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Graduating Senior Survey - 2008 Grads

In the tables below comparisons between Spring, Summer, and Fall Grads are presented. You can also view more detailed view for each terms, including comparison between the Macomb and Quad Cities campus at the following links.

Level of Satisfaction with Overall Western Experience

In most cases, Western's ongoing and broad-based efforts to strengthen the undergraduate experience achieved modest success, with Fall 2008 graduates noting a somewhat higher level of satisfaction with their overall Western Experience than did Spring 2008 graduates. Summer 2008 graduates, however, were noticeable less satisfied.

  • The improvements were greatest for integration of theory and practice and in the areas of academic, financial aid, and career advising. These areas will hopefully be able to continue their excellence.
  • Potential declines, however, were seen in the quality of instruction outside the major, campus security, and opportunities to get involved in out-of-class/co-curricular experiences. These areas should be watched closely to ensure that the negative trend does not continue.

 

1=Very Satisfied, 2=Somewhat Satisfied, 3=Somewhat Dissatisfied, 4=Very Dissatisfied Spring 2008 Summer 2008 Fall 2008
Coursework required in the general education curriculum 1.99
2.11
1.91
Extent of intellectual challenges in courses outside of your major 1.90
2.11
1.87
Quality of instruction outside of your major 1.97
2.23
2.05
Encouragement of different scholarly points of view by the faculty 1.82
2.01
1.84
Faculty members' preparation of their courses 1.79
1.77
1.73
Communication between you and faculty about student needs, concerns, and/or suggestions 1.77
1.95
1.78
Opportunities outside the classroom for academic interaction between students and faculty 2.00
2.07
2.01
Overall quality of academic advising you received 2.06
2.11
1.87
Overall quality of financial aid counseling you received 2.39
2.40
2.17
Overall quality of career placement information you received 2.43
2.51
2.27
Overall level of campus security 1.78
1.97
1.88
Technology use in enhancing the learning experience 1.75
1.84
1.72
Availability of library resources you needed/wanted 1.52
1.52
1.55
Opportunities to get involved in out-of-class/co-curricular experiences 1.63
1.80
1.71
Integration of theory and practice in preparing you for your future 1.97
1.96
1.75
Campus sense of responsiveness to student needs 2.02
2.10
2.03

 

Degree of Excellence within Major Program of Study

Reported excellence within the major program of study continued to be quite high with little noted change in most areas.

  • There did, however, appear to be substantial improvement in the helpfulness of major faculty members in exploring career options and in the various teaching methods used in major courses. Improvement in these areas should bode well for future students.
  • There is some potential concern for modest slippage in the areas appropriate evaluation procedures in major classes and in relevant library holdings. Care should taken to closely monitor these areas to ensure excellence.

 

1=Excellent, 2=Above Average, 3=Below Average, 4=Poor Spring 2008 Summer 2008 Fall 2008
The academic rigor of your major coursework 1.75
1.79
1.78
Appropriateness of required courses in your major department 1.76
1.79
1.78
Appropriateness of courses not in your major department, but required for your major 2.04
2.13
1.99
Availability of elective courses supportive of your major 2.13
2.05
2.15
Quality of instruction you received in your major 1.62
1.67
1.68
Helpfulness of faculty in your major in exploring your career options 1.93
1.92
1.81
Library holdings relevant to your field 1.89
2.06
1.98
Appropriateness of evaluation procedures (grades, papers, exams) used in courses in your major 1.74
1.83
1.82
Teaching methods used in courses in your major (e.g., lecture, labs, use of audiovisual aids, tutorials, field trips) 1.86
1.91
1.77
Accessibility of faculty members in your major 1.56
1.63
1.57

 

Focus of Overall Classroom Learning (Bloom's Taxonomy)

Western has made a strong commitment, beginning with its freshman First Year Experience program, to ensure that students develop critical thinking skills necessary for success in the growing competitive global arena. Early signs point to success in this effort.

  • Each semester, from Spring 2008 to Summer 2008 to Fall 2008 demonstrated an continual increase in the the analysis of ideas and theories and in the application of theories and concepts to practical problems. Continued emphasis in these higher learning areas will help prepare Western graduates for success.
  • Even with growth in higher learning and critical thinking, there was however, no decrease seen in the among of learning based on memorization, presenting an area to closely observe over future terms.

 

1=Almost All, 2=Most, 3=Half, 4=Some, 5=Hardly Any Spring 2008 Summer 2008 Fall 2008
Memorizing facts, ideas, or methods from your courses and readings so you can repeat them in pretty much the same form 2.48
2.41
2.51
Analyzing the basic elements of an idea, experience, or theory, such as examining a particular case or situation in depth and considering its components 2.38
2.24
2.13
Synthesizing and organizing ideas, information, or experiences into new, more complex interpretations and relationships 2.62
2.68
2.59
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 2.53
2.67
2.45
Applying theories or concepts to practical problems or in new situations. 2.42
2.36
2.26

 

Effective Student Engagement

In keeping with the positive association effective student engagement measured by Western's participation in the National Survey of Student Engagement, graduating seniors continued to sum up the success of these ongoing efforts.

  • Between Spring 2008 and Fall 2008, marked improvement was seen in four of the five areas measured by the National Survey of Student Engagement. All of these areas - academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interaction, and enriching educational experiences - all speak to Western's commitment to providing a quality learning environment for its students.

 

1=Excellent, 2=Above Average, 3=Average, 4=Below Average, 5=Poor Spring 2008 Summer 2008 Fall 2008
Level of Academic Challenge 2.42
2.19
2.19
Active and Collaborative Learning 2.36
2.31
2.19
Student-Faculty Interactions 2.38
2.37
1.98
Enriching Educational Experiences 2.38
2.44
2.17
Supportive Campus Environment 2.24
2.44
2.23

 

Western's Core Values

Western's four core values are the basis of its very existence, and would be expect to be highly rated. But success requires a concerted effort to further improve, as evidenced by variable results seen in the perceptions of graduating seniors regarding Western's core values and its mission of Higher Values in Higher Education.

  • Educational opportunity has long been a goal and purpose of Western. While ranked highly in Spring 2008, further improvement was seen in Fall 2008 as Western continues its efforts to control costs and provide students with higher education opportunities, all while maintaining with commitment to academic excellence.

 

1=Excellent, 2=Above Average, 3=Average, 4=Below Average, 5=Poor Spring 2008 Summer 2008 Fall 2008
Academic Excellence 2.25
2.19
2.21
Educational Opportunity 2.17
2.19
1.95
Social Responsibility 2.34
2.50
2.34
Personal Growth 2.15
2.16
2.14
Higher Values in Higher Education 2.15
2.12
2.19

 

Western's Contribution to Growth

An important purpose of any educational effort is to help the individual grow in a variety of ways. While graduating seniors reported major growth achievements during their Western experience, there was not an improving trend.

  • The decreases seen in educational, social, and personal growth are of concern as these are centered around Western's core values. Thus, while still highly rated, these are areas which should be closely monitored.

 

1=Major Progress, 2=Some Progress, 3=Little Progress, 4=No Progress Spring 2008 Summer 2008 Fall 2008
Intellectual Growth: Your ability to understand and use concepts and principles from several broad areas of learning 1.52
1.58
1.51
Educational Growth: Your understanding of a particular field of knowledge and your preparation for further education 1.33
1.40
1.51
Social Growth: Your understanding of people and their views who are from backgrounds other than your own 1.61
1.72
1.65
Vocational and Professional Growth: Your preparation for employment in a particular vocational or professional area 1.71
1.78
1.80
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 1.52
1.60
1.63