I am a professor currently involved in our accreditation application. In one section of the application, I must define our program strengths based on statistical data. Our statistical data is comprised of faculty/staff survey responses. Using a likert scale of 0-5, we receive data with an average score such as 4.6, 4.2, 4.3, etc. There are 206 scores for 9 respondents. My question is, how do I choose a benchmark that corresponds to a program's strength? For example, any area scoring above 4.8, is considered a program strength.

I arrived at 4.8 because out of the 206 items, there were about 5 items that scored 4.8 and one item that scored 4.9. The rest are below 4.8. Therefore, the most common highest scoring number was 4.8, and that's why I chose it. I'm not sure if this is an acceptable way to choose 4.8 as being my benchmark. Is there some sort of algorithm or standard way to choose benchmarks like this?

1 Answer 1


With just 9 respondents there isn't much you can do anyhow. So if bureaucratic rules force you to do such an analysis, do whatever you want (it is going to be nonsense whatever you choose, so it does not matter what you choose). Ofcourse you don't say the last part in the bureaucratic text.

  • I'm pretty sure that there is no general standard, which means that if this is required in the process, it should be defined in the documentation of the process. If it isn't, I basically agree with this answer; just choose the threshold above the overall average, because what's average can hardly be called a "strength". Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 10:08

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