Senior Survey 2003

Mary Ann Weaver

July 2003

 

Introduction

 

The Senior Survey of 2003 continues a long-standing Earlham custom of surveying the senior class.  It is the intention of this survey to assess the effectiveness of Earlham’s achieving its goals by collecting empirical data.

 

Methodology

 

This survey was administered during the senior class meeting on Wednesday, January 22.  One hundred and fifty of the 229 seniors participated in the study (65.5%).  The gender breakdown of the respondents was 63% females and 37% males. The original class in 1999 consisted of 56% females and 42% males.  

 

This was an internal survey; therefore comparison data from peer institutions was not available.  However this survey was similar to the 1997 Senior Survey thus allowing us to make comparisons to that class.  This report also contains comparisons to the CIRP Survey given to this sample during new Student Week in 1999 since several of the same questions appeared on the CIRP survey also.

 

Results

 

Respondents were asked to characterize their political views.  Table 1 shows the seniors political views as well as the political stance of this class upon entering Earlham in 1999.

 

Table 1

Political Views

 

Political View

As new students 1999

Seniors 2003

 

%

%

Far left

15

16.7

Liberal

53.6

55.3

Middle of the Road

25.9

23.3

Conservative

4.2

1.3

Far right

1.2

.7

 

The percentage of students considering themselves far left or liberal has increased since arriving on the Earlham campus whereas the percentage of students considering themselves middle of the road, conservative or far right have decreased.

 

To further illustrative their political views, seniors were asked to describe their opinions about various social issues.  Some of these same questions were asked of them as first-year students.  Table 2 shows the percentage of seniors who agreed strongly or somewhat agreed with the statements.   For those statements that were also included on the CIRP survey that they completed as freshmen, the table shows how their views as seniors compare to their views when they first arrived at Earlham

 

Table 2

Views on Social Issues

 

 

Agree Strongly or Somewhat…

As new students in 1999

as seniors in 2003

 

%

%

There is too much concern in the courts for the rights of criminals

33.9

18

The death penalty should be abolished

56.1

78

Abortion should be legal

76

84.7

Activities of married women are best confined to home and family

11.9

5.3

Employers should be allowed to require drug testing of employees

54.7

52.7

If two people really like each other, it is okay to have sex

54.6

66.6

Just because a man thinks a woman led him on does not entitle him to have sex with her

86.7

92.7

Marijuana should be legalized

58

65.3

It is important to have laws prohibiting homosexual relationships

9.2

6

Racial discrimination is no longer a major problem in the U.S.

10.9

4

Federal government should do more to control sale of handguns

87.4

90.6

Realistically, individuals can do little to bring about changes in society

25.9

19.4

Wealthy people should pay larger amount of taxes than they do now

66.9

82

Colleges should prohibit racist/sexist talk on campus

53.2

53.4

Federal government is not doing enough to protect consumer from faulty goods and services

60

Federal government is not doing enough to control environmental pollution

94

Federal government should do more to discourage energy consumption

82.7

Federal military spending should be increased

8.6

Nuclear disarmament is attainable

66.7

National health care plan is needed to cover everybody’s medical costs

87.4

Best way to control AIDS is through widespread, mandatory testing

26

Busing is okay if it helps to achieve racial balance in schools

47.4

Chief benefit of college education is that it increases one’s earning power

24.7

Socially disadvantaged students should be given preferential treatment in college admissions

59.3

Student publications should be cleared by college officials

16

Grading in the high schools is too easy

51.3

 

The Seniors were asked about life objectives that were important to them.

