2002 Your First College Year Survey

Executive Summary:

Jean Chen
Carmen Williams
Bobby Reis
Office of Institutional Research
November 30, 2002

The Your First College Year (YFCY) Survey is part of a national study for use at the end of the first college year 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. YFCY includes 21 measures of student satisfaction with curricular and co-curricular experiences, campus facilities, and student services. YFCY also asks students to rate how successful they feel in adjusting to several aspects of the first college year. It yields data that can be used to improve the effectiveness of academic and co-curricular programs, retention rates, and learning outcomes.

At the University of North Dakota, 1,106 first-year (576 male and 530 female) students received the 2002 YFCY Survey by mail in April 2002 and 223 (77 male, 145 female, and 1 unknown) completed and returned the survey. An overall net response rate of 21 percent was attained.

Every nine out of ten respondents believed they were sufficiently prepared academically (89%) or socially (91%) for college. Nineteen percent of respondents took a college course or a seminar specifically designed to help first-year students adjust to college.

Thirteen percent never interacted with their instructors during office hours and 15 percent never interacted with their academic advisors. UND respondents were less likely to receive tutoring, seek personal counseling, or work with a professor on a research project. They also indicated a lower selfrating in their academic skills, knowledge, and ability compared with their national counterparts.

Respondents felt satisfied or very satisfied with the amount of contact they had with the faculty (60%), with the relevance of coursework to future career plans (62%), and with the overall quality of instruction (74%). Since entering UND, 41 percent had changed their career plans, 47 percent had declared their major, and 37 percent indicated to pursue a different major.

More than eighty percent reported feeling completely successful or fairly successful at understanding what their professors expected of them academically. More than ninety percent felt they have adjusted to the academic demands of college and have developed close friendships with other students. Eighty-two percent were satisfied with their overall first year college experience at UND.

Students who came to UND were less receptive to diversity issues and were less likely to socialize with someone of another racial/ethnic group or have knowledge of people from different races or cultures than their national counterparts. The first year at UND appears to have increased their desire to develop a meaningful philosophy of life and to help promote racial understanding.

There is an increase in the number of students who reported feeling depressed or overwhelmed at some point during the past year. Sixty-five percent of male and 49 percent of female respondents had some concern about their ability to finance their college education. With comparisons with the CIRP data, a greater percentage of UND respondents drunk and smoked than the national norm.

Nearly 83 percent of respondents would encourage others to attend UND. Eighty-eight percent thought they would be returning to UND while 11 percent indicated that they might be attending another institution for the 2002 Fall Semester. Seventeen percent indicated they planned to transfer elsewhere before graduating from UND.

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