Executive Summary: The following report provides written and tabular summaries of student responses to the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Student Information Survey for Western Washington University's 1993 in-coming freshman class. The CIRP Survey is used nationwide to gather normative data on the characteristics, attitudes, values, educational achievements, and future goals of in-coming frosh, and has been used at Western since 1971. In the 1993 CIRP report, national trends and trends for institutions within Western's classification group were compared to those found at Western. Generally, while some CIRP findings at Western ran relatively parallel to those found nationally, many others were different. For instance, while nationally more college frosh than ever indicated they were planning advanced degrees, at Western the figures were high, but not all-time highs. Nationally, for the first time, females' aspirations for advanced degrees were greater than that of males and especially dramatic in cases of the highest level degrees (doctorate, medicine, and law). At Western, however, the percentages of males and females anticipating the pursuit of the highest advanced degrees were identical--nor have they varied all that widely since 1971. In a related finding, Western has seen a considerable rise in the percentage of frosh who indicate they chose Western because of its academic reputation. National survey results indicated that students were more concerned with financial issues-- more planned on getting jobs, for instance. Yet at Western, the percentage of frosh anticipating getting a job was neither an all-time high nor much different from any other year. The concept of "grade inflation" also came under scrutiny from recent national CIRP findings. Various indicators seemed to point to the idea that high school grades continue to inflate without an accompanying rise in academic ability or self-confidence. Findings at Western, however, were inconclusive, due the rapidly changing demographics of both high school gpa and SAT scores of Western's entering frosh. In one of the few areas where national and local trends were similar was in the area of what frosh anticipated they would major in. In both cohorts, business as an anticipated major showed another year of decline. On the other hand, the percentage of Western frosh anticipating education as a major reached an all-time high, Nationally, fewer frosh than ever indicated their political viewpoint as middle-of-the-road. And while changes were noted both left and right of center, the right picked up the majority. At Western, however, the percentage of frosh indicating a conservative viewpoint fell rather than rose, while the percentage of frosh indicating a liberal political viewpoint remained high. In the Discussion section of this report, the influence of mother's and father's education level, and of parental income level on a frosh's values, self-ratings, and attitudes was studied. Of the three, Mother's education level influenced the most number of subvariables, Father's education level the second most, and level of reported parental income the fewest.
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Subjects - Topical (LCSH)
College freshmen--Washington (State)--Bellingham--Statistics
Subjects - Names (LCNAF)
Western Washington University--Freshmen--Statistics
Title of Series
Technical and research reports (Western Washington University. Office of Institutional Assessment and Testing) ; 1994-02
McKinney, Gary (Gary Russell); Trimble, Joseph E.; and Andrieu-Parker, Jacqueline M., "The Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Survey of Western Washington University Freshmen for the 1993 In-coming Class" (1994). Office of Survey Research. 400.