Carolina State University
2002-2003 Graduating Senior Survey:
- NC State conducted its annual
survey of graduating seniors during the 2002-2003 academic year (AY02-03).
Eligible students were those who were graduating in December 2002 or May 2003.
The web survey's response rate among all AY02-03 graduates was 70.0%.
- Respondents did not differ from
the AY02-03 graduating senior class in gender or race/ethnicity. College of
Design graduates were slightly underrepresented and College of Humanities
and Social Sciences, slightly overrepresented in the sample due to the relatively
low and high response rates among students in these respective colleges.
- The margin of error for the survey
is +0.6 percent for all respondents.
- With few exceptions, results are
similar to those from last year's survey.
Student Goals and Intentions
- One-third of respondents (33.6%)
said their primary goal in attending NC State was to "prepare for graduate
or professional school." African American respondents were more likely than
non-African American minority respondents and whites (39.4%, 36.3% and 32.8%,
respectively), and women more likely than men (37.8% vs. 30.1%) to say this.
- Over 70 percent of all respondents
(72.1%) said they "fully accomplished" their primary goal. Racial minorities
were less likely than whites to have said they "fully accomplished" their
- When asked their plans following
graduation, about one-fourth of all respondents said they were going to graduate
or professional school either full-time (19.3%) or part-time (4.0%).
- Overall, 58 percent of respondents
said it took them longer than four years to graduate. The reasons most often
given for doing so were "changed majors" (51.4%) and "personal
reasons" (48.6%). Men were more likely than women to say it took them
longer than four years to graduate. Men were also more likely than women to
say the reasons for doing so were "wanted or advised to take a lighter
course load" (36.8% vs. 28.8%) and "participated in a co-op, internship,
etc." (29.9% vs. 20.8%). Women reporting taking more than four years
to graduate were more likely than men to say that it was due to "personal
reasons" (53.5% vs. 45.4%). While there were no significant racial differences
in whether it took more than four years to graduate, among those who did report
taking longer, African American respondents were more likely than others to
say it was because they had "changed majors," for "personal
reasons," or "financial reasons." White respondents were more
likely than African American respondents to say it was because they "lost
transfer credit," "wanted a lighter course load," or had "participated
a co-op, internship, etc."
- Over one-fourth of all respondents
(27.3%) said they had considered withdrawing or transferring from NCSU, or
had actually left and returned. African American respondents were more likely
than others to have done so, with 18.7% having seriously considered leaving,
17.6% having considered doing so but not seriously, and 5.2 having left and
- Almost 90 percent of respondents
(87.6%) said they would recommend NC State to a friend.
- Three-fourths (74.9%) of all respondents
said they would choose NC State again if they could start over. Whites were
more likely than African American and non-African American minority respondents
to say this (76.2%, 67.9%, and 67.8% respectively).
- Over 60 percent (61.6%) of all
respondents said they would choose the same major again.
- Over 90 percent of respondents
rated the intellectual environment on campus as "strong" (66.8%)
or "very strong" (25.2%). Respondents gave similar ratings to the
overall education they received at NC State (63.2% "good;" "24.7%
were much more likely to rate the quality of instruction in the major
as "excellent" (47.5%) than they were to rate the overall
quality of instruction as "excellent" (24.7%). In general, women
gave higher ratings to the various academic environment measures than did
- Highest average ratings were given
forfaculty in the respondent's major setting high expectations for learning
(3.4) and to encouraging that time and energy be devoted to coursework
(3.3). Although still rated as "excellent" or "good" by
majorities of respondents, factors related to faculty involvement with students
on a more individual basis received somewhat lower ratings. Woman gave higher
ratings than men on all faculty contribution measures, while white respondents
gave higher ratings than minority respondents on most of the measures.
- More than half of the respondents
said they believe the campus environment is at least mildly supportive of
various groups of people (e.g., women, African Americans, disabled students,
etc.) at the university. The one exception is that only 37.5% of respondents
rate the campus as at least "mildly supportive" of gay and lesbian
students. Almost half of respondents (46.6%) rate the environment for
gays and lesbians as "neither supportive nor unsupportive," while
about 15% rate it as "nonsupportive." Women were much more likely
than men to say the campus is "strongly supportive" of men.
Whites were much more likely than African Americans and slightly more likely
than non-African American minorities to say the campus is "strongly supportive"
of all groups other than men.
- Fifteen percent of African American
respondents (15.3%) "strongly agree" that NC State is committed
to helping minority students succeed, compared to 31.0 percent of non-African
American minorities and 49.1 percent of whites. About 30 percent of African
Americans disagree either "somewhat" (20.1%) or "strongly"
(8.5%) that NC State is committed to helping minority students succeed.
10 percent (11.6%) of African American respondents "strongly agree"
that there is visible leadership on campus to foster diversity, compared
to 27.5% of non-African American minority respondents and 34.1% of whites.
Services for Students
- Respondents gave positive ratings
to the different types of academic services listed. Respondents tended to
give highest ratings to technology and library services, and
lowest rating to research support services. (Average ratings for each
of these services "overall" were 3.3, 3.4 and 3.0, respectively.)
Among the 28 individual service items highest ratings were given to access
to the Internet. The four lowest ratings all went to items related to
training: access to trained technology staff, technology training
classes, training to use the library, and to interview preparation
skills. However, African
American respondents gave higher ratings than whites and non-African American
minority respondents to each of the four training-related items. African American
respondents also gave higher average ratings than did whites and non-African
American minority respondents to career- and employment-related
services. On average, women gave higher ratings than men to research
support services and to career-related services.
