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CIRP, Cooperative Institutional research program, freshman, incoming class, 1992, response


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 1992 in-coming freshmen class. The CIRP Survey is used nationwide to gather normative data on the characteristics, attitudes, values, educational achievements, and future goals of in-coming freshmen, and has been used at WWU since 1971. Currently, the CIRP is administered to WWU freshmen annually. The 1992 CIRP was administered to freshmen only a few months after the highly publicized Rodney King verdict, and certain responses reflected concerns with racial issues. For instance, the percentage of CIRP respondents indicating as essential or very important "to help promote racial understanding" rose dramatically: nationally, from 33.7% in 1991 to 44.9% in 1992; at WWU, 37.8% in 1991 to 48.1% in 1992. Moreover, when in-coming freshmen were asked to respond to the prompt that "racial discrimination is no longer a major problem in America", most respondents disagreed: 85.1% nationally, and 93.6% at WWU. Some CIRP findings suggest that freshmen are becoming more concerned with social issues. For instance, nationally, 40.5% of freshmen indicated that they had participated in demonstrations while in high school--an all-time high. At WWU the percentage was 37.9%, up from the low of 14.7% in 1981. Moreover, there were all-time highs in the percentage of WWU respondents indicating they: a) planned to participate in students protests (10.0%); and b) considered essential or very important "to influence social values" (43.7%), "to participate in community action programs" (27.3%), and "to influence the political structure" (19.7%). In-coming Freshmen in 1992 were less interested in Business as a major and/or career than were freshmen in the mid eighties--although Business remains a the most popular anticipated major, and second most anticipated career. Freshmen in 1992 were more interested in Education as a major and/or career than they have been since the early seventies. Education was the second most anticipated major and most anticipated career--with females indicating interest in higher percentages than males (20.5% of females vs 9.7% % of males). Reflecting national trends somewhat, certain CIRP findings for WWU indicated a growing concern freshmen have with finances. When asked why they chose to attend WWU, freshmen responded in record percentages to three prompts reporting on financial issues: low tuition (27.5%), offered financial aid (16.8%), and wanted to live near home (15.8%). On the other hand, response to "academic reputation" as a reason why freshmen came to WWU remained high at 52.1%--from a low in 1971 of 17.0%. Other CIRP findings suggested that WWU freshmen in 1992 are similarly liberal (politically) to freshmen from the early seventies, but more sexually conservative. Moreover, they appear to be as, if not more politically active as freshmen from the early seventies, while at the same time are more concerned with "being well off financially".




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--Statistics

Title of Series

Technical and research reports (Western Washington University. Office of Institutional Assessment and Testing) ; 1993-05






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