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Characteristics, Graduating Class, Profile


Executive Summary: Information for this report was obtained from the Student Tracking System. The report presents information intended to provide insight into various characteristics of the 2073 graduates who matriculated during the 1991-92 academic year, 58.6% of whom were female and 41.4% male. Natives (students who began their education at WWU as first-time freshmen) made up 45.6% of the 1992 graduates, and transfers 51.6%. Most graduates were between the ages of twenty-one to twenty-four years old (61.9%). There were no graduates younger than twenty-one years old; the oldest graduate was fifty-nine. Current Washington residents made up 95.7% of 1992 graduates. White, non-Hispanics made up 86.2% of the 1992 graduates, and ethnic-minorities 6.1%. This contrasts with ethnic-minorities comprising 5.5% of graduates in 1991, 5.7% of graduates in 1990, and 5.9% of graduates in 1989. To put a perspective on what that figure means, the enrollment report from the Fall of 1988 was referenced. All other considerations being equal--the percentage of transfers, the number of quarters needed to graduate, etc.--it was felt that figures from that report would give a fair approximation of ethnic graduation trends. And, indeed, in the Fall of 1988 ethnic-minorities comprised approximately 6% of the overall population of WWU students. The majority of 1992 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 1992 graduating class overwhelmingly earned Bachelor of Arts degrees (74.1%). The least earned degree was Bachelor of Fine Arts, earned by two graduates. When analyzed by gender, it was found that the Woodring College of Education, the College of Fine & Performing Arts, and Fairhaven College all had a preponderance of female graduates, while males made up the majority of graduates only in the College of Business & Economics. Figures indicate that credits were transferred to WWU from other institutions by nearly three-quarters of the 1992 graduating class (1511 cases out of 2073, or 72.9%). Transfers, constituting 1070 cases, must by default have made up the majority of this figure, yet some 441 graduates who transferred credits to WWU are still left unaccounted for and have no where else to come from other than the ranks of natives. Thus, from the entire population of native graduates (946 cases) only just over half (53.4%) took the entirety of their academic course load at WWU. In other words, for the graduating class of 1992, the chances were only about 50/50 that a student who began their academic career at WWU would actually take all of his or her courses at WV/U. The average number of credits earned by 1992 WWU graduates was 201.46. The median number of credits earned (50th percentile) was 192.00 credits. The most number of credits earned by a 1992 graduate at time of matriculation was 377. graduates, the mean number of quarters attended was 14.0. For transfer graduates, the mean number of quarters attended was 9.0. The mean GPA earned at WWU by the 1992 graduating class was 3.09. A 3.00 or better was earned by 56.3% of the graduates. Females earned a 3.16 and males a 2.99. Native students earned a 2.99 and transfers a 3.16. Analysis of WWU GPA by department of major provided results of unexpected interest. Not only were the differences in GPA statistically significant (.000), they also had a substantial to strong Eta2 index of .19--which combined indicated a relationship of some merit. The highest GPA's were found for graduates in Human Services (3.60), Education (3.45), General Science (3.41), Mathematics (3.32), and Chemistry (3.32). Honors were earned by 168 (8.1%) of the 1992 graduates, with 100 earning Cum Laude honors and 68 earning Magna Cum Laude honors. Females were more likely than males to earn honors, as were transfers were more likely than natives to earn honors. Because of pre-1991 rules, only three 1992 graduates were required by the University to pass the Junior Writing Exam (JWE), which may partially explain why only 56.7% of 1992 graduates passed the written section ofJWE, even as 83.6% passed the objective section. The findings indicated that the majority of Education (BA/Ed) graduates were Washington residents (97.0%), white, non-Hispanic (95.8%), female (73.3%), and transfers (64.2%). The most frequently earned academic degree for Education majors was English (19.0%), followed by Social Studies (11.2%) and History (10.8%). In 1992, there were 111 graduates who had participated in varsity athletics. Most were Washington residents (98.2%) and between 23-24 years old (66.7%). White, non-Hispanics made up 90.5% of graduates who participated in varsity athletics, while ethnic-minorities made up 9.5% of graduates who participated in varsity athletes. Most athlete-graduates were natives (77.5%) and most were male (62.2%). Most graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences (70.3%), but varsity athletes also graduated from the College of Business & Economics (21.6%) as well as all other WWU colleges. Moreover, graduates who participated in varsity athletics earned degrees in 43 of the 47 departments offering degrees at WWU. And while the most frequently earned degree was Physical Education or Recreation (10.8%), nearly the same amount graduated in Psychology (9.0%). Other popular majors for athlete-graduates included Art (7.2%), FMDS (7.2%), Technology (7.2%), and English (6.3%). Analysis by statistical correlation and multiple regression were performed on selected variables. These tests indicated that if one wanted to utilize a score that might predict how well a student might do academically at WWU, using WWU GPA as a yardstick, the score that would serve them best would be High School GPA.




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) ; 1993-07






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