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WELS baseline survey of freshmen, WELS, WELS baseline, WELS baseline surveys, Freshmen, baseline, baseline survey, baseline surveys, freshmen surveys, freshmen baseline, freshmen baseline surveys, new students, pre-college, engagement, college application process, Skills, goals, expectations, expenses, employment, summerstart


The 2009 WELS survey of incoming freshmen (the Survey) continues the Office of Survey Research’s (OSR) efforts to collect information on all students prior to the start of their academic careers at Western Washington University. This survey represents the initial contact in a longitudinal process that makes additional inquiries of students at the end of their sophomore year, when they graduate from the university, and one to two years after graduation. The purpose of the incoming freshmen survey is threefold: (1) to assess student needs based upon their self-reported characteristics, perceptions, and concerns; (2) to provide data that can assist university assessment and accreditation activities; and (3) to provide baseline observations of students prior to their Western experience which can be used to forecast and enhance student success. The OSR uses a mixture of online and telephone survey methodologies to obtain survey responses. Incoming freshmen who attended Western’s Summerstart program were provided an opportunity to complete this survey as part of their Summerstart experience. Students not attending Summerstart and those who chose not to complete the survey while at Summerstart, were invited to complete the survey via e-mail. After the initial e-mail, OSR sent e-mail reminders to non-responders twice. These reminders were followed by phone calls placed by WWU students encouraging completion of the survey. The survey was then left open until the weekend before Fall quarter courses began on campus. Of the 2,696 Fall 2009 freshmen, 2,454 responded to the survey (a response rate of 91.0%). Of the 2,454 respondents, 2,306 provided responses to the final question of the survey suggesting low attrition during the survey. This report provides data from all questions that lent themselves to a numerical summary and lists the open ended questions asked of students. Responses to the open-ended questions are available upon request.




Digital object produced by Office of Survey Research, Western Washington University, and made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

College freshmen--Washington (State)--Bellingham--Longitudinal studies; College students--Washington (State)--Bellingham--Longitudinal studies






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