Graduate students in the School of Social Work helped design and implement a wide-ranging survey to gauge Abilene residents’ satisfaction with city services. This is the first city-wide survey conducted since 2009.
The survey was commissioned by, and in partnership with, the City of Abilene. The survey can be anonymously taken in two formats, online with a specific user ID code mailed out to residents with a water account, and in-person at the Abilene Public Library. The graduate students will be responsible for compiling the results of the online survey while the city will handle the paper surveys. The faculty advisers for this project are Dr. Tom Winter, director of the School of Social Work, and Dr. Kyeonghee Jang, assistant professor in the School of Social Work.
The graduate students overseeing the online portion of the survey are students in Dr. Kyeonghee Jang’s Research Methods class. Dr. Jang approached Dr. Winter concerning projects which would give students the ability to apply what they had learned in class. Dr. Winter then coordinated with the City of Abilene to bring this partnership about. The students were then tasked with crafting a need-based assessment which met all the goals the city laid out.
“Definitely, this a learning opportunity for students to learn about research projects that effect the community,” said Dr. Jang.
The survey polls citizens on their satisfaction on a number of city services, including community services, such as the library system and public safety services including the fire and police departments, respectively.
Alaisha Montanez, communications and media relations manager, said the city chose the department because it had done good work for the city in the past.
“We felt it could be a good partnering opportunity and a chance for Abilene to support one of our local colleges with a real world teaching moment,”Montanez said. “I think that is also the benefit. There were some costs savings, but frankly, the partnership was more important than the money.”