Mason Family Flash

Beacon: Mason’s Student Success Survey

2014 CHSS Convocation

During the first few weeks of classes, Mason undergraduates will see a flutter of e-mails, flyers, and events promoting the Beacon survey. The Beacon survey is used to inform direct outreach to students, and enables faculty and staff at Mason to be better in tune with their needs.

With many programs, organizations, and events vying for students’ time and attention, some students may be reluctant to spend time on a survey, but Beacon provides valuable insight into student perspectives for the university, and ultimately inform decisions and practices on campus.

Beacon is just one tool that we use at Mason to connect students with faculty, staff, and peer leaders on campus, and it has a complimentary early alert system, designed to identify students who could benefit from additional support before they suffer academically or choose to leave the university.   This initiative is a partnership between University Life and Student Academic Affairs – Advising, Retention, and Transitions, and includes student affairs staff as well as faculty and staff from academic departments.

Mason launched Beacon in the 2013-2014 academic year, and a number of offices on campus were involved in subsequent outreach to students including Housing and Residence Life, Off-Campus Student Programs and Services, academic advising units, and Student Financial Aid.

Each year, we connect undergraduate students to one or more faculty or staff members through the system. These connections become part of your student’s network.   Students also receive a summary of their survey responses and recommendations about how to make the most of their Mason experience. Students who complete the survey will be eligible to win prizes such as iPads, class t-shirts, free parking, and gift cards to local businesses.

We know that families and friends of Mason students play a vital role in their success in college.   Encouraging your student to complete the Beacon survey and other institutional surveys is one additional way to support their engagement and success here. Inform your student that providing feedback for the university is a worthwhile investment of their time and it helps connect them with resources and individuals devoted to their success here.

The Beacon survey will be administered September 22-October 3.   Additional information about Beacon at Mason can be accessed at  More general information about the Beacon early alert system in general can be found at

Kimberly Holmes
Director of Retention and Student Success
Student Academic Affairs- Advising, Retention, and Transitions