 

Table 3 shows the percentage of respondents who felt these objectives were essential or very important to them as seniors compared to their responses when they entered Earlham.                                                   

Table 3

Objectives Considered to be Essential or Very Important

 

Objectives

% as first-year

students in 1999

% as Seniors

in 2003

% increase or decrease

Helping others who are in difficulty

71.3

88.0

+ 16.7

Helping to promote racial understanding

53.6

76.0

+22.4

Keeping up to date with political affairs

46.1

74.0

+27.9

Developing a meaningful philosophy of life

65.5

72.7

+7.2

Influencing social values

52.4

61.4

+9

Raising a family

60.0

60.6

+.6

Participating in a community action program

42.3

60.0

+17.7

Becoming an authority in my field

53.6

58.0

+4.4

Becoming a community leader

35.9

50.6

+14.7

Influencing the political structure

27.5

46.0

+18.5

Being involved in programs to clean up the environment

32.9

44.7

+11.8

Obtain recognition from my colleagues for contributions to my special field

39.8

40.7

+.9

Creating artistic work

26.6

34.0

+7.4

Being very well off financially

40.8

28.6

-12.2

Writing original works

23.7

24.7

+1

Becoming accomplished in performing arts

16.7

20.0

+3.3

Making theoretical contributions to science

13.7

18.7

+5

Having administrative responsibility for the work of others

19.2

15.4

-3.8

Becoming successful in a business of my own

24.3

14.7

-9.6

Helping others who are in difficulty continues to be an important objective for Earlham students as does helping to promote racial understanding and keeping up to date with political affairs.  The greatest difference in opinions expressed as seniors compared to freshman was in keeping up-to-date with political affairs which became much more important to these students after spending four year at Earlham.   A possible reason for the increase in importance could have been the state of world affairs since the Sept. 11 attack and the Iraq war occurred during these years.   The objective which decreased in importance the most among these students was being very well off financially.  While 40.8% of this sample considered that an essential or very important life objective when they first arrived at Earlham, only 28.6% felt the same as seniors.

 

 

The seniors were asked the degree to which they participated in various activities during the prior year.  Most of these same activities were on the CIRP survey, however the CIRP survey only inquired about their participation, not the degree of participation.   Table 4 shows the degree that the seniors participated in various activities during the prior year (last half of junior year and first half of senior year) and the percentage of students who participated in these activities during their senior year of high school.

Table 4

Activities engaged in by students during the past year

 

Activity

Senior Responses

As Freshman

%Never

%Occasionally

%Frequently

% who participated

Performed volunteer work

18.7

56.7

24.7

86.0

Studied with other students

4.0

54.7

41.3

83.2

Attended a recital or concert

6.0

56.0

38.2

81.0

Attended a religious service

22.0

58.7

19.3

79.3

Socialized with someone from a different racial/ethnic group

 

0

28.0

72.0

70.4

Came late to class

24.0

69.3

6.7

64.8

Drank wine or liquor

15.3

60.0

22.7

56.4

Participated in organized demonstrations

51.3

44.0

4.7

53.6

Drank beer

28.0

44.0

25.3

52.2

Tutored another student

30.7

52.0

17.3

47.8

Played a musical instrument

48.7

32.7

18.0

44.7

Was bored in class

3.3

84.0

12.7

40.9

Was a guest in a teacher’s house

29.3

63.3

7.3

39.9

Felt overwhelmed by all I had to do

1.3

41.3

56.7

39.3

Asked a teacher for advice after class

3.3

66.0

30.7

34.6

Discussed politics

6.0

42.0

52.0

33.7

Voted in a student election

19.3

45.3

35.3

26.1

Smoked cigarettes

63.3

22.0

14.7

18.9

Felt depressed

12.7

69.3

18.0

12.2

Failed to complete a homework assignment on time

27.3

64.0

8.7

Not available

Stayed up all night

32.0

51.3

16.0

Not available

Spoke a language other than English at home

60.7

24.0

15.3

Not available

Worked in local, state or national political campaign

88.7

8.7

2.7

Not available

Argued with a teacher in class

44.0

46.7

8.7

Not available

Discussed safe sex

18.7

61.3

20.0

Not available

 

When first arriving at Earlham, 70% of this sample socialized with someone from a different race or culture during the prior year whereas 100% of the seniors had done so during their last year at Earlham.  The percentage of students who smoked cigarettes increased from 18.9% as seniors in high school to 36.7% as juniors/seniors at Earlham.  Drinking beer, wine or liquor also increased during their college years.  These students were more likely during their time at Earlham to ask advice from a teacher after class than when they were in high school.

