Your First College Year Survey

 Office of Institutional Research

Prepared by Mary Ann Weaver and Carlos (Litos) Paredes

January 2006

 

Introduction and method

 

In March of 2005, all first-year students were asked to complete the Your First College Year (YFCY) Survey.  This survey is part of a national study conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute to provide valuable information on the academic, social, and personal development of first-year college students.  It is designed as a follow-up survey to the annual Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Freshman Survey that is administered at the beginning of their first year of college.

 

We received responses from 133 of the first-year students, which comprised 42% of the class.   The gender ratio of the respondents (42% male and 58% female) was similar to the gender ratio of the class. 

 

This report includes comparative data to the Earlham first-year students in 2003, data from the HEDS peer group (Hamilton, Haverford, Oberlin, Occidental, Scripps, Beloit, Carleton, Grinnell, Guilford, Knox and Macalester colleges), as well as data from other private four-year colleges. 

 

 

Results

 

A summary of the results of this survey is contained in this report.  Responses are categorized under Effects, Self-Ratings, Satisfaction, Race/Ethnic Relations, Future Concerns and Plans, and Supplemental Questions.  The Supplemental Questions are unique to Earlham and therefore do not contain comparisons to other colleges.

 

Effects

 

The CIRP survey reported activities engaged in by students in the year prior to coming to college.  The YFCY survey then asked the students how often they had engaged in these same activities during their first-year of college. 

 

Table 1 shows the percentage of students who participated in various activities or felt a certain way and the percentage change from the prior year.  This data is compared to responses from students from other four-year colleges as well as Earlham students who entered in Fall 2002.

 

Table 1

 

Activity

Earlham Students

Students from other private

4-year colleges

Student who entered Fall 2004

Students who entered Fall 2002

Students who entered Fall 2004

%

The year before college

% During first year of college

% Change from prior year

%

During first year of college

% Change from prior year

%

During first year of college

% Change from prior year

Attended a religious service

68.2

47.3

-21

59

-19

54.6

-26

Participated in organized demonstrations

59.8

41.3

-19

63

18

45.4

-6

Smoked cigarettes*

5.5

8.3

2

12

5

9.4

3

Drank beer

37.7

45.8

8

56

5

55

10

Drank wine or liquor

51.9

55.6

4

71

15

63.6

11

Felt overwhelmed by all you had to do*

34.8

43.6

9

38

6

39.2

10

Felt depressed

12.4

12

0

14

6

13.5

5

Discussed politics*

57.5

49.6

-8

45

2

19.6

-7

Socialized with someone of another racial/ethnic group*

71.2

72.9

-2

72

-2

56.3

-12

 

*Percentage responding “frequently” only.  All other results represent the percentage responding “frequently” or “occasionally”

 

As in the prior year, there was a smaller percentage of students who attended a religious service during their first year at college compared to the year before they came to college.  This was true for both Earlham students and students from other four-year colleges.   Also, fewer students discussed politics during their first year at college compared to the year prior to college.

 

Another significant change that occurred during the first year of college was an increase in the percentage of students drinking beer.  Students from other four-year colleges also reported a greater change in percentage who drank beer.  However, the Earlham first-year students who were surveyed in 2003 also reported a greater increase in drinking wine or liquor. 

 

How did the first-year students spend their time?

 

Table 2

 

Time spent during a typical week…

0-5 hours

6-15 hours

16-30 hours

Over 30 hours

Earlham mean

Peer Group Mean

Attending classes/labs

3.8

54.9

40.6

0.8

6.3

6.1

Socializing with friends

17.3

47.4

25.6

9.8

6.0

6.0

Studying/homework

17.3

57.1

25.6

0

5.6

5.7

Exercising or sports

64.6

32.4

2.3

0.8

3.8

4.0

Communicating via e-mail

78.9

19.5

1.6

0

3.7

4.0

Surfing the Internet

84.2

11.4

4.5

0

3.5

3.7

Partying

78.9

16.6

3.8

0.8

3.3

3.5

Working on campus

62.4

36.8

0.8

0

2.9

2.5

Participating in student clubs/groups

92.5

6

1.5

0

2.8

2.8

Reading for pleasure

94

5.3

0.8

0

2.5

2.2

Playing video/computer games

93.3

5.3

1.5

0

2.0

1.9

Watching TV

97

3.0

0

0

1.9

2.2

Praying/meditating

100

0

0

0

1.6

1.6

Working off campus

89.5

8.3

2.3

0

1.6

1.3

 

