INDIANPOLIS – Butler University’s Institute for Well-being (the Institute) has launched the Student Well-being and Institutional Support Survey (SWISS). This is the first national assessment that allows colleges and universities to capture student perceptions of how well their institution supports aspects of their well-being, including their financial well-being, physical and mental health, social and intellectual well-being, and sense of belonging.
Since 2020, Butler University has administered the SWISS at nearly 20 institutions across the country during a pilot administration.
“Administering the SWISS is a university’s first step to improving campus well-being. Over the past two years, we have seen institutions use their results to compare experiences across student populations and address difference in experiences and supports,” Dr. Bridget Yuhas the Institute’s Co-Executive Director, said. “Now, as students face new challenges, this work is even more urgent.”
Students across the nation are struggling with mental health challenges, financial insecurity, homelessness, hunger, and other hardships – all of which negatively impact students’ holistic well-being and opportunities to succeed. Moreover, a study by the U.S. Department of Education found that students of color and low-income students experience these challenges at higher rates compared to their peers.
The literature shows that addressing these challenges and increasing student well-being contributes to higher GPAs, greater retention rates, and sustained alumni engagement.
“We know that when campuses prioritize students’ holistic well-being, students and institutions succeed. The Institute for Well-being is here to help colleges and universities understand students’ needs and identify opportunities to improve support,” Dr. Frank E. Ross, Vice President for Student Affairs, said.
Institutions who have completed the SWISS sharedthat the data has helped improve access to well-being services and initiatives, identify gaps in serving underrepresented students, and evaluate the success of cross-campus well-being initiatives, among other key outcomes.
Notably, administrators at University of South Alabama said the SWISS helped them identify and address food insecurity on campus.
“Specifically, SWISS was eye opening to learn that a significant number of our students have food insecurities. We are working with other departments to shine a light on this problem and seek solutions,” the University of South Alabama administrators shared.
In the coming months, Butler University will launch additional services to support community well-being.
“Our Research and Assessment Services are the foundation to improving well-being in communities across the nation. We look forward to building on the success of SWISS and expanding what the Institute can offer – from consulting services to graduate education,” Josh Downing, the Institute’s Co-Executive Director, shared.
Institutions interested in administering SWISS on their campus should reach out to Dr. Bridget Yuhas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a fact sheet on the Student Well-being Institutional Support Survey, click here.
To learn how the Student Well-being Institutional Support Survey has helped institutions, click here.
To learn more about the Institute for Wellbeing’s team, click here.
About the Institute for Well-being at Butler University
The Institute for Well-being at Butler University offers Research and Assessment Services to helps colleges and universities understand student need and improve well-being initiatives.
The Institute’s primary research and assessment tool – the Student Support Institutional Support Survey – is designed to capture student perceptions of how well their institutions support various aspects of their well-being. The SWISS does not measure individual student well-being, but rather, gives institutions actionable information at the campus level.
About Butler University
Butler University is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Approximately 4,500 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate students are enrolled at Butler, representing 46 states and 22 countries. More than 75 percent of Butler students will participate in some form of internship, and Butler students have had significant success after graduation, as demonstrated by the University’s 97 percent placement rate within one year of graduation. The University was recently listed as the No. 1 regional university in the Midwest, according to the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, in addition to being included in The Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” guidebook.