A Q&A with Ian Slater


Since 2011, students at Indiana Wesleyan University have been participating in the Mapworks surveys.

ian slater

Photo of Ian Slater provided.

Ian Slater, associate dean of Student Engagement, is in charge of sending out the Mapworks survey emails at IWU. Slater’s job encompasses advocating for student success for the undergraduate students of IWU.

“I partner closely with faculty, staff, and administrators a
cross campus to make this a better place for student learning, growth, and success,” Slater said.

The Sojourn talked with Slater to find out more about Mapworks.



Question:     How does Mapworks benefit IWU?

Slater: Mapworks is more than just the surveys that students receive – it’s a complex student success system designed to help all undergraduates at IWU to thrive in their college experience. Through Mapworks, faculty and staff can help students be more engaged, connected, supported and successful.

Q:     How does map works benefit the students?

Slater: Mapworks relies heavily on various kinds of information about the student experience, including students’ responses in the surveys. As a result, this information can benefit students in three ways. First, students who take the surveys receive a simple success report that includes a few strength areas and a few areas of potential concern, along with a list of resources or allies who might be helpful to their journey.  Second, Mapworks helps us know how to encourage and support our students in really intentional and meaningful ways. For example, I can privately reach out to students who have expressed in a survey high interest in getting involved in clubs or organizations and help connect them to some opportunities.   Third, Mapworks helps me to “tell the story” to faculty, staff, and administrators of what students see, value, and need.

Q:     What percentage of students typically respond to Mapworks?

Slater: Well, surveys are specific to students of different class levels, and are slightly different each time we sent them out, so it’s tricky to give a hard-and-fast number.  The biggest survey, the first survey each fall, gets a response rate of about 90 percent by freshmen and about 50 percent for sophomore-senior. Later surveys have an average around 25 to 40 percent response rates.

Q:     Why do you suggest for students to participate in Mapworks?

Slater: At an individual level, Mapworks helps key allies in a student’s journey reach out with opportunities for support or with encouragements that are specific to their needs… Without the survey responses, we wouldn’t have known as easily who needed what support or who was interested in what opportunities.

About the Author

Brittany Ross
Brittany Ross is a staff writer for the Sojourn. She is a junior and this is her first year working with The Sojourn. She has a passion for event planning and getting to know people. She is outgoing and loves hanging out with her friends. She is a double major in Strategic Communication and Journalism. Her dream is to one day own and run her own wedding planning business.

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