Student Health and Wellness Programs

ACHA Survey Fall 2019 Results

American College Health Association - National College Health Assessment In the Fall of 2019, Student Health & Wellness programs, funded through Student Medical Services, conducted a campus-wide survey to better understand the habits, behaviors and perceptions of our student body. The survey was conducted from October 15th through November 5th and was open to all current full or part time UH Hilo students, 18 years of age and older. The survey was administered through the American College Health Association (ACHA) and is confidential.

The following is a summary of the survey and our findings. Included are national results, where available, to help us estimate, measure, assess how our campus is doing against the national average.*

Background information for the ACHA
Since 1920, the American College Health Association (ACHA) has served as the voice for student health and wellness. Through advocacy, research, and education, ACHA stands at the forefront of issues that impact the health and wellness of our college students.

ACHA represents over 1,100 institutions of higher education, representing the collective health and wellness needs of 10 million college students. ACHA serves nearly 3,000 individual college health and wellness professionals and leaders of all disciplines united together to advance the health and wellness of college students.

ACHA Website

Background on the NCHA
The National College Health Assessment (NCHA) is a nationally recognized research survey that provides precise data about students’ health habits, behaviors, and perceptions.

College students are a diverse yet distinct population with specific health risks and needs. Having current, relevant data about your students’ health can only help you to enhance campus-wide health promotion and prevention services.

It’s simple, easy to complete, and can be distributed in several ways convenient to a busy student’s schedule. The survey takes about 30 minutes to complete.

The survey is completely confidential — students’ email addresses or names are never attached to their responses.

The ACHA-NCHA offers a way to map the widest range of health issues:

  • Alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use
  • Sexual health
  • Weight, nutrition, and exercise
  • Mental health
  • Personal safety and violence

NCHA Website

Survey Methodology
The survey was administered via an email sent to the identified student population. The email contains the consent form and a unique link to the web-based survey. The survey is a series of multiple choice questions in a variety of categories. Students can answer as many or as few questions as they like and stop at any time. Some of the questions filter participants to additional questions within a specific category.

Survey Response
Of the students who met the criteria stated above, 3,152 were identified to participate. Of which, 172 completed the survey. This equates to a 5.4% response rate. We recognize this may be too small a sample to gain a full view of the campus environment, however, we feel it can provide additional focus and direction to our programming efforts.

Respondents Demographics
Survey respondents skewed heavily female at 71%, while nationally, more males responded (62%) than females. The survey respondents tended to identify themselves as white (48%) with 25% identifying as Asian/Aisan American. Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders represented themselves with 28.5% of the responses.

As a reference, the Fall 2019 student population skewed female with 62.5% or 2,109 students. From an ethnic standpoint, 22.4% identified as Caucasian, 17% as Asian and 37.7% as Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.

Key Findings
Through the survey, we’ve been able to identify areas that are strengths for our community. Areas where students seem to be doing well, perhaps even better with additional support and programming.

For students at UH Hilo these areas include:

  • Physical Fitness
  • Feelings of well-being and belonging
  • Personal safety
  • Open dialogue around Health & Wellness
  • Spending time in the classroom & on studying, in relation to time spent partying

And, a few areas students seem to need a bit of awareness and support:

  • Campus medical and counseling services
  • Vaccine availability and education
  • Family planning services
  • HIV testing through HiHaf
  • Support Groups
  • Accessing dental services in community
  • Finding Student Employment & Volunteer Opportunities

We also identified several areas of opportunity where our Health & Wellness programming could be adjusted to better fit the needs of our students. Those include:

  • Food and Nutrition:
    • Food Security
    • Nutrition Education
  • Stress/Distress:
    • Academics, finance, procrastination, relationships, bullying
    • Loneliness/connections
    • Suicidal Behavior
  • Substance Use:
    • Tobacco & Alcohol
    • Cannabis
  • Overall physical health:
    • Proper Sun safety
    • Safe Sex (Family Planning)
    • Sleep Habits

The team at Student Health & Wellness Programs appreciates the time spent by students on completing this survey. We are excited to utilize this information to craft more focused and relevant programming for you and your peers.

Additional information on the 2019 ACHA-NCHA survey is listed below:
Complete list of survey questions
Full results presentation
As always, any questions can be directed to or contact Patti at (808) 932-7460.

* Please Note: The survey was re-written, not merely revised. The NCHA III is an independent study not comparable with the results of the ACHA-NCHA II.