Institutional Research & Decision Support

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QuickSnipits

New UC Merced Students' Reflections on Academic Successes and Challenges

In Fall of the 2014-2015 academic year new freshmen and transfer students completed a survey about their educational plans, transition to college, and utilization of campus services. The survey had a 36% response rate. Major tasks of new students consist of (1) finding and using campus resources and (2) developing habits that support their academic success as well as (3) identifying obstacles to their success. Below are highlights from the results that shed light on students' progress on these important tasks. Finding and using resources to support academic success: 85% felt somewhat or very sure that they could find resources that would help them overcome academic challenges and obstacles. Figure 1 shows the 5 academic resources most frequently used by new students in their first semester.

Finding and using resources to support academic success: 85% felt somewhat or very sure that they could find resources that would help them overcome academic challenges and obstacles. Figure 1 shows the 5 academic resources most frequently used by new students in their first semester.

 

Resources during frist semester

 

Developing habits that support academic success: 93% of new students attended the ASCEND conference during welcome week. One goal of ASCEND is to help students identify habits of academically successful students that new students can adopt to facilitate their success. Figure 2 shows the top 5 habits for academic success that students reported engaging in during their first semester.

 

Top 5 Habits for Academic Success

 

Identifying obstacles to success: Students also reflected on the obstacles they faced during the semester.  Figure 3 shows the top 5 obstacles reported by students.  The greater the number of obstacles students reported experiencing either frequently or all the time, the less likely students were to say they thought they could succeed academically and could find resources that would help them overcome academic challenges and obstacