Survey Results

Early Connections

 

 

When students describe their early college experiences, they typically reflect on occasions when they felt discouraged or thought about dropping out. Their reasons for persisting almost always include one common element: a strong, early connection to someone at the college. The following five items constitute this benchmark:

Thinking about your experiences from the time of your decision to attend this college through the end of the first three weeks of your first semester or quarter, respond to each item (using a five-point scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree):

  • The very first time I came to this college I felt welcome (18a)
  • The college provided me with adequate information about financial assistance (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) (18i)
  • A college staff member helped me determine whether I qualified for financial assistance (18j)
  • At least one college staff member (other than an instructor) learned my name (18p)

Thinking about your experiences from the time of your decision to attend this college through the end of the first three weeks of your first semester or quarter, respond (answering yes or no):

  • A specific person was assigned to me so I could see him/her each time I needed information or assistance (23)

Key Findings: Early Connections

The majority of entering students say they felt welcome at college, but smaller percentages of students report that they received information and support that is critical for their success.

  • Nearly three-quarters of respondents (74%) agree or strongly agree that they felt welcome the first time they came to their colleges. However, 23% express no opinion on this item (neutral) — a response that might prompt both curiosity and concern.
  • Over half of respondents (53%) agree or strongly agree that their colleges provided them with adequate information about financial assistance, while 22% disagree or strongly disagree.
  • One-third of respondents (37%) agree or strongly agree that a college staff member helped them determine whether they qualified for financial assistance, while 37% disagree or strongly disagree.
  • Less than half of respondents (47%) agree or strongly agree that at least one college staff member (other than an instructor) learned their names, compared with 35% who disagree or strongly disagree.
  • One quarter of students (26%) say that a specific person was assigned to them so they could see that person each time they needed information or assistance.

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