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Graduating Senior Survey - Spring 2009 Grads

Overview

247 of the 1,140 Spring 2009 graduates participated in the graduating senior survey, with 89% considering themselves WIU-Macomb students, 10% declaring as WIU-QC students, and 1% being extension students. (Details in tables provided overall, and separately for Macomb and Quad Cities graduates, but not for extension graduates.)

  • In keeping with Western's tradition of having a large number of students transfer into WIU from other colleges and universities, only 50% of seniors started their collegiate career at Western as first-time freshmen, but 73% of seniors still spent at least 3 years as a student at Western.
  • While the majority (70%) of Western seniors plan to hit the work force directly after graduation; 23% plan on graduate school being their next step; 1% each plan on additional undergraduate study, military service, or starting/raising a family as their primary pursuit; and 4% have other post-graduation plans.
  • Overall, seniors reported being satisfied with their WIU and major experience, with 82% saying they would still attend WIU if they had it to do all over again, and 85% saying they would still choose the same major.

Level of Satisfaction with Overall Western Experience

As can be seen in the table below, seniors indicate a very high level of satisfaction with their overall Western experience, with the top 3 ranked attributes being 1) availability of library resources, 2) faculty members' course preparation, and 3) communication between students and faculty. In addition, the Quad Cites students reported a somewhat higher sense of satisfaction, perhaps due to a greater sense of a learning community resulting from their smaller size.

 

1=Very Satisfied, 2=Somewhat Satisfied, 3=Somewhat Dissatisfied, 4=Very Dissatisfied Macomb Quad Cities Total
Coursework required in the general education curriculum 2.12 2.04 2.11
Extent of intellectual challenges in courses outside of your major 2.01 1.28 1.96
Quality of instruction outside of your major 2.05 1.62 2.00
Encouragement of different scholarly points of view by the faculty 1.88 1.50 1.84
Faculty members' preparation of their courses 1.68 1.67 1.67
Communication between you and faculty about student needs, concerns, and/or suggestions 1.71 1.50 1.69
Opportunities outside the classroom for academic interaction between students and faculty 1.94 1.58 1.90
Overall quality of academic advising you received 1.94 1.71 1.93
Overall quality of financial aid counseling you received 2.76 2.96 2.77
Overall quality of career placement information you received 2.65 2.42 2.63
Overall level of campus security 1.86 1.75 1.86
Technology use in enhancing the learning experience 1.75 1.58 1.73
Availability of library resources you needed/wanted 1.47 1.54 1.47
Opportunities to get involved in out-of-class/co-curricular experiences 168 1.83 1.70
Integration of theory and practice in preparing you for your future 1.85 1.58 1.83
Campus sense of responsiveness to student needs 1.98 1.62 1.96

 

Degree of Excellence within Major Program of Study

As can be seen in the table below, seniors rated their major programs very highly, with the top 2 ranked attributes being 1) accessibility of faculty members and 2) the academic rigor of their coursework. While the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses scored similarly, the greatest difference was with a much greater availability of supportive elective courses on the Macomb campus, again likely a consequence of the campus size differential, this time however, with the larger campus being more satisfied.

 

1=Excellent, 2=Above Average, 3=Below Average, 4=Poor Macomb Quad Cities Total
The academic rigor of your major coursework 1.60 1.62 1.60
Appropriateness of required courses in your major department 1.62 1.67 1.62
Appropriateness of courses not in your major department, but required for your major 2.02 1.87 2.00
Availability of elective courses supportive of your major 2.09 2.83 2.05
Quality of instruction you received in your major 1.62 1.58 1.62
Helpfulness of faculty in your major in exploring your career options 1.85 1.62 1.84
Library holdings relevant to your field 1.98 1.75 1.95
Appropriateness of evaluation procedures (grades, papers, exams) used in courses in your major 1.67 1.67 1.67
Teaching methods used in courses in your major (e.g., lecture, labs, use of audiovisual aids, tutorials, field trips) 1.68 1.67 1.68
Accessibility of faculty members in your major 1.50 1.54 1.50

 

Focus of Overall Classroom Learning (Bloom's Taxonomy)

As can be seen in the table below, seniors at both the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses indicated that their classroom learning ranged from the lower cognitive memorizing level to the highest level of applying theories and concepts.

 

1=Almost All, 2=Most, 3=Half, 4=Some, 5=Hardly Any Macomb Quad Cities Total
Memorizing facts, ideas, or methods from your courses and readings so you can repeat them in pretty much the same form 2.35 2.21 2.34
Analyzing the basic elements of an idea, experience, or theory, such as examining a particular case or situation in depth and considering its components 2.22 2.12 2.21
Synthesizing and organizing ideas, information, or experiences into new, more complex interpretations and relationships 2.45 2.57 2.46
Making judgments about the value of information, arguments, or methods, such as examining how others gathered and interpreted data and assessing the soundness of their conclusions 2.48 2.50 2.48
Applying theories or concepts to practical problems or in new situations. 2.16 2.17 2.16

 

Effective Student Engagement

As can be seen in the table below, seniors indicated high levels of effective student engagement, in keeping with the positive association of these attributes seen in Western's participation in the National Survey of Student Engagement. As was the case with overall satisfaction regarding their Western Experience, Quad Cites students report higher levels of engagement, again perhaps as a result of a greater sense of being a learning community due their smaller size.

 

1=Excellent, 2=Above Average, 3=Average, 4=Below Average, 5=Poor Macomb Quad Cities Total
Level of Academic Challenge 2.09 2.08 2.09
Active and Collaborative Learning 2.12 2.00 2.11
Student-Faculty Interactions 1.96 2.00 1.97
Enriching Educational Experiences 2.17 1.96 2.15
Supportive Campus Environment 2.16 1.96 2.15

 

Western's Core Values

As can be seen in the table below, seniors rated Western as effective in building upon its 4 core values to achieve its goal of Higher Values in Higher Education . Quad Cities students again provided higher ratings.

 

1=Excellent, 2=Above Average, 3=Average, 4=Below Average, 5=Poor Macomb Quad Cities Total
Academic Excellence 2.09 1.82 2.07
Educational Opportunity 1.94 1.86 1.94
Social Responsibility 2.16 1.95 2.14
Personal Growth 1.95 1.73 1.93
Higher Values in Higher Education 2.05 1.82 2.03

 

Western's Contribution to Growth

An important purpose of any educational effort is to help the individual grow in a variety of ways. As can be seen in the table below, seniors reported major growth achievements during their Western experience, not only in the expected area of educational growth, but notably also in terms of personal and social growth, two of Western's core values.

 

1=Major Progress, 2=Some Progress, 3=Little Progress, 4=No Progress Macomb Quad Cities Total
Intellectual Growth: Your ability to understand and use concepts and principles from several broad areas of learning 1.47 1.54 1.48
Educational Growth: Your understanding of a particular field of knowledge and your preparation for further education 1.36 1.29 1.36
Social Growth: Your understanding of people and their views who are from backgrounds other than your own 1.64 1.71 1.65
Vocational and Professional Growth: Your preparation for employment in a particular vocational or professional area 1.62 1.58 1.62
Personal Growth: Your development of attitudes, values, beliefs, and a particular philosophy of life: your understanding and acceptance of your obligation to the improvement of society and yourself as a person 1.44 1.54 1.45