 

Mean Scale: 1 = none , 2 = <1 , 3 = 1-2 , 4 = 3-5 , 5 = 6-10 , 6 = 11-15 , 7 = 16-20 , 8 = 21-30 , 9 =>30

 

The way first-year students spend their time has not changed significantly from what they reported in 2003.   As can be expected, the majority of students spend much of their time attending classes or studying.  The survey also revealed that there are few students who spend much time watching TV.  In fact, 48.1% of Earlham students reported watching no TV.  There are also few students interested in spending leisure time on the computer.  While 9.8% of the students indicated that they spend over 30 hours a week socializing with friends, this was similar to the first-year students in 2003 when 9.9% reported the same.

 

How do these statistics compare with students from peer schools?  41.7% of the first-year students at peer schools reported watching no TV. Their time spent attending classes and studying was very similar to the Earlham data.   The mean scores indicated that Earlham students spend more time than students from the peer group reading for pleasure and less time communicating via e-mail.

 

The greatest difference between Earlham students and the first year students from our peer school appear to be in the time spent working on campus, where Earlham students reported working more hours.

 

 

Data in Table 3 indicates that Earlham students are more likely than students from the peer group to speak up in class and to work with a professor on a research project.  Earlham students are also more likely to turn in course assignments late.  There is a significant difference in the percentage of Earlham students who turn in course assignments that did not reflect their best work compared to students from the peer group. 

 

TABLE 3

Percentage of students who frequently…

Earlham

Peer Group

%

%

Turned in course assignments late

6.8

3.2

Spoke up in class

48.5

42

Discussed course content with students outside of class

54.1

54.6

Skipped class

0.8

2.2

Received tutoring

2.3

3.5

Worked with a professor on a research project

3.0

1.6

Turned in course assignments that did not reflect your best work

12

7.8

Participated in intramural sports

13.5

12.2

Had difficulty getting along with your roommate

9.8

9

Sought personal counseling

3.0

3.2

 

Students were asked how often they interacted with various groups of people.  A higher percentage of Earlham students (53.7%) reported having at least weekly contact with faculty outside of class or office hours compared to 29.2% of students from our peer group.  Another 57.8% of Earlham students reported having at least one meeting a week with faculty during office hours compared to 30.0% of students from the peer group.  Twenty-four percent of Earlham students reported interacting daily with “other college personnel” compared to only 9.8% of students from the peer group.  Earlham students were less likely to be in contact with their families daily; 20% of students from the peer group colleges had daily contact with their family compared to 13.5% of Earlham students.

 

 

 


Table 4

Since entering college, have you…

% Earlham students

% Students from peer group

Taken a college course/seminar specifically designed to help first-year students adjust to college

88.7

52.3

Decided to pursue a different major

41.4

37.4

Changed your career choice

36.8

31.2

Participated in varsity/intercollegiate athletics

28.6

29.1

Declared your major

11.3

14.7

Enrolled in a formal program where a group of students takes two or more courses together

2.3

9.9

Enrolled in an honors course

2.3

3.9

Enrolled in a remedial/developmental course

1.5

2.5

Joined a social fraternity or sorority

0.8

7.9

Transferred from another institution

0.8

0.7

 

 

Since entering college, 41.4% of Earlham first-year students have decided to pursue a different major compared to 37.4% of students from the peer group. 36.8% of students have changed their career choice.  Since Earlham students are not required to declare their major until the end of their sophomore year, it is not surprising that only 11.3% of the first-year students declared their major.  This compares to 14.7% of students from other colleges.  Earlham College had a much greater percentage of students who took a college course or seminar specifically designed to help first-year students adjust to college.  88.7% of those students took such a course compared to 52.3% of peer group students.

 

 

Self Ratings

 

During New Student Week, students were asked to rate their abilities, skills, and health on the CIRP survey.  At the end of the first year of college students were asked to rate these same items.  Table 5 shows the percentage of students who rated themselves “above average” or “highest 10%” compared with the average person their age.  

 

Table 5

 

Self Ratings

Earlham Students

Students from other private

4-year colleges

Students who entered

Fall 2004

Students who entered Fall 2002

Students who entered

Fall 2004

%

The year before college

%

During first year of college

% Change from prior year

%

During first year of college

% Change from prior year

%

During first year of college

% Change from prior year

Academic ability

79.1

75.9

-3

71

-6

64.8

-1

Artistic ability

43.6

41.4

-3

37

-2

32.9

2

Computer skills

30.8

33.8

4

32

7

41.0

8

Emotional health

43.6

55.6

12

49

-2

53.5

4

Leadership ability

51.6

60.2

8

58

2

62.3

-2

Mathematical ability

30.7

35.3

4

35

5

40.6

-1

Physical health

47.4

45.8

2

54

0

51.2

-1

Public speaking ability

38.8

48.8

10

40

-2

39.5

4

Self-confidence (intellectual)

53.5

51.1

-2

67

1

58.6

3

Self-confidence (social)

37.7

46.6

9

48

2

51.2

2

Self-understanding

58.9

66.1

7

74

6

57.4

6

Writing ability

63.3

62.4

-1

56

-2

52.3

5

 

It appears that many Earlham students felt they had improved their computer skills, public speaking ability and leadership ability during their first year in college, which was also true of students from other four-year colleges. Most surprisingly is the percentage of students who rated their emotional health higher after 1 year of college. These changes differ significantly from the students who entered Earlham College in 2002 and from students from other private 4 year colleges.

Students were asked to indicate if their skills had improved compared with college entry.  Table 6 shows their responses.

 

TABLE 6

Percentage of students who noted “much stronger” skills compared with college entry

Earlham

Peer Group

 

%

%

Knowledge of a particular field or discipline

37.6

35.7

Knowledge of people from different races/cultures

24.1

15.5

Understanding of global issues

22.6

15.5

Research skills

21.1

10.0

General knowledge

18.8

19.1

Understanding of the problems facing your community

18.8

10.1

Ability to get along with others

17.3

10.1

Understanding of national issues

17.3

11.9

Religious beliefs and convictions

6.8

6.1

 

The greatest increase in skills was noted in their knowledge of a particular field or discipline and knowledge of people from different races/cultures.
 

A higher percentage of Earlham students noted "much stronger" skills compared with students from the peer group colleges in every area except "general knowledge" where Earlham is very similar to the peer group.

 

In an effort to determine feelings of success at various aspects of their transition to college, students were asked to rate their success.  It appears that most Earlham first-year students are adjusting successfully to college life.  As would be expected, most students (67.7%) felt completely successful at developing close friendships with other students.  They also understand what their professors expect of them academically and are adjusting to the academic demands of college.  They are somewhat less successful at utilizing campus services available to them and developing effective study skills.  Based on the data in Table 7, 10.5% of the first-year students are struggling with managing their time effectively. When compared to students from our peer group, Earlham first year students are remarkably similar in their feelings of success.

Table 7

 

Since entering Earlham, how successful have you felt at…

% Who feel unsuccessful

% Who feel somewhat successful

% Who feel completely successful

Mean Score

Peer Group Mean Score

Developing close friendships with other students

4.5

27.8

67.7

2.6

2.6

Understanding what your professors expect of you academically

3.0

54.9

42.1

2.4

2.4

Adjusting to the academic demands of college

2.3

52.6

45.1

2.4

2.4

Getting to know faculty

6.8

54.1

39.1

2.3

2.1

Utilizing campus services available to students

3.8

67.7

28.6

2.2

2.2

Developing effective study skills

6.0

63.2

30.8

2.2

2.2

Managing your time effectively

10.5

57.9

31.6

2.2

2.1

Rating scale:  1=Unsuccessful; 2=Somewhat successful; 3=Completely successful

 

 

Comparisons can also be made as to objectives that the students considered to be essential or very important upon entering college and after one year of college.  The following table shows the percentage of students who considered these objectives to be “essential” or “very important”.

 

Table 8

Objective considered to be “essential” or “very important”

Earlham Students

Students from other private

4-year colleges

Entering in Fall 2004

Entering in

Fall 2002

Entering in

Fall 2004

%

The year before college

%

During first year of college

% Change from prior year

%

During first year of college

% Change from prior year

%

During first year of college

% Change from prior year

Becoming an authority in my field

43.7

55.6

12

48

10

66.9

9

Influencing social values

53.7

56.4

2

54

3

51.2

9

Helping others who are in difficulty

73.4

86.4

13

77

10

76.0

11

Making a theoretical contribution to science

18.7

14.3

-4

14

-2

18.7

3

Creating artistic work

28.9

33

4

33

7

24.9

8

Developing a meaningful philosophy of life

66.3

74.4

8

71

9

53.4

9

Helping to promote racial understanding

55.8

71.4

16

66

13

45.5

15

Becoming a community leader

34.1

42.1

8

33

-1

37.3

5

Integrating spirituality into my life

37.9

46.6

7

49

2

50.6

7

Helping to promote racial understanding, helping others who are in difficulty and becoming an authority in their field are objectives that Earlham first-year students feel are more important now than when they first entered Earlham. And these objectives are more important to Earlham College students than to students from other private 4 year colleges. Objectives that Earlham students consider less important than students from other private 4-year colleges include integrating spirituality into their life, making a theoretical contribution to science and becoming an authority in their field.

 

The greatest difference among Earlham students entering in fall 2004 and those entering in fall 2002 can be seen in the importance of becoming a community leader, helping others in difficulty, becoming an authority in their field and helping to promote racial understanding. All of these objectives were more important for the more recent students.

 


Satisfaction

 

The survey asked students to rate their satisfaction with various parts of their college experience.  Table 9 indicates that 82.7% of the Earlham first-year students rated being "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their overall college experience.  It appears that Earlham first-year students are more satisfied than students from other colleges with many aspects of college life.

 

TABLE 9

Percentage of students who noted they are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with…

Earlham

%

Peer

Group %

Earlham Mean Score

Peer Group Mean Score

Overall quality of instruction

85.0

87.2

4.1

4.2

Overall college experience.

82.7

81.5

4.2

4.1

Amount of contact with faculty

77.5

76.8

4.1

4.0

Overall sense of community among students

76.7

69.9

4.0

3.8

Opportunities for community service

74.4

58.8

4.0

3.7

Relevance of coursework to future

71.4

68.8

3.9

3.8

Relevance of coursework to everyday life

56.1

52.2

3.7

3.7

 

1 = Very Dissatisfied , 2 = Dissatisfied , 3 = Neutral , 4 = Satisfied , 5 = Very satisfied

 

 

Students were asked to rate their satisfaction with other aspects of the campus.  The percentage of students who indicated they were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ is shown in Table 10.

TABLE 10

“Satisfied” or “Very Satisfied” with…

Earlham

%

Peer Group

%

Earlham Mean Score

Peer Group Mean Score

Library facilities/services

89.4

85.8

4.3

4.2

Classroom facilities

87.2

82.8

4.2

4.0

Computer facilities

83.4

78.1

4.2

4.0

Orientation for new students

82.3

65.9

4.1

3.8

Recreational facilities

80.8

53.9

4.1

3.4

Student health center/services

65.4

57.1

3.7

3.5

Tutoring or other academic assistance

64.9

68.4

3.7

3.9

Academic advising

62.1

58.7

3.8

3.6

Financial aid services

57.5

56.9

3.6

3.6

Student housing facilities

51.1

57.9

3.3

3.5

Psychological counseling services

50.0

45.5

3.6

3.5

 

Earlham students rated their greatest satisfaction with library facilities and classroom facilities. They were least satisfied with psychological counseling and student housing facilities. In most aspects Earlham students rated their satisfaction very similar to students from our peer group, however, Earlham students rated recreational facilities and orientation for new students somewhat higher.

 

The YFCY Survey attempts to determine students’ social and emotional adjustment to college.  The responses relating to those questions can be seen in Table 11.