- Although non-academic services
tended to receive lower ratings than academic services, with the exception
of campus food services, each of the non-academic services asked about
was rated as at least "good" by two-thirds or more respondents .
Library services (40.0%), opportunities for recreational activities
(39.2%), and registration process (38.3%) were most likely
to be rated as "excellent."
- In general, respondents were slightly
more likely to rate the staff associated with a given service as "excellent"
than they were to rate the service itself as "excellent." Largest
differences in ratings were for staff associated with campus food services
and college/department planning and placement services. Staff associated
with the registration process and the financial aid disbursement
process, however, received notably lower ratings than did the respective
services more generally. African American respondents gave higher average
ratings than whites to university planning and placement services
as well as the associated staff. African American respondents gave lower ratings
than whites to the financial aid application/award process. Women gave
higher average ratings than men to residence life programs, opportunities
for community service, and the bookstore.
- The vast majority of those respondents
receiving financial aid were satisfied with their aid package (90.7%). Majorities
also gave positive rating to the financial aid advisor staff (78.2%), reception
staff (71.6%), and phone staff (67.3%).
Knowledge, Skills and Personal Development
- A majority of respondents (55.7%)
said NC State met their intellectual growth needs "very well." Respondents
were slightly less positive about the other areas; 47.9 percent said their
personal growth needs were met "very well," and only 32.4 percent said
this about their career training needs. Women were more likely to have
given high ratings to NC State's contribution to their personal growth.
Non-African American minority respondents gave lower ratings than whites and
African American respondents to all three areas.
- Respondents were asked to rate
NC State's contribution to 36 goals for their undergraduate education. On
a scale of 1 ("none") to 4 ("very much"), only 1 of the 36 items received
mean ratings below 3.0 (appreciation of the arts, 2.9). Higher ratings
were given to goals related to general education and personal development
than to world view goals.
- On average, highest ratings were
given by all respondents to enhancing analytic skills (3.7) while lowest
ratings were given to the university???s contribution to the world view goals
appreciating racial equity (3.1), and advancing appreciation
of the arts (2.9), and to the personal development goals commitment
to personal health and fitness (3.1), and exercising public responsibility
and community service (3.0).
- Women tended to rate goals related
to personal development and to a world view higher than did men. There were
relatively few racial/ethnic differences in ratings of NC State's contribution
to the development of the 36 goals.
- About 80 percent of respondents
indicated that they were employed during their graduation year. Half of the
Graduating Senior Survey respondents were employed off-campus only, 16.2%
were employed on-campus only, and 13.3% were employed both on and off campus.
White respondents were more likely than African American respondents to be
employed off-campus only (52.0% vs. 39.8%), while African American respondents
were more likely than whites to be employed on-campus only (27.2% vs. 15.2%).
Regardless of whether they were on- or off-campus, African American respondents
reported working slightly more hours per week on average than whites. White
respondents working on-campus were much more likely than African Americans
working on-campus to be in a job directly related to their major (36.3% vs.
- About 40 percent
(42.8%) of respondents had a co-op, internship, practicum or field experience
while at NC State, and nearly 70 percent of them (69.7%) said it made an "excellent"
contribution to their personal or professional growth. Thirty percent of those
with such experience said they received a job offer from their employer. African
Americans tended to rate their co-op experiences less positively than did
white and non-African American minorities, and fewer reported that they had
received a job offer from their employer.
- Non-African American minority
respondents (20.3%) and whites (17.8%) were more likely than African American
respondents (12.2%) to report having participated in a research project
with an NCSU faculty member. About 60 percent of whites with such experience
rated it as "excellent," compared to 42.9% of African American respondents.
Learning with Technology
- Almost 85 percent (83.3%) of respondents
had taken at least one course using a learning management systems (LMS, e.g.,
Wolfware, WebCT) during their junior and senior years, with one-third taking
more than three. Of those that took three or fewer courses using LMS, respondents
were by far most likely to agree that courses I needed/wanted didn't use
LMS (80.1%) was a reason for not taking more. Less than one-fourth of
those taking three or fewer LMS courses agreed with any of the other reasons
listed for not taking more. Respondents were least likely to agree that the
reason for not taking more LMS courses was that they are not comfortable
using/do not like using technology in the learning environment (9.0%).
- Respondents who
took four or more LMS courses were most likely to agree that the reason they
took so many was because courses I needed/wanted used LMS (93.3%) and
because of easy access to course materials (87.8%). Respondents were
least likely to say the reason they took as many courses as they did was because
courses that use LMS tend to be easier (26.9%).
- Static electronic presentations
(e.g., PowerPoint) were by far the most commonly encountered teaching/learning
technology, with nearly three-fourths (73.5%) of respondents having had "some"
or "all/most" of their courses use this technology. Electronic feedback
to the instructor during class was the least commonly encountered technology,
wih more than three-fourths of respondents (77.5%) saying they had no
courses using this technology.
- Respondents generally reported
that the various technologies they had been exposed to in their courses made
no difference in their ability to learn. Those who did say that the technologies
made a difference were more likely to report that they learned better using
a given technology than to say that they didn't learn as well using it. The
one exception was for computerized exams/quizzes, for which respondents
who reported a difference were equally divided on whether they learned better
or not as well with the technology.
For more information on the 2002-2003 Graduating Senior Survey
Dr. Nancy Whelchel, Associate Director for Survey Research
Office of Institutional Planning and Research
Phone: (919) 515-4184
Posted: September 2003
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