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Graduating Senior Survey - Spring 2011 Grads

Overview

305 of the 1,326 Spring 2011 graduates participated in the graduating senior survey, with 91% considering themselves WIU-Macomb students, 9% 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 55% of seniors started their collegiate career at Western as first-time freshmen, but 77% of seniors still spent at least 3 years as a student at Western.
  • While the majority (67%) of Western seniors plan to hit the work force directly after graduation; 25% plan on graduate school being their next step; 2% plan on military services; 1% plan on additional undergraduate study; and 4% have other post-graduation plans.
  • Overall, seniors reported being satisfied with their WIU and major experience, with 85% saying they would still attend WIU if they had it to do all over again, and 87% 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. The Quad Cites students reported a somewhat higher sense of satisfaction in all but 5 of the measured parameters, perhaps due to a greater sense of a learning community resulting from their smaller size.

  • On both he Macomb and Quad Cities campuses, the top 3 ranked attributes were: 1) availability of library resources, 2) opportunities to get involved in out-of-class/co-curricular experiences, and 3rd) communication with faculty about student needs, concerns, and/or suggestions.

 

1=Very Satisfied, 2=Somewhat Satisfied, 3=Somewhat Dissatisfied, 4=Very Dissatisfied Macomb Quad Cities Total
Coursework required in the general education curriculum 2.36
2.00
2.33
Extent of intellectual challenges in courses outside of your major 2.37
2.09
2.35
Quality of instruction outside of your major 2.41
2.24
2.38
Encouragement of different scholarly points of view by the faculty 2.42
2.10
2.40
Faculty members' preparation of their courses 2.31
2.09
2.28
Communication between you and faculty about student needs, concerns, and/or suggestions 2.23
2.18
2.22
Opportunities outside the classroom for academic interaction between students and faculty 2.28
2.50
2.29
Overall quality of academic advising you received 2.28
2.26
2.29
Overall quality of financial aid counseling you received 2.67
2.11
2.62
Overall quality of career placement information you received 3.05
3.41
3.08
Technology use in enhancing the learning experience 2.41
2.35
2.39
Availability of library resources you needed/wanted 1.85
1.89
1.85
Overall level of campus security
2.40
1.65
2.33
Opportunities to get involved in out-of-class/co-curricular experiences
1.96
2.11
1.97
Integration of theory and practice in preparing you for your future
2.33
2.55
2.35
Campus sense of responsiveness to student needs 2.59 2.33 2.56

 

Degree of Excellence within Major Program of Study

As can be seen in the table below, seniors rated their major programs very highly. The Macomb students reported a somewhat higher sense of satisfaction in all but 2 of the measured parameters, perhaps due to the larger number of course opportunities.

  • On the Macomb campus, the top 2 ranked attributes were: 1) accessibility of faculty members in your major and 2) academic rigor or your major coursework.
  • On the Quad Cities campus, the top 2 ranked attributes were: 1) library holdings relevant to your field and tied for 2) academic rigor or your major coursework and quality of instruction you received in your major.

 

1=Excellent, 2=Above Average, 3=Below Average, 4=Poor Macomb Quad Cities Total
The academic rigor of your major coursework 1.87
2.00
1.88
Appropriateness of required courses in your major department 2.09
2.14
2.09
Appropriateness of courses not in your major department, but required for your major 2.40
2.35
2.39
Availability of elective courses supportive of your major 2.41
2.62
2.43
Quality of instruction you received in your major 1.89
2.00
1.90
Helpfulness of faculty in your major in exploring your career options 2.16
2.74
2.20
Library holdings relevant to your field 2.14
1.88
2.12
Appropriateness of evaluation procedures (grades, papers, exams) used in courses in your major 2.13
2.14
2.13
Teaching methods used in courses in your major (e.g., lecture, labs, use of audiovisual aids, tutorials, field trips) 2.06
2.14
2.06
Accessibility of faculty members in your major 1.69
2.05
1.72

 

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.

  • It was notable that at both the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses that students reported considerably more high level application learning and less low level memorization.

 

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 2.33
2.59
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 2.33
2.09
2.31
Synthesizing and organizing ideas, information, or experiences into new, more complex interpretations and relationships 2.58
2.14
2.54
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 2.47
2.05
2.43
Applying theories or concepts to practical problems or in new situations. 2.15
2.09
2.13

 

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. The results for the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses are variable, with no clear differences between them.

 

1=Excellent, 2=Above Average, 3=Average, 4=Below Average, 5=Poor Macomb Quad Cities Total
Level of Academic Challenge 2.27
2.00
2.24
Active and Collaborative Learning 2.24
2.05
2.22
Student-Faculty Interactions 2.07
2.18
2.08
Enriching Educational Experiences 2.29
2.27
2.29
Supportive Campus Environment 2.35
2.36
2.38

 

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 tended to provide higher ratings, especially in terms of educational opportunity, likely due to WIU-QC being the only public university in the region.

 

1=Excellent, 2=Above Average, 3=Average, 4=Below Average, 5=Poor Macomb Quad Cities Total
Academic Excellence 2.26
2.05
2.23
Educational Opportunity 2.06
1.86
2.05
Social Responsibility 2.26
2.18
2.25
Personal Growth 2.04
2.05
2.04
Higher Values in Higher Education 2.23
2.09
2.22

 

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.

  • While the differences were small, the biggest differences were in Macomb campus students reported greater growth both in terms of educational growth and vocational and professional growth. With Macomb being a larger campus with more traditional-aged students, this may well be a factor that contributed to these differences.

 

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 1.79
1.73
1.51
Educational Growth: Your understanding of a particular field of knowledge and your preparation for further education 1.34
1.43
1.35
Social Growth: Your understanding of people and their views who are from backgrounds other than your own 1.62
1.67
1.62
Vocational and Professional Growth: Your preparation for employment in a particular vocational or professional area 1.63
1.76
1.64
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 1.48
1.48
1.48