When the results of the 2013 Center for Online Learning Student Satisfaction Survey were tallied, the numbers spoke loud and clear: 99 percent of the students surveyed would recommend Saint Leo.
But the feedback from students didn't end there.
The overwhelming majority of students took time to provide us with comments about why they would recommend Saint Leo.
These comments covered a wide array of topics – from the variety and convenience of Saint Leo's online degree programs to caring and supportive faculty and staff.
Here is a broad sampling of responses – in students' own words.
1. "To attend a school where you feel important to each member, where you can honestly feel cared about and every need and question is handled quickly is a blessing and a rarity. Saint Leo does all these things."
2. "Saint Leo makes you feel welcome – like you belong."
3. "Absolutely, I would recommend Saint Leo University to others because it provides a very loving, caring, and nurturing work environment which is needed to enhance your abilities to succeed."
4. "The friendliness and positive attitudes of everyone I have spoken with was worth it to me."
5. "I have attempted to complete college at three different colleges and Saint Leo University is the only one that proves they care about their students' educational needs."
6. "Saint Leo's core values and excellent professors are why I would recommend SLU."
7. "A school with values."
8. "I am proud to be a part of Saint Leo because of our Benedictine values and our Catholic traditions… the constant ethical instruction and relating to the real world has made me, I feel, a better person."
9. "It is a good school with good values."
10. "It's a place to receive a well-rounded education rooted in Catholic Benedictine values."
11. "Everyone that I know has graduated and moved on to great careers in their field of study."
12. "The information taught was relevant to today's issues and situations."
13. "The classes are challenging and this is helping me be prepared for my future in my degree field."
14. "I feel confident that by my graduation date I will be ready for my career, and Saint Leo will be the place I give my credit to."
15. "It's fast paced, which allows for you to get your degree sooner."
16. "The 8-week term sessions are excellent."
17. "I love the shortened terms and the online classes at my pace."
18. "Great variety of programs."
19. "Many degrees are available online; not the limited few like most universities."
20. "While I do feel that online schooling option takes more effort than traditional settings, Saint Leo has been able to keep the work load reasonable in most situations and I have learned something in all of my classes."
21. "Saint Leo is superior to other online colleges."
22. "It provides a good online education in a variety of areas and in short semesters, while still maintaining the standards of classroom learning. This means a lot of work for the student in a short amount of time but also challenges the student academically."
23. "I believe it is not only a premier university but is absolutely the right type of education suited for me and my travel schedule."
24. "Convenience, especially for those who work 12 hours per day."
25. "Allows a person like myself who works swing-shift to complete my work when I can for that day or week."
26. "I like the convenience of being able to go to class when I have the time. Whether it is checking while I am at work or after the kids go to bed."
27. "It is a very convenient way for students who work full-time to complete a degree… designed to help adult students be successful."
29. "Great way to achieve higher education on my own schedule."
30. "Saint Leo offers the convenience of online learning with all the help you could ever want or need."
31. "As a busy mom and military person I can work well at my own pace."
32. "I would recommend Saint Leo to others because they are a military-friendly college and my first professor has met my unique challenges with being an active duty service member."
33. "The university supports the military community well."
34. "The Center for Online Learning knows how to deal with military education requirements and tuition payments."
35. "They help you bring out the best of yourself."
36. "The instructors are available for any questions you may have."
37. "Caring, involved professors."
38. "Hands down Saint Leo University has been the best college I have attended. From the beginning, everyone has been more than helpful and assisted me promptly. The faculty is excellent!"
39. "Very intellectual professors with honorable career backgrounds."
40. "Receptive, personable, qualified, friendly, involved, engaged instructors as well as administrative staff."
41. "Professors get back with you and have compassion towards their students."
42. "The professors are always available to help you out."
43. "I have used other online colleges and found that Saint Leo is much more user-friendly and provides me the freedom I need during the week to complete my course."
44. "Easy to navigate through counselors and classrooms. Interface is easy to use and understand.
45. "I love the discussion and the tools available to assist with learning."
46. "I have learned more in the two classes I have taken here, than the dozen I took at another facility."
47. "I learn. I am held to an academic standard of excellence. Others tell me of their experience with other online degree programs, and I get the impression that they are paying for their degree. I intend to use what I learn and apply it to my life, not just a piece of paper to hold at the end of the day. To my friends who want to learn, I recommend SLU."
48. "I will consider SLU for my children when the time comes!"
49. "The staff really works hard to get you any answers you may need. They call and check on you and treat you like family."
50. "Prompt, easy and kind-hearted staff."
51. "Good programs, helpful staff. The university is small enough to provide personal, quality education."
52. "The staff has always been accommodating."
53. "Staff is very helpful."
54. "The academic advisors take a genuine interest in your education path… they check on you several times during each course."
55. "They care about their students and the goals their students are trying to reach."
56. "They take the time to help you succeed."
57. "Students come from a wide range of cultures, ages, and career backgrounds. This helps with critical thinking. I consider things I may not have otherwise encountered."
58. "The discussion board allows the student to learn from others."
59. "Rewarding experience with professors, staff, and students that have a sincere interest in course of study."
60. "I have learned so much and I enjoy the dialogue through weekly postings with other students. It enables you to interact much more than in a traditional classroom setting where you listen to the teacher talk for hours."
Would you give Saint Leo's online programs a 'thumbs up'? Tell us why!
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Photo Credit: Michele Truex on Flickr/Creative Commons