies although the image held by alumni and currently enrolled students was quite similar; and most of the differences that did exist, existed between the incoming freshmen (rosier image and more positive view) and one or more of the other groups surveyed. It is noted that because incoming freshmen hold a rather different image of the school than the other groups, student retention problems may develop as these students matriculate and discover that the university is not what they expected. (GLR)
Descriptors: Alumni, College Freshmen, College Seniors, College Students, Comparative Analysis, Educational Environment, Higher Education, Institutional Characteristics, Opinions, Public Opinion, Research Methodology, Research Tools, Semantic Differential, Student Attitudes, Surveys, Teacher Attitudes, Universities
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: AIR Forum; Tufts University MA
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (32nd, Atlanta, GA, May 10-13, 1992).