Participating in the Environmental Prevention Assessment and Planning Pilot was a great experience for our campus. The OCTA identified pressing needs related to off-campus alcohol consumption – giving us a solid basis to build a plan. One of the most positive outcomes was creating strong ties between University prevention staff and City officials. We were fortune to have a coalition that included both the City and University Chief of Police, Fire Chief, Major, and prominent University athletic coach, among others. The goodwill created in the coalition is evident in the willingness to partner on projects beyond those directly resulting from the original pilot program. This experience enhanced the “Otterville” partnership between Otterbein University and the City of Westerville.
Julie Saker, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Conduct and Wellness, Otterbein University
The OCTA has been a very valuable asset to our town-gown work for several reasons. First, just the act of adopting the instrument brings important community and university leaders together, and shows a commitment to developing (or, ideally, maintaining) harmonious town-gown relations. Second, the survey process itself provides an excellent opportunity to formally pull a much broader and diverse range of stakeholders into the conversation. Third, the results will be very helpful to our efforts to be a model community -- not just through identifying gaps, but, again, through the inclusive process of reaching out to the town-gown community not just to share the results but to encourage ongoing dialogue and solicit new ideas and perspectives.
Dr Kate Rousmaniere, Mayor of Oxford, OH and Miami University Professor of Educational leadership
Mike Curme, Miami University, Dean of Students
Often in city government, we only hear from citizens that have complaints. Through the use of the OCTA data-gathering instrument administered in Clemson we received valuable advice from all sectors of our population – finding out there is tremendous support for the town/ gown initiatives we have started. We were surprised by some results and delighted to know how supportive our citizens were. The OCTA is a valuable instrument, properly administered, in the development of any city/ university strategic plan. I recommend it highly.
Chairman Joint City/University Committee
City of Clemson City Council
The silent population of Clemson Community spoke strongly through the OCTA town/ gown assessment survey we administered at Clemson. The OCTA team supported our data analysis to provide in-depth detail on specific ideas and solutions our thoughtful citizens had to offer. The response rate was enormous; indication the OCTA tool was easy to use and of great value to our Joint City/ University leadership. The results have provided a critical map for future economic development for our small rural town without a costly independent survey.
City of Clemson City Council
The College Town Assessment was the first tool available in providing us with an opportunity to survey our neighbors and their opinions of the university’s interactions with them. From the data collected we have been able to implement new programming and communication pieces to respond to concerns raised in the survey. The information we received has been immensely helpful and will give us the opportunity to continue to improve our community relations.
Administering the Optimal College Town Assessment for Ohio University proved to be both simpler and more productive than I expected. As I worked with the staff at College Town Assessment to roll out the initiative at six different campuses and in their surrounding communities at the same time, I expected to experience significant challenges and delays. What I experienced was that College Town Assessment quickly customized a number of the survey questions to cover topics of interest to individual communities and to fit the administrative structures of different campuses. As I worked with the campuses and communities to revise the dates during which the survey would be administered, my requests were quickly met and implemented. The process went much more smoothly than I had expected. What resulted was a robust database that permits comparisons of perceptions about, between, and among campus and community groups—as well as some information specifically tailored to individual locations. The results of the surveys already have led to fruitful discussions with campus advisory groups and elected officials. As an online instrument, the Optimal College Town Assessment provides a highly efficient first step in moving beyond decision by anecdote and into decisions grounded in data.
Executive Dean for Regional Higher Education