Table 11

Since entering college, how often have you felt…

Frequently or Occasionally

Mean Score

Earlham students

Peer Group students

Earlham students

Peer Group students

 

%

%

Courses inspired you to think in new ways

93.2

88.7

3.4

3.3

Social life interfered with college

59.4

54.3

2.7

2.5

Worried about meeting new people

50.4

52.4

2.4

2.5

Lonely or homesick

46.6

54.1

2.5

2.6

Worried about your health

33.9

29.9

2.1

2.1

Isolated from campus life

33.9

35.6

2.2

2.2

Intimidated by professors

33.8

27.7

2.1

2.0

Job responsibilities interfered with college

23.3

19.1

1.8

1.7

Family responsibilities interfered with college

16.5

14.5

1.2

1.6

Unsafe on campus

3.8

4.3

1.4

1.4

 

Rating scale:  1=Not at all; 2=Rarely; 3=Occasionally; 4=Frequently

 

First-year students at Earlham were more likely than students at other four-year colleges to be inspired by their courses to think in new ways.  59.4% of Earlham’s first-year students reported that their social life frequently or occasionally interfered with their schoolwork compared to 54.3% of the first-year students from peer group colleges. A smaller percentage of Earlham first-year students felt unsafe on their campus than students at peer group colleges.

 

When asked if they would still choose to enroll at Earlham if they could make their college choice over, 48% said they definitely would.  Another 38% said they probably would.  Only 2.3% said they definitely would not choose the same college if they had to do it over compared to 3.5% of peer group students.

 

 

RACE/ETHNIC RELATIONS

 

For the first time this year, the YFCY survey included questions about ethnic relations. Tables 12, 13, and 14 show the responses to these questions.

 

TABLE 12

How would you describe the racial/ethnic composition of the following groups?

  All or nearly all white Mostly white Half white and half racial/ethnic minorities Mostly racial/ethnic minorities All or nearly all racial/ethnic minorities Not applicable
 
%
%
%
%
%
%
High school you last attended
25.6
35.3

 

23.3
6.8
3.0
6.0
Neighborhood where you grew up
42.1
33.8
9.8
3.0
6.8
4.5
Friends you socialize with in college
5.3
45.1
41.4
5.3
2.3
.8
Your informal study groups
9.0
33.8
27.1
2.3
.8
27.1
Clubs/organizations to which you belong
5.3
45.1
32.3
3.8
.8
12.8
Place of work
11.3
30.1
21.1
3.8
2.3
31.6

There were some gender differences in these responses. For example, a higher percentage of male students indicated that the friends they socialized with in college were half white/half minorities or were mostly minorities. And 12% of the male first-year students indicated that their informal study groups were all or nearly all white compared to 6.5% of the females.

 

Students were asked to what extent they agreed or disagreed with various statements. The mean scores for Earlham first-year students and the first-year students from our peer group are shown in Table 13 below.

TABLE 13

4=Strongly agree, 3=Agree, 2=Disagree, 1=Strongly disagree
Earlham first-year students
Peer group
I have been singled out because of my race/ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation
1.7
1.7
I see myself as part of the campus community
3.2
3.1
I have heard faculty express stereotypes about racial/ethnic groups in class
1.7
1.7
The admission/recruitment materials I received accurately portrayed the campus
2.8
2.8
I feel I am a member of this college
3.3
3.3
Faculty here are interested in students' personal problems
3.0
2.8
There is a lot of racial tension on this campus
1.7
1.9
Most students here are treated like "numbers in a book"
1.4
1.6
There is strong competition among most of the students for high grades
1.9
2.3
Faculty here are interested in students' academic problems
3.3
3.2
I feel I have a sense of belonging to this college
3.2
3.0
Faculty feel that most students here are well-prepared academically
3.0
3.1

4=Strongly agree, 3=Agree, 2=Disagree, 1=Strongly disagree

 

Earlham's mean scores are very similar to the mean scores of the peer group in most cases. There was, however, a notable difference in the mean scores when referring to the competition among most of the students for high grades. There was less competition for high grades noted by Earlham students.

 

Students were asked to what extent they have experienced various activities with students from a racial/ethnic group other than their own. Table 14 shows the mean scores for the Earlham first-year students and the first-year students from our peer group.