 

In addition to the activities listed above, 25.8% of these seniors reported spending 1-4 months outside the U.S. in the past four years. An additional 38.8% of seniors spent 5-8 months outside the US and 16.5% spent 9 months or more outside the US in the past four years.  Only 19% spent no time outside the U.S.


 

Table 5

Self-ratings of various traits

 

Trait

%  who rated self as highest 10% or Above Average

% increase or decrease

As new students in 1999

Seniors 2003

Academic ability

72.6

79.3

+6.7

Cooperativeness

73.7

73.4

-.3

Understanding of others

71.8

69.3

-2.5

Writing ability

63.5

62.0

-1.5

Leadership ability

61.8

58.6

-3.2

Drive to achieve

60.3

57.3

-3

Self-confidence (intellectual)

66.5

54.7

-11.8

Emotional health

51.7

49.3

-2.4

Physical health

48.3

44.6

-3.7

Self-confidence (social)

49.7

42.0

-7.7

Public speaking ability

48.3

38.6

-9.7

Artistic ability

41.0

38.0

-3

Competitiveness

44.1

33.4

-10.7

Mathematical ability

38.5

33.3

-5.2

Popularity

33.7

28.0

-5.7

 

There appears to be slight differences in the way the students rated themselves in various traits their freshman year compared to their rating as seniors.  The greatest difference is in their rating of intellectual self-confidence, public speaking ability and competitiveness in which fewer students rated themselves as highest 10% or above average as seniors.   Academic ability is the only trait that they rated higher after fours years at Earlham.

 

As entering students, this sample indicated the likelihood of certain events happening while at Earlham.  Then the seniors were asked if these events did occur.  Table 6 shows the percentage who indicated they expected these events to occur and the percentage who indicated that they did occur while at Earlham.  The table also compares the seniors of 2003 to the seniors of 1997.

 

Table 6

 

Event

Seniors in 1997 - % who responded “yes”

Seniors in 2003,   % who responded “yes”

Freshmen, % who said “very good chance”

% difference between freshman and seniors

Participate in community service work

88

82.0

40.9

41.1

Make at least a B average

89

90.7

51.2

39.5

Change career choice

66

68.7

29.5

39.2

Participate in student protests/demonstrations

65

51.3

23.7

27.6

Graduate with honors

32

36.7

20.8

15.9

Join a social cub, fraternity or sorority

22

24.7

9.4

15.3

Fail one or more classes

19

15.3

1.2

14.1

Get a job to help pay for expenses

55

42.7

32.9

9.8

Change major field

29

32.7

23.7

9

Need extra time to complete degree requirements

6

10.7

3.5

7.2

Play varsity, intercollegiate sports

39

32.7

29.2

3.5

Work full time while attending college

0

3.3

.6

2.7

Get elected to student office

12

4.0

1.7

2.3

Drop out of Earlham temporarily

0

4.0

1.8

2.2

Get elected to an academic honor society

14

11.3

10.1

1.2

Get married while in college

0

.7

1.8

-1.1

 

As freshmen, this sample underestimated themselves.  Many more made at least a B average while at Earlham than anticipated as first-year students.  Also many more participated in community service and changed their career choice.  There was a higher percentage who failed a class, changed their major, and needed extra time to complete degree requirements than what was anticipated as a new student.

 

Responses to additional questions concerning their activities are found in Table 7.

 

Table 7

While at Earlham, did you…

Activity

% Senior who responded “yes”

Find a job after college in field which you were trained

17.3

Take a course entirely devoted to ethical questions

49.3

Take a course with a unit on ethical questions

84.7

Take a course addressing ethical questions that arise for practitioners of major field

62.0

 

 

It is interesting to note that 84.7% of the seniors took a course with a unit on ethical questions which is reflective of Earlham’s focus on values.

