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Profile, Sample, Selection, selected, chosen, characteristics, 1993, western Washington university, graduating, class


Executive Summary: Information for this report was obtained from the Student Tracking System. The report presents findings intended to provide insight into various characteristics of the 2198 graduates who matriculated during the 1992-93 academic year (Fall 1992 through Summer 1993), 58.7% of whom were females and 41.3% males. Natives (students who began their education at Western as first-time frosh) made up 44.2% of the 1993 graduates, and transfers 54.3%. Most graduates were between the ages of twenty-one to twenty-four years old (63.0%). No graduate was younger than twenty-one years old; the oldest graduate was seventy-three. Current Washington residents made up 94.6% of 1993 graduates. Some 1993 graduates chose not to disclose their ethnicity (6.9%). Of the rest, the majority were white, non-Hispanics (85.1%). Ethnic-minorities made up 7.0% of 1993 graduates, up from 5.3% in 1992. To put a perspective on what that figure means, the enrollment report from the Fall of 1989 was referenced. All other considerations being equal, figures from that report would give some approximation of ethnic graduation rates. And, indeed, in the Fall of 1989 ethnic-minorities comprised approximately 7% of the overall population of Western students. Although only tracked for two years, there appears to be a trend that ethnic-minority students are graduating in the same relative proportion that they are entering Western as frosh. The majority of 1993 graduates matriculated through the College of Arts & Sciences, followed by the College of Business & Economics, the Woodring College of Education, the College of Fine & Performing Arts, Fairhaven College, and Huxley College. The percentage of graduates from the College of Arts & Sciences fell from the 1992 percentage, as did percentages in the college of Business & Economics. All other colleges saw their percentages rise. By referencing the source of college credits (whether taken at Western or elsewhere), it was established that approximately forty percent of all graduates with native admit status (who began at Western as first-time frosh) had taken courses at colleges other than Western. In other words, for the graduating class of 1993, the chances were only about 60/40 that a student who began their academic career at Western would actually take all of his or her courses at Western. The average number of credits earned by 1993 Western graduates was 201.9. The median number of credits earned (50th percentile) was 193.0 credits. The most number of credits earned by a 1993 graduate at the time of matriculation was 384. The average number of quarters attended Western by the entire 1993 graduating class was 11.4. For graduates with native admit status, the average number of quarters attended Western was 14.3; for graduates with transfer admit status, the average number of quarters attended Western was 9.0. The average gpa earned at Western by 1993 graduates was 3.12. A 3.00 or better was earned by 59.0% of the graduates. Females earned a 3.17 and males a 3.01. Graduates with native admit status earned a 3.01 and graduates with transfer admit status earned a 3.18. While differences in gpa by gender and admit status were statistically significant at .000, variance testing indicated that very little of the significance could be explained by the variables alone. In other words, while the differences in gpa were real enough, gender and admit status were probably only accounting for four percent or less of the findings. Graduates majoring in Human Services earned a Western gpa of 3.62, the highest overall, followed by Education (3.46), Music (3.44), and Liberal Studies (3.30). The differences in gpa's found across majors was also statistically significant at .000; moreover, variance testing indicated that a graduate's major accounted for 18 percent of the variance--which is statistically quite a strong finding. When referenced against reports from earlier years, the trend is for Human Services and Education majors to have higher Western gpa's than any other major, regardless of mitigating influences like age or gender. Honors were earned by 6.6% of the 1993 graduates, down from 8.1% in 1992. Females and transfer were more likely to earn honors than males or natives. Females, of course, also earned higher Western gpa's and would thus be expected to earn more honors. The Western gpa's of transfers, on the other hand, may have benefited from the fact that much to all of their lower division work was done at schools other than Western, where factors such as study habits and academic maturity had a chance to develop. Although far more 1993 graduates than in years previous were required to actually pass the Junior Writing Exam (259), still most were not required to pass either section. Nonetheless, the percentage of graduates passing either section of the JWE increased in 1993 (87.4% passed the objective section, and 63.4% passed the essay section). In 1992, there were 100 graduates who had participated in varsity athletics. Most were white, non-Hispanics (87.6%), natives (77.0%), and males (64.0%). Varsity-athlete graduates earned degrees in 28 of the 47 departments offering degrees at Western. The most frequently earned degree was FMDS, followed by Physical Education, Management, Psychology, Biology and Accounting. Analysis by statistical correlation and multiple regression indicated that if one wanted to utilize an indicator that might predict how well a student would do at Western, using Western gpa as a yardstick, the most optimal for natives would be high school gpa and WPCT-verbal score, and for transfers would be transfer gpa. An analysis was also done on a select group of native graduates who had taken a freshmen attitudes and characteristics survey in 1989. Nearly sixty percent of these students completed their degrees in twelve quarters, compared to only about fourteen percent of the entire population of graduates with native admit status. By analyzing both the graduate report and the survey data, it became apparent that the following items may have influenced the ability of these graduates to matriculate in a timely fashion: 1) as early as high school, they had developed somewhat better study habits than their peers; 2) they may have been more thorough in their planning and preparations for college; 3) they had performed better academically in high school than their peers; 4) very few of them took BS degrees; 5) they had a more `up-beat' attitude about going to college generally and about Western specifically; and 6) their parents' background included exposure to, if not actual success at a college career themselves.




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 graduates--Washington (State)--Statistics

Title of Series

Technical and research reports (Western Washington University. Office of Institutional Assessment and Testing) ; 1994-04






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