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Sophomore Student Survey Trends, 1998-2008:

The Sophomore Student Survey has been conducted at NC State during the spring semester in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008. Eligible sophomores are those having completed 45-59 credit hours, with at least 30 at NC State. The survey is administered initially on the web, followed by paper surveys distributed by academic advisors to those not responding on the web. The survey response rate increased from 63.1 percent in 1998 to a high of 76.4 percent in 2002, dropping as low as 54.9 percent in 2008.

Majorities of sophomore respondents continue to be satisfied with the academic environment at NC State, the campus climate, academic and non-academic student services, and the extent to which NC State has contributed to their development of a range of general education, personal growth, world view goals. With few exceptions, responses to survey questions have remained very consistent across the survey years.

Questions related to the campus climate were the most likely to have changed over time.

Consistently larger proportions of sophomores over the survey years have responded positively about both the importance and experience of a sense of belonging at NC State.

The proportion of sophomores "strongly agreeing" that NC State's leadership fosters diversity on campus has tripled over the survey years.

The perception that the campus is at least "mildly supportive" of gay and lesbian students has increased substantially over the years, going from just 26 percent of the respondents in the 2000 survey feeling that way to 51 percent of the respondents in 2008.

In general, sophomores have given positive ratings to the overall quality of instruction and education at NC State. A majority of respondents in each survey year gave positive ratings to faculty members' contributions to their educational experience at NC State, with ratings for faculty respect for diverse talents/ways of learning improving substantially across survey years. A decreasing percentage of sophomores since 1998 have reported having classes too large to learn effectively.

Sophomores are increasingly satisfied with student services at NC State. The percentage of respondents rating campus food services as "excellent" has more than doubled over the survey years, from about 6 percent in 1998 to 14 percent in 2008. Also seeing a fairly consistent increase in positive ratings over time are opportunities to participate in community service projects and residence life programs. An increasing majority of students report recieving financial aid, and most students are at least "moderately satisfied" with their aid package.

Employment among sophomores is becoming less widespread. The percentage of sophomore survey respondents reporting that they were employed during the academic year has generally declined, from more than two-thirds in 1998 to just over half in 2008.

For more information on trends in the Sophomore Student Survey contact:
Dr. Nancy Whelchel, Associate Director for Survey Research
Office of Institutional Planning and Research
Box 7002
Phone: (919) 515-4184

Posted: May 2010

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