TABLE 14

1=Never, 2=Seldom, 3=Sometimes, 4=Often, 5=Very often
Earlham first-year students
Peer group
Dined or shared a meal
3.8
4.1
Had meaningful and honest discussions about race/ethnic relations outside of class
3.3
3.3
Had guarded, cautious interactions
2.0
2.0
Shared personal feelings and problems
3.4
3.5
Had tense, somewhat hostile interactions
1.4
1.5
Had intellectual discussions outside of class
3.5
3.6
Felt insulted or threatened because of race/ethnicity
1.4
1.5
Studied or prepared for class
3.1
3.4
Socialized or partied
3.8
4.0
Attended events sponsored by other racial/ethnic groups
3.3
3.0

1=Never, 2=Seldom, 3=Sometimes, 4=Often, 5=Very often

First-year students from our peer group were somewhat more likely than Earlham first-year students to dine, study and party with students from a racial/ethnic group other than their own. Earlham students more inclined to attend events sponsored by other racial/ethnic groups.

 

Future Concerns and Plans

 

A college education is costly and often students are concerned about their ability to finance their college education. 13.3% of Earlham first-year students had major concerns about financing their education and were not sure if they will have enough funds to complete college. 11.4% of students at peer group colleges had the same major concern.  About 55.6% of Earlham students had some concern about finances but they felt they probably would have enough to finish college.  Forty percent of these students were confident that they would have sufficient funds.

 

Ninety-seven percent of the first-year students plan to attend Earlham again in the Fall of 2005.  This compares to 95.1% of the first-year students from the peer group colleges indicating expectations of returning to the same college.

 

Supplemental Questions

 

We chose to add supplemental questions to this survey.  We wanted to determine the student’s perception on various items.  We continue to be committed to academic excellence and therefore we are interested in learning about students’ perception of the level of academic challenge at Earlham.  Also of interest to us was their opinion on the level of institutional support for various activities and facilities on campus.   And as part of our assessment of how well we are serving our students, we inquired about their satisfaction with specific facilities and services on the Earlham campus. 

 

Some of these same questions were included in the 2003 YFCY completed by the students who entered Earlham in fall of 2002 after they had completed one year at Earlham. Comparison results are included in this study when available.

 

First-year students’ perception of academic challenge at Earlham indicates that it is "appropriate" to ‘somewhat high’ based on the mean score shown in Table 15.   The mean score was identical to the mean score of the students who took the YFCY in 2003. Only 1% of the students felt the level of academic challenge was below what is appropriate.

 

Students were asked their opinion about the level of institutional support for various campus activities. Fifty-one percent of these students felt that the institutional support for artistic activities was either too low or somewhat low.  An additional 36% felt that institutional support for theatrical and musical activities was too low or somewhat low. The mean scores for theatrical, musical and artistic activities also reflect less than appropriate institutional support. The mean scores for 2003 and 2005 varied only slightly.

 

 

 

 

Table 15

Characteristic

Too high

Somewhat high

Appropriate

Somewhat Low

Too low

2005 Mean

2003

Mean

 

%

%

%

%

%

 

 

Level of academic challenge

5
43
46
5
1
2.6
2.6

                  Level of institutional support for…                           

Varsity athletics

4.3
16.1
55.9
22.6
1.1
3.0
2.8

Student organizations

3.1
23.5
61.2
12.2
0.0
2.8
3.0
Theatrical and musical activities
1.1
14.7
48.4
29.5
6.3
3.3
3.4
Artistic Activities
2.1
12.5
34.4
31.2
19.8
3.6
3.8

 

Scale:  1=Too high, 2=Somewhat high, 3=Appropriate, 4=Somewhat low; 5=Too low

Do Earlham courses challenge students to think critically? Most students feel that they do. Thirty-eight percent of the students surveyed indicated that their courses very often challenged them to think critically about issues presented in class. Sixty-six percent of these first-year students felt that their courses invited the examination of ethical questions often or very often and 80% said their first-year general education courses addressed ethical question at least sometimes.

Table 16 shows the responses from the first-year students in 2005. These questions were not included on the 2003 YFCY survey, thus we do not have comparison data.

