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Graduating Senior Survey - 2009 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 continued to achieve modest success, with Fall 2009 graduates generally noting a somewhat higher level of satisfaction with their overall Western Experience than did Spring 2009 graduates. Summer 2009 graduates, however, were noticeable less satisfied.

  • The improvements were greatest for quality of financial aid counseling, coursework required in the general curriculum, and quality of instruction outside of the major. These areas will hopefully be able to continue there excellence.
  • Potential declines, however, were seen in the quality of academic advising and availability of library resources. 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 2009 Summer 2009 Fall 2009
Coursework required in the general education curriculum 2.11 1.86 1.68
Extent of intellectual challenges in courses outside of your major 1.96 1.90 1.70
Quality of instruction outside of your major 2.00 1.90 1.67
Encouragement of different scholarly points of view by the faculty 1.84 1.91 1.70
Faculty members' preparation of their courses 1.67 1.78 1.62
Communication between you and faculty about student needs, concerns, and/or suggestions 1.69 1.85 1.61
Opportunities outside the classroom for academic interaction between students and faculty 1.90 2.01 1.78
Overall quality of academic advising you received 1.93 2.10 1.99
Overall quality of financial aid counseling you received 2.77 2.28 2.24
Overall quality of career placement information you received 2.63 2.47 2.39
Overall level of campus security 1.86 1.67 1.75
Technology use in enhancing the learning experience 1.73 1.76 1.62
Availability of library resources you needed/wanted 1.47 1.59 1.50
Opportunities to get involved in out-of-class/co-curricular experiences 1.70 1.68 1.69
Integration of theory and practice in preparing you for your future 1.83 1.99 1.80
Campus sense of responsiveness to student needs 1.96 1.91 1.91

 

Degree of Excellence within Major Program of Study

Reported excellence within the major program of study continued to be quite high, but these was an overall decline.

  • There was a very small increase in accessibility of faculty within the major and library holdings relevant to the major remained constant.
  • There is some potential concern for slippage in the other areas, particularly appropriateness of evaluation procedures, appropriateness of required courses within the major, and availability of elective courses that support the major. Care should taken to closely monitor these areas to ensure excellence.

 

1=Excellent, 2=Above Average, 3=Below Average, 4=Poor Spring 2009 Summer 2009 Fall 2009
The academic rigor of your major coursework 1.60 1.83 1.67
Appropriateness of required courses in your major department 1.62 1.81 1.74
Appropriateness of courses not in your major department, but required for your major 2.00 2.05 2.03
Availability of elective courses supportive of your major 2.05 2.10 2.17
Quality of instruction you received in your major 1.62 1.72 1.67
Helpfulness of faculty in your major in exploring your career options 1.84 1.99 1.89
Library holdings relevant to your field 1.95 2.03 1.95
Appropriateness of evaluation procedures (grades, papers, exams) used in courses in your major 1.67 1.76 1.85
Teaching methods used in courses in your major (e.g., lecture, labs, use of audiovisual aids, tutorials, field trips) 1.68 1.84 1.75
Accessibility of faculty members in your major 1.50 1.63 1.49

 

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.

  • Along with a slight decline in the reliance on memorization, increases have been seen in the two highest cognitive learning aspects, making judgments of informational value and application of theoretical knowledge.
  • However, there was a decrease in the use of synthesizing information and no improvement in analyzing information, an indication of areas to observe closely over future terms.

 

1=Almost All, 2=Most, 3=Half, 4=Some, 5=Hardly Any Spring 2009 Summer 2009 Fall 2009
Memorizing facts, ideas, or methods from your courses and readings so you can repeat them in pretty much the same form 2.34 2.24 2.38
Analyzing the basic elements of an idea, experience, or theory, such as examining a particular case or situation in depth and considering its components 2.21 2.38 2.21
Synthesizing and organizing ideas, information, or experiences into new, more complex interpretations and relationships 2.46 2.62 2.50
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 2.52 2.41
Applying theories or concepts to practical problems or in new situations. 2.16 2.39 2.14

 

Effective Student Engagement

Tying the positive association of effective student engagement measured by Western's participation in the National Survey of Student Engagement with explicit evaluation of these factors noting by graduating seniors showed variable results.

  • Between Spring 2009 and Fall 2009, modest improvement was seen in active & collaborative Learning and level of academic challenge, which both speak to Western's commitment to providing a quality learning environment for its students.
  • However, modest declines in supportive campus environment and student-faculty interactions, while enriching educational experiences showed no change. These indicate important areas of effective student engagement that should be monitored through detailed study of the Western's NSSE result in an effort to seek an improvement.

 

1=Excellent, 2=Above Average, 3=Average, 4=Below Average, 5=Poor Spring 2009 Summer 2009 Fall 2009
Level of Academic Challenge 2.09 2.23 2.05
Active and Collaborative Learning 2.11 2.28 2.03
Student-Faculty Interactions 1.97 2.22 2.01
Enriching Educational Experiences 2.15 2.30 2.15
Supportive Campus Environment 2.15 2.23 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 .

  • Modest improvement was seen in terms of academic excellence and the overall theme of higher values in higher education between Spring 2009 and Fall 2009.
  • However, more substantial, though still modest, declines were seen in personal growth, educational opportunity, and social responsibility. Given the importance of these core values to Western's mission, these areas deserve critical evaluation to ensure that the decline is reversed.

 

1=Excellent, 2=Above Average, 3=Average, 4=Below Average, 5=Poor Spring 2009 Summer 2009 Fall 2009
Academic Excellence 2.07 2.21 2.03
Educational Opportunity 1.94 2.09 2.01
Social Responsibility 2.14 2.10 2.16
Personal Growth 1.93 2.04 2.02
Higher Values in Higher Education 2.03 2.18 2.01

 

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 a consistent modest decline across all areas from Spring 2009 to Fall 2009.

  • The decreases seen in educational, social, and personal growth are of particular 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 2009 Summer 2009 Fall 2009
Intellectual Growth: Your ability to understand and use concepts and principles from several broad areas of learning 1.48 1.64 1.55
Educational Growth: Your understanding of a particular field of knowledge and your preparation for further education 1.36 1.52 1.40
Social Growth: Your understanding of people and their views who are from backgrounds other than your own 1.65 1.64 1.76
Vocational and Professional Growth: Your preparation for employment in a particular vocational or professional area 1.62 1.89 1.69
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 1.45 1.55 1.62