Nearly all students arrive at their community colleges intending to succeed and believing that they have the motivation to do so. When entering students perceive clear, high expectations from college staff and faculty, they are more likely to understand what it takes to be successful and adopt behaviors that lead to achievement. Students then often rise to meet expectations, making it more likely that they will attain their goals. Often, students’ aspirations also climb, and they seek more advanced credentials than they originally envisioned.
The following seven 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 instructors at this college want me to succeed (18b)
- I have the motivation to do what it takes to succeed in college (18t)
- I am prepared academically to succeed in college (18u)
- During the first three weeks of your first semester or quarter at this college, how often did you:
- Turn in an assignment late (19c)
- Not turn in an assignment (19d)
- Come to class without completing readings or assignments (19f)
- Skip class (19s)
Key Findings: High Expectations and Aspirations
Entering students say they have high motivation and strong preparation, but students’ reports of their first three weeks of college indicate that many are adopting behaviors that do not lead to success.
- More than three-quarters of respondents (88%) agree or strongly agree that the instructors at their colleges want them to succeed.
- Nearly nine of ten students (89%) agree or strongly agree that they have the motivation to do what it takes to succeed in college.
- Most respondents (85%) believe (agree or strongly agree) that they are prepared academically to succeed in college.
- One-quarter (28%) report that they did not turn in an assignment at least once, while nearly one-third of respondents (34%) say they turned in an assignment late at least once.
- Many respondents (43%) report coming to class without completing readings or assignments at least once.
- One-quarter (25%) report skipping class one or more times, and 8% report skipping class two or more times within the first three weeks.