 

Table 16

To what extent did your...
Very often
Often
Sometimes
Seldom
Never
Mean 2005
%
%
%
%
%
Courses challenge you to think critically about issues presented in class?
38
 42
15
 5
 0
1.9 
Courses invite the examination of ethical questions?
22 
44
24
9
2.2 
First-year gen ed courses invite the examination of ethical questions?
24 
 25
31
17 
2.5 

1=Very Often, 2=Often, 3=Sometimes, 4=seldom, 5=Never

 

How do these first-year students rate Earlham on various characteristics? Based on the mean scores, the first-year students rate Earlham good or very good. The characteristics rated the highest were quality of the personal connections they experienced and quality of their overall experience beyond the classroom. Their chances to be with students from different backgrounds was also rated very good. The mean scores for most all of these characteristics are better than the mean scores received from the first-year students who took the YFCY in 2003.

The chances of these students recommending Earlham to a friend or family member are very good. In fact 42% indicated an excellent chance they would do so. Only 31.5% of the first-year students in 2003 indicated the same.

Table 17

Rate Earlham

 

Scale:  1=Excellent; 2=Very good; 3=Good; 4=Fair; 5=Poor

Excellent
Very good
Good
Fair
Poor

2005 Mean

2003 Mean
%
%
%
%
%
Quality of instruction in writing successful college papers
16.3
36.7
26.5
13.3
7.1
2.6
N/A
Size of classes relevant to talk/purpose of the class
16.0
47.0
17.0
18.0
2.0
2.4
N/A
Availability of classes
11.0
32.0
31.0
20.0
6.0
2.8
N/A
Appropriate range of class sizes
14.1
36.4
37.4
9.1
3.0
2.5
N/A
Quality of athletic facilities
27.6
39.8
29.6
3.1
0.0
2.1
2.0
Chance to be with students from different backgrounds
37.0
33.0
20.0
8.0
2.0
2.0
2.5
Availability of interdisciplinary academic programs
20.2
35.4
38.4
5.1
1.0
2.3
2.5
Availability of academic majors
22.2
39.4
25.3
11.1
2.0
2.3
2.6
Availability of academic support (tutoring, etc.)
17.5
49.5
23.7
8.2
1.0
2.3
2.6
Personal attention to students
38.0
34.0
21.0
4.0
3.0
2.0
2.3
Quality of college-planned social activities
14.1
35.4
34.3
12.1
4.0
2.6
2.9
Opportunities for involvement in College Governance
13.5
34.4
41.7
9.4
1.0
2.5
3.0
Level of peer's adherence to the Principles and Practices
3.0
28.0
32.0
29.0
8.0
3.1
3.2
Level of YOUR adherence to Principles and Practices
12.0
39.0
31.0
14.0
4.0
2.6
2.5
Level of support in Residence Halls to work through conflicts
12.6
26.3
36.8
15.8
8.4
2.8
3.0
Effectiveness of the roommate agreement (did it assist in the quality of interaction with your roommate
14.7
17.9
24.2
26.3
16.8
3.1
3.3
Quality of personal connections you have experienced
49.5
32.3
11.1
5.1
2.0
1.8
2.1
Quality of your overall experience beyond the classroom
39.0
43.0
14.0
4.0
0.0
1.8
2.3
Value for the cost to your family
18.0
42.0
24.0
12.0
4.0
2.4
2.8
Chances of your recommending Earlham to a friend or family member.
42.0
30.0
18.0
8.0
2.0
2.0
2.2

Scale:  1=Excellent; 2=Very good; 3=Good; 4=Fair; 5=Poor

Twenty-five percent of the first-year students prefer an open admission policy to a class even though it is large, 46% of the students prefer limited enrollment even though it means not everyone will be allowed to take the course. Another 25% of the students are not sure how they feel about the issue.

According to responses on the YFCY survey, when these first-year students see an academic infraction, 14.6% of them always address the issue, 49% sometimes address the issue, 34.4% never address the issue.

To continue this longitudinal study, the YFCY survey will be given to first-year students in the spring of 2009.

 

Previous YFCY Surveys

Created by Mary Ann Weaver
weavema@earlham.edu
January 18, 2006