Executive Summary: This report provides summaries, in the form of text, tables, and graphs, of student responses to the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Student Information Survey for Western Washington University's 1994 in-coming frosh class. The CIRP has been used since 1966 to gather nationwide normative data on the characteristics, attitudes, values, educational achievements, and future goals of in-coming frosh, and has been used at Western since 1971. The two main sections of the report are as follows: 1) general trends, with national findings compared to those at Western; 2) an in-depth study of issues related to college financing. Nationally, 1994 in-coming frosh appeared to be losing interest in politics. This shift in attitude was noted in some areas for 1994 Western frosh as well, though Western frosh maintained a higher interest in politics than their national counterparts; for instance, more Western frosh than ever indicated that it was a very important goal in life "to participate in community action programs'' Though findings indicated a shift from liberal and conservative to middle-of-the-road political points-of-view, frosh responses to specific political issues were also a mixed bag of liberal and conservative leanings--although "crime and punishment" issues took on a decidedly conservative outlook, both nationally and at Western. Support for the abolition of capital punishment, for example, fell to an all-time low, while the percentage of frosh agreeing that "there is too much concern for criminals" was at an all-time high. CIRP researchers also noted "grade inflation continues unabated" nationally. The idea that grade inflation continues unabated at Western, on the other hand, was not so easily determined. Analyses indicated that some grade inflation may have occurred during the early and middle 1980's at Western. Since 1989, however, when Western's admissions standards began rising, the evidence is contradictory. The self-reported letter-grade measure used by national CIRP researchers suggested some grade inflation at Western. Measures taken directly from official transcripts and pre-college test scores did not suggest grade inflation. At Western one of two scenarios appeared to exist: 1) reporting discrepancies are undermining the efforts to track grade inflation efficiently; 2) grade inflation is not something that is occurring at Western.
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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) ; 1995-03
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 1994 In-coming Class" (1995). Office of Survey Research. 588.