 

Table 8 gives a glimpse of the types of life choices these seniors expect to make in the future.

 

Table 8

Life Choices

 

What is your best estimate as to the chances, at some time in the future you will…

Very good chance

Some chance

Very little chance

No chance

 

%

%

%

%

Participate in a committed intimate relationship

85.3

10.7

2.0

1.3

Get married

57.3

28.7

5.3

7.3

Have children

51.3

34.0

6.0

8.0

Perform significant volunteer service

38.7

46.7

11.3

2.7

Make major contributions to charitable organizations

28.7

54.0

14.7

1.3

Contribute financially to Earlham

16.0

50.7

25.3

6.0

Find a job in the field for which trained

52.7

37.3

6.0

2.0

Seek major career advancement

47.3

42.0

7.3

.7

Change jobs to earn more money

14.7

58.7

22.7

2.7

Change career fields

18.0

55.3

19.3

6.0

Move to a new location because of job

46.7

44.7

6.7

.7

Purchase own home

56.7

36.7

4.7

.7

Make spirituality an important part of life

50.0

24.0

18.0

7.3

Be politically active

37.3

39.3

20.7

2.0

Travel extensively if job requires it

24.0

40.0

34.0

.7

Try out a variety of jobs to explore various options

29.3

42.0

23.3

4.7

 

85% of these students indicated there is a very good chance they will at some time the future participate in a committed relationship, however only 57% reported there being a very good chance they would get married.  50% say there is a very good chance that spirituality will be an important part of their life.

 

Seventy-one percent of the seniors indicated they had made use of career services.  Most of the students who made use of Career Services did so to receive advice on their resume.  Many of them also found their books listing employers and internships to be helpful as well as the one-on-one discussions with the Career Services staff and alumni contacts.

 

Reasons given for not taking advantage of this service included “have no time”, “they had no time for me”, “my advisor helped me”, “was told it wasn’t worth it by other students”. 

 

Suggestions for changes to Career Services included “provide a credit course for first or second year students on careers and jobs”, “have closer contacts with alumni”, “staff needs to have more specific information to help specific majors”. 

 

To determine the senior’s perception of the value of the general education requirements, questions were included on the survey relating to the various requirements.  Table 9 shows the responses from the seniors.

Table 9

Value of General Education Requirements

General Education Requirement

Mean Scores

Humanities

3.01

Natural Science

3.24

Fine Arts

3.21

Religion/Philosophy

3.52

Social Science

3.77

The numbers here are mean ratings on a scale of 1 to 5, in which 1=not very valuable  5=very valuable

Seniors were given an opportunity to express their satisfaction with various campus services.  They were also asked their opinion of the level of importance of each of the services.  Table 10 shows the mean scores of their responses.

 

Table 10

Satisfaction and Importance Ratings of Various Campus Services

 

 

Services

1997 Seniors’ Level of Satisfaction

2003 Seniors’ Level of Satisfaction

2003 Seniors’ Level of Importance

Your advisor in helping your academic planning

2.44

2.09

1.73

Your academic preparation for future plans

1.90

2.10

1.47

Opportunities for off campus study

1.49

2.14

1.73

Informal social life on campus

2.56

2.25

1.56

Kinds of extracurricular activities available

2.40

2.37

1.83

Scheduled social events

3.02

2.54

2.03

The convocation program

3.04

2.59

2.3

Campus policies and procedures of security

3.21

2.61

1.98

Housing process in dealing with your housing needs fairly

3.18

2.70

1.88

Financial Aid office in dealing with your financial needs fairly

2.25

2.79

2.19

Your advisor in helping with personal issues

2.33

2.81

2.69

Actual experiences on off campus study programs

1.54

2.85

2.29

Career Services available resources

2.62

2.93

2.47

Office of Student Development in addressing your social and personal issues

3.45

3.17

2.67

Student participation in college administration

2.81

3.19

2.68

Organized religion on campus

2.37

3.24

3.17

Career Services in career planning and counseling

3.04

3.43

3.03

The individual counseling program

2.81

4.52

3.70

The numbers here are mean ratings on a scale of 1 to 5, in which 1=very satisfied/very important  5=extremely unsatisfied/quite unimportant

 

The 2003 seniors are most satisfied with the help in academic planning received from their advisor, their academic preparation for future plans, and opportunities for off campus study.

