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First-Year Student Survey results published

The+results+of+the+2018+First-Time%2C+First-Year+Student+Survey+were+published+Nov.+13+by+The+Division+of+Student+Affairs+and+Office+of+Institutional+Research+and+Analysis%2C+and+show+trends+in+first-year+students%E2%80%99+expectations+for+their+GPAs%2C+extracurricular+involvement%2C+involvement+in+service%2C+concerns+about+Marquette+and+plans+for+the+future.
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First-Year Student Survey results published

The results of the 2018 First-Time, First-Year Student Survey were published Nov. 13 by The Division of Student Affairs and Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, and show trends in first-year students’ expectations for their GPAs, extracurricular involvement, involvement in service, concerns about Marquette and plans for the future.

The results of the 2018 First-Time, First-Year Student Survey were published Nov. 13 by The Division of Student Affairs and Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, and show trends in first-year students’ expectations for their GPAs, extracurricular involvement, involvement in service, concerns about Marquette and plans for the future.

The results of the 2018 First-Time, First-Year Student Survey were published Nov. 13 by The Division of Student Affairs and Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, and show trends in first-year students’ expectations for their GPAs, extracurricular involvement, involvement in service, concerns about Marquette and plans for the future.

The results of the 2018 First-Time, First-Year Student Survey were published Nov. 13 by The Division of Student Affairs and Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, and show trends in first-year students’ expectations for their GPAs, extracurricular involvement, involvement in service, concerns about Marquette and plans for the future.

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The results of the 2018 First-Time, First-Year Student Survey were published Nov. 13 by The Division of Student Affairs and Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, and show trends in first-year students’ expectations for their GPAs, extracurricular involvement, involvement in service, concerns about Marquette and plans for the future.

This year, the survey was taken by 83 percent of all first-year students during a mandatory program during orientation and online after orientation.

The questions on the survey relate to questions on the Graduating Senior Survey that many of these students at the end of their four years. 

“OIRA administers several campus-wide student surveys of broad institutional scope on a recurring basis to help campus leaders and decisions makers better understand student expectations, the student experience and student outcomes after graduation,” Laura MacBride, assistant director of Institutional Research and Analysis, said.

Seventy-seven percent of students predicted that their GPA their first year would be between a 3.5 or a 4.0.

“Incoming first-year students arrive at Marquette with high academic expectations and predict that they will earn a higher first-year GPA than they actually do,” Macbride said. “This is a helpful nugget for students: to know that they’re not unusual or alone when they do not meet their own high expectations.”

Macbride said that it is also helpful for staff who work directly with students to get a sense of how students are feeling and thinking as they come to campus for the first time.

The survey also asked students what they expected regarding their involvement in extracurriculars. Ninety-five percent said they expected to be involved in a student organization or club sport during their time at Marquette.

“Coming from a smaller high school, I was expecting a lot of opportunities to be available here, and they are,” Aidan Hatton, a freshman in the College of Business Administration who took the survey, said. “But in terms of my involvement, I think schoolwork and meeting more people has gotten in the way. But I’m impressed with how much Marquette has to offer.”

The Graduating Senior Survey showed that only 80 percent of students reported actually participating in a student organization or club sport by the end of their four years.

“We also know from the Graduating Senior Survey that the more thoroughly a student engages in an experience, the greater the impact,” Jodi Blahnik, senior psychologist at the Marquette University Counseling Center and a member of the Institutional Survey Steering Committee, said. “This is helpful when talking about extracurricular involvement with students — while it’s not problematic to cast a wide net of experiences to consider during your time at Marquette, it seems that quality of experience versus quantity has the greatest impact.”

About 69 percent of students said they expected to partake in service learning or community service between one to five hours per week.

Joro Rosales, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences who took the survey, said he participates in community service through service learning at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, a shelter and after school program for families with low SES (social economic status).

“I really enjoy the service and I’m glad that Marquette is involved with many classes that demand this,” Rosales said.

The survey also asked students about their concerns related to Marquette. Twenty-seven percent said they were “concerned” or “very concerned” that tuition would be a problem, 15 percent said they were “concerned” or “very concerned” about handling classes and academic expectations and 7 percent said they were “concerned” or “very concerned” about fitting in at Marquette.

“Coming into this year, I was fearful about almost everything about college life, both the education and the people I would meet outside of classes,” Zack Passios, a freshman in the College of Business Administration who took the survey, said. “I was struggling with the thought that I wouldn’t fit in, but I was able to overcome it and realize that this school is so much more accepting than I first thought.”

MacBride and Blahnik both said that the data is unsurprising.

“As you’ll notice when you look at the data from a multi-year perspective, there is a lot of stability (e.g., expected grades after first semester) or consistent trends (e.g., use of tablets) in responses from year to year,” Blahnik said in an email. 

Sixty-six percent of students said Marquette was their first choice of universities that admitted them.

MacBride and Blahnik both said this trend is not unique to Marquette.

The “American Freshman Fifty Year Survey” published by the Higher Education Research Institute surveys first-year college students from across the country and found the percentage of students who attend their top-choice university has been declining since the 1970s.

Blahnik said Marquette administers this survey so the university can better understand the expectations and experiences of first year students.

“This data represents a single point in time and, more specifically, students’ expectations at the beginning of their Marquette experience,” Blahnik said. “However, there are items in others institutional surveys (e.g., graduating senior survey, alumni survey) that align with this survey to provide some comparison at other points throughout the Marquette experience.”

Gaby Bascucan Simone, a freshman in the College of Engineering who took the survey, said the survey was an interesting and important step for the university to take.

“It allows for freshmen to be honest and reflect on their fears,” Simone said. “During orientation, writing down what I was nervous about definitely helped a lot in setting my head on properly.”

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