North Carolina State University
2001-2002 Graduating Senior Survey:
(Report No. 1)
- NC State conducted its annual survey of graduating seniors during the 2001-2002
academic year (AY01-02). Eligible students were those who were graduating
in December 2001 or May 2002. The survey's response rate among all AY01-02
graduates was 58.9%.
- Academic units chose whether their seniors would take Web or paper versions
of the survey. Spring graduates were more likely than fall graduates to have
completed the survey.
- Respondents did not differ from the AY01-02 graduating senior class in gender
or race/ethnicity. College of Design and College of Textiles graduates were
underrepresented in the sample due to the relatively low response rates among
students in these colleges.
- The margin of error for the survey is +0.9 percent for all respondents.
- With few exceptions results are similar to those from last year's survey.
Student Goals and Intentions
- Non-African American minorities were more likely than African Americans
and whites to say their primary goal in attending NC State was to "prepare
for graduate or professional school" (43.8%, 37.2% and 34.7%, respectively).
Women were also much more likely than men to say their primary goal was to
"prepare for graduate or professional school" (44.4% vs. 28.5%), while men
were more likely than women to say their primary objective was to "prepare
for a new career" (45.2% vs 39.8%).
- Over 70 percent of all respondents (70.6%) said they "fully accomplished"
their primary goal. Racial minorities were less likely than whites to have
said they "fully accomplished" their goal.
- Almost half of those earning their degree through an off-campus degree program
said they "probably would not" have completed their degree if not
for the off-campus program (15.0%), or that it was "not likely"
(30.8%) that they would have done so.
- One-fourth of all respondents said they were planning on going to graduate
or professional school either full-time (20.9%) or part-time (4.2%). Non-African
American minorities were more likely than whites and African Americans to
plan on going to graduate/professional school full time (25.7%, 20.7%, and
- Almost 90 percent of respondents (88.0%) said they would recommend NC State
to a friend.
- While more than three-fourths (77.4%) of all respondents said they would
choose NC State again if they could start over, African Americans were more
than twice as likely as whites to say they would not do so (18.8% vs
- Almost two-thirds (63.7%) of all respondents said they would choose the
same major again. African American and non-African American minorities, however,
were more likely than whites to say they would not choose the same
major (25.7%, 20.3%, and 14.5% respectively).
- About 90 percent of respondents rated the intellectual environment on campus
as "strong" (69.0%) or "very strong" (20.7%). Large majorities
of respondents also gave positive ratings to the overall education they received
at NC State.
- Although large majorities gave positive ratings to instruction, respondents
were much more likely to rate the quality of instruction in the major as "excellent'
(45.3%) than they were to rate the overall quality of instruction as "excellent"
(15.5%). In general whites gave higher ratings to the various academic environment
measures than did minority respondents.
- Highest average ratings were given to faculty setting high expectations
for learning (3.3) and to encouraging that time and energy be devoted
to coursework (3.3). Although still rated as "excellent" or
"good" by majorities of respondents, factors related to faculty
involvement with students on a more individual basis received somewhat lower
- While majorities of students said they believe the campus environment is
at least moderately supportive of various groups of people at the university,
almost 20 percent said the campus is either "mildly" (12.1%) or
"strongly nonsupportive" (5.2%) of gay and lesbian students.
Women were much more likely than men to say the campus is "strongly supportive"
of men. Whites were much more likely than African Americans and slightly more
likely than non-African American minorities to say the campus is "strongly
supportive" of all groups other than men.
- Less than 10 percent of African American respondents (8.3%) "strongly
agree" that NC State is committed to helping minority students succeed,
compared to 25.4 percent of non-African American minorities and 43.5 percent
of whites. Over one-third of African Americans "disagree somewhat"
(30.1%) or "disagree strongly" (5.1%) that NC State is committed
to helping minority students succeed. Similarly, about 45 percent of African
American respondents disagree either "somewhat" (30.3%) or "strongly"
(14.8%) that there is visible leadership on campus to foster diversity.
About 20 percent of white respondents (18.0%) and 25 percent of non-African
American minority respondents gave such ratings.
Services for Students
- Respondents gave positive ratings to the different types of academic services
listed. Respondents tended to give highest ratings to technology, library,
and career-related services, and lowest rating to research
support services. Among the 26 individual items highest ratings were given
to the library's hours of operation and access to the Internet.
The three lowest ratings all went to items related to training: access
to trained technology staff, technology training classes, and to
training to use the library. In general women and African Americans
tended to give slightly higher ratings to academic services than did their
- Non-academic services tended to receive lower ratings than academic services.
However, each of the non-academic services asked about was rated as at least
"good" by two-thirds or more respondents with two exceptions: campus
food services, and financial aid services disbursement process.
Opportunities for recreational activities (43.9%), library services
(39.4%), and registration process (37.6%) were most likely to be
rated as "excellent."
- In general, respondents were slightly more likely to rate the staff associated
with a given service as "excellent" than they were to rate the service
itself as "excellent." Largest differences in ratings were for staff
associated with campus food services, non-career campus counseling
and university planning and placement services. Staff associated with
the registration process, however, received notably lower ratings than
did the registration process more generally.
- The vast majority of those respondents receiving financial aid were satisfied
with their aid package (91.0%). Majorities also gave positive rating to the
financial aid advisor staff (71.4%), reception staff (68.9%), and phone staff
Knowledge, Skills and Personal Development
- A majority of respondents (56.0%) said NC State met their intellectual
growth needs "very well." Respondents were slightly less positive about
the other areas; 48.3 percent said their personal growth needs were
met "very well," and only 31.6 percent said this about their career training
needs. Women were more likely to have given high ratings to NC State's contribution
to their personal growth, and whites were more likely than racial minorities
to have done so in the area of intellectual growth.
- Respondents were asked to rate NC State's contribution to 35 goals for their
undergraduate education. On a scale of 1 ("none") to 4 ("very much"), only
1of the 35 items received mean ratings below 3.0. Higher ratings were given
to general education and personal development goals than to world view goals.
- Women tended to rate personal development and world view goals higher than
did men. Racial minorities tended to rate NC State's contribution to world
view and general education goals higher than did whites.
- On average, highest ratings were given by all respondents to enhancing
analytic skills (3.7), ability to plan and carry out projects independently
(3.6), ability to critically analyze ideas and information (3.6),
and developing computer skills (3.6).
- Lowest ratings were given to the university’s contribution to a number of
world view goals: appreciating gender equity (3.1), appreciating
racial equity (3.1), and advancing appreciation of the arts
(2.8), and to the personal development goals commitment to personal
health and fitness (3.0), and exercising public responsibility and
community service (3.0).
- 80 percent of respondents indicated that they were employed during their
graduation year. 60 percent of African American respondents, 42.9% of whites,
and 39.6% of non-African American minorities who were employed were working
more than 20 hours per week. Less than one-third (31.6%) of all employed
respondents were working in jobs that were directly related to their major,
although women and African Americans were less likely than their respective
counterparts to have said this was the case.
- Almost half (48.9%) of respondents had a co-op, internship, practicum or
field experience while at NC State, and almost two-thirds of them (64.0%)
said it made an "excellent" contribution to their personal or professional
growth. About one-third (31.2%) of those with such experience said they received
a job offer from their employer. African Americans tended to rate their co-op
experiences less positively than did white and non-African American minorities,
and fewer reported that they had received a job offer from their employer.
For more information on the 2001-2002 Graduating Senior Survey
Dr. Nancy Whelchel, Associate Director for Survey Research
Office of Institutional Planning and Research
Phone: (919) 515-4184
Posted: September 2002
Revised: September, 2002
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