 

These services also received a high rating for the level of importance to the seniors.  They were least satisfied with the individual counseling program, however it should be noted that counseling is of least importance to them.

 

The responses of the 2003 seniors were compared to the responses of seniors in 1997 that completed a similar survey.  The level of satisfaction changed significantly in a number of cases.  The seniors of 2003 were more satisfied with the scheduled social events, the convocation program, the housing process in dealing with their housing needs fairly, and campus policies and procedures of security than the seniors in 1997.  They were less satisfied with opportunities for off-campus study, actual experiences on off-campus study programs, the financial aid office in dealing with their financial needs fairly, their advisors in helping with personal issues, organized religion on campus and the individual counseling program.

 

How did seniors spend their time during their last year at Earlham?  Table 11 shows various activities and the number of hours spent on those activities during a typical week.

 

Table 11

Hours spent per week on various activities

Activity

Less than 10 hours

10-20 hours

21-30 hours

Over 30 hours

Studying/homework

4%

52%

30%

14%

Socializing with friends

23%

61%

11%

4%

Less than 1 hour

1 hour

2-5 hours

Over 6 hours

Talking with professors

5%

33%

50%

12%

None

1-5 hours

6-10 hours

Over 10 hours

Exercising/sports

12%

54%

23%

11%

Partying

21%

58%

17%

4%

Working (for pay)

33%

12%

37%

18%

Volunteer work

43%

41%

12%

4%

Student organizations, clubs, groups

37%

46%

12%

5%

Watching T.V.

34%

54%

11%

0%

 

Seniors obviously need to spend most of their time studying and doing homework.  However 11% of the seniors spent 21-30 hours socializing with friends each week.  The busyness of professors is understandable with 50% of seniors spending 2-5 hours talking with them.

 

Seniors were asked a variety of open-ended questions concerning their opinions and experiences with academics and student life at Earlham.  They were also asked to look back on their experience at Earlham and describe different aspects that they thought to be the most influential.

 

Academics

 

Students were asked to identify two goals they believe were emphasized by the faculty in the department of their major.  Goals mentioned included having a better understanding of the world and being able to think critically.  Several seniors also mentioned having a better understanding of themselves and making a contribution to society.

 

Most students recalled a specific course or assignment as the most memorable aspect of their major. Often these were the most challenging assignments as well as the most fun.  Personal interaction with professors was also included in their memories of their major as well as any off-campus experience relating to their major.  The friends they made in their classes will be lasting memories also.  Negative memories included lack of funding, insufficient faculty, lack of community or lack of diversity which was mentioned by a few of the seniors.

 

Most Earlham seniors felt the most useful aspect of their major involved skills learned.  These skills included specific skills from their major as well as more general skills of being able to think creatively, make oral presentations, dissect a text, or be able to write well.

 

Seniors indicated their favorite classes in their major were those that were well presented.  Much importance was placed on the professors and their ability to make the classes exciting and challenging.  The students preferred classes with good class discussions and hands-on experiences.  They were especially pleased if the class opened their eyes to new information and had life relevance.  A wide variety of classes were listed as their favorites.

 

Classes that were their least favorite classes were those in which they felt “bored”.    Some students realized they had no interest in the subject or didn’t find the classes relevant.  And there were some who did not appreciate the large size of the class or felt that the class was poorly taught or disorganized.  There were a wide variety of classes in various subjects that were mentioned as their least favorite. 

 

About a third of all the seniors are required to take a written exam for their senior comps.  Many of them are also required to write essays and do projects.  About 18% of the seniors write a thesis and/or have an oral examination.  Presentations, seminars and GRE exams are also sometimes included in the senior comps.

 

The majority of seniors felt that their senior exam/project was very beneficial, however most of them said that it caused them much stress and they felt quite overwhelmed at times.    There were some negative comments about not receiving thorough enough guidelines, unfair grading, and unequal requirements across majors.  Also, since this survey was given in January, there were a number of students who had not yet completed their senior exam/project.

 

Most memorable aspects of the general education courses included specific coursework, the professors, Humanities, being able to explore different fields, and meeting different people.  Of course there were a few who recalled mainly the “pain” and “suffering”, “tedious busy work” and the “uselessness” of the courses.  There were several seniors who will remember the stress caused by the difficulty of fulfilling the general education requirements.  This was especially true for double majors.

 

Being exposed to different fields and ideas outside their major was the most useful aspect of general education for most of the seniors.  Specific classes were mentioned as being useful as well.  For some, the general education courses were a means of discovering their interests.

 

Elective courses were often seen as “fun”.  Students appreciated having a wide variety of fascinating subject material from which to choose.  Some students reported they had very little room in their schedule for electives if they went on an off-campus study, transferred to Earlham, or had a double major.

 

Students list the most useful aspect of elective courses as “allowing a quick try at new classes and ideas that could develop into future interests”, “studying what I was interested in”, and “horizons broadened”.

 

Most memorable aspects of off-campus study for these seniors included learning to adapt to new experiences/cultures, being able to travel to interesting countries, and living with a host family.  They seemed to appreciate the chance to “learn outside the classroom and Earlham”.  For some this was the first time they were truly “away from home”.  Meeting new friends from all over the world was also memorable for them.

 

Feeling comfortable in other cultures and being able to speak a foreign language were the useful aspects of off-campus study that were mentioned by the seniors.  This was an “eye-opening experience” for some.  One student said the most useful aspect was “learning how to challenge all of my comfort zones”.  One student also “learned to cope with difficulty” and another “learned what my limits are and being able to push myself beyond what I thought I could do”.   Others also learned to appreciate home, their friends, their family, and their education.

 

Student Life

 

Many of these seniors were employed while at Earlham.  They appreciated having the opportunity to work with various offices, departments and faculty members.  Some of their most memorable aspects of their employment included the friendliness and support from their supervisors and co-workers.  Many students enjoyed getting to know how parts of Earlham work and acquiring various skills.  For one student, employment in a campus office was “one of the best things the college offers.”

 

Most of these seniors felt that the most useful aspect of employment at Earlham is the skills and experience gained.  Students were exposed to various aspects of the college and learned patience, responsibility, and how to work with others.  Of course the money earned was also useful to them.

 

Most memorable aspects of extracurricular activities most often involved athletics.  Just being with friends was memorable also. Gospel Revs, Dance Alloy, and other musical groups were mentioned as being memorable as well as various student organizations.  Some students indicated that they were too busy to participate in extracurricular activities and that sometimes the activities were not stress releasing because they were so demanding.

 

And yet for some students extracurricular activities were useful because they provided relief from stress.  Most students felt that extracurricular activities were most useful for the various skills learned.  These skills included athletic skills, organizational skills relationship skills and leadership skills.  It was also reported that extracurricular activities can teach time management and can improve health.

 

Residential life left memories of making friends, acting crazy and enjoying wellness activities.  But residential life also left memories of cold showers, overflowing toilets, fire alarms and dirty bathrooms.  The annoyance of the housing lottery was also mentioned as a memorable aspect of residential life.

 

Most of the seniors reported that residential life was useful in learning conflict resolution and communications.  And of course making friends is always helpful.  There were other useful aspects mentioned such as “learning how to live a less earth-impacting life”, “figuring out my biological clock”, “living with African American peers for social and emotional support”.

 

As for the social and cultural events, these seniors will take with them fond memories of homecoming dances and Swingsation.  They enjoyed the musical guests such as Indigo Girls and Ray Charles and also being exposed to interesting artists they had never heard of before.  They also will remember hearing various speakers such as Fred Shuttlesworth and Ann Coultier.  Just being with friends and having fun were also fond memories.

 

The seniors felt that the social and cultural events on campus gave them a broader education and exposure to new ideas and cultures.  Various events can showcase talent, serve as a means of sharing cultures and enable learning from community members.  Of all the events, convocations were mentioned most often as being useful.

 

The relationships formed with friends while at Earlham were most important to seniors.  Some were able to remember specific memorable aspects while others will just remember friends and community in general.  They especially appreciated befriending people with different backgrounds.  These relationships were most useful because they helped to develop social and relationship skills and in some cases resulted in life-long friends or their life love.  They were also useful because they were challenged with different ideas.    

 

Most all of the seniors have had close relationships with faculty.  They feel faculty make themselves accessible and appreciate being invited into their homes. The support and guidance given by faculty help to increase their self-confidence.  Some of the comments about faculty included “he is like a father”, “love to pick their minds”, “ability to know them personally”.

 

Having such close relationships with faculty can prove to be very useful to students.  Their support, encouragement, and personal advice are invaluable.  One senior pointed out that having a good relationship with the professors is like “getting used to being treated as a colleague by people I respect” and they felt they had “equal standing” with the professors.  They did not make them feel inferior.  Faculty also helped students “understand how to ask for help” when they need it and “how to communicate honestly with people who are in position of power/mentorship”.  And of course professors are good sources of recommendations.

 

Reflections

 

The seniors were asked, “Who have been the two most influential people for you in the past four years?”  Professors and advisors were the most popular answers, although friends, family, coaches, and administrative faculty were also mentioned.

 

The most influential aspects of Earlham for most of these seniors have been off-campus programs.  Living in a community of peers with a variety of views was also influential as well as living in an academic environment that “allows for critical thinking, discussion, and the forming of opinions”.  The general awareness of international, social, and political issues and political activism was also influential.

 

Of course there have also been some influential factors in these students’ lives that were not related to Earlham.  These include family issues, their summer jobs or internships, and relationships with significant others.  There were a number of students who also mentioned being influenced by religion during the past four years and by their friends, classmates and community.

 

Seniors were asked what things they would want to tell a potential applicant to Earlham.  The most popular responses related to the quality of academics and the sense of community at Earlham.  Many students also cited Earlham’s great professors and small classes as something they would want to tell prospects.   Several seniors mentioned they would want to tell the applicants that there was a loud liberal voice on the Earlham campus.    

 

Fifty-four percent of the seniors reported that they planned to find a job immediately after graduation.  Many of the seniors (16%) have plans to attend graduate school, while an additional 16% do not have immediate or long-term career plans.  Another 14% plan to work for a while and then start graduate school. 

 

The timing of the survey should be taken into consideration when looking at these statistics.  Since the survey was given 4 months prior to graduation, many seniors may not have yet decided on their plans.

 

Of those who indicated their career choice, most plan to pursue a teaching career or a career in a non-profit organization working for social change.  Six of these seniors indicated they want to become medical doctors and three plan to pursue a law career.

 

Most all of the seniors felt that their experience with their major made them feel confident about entering the career of their choice. 

 

 

Seniors obviously need to spend most of their time studying and doing homework.  However 11% of the seniors spent 21-30 hours socializing with friends each week.  The busyness of professors is understandable with 50% of seniors spending 2-5 hours talking with them.

 

Seniors were asked a variety of open-ended questions concerning their opinions and experiences with academics and student life at Earlham.  They were also asked to look back on their experience at Earlham and describe different aspects that they thought to be the most influential.