Effective Date: March 17, 2009
Last Reviewed: March 17, 2009

Purpose & Scope:

To manage survey requests of the Stonehill community from internal or external constituents. In this context, a survey is considered to be a series of three (3) or more questions, distributed to more than fifty (50) people for the purpose of research or analysis.


This policy requires any person or group wishing to conduct research on Stonehill College constituents (students, alumni, staff, and faculty), or wishing to use Stonehill resources to conduct a survey of any kind, to gain approval from the Office of Planning and Institutional Research. The goal of this policy is to:

  1. Minimize the burden on students, and others, being surveyed in the Stonehill community.
  2. Ensure that data collected is valid, reliable, and used to inform decision- making.

This policy is in addition to, not a substitute or replacement for, the adherence to Institutional Review Board (IRB) policies.


Procedure to Obtain Permission for Survey Requests:

Step 1: Obtain permission from the following:

  1. Division Head of the requestor.
  2. In the case of student ‚Äďadministered surveys conducted as part of coursework, the course instructor.
  3. Non-Stonehill community members are required to obtain a Stonehill sponsor to administer a survey on campus involving any Stonehill community members.

Step 2: The Office of Planning and IR, in consultation with the Institutional Assessment Committee, will review and approve most surveys whose target population is a member of the Stonehill Community. To obtain approval:

  1. Fill out the online Survey Request Form. (link TBD) The form must be received by the Office of Planning and Institutional Research at least two weeks prior to survey administration.
  2. The requestor will be informed by email if the survey request is approved. OPIR may recommend appropriate timing for data collection; provide advice on survey design; provide guidelines for sample size; work with individuals to set obtainable (or realistic) response rate goals and share information about existing survey questions and/or results to minimize duplication.
  3. Once a survey is approved, annual approval is not required unless the survey instrument, the survey cycle, or administration of the survey is altered.

Please note: most research, including survey research, involving human subjects will also require approval by the College Institutional Review Board. To obtain IRB approval, if appropriate, refer to the IRB website: http://www.stonehill.edu/x11020.xml or contact the IRB Chair to see if IRB approval is required.

Exclusions from the Survey Approval Process: (Such projects may still be subject to IRB review.)

  1. Any class projects with less than 50 students being surveyed. For example, students who are administering surveys to students at Stonehill College as part of a research project for a class or academic undertaking;
  2. Surveys related to academic course and program evaluations;
  3. Individual department program or event evaluations and surveys collecting information on operational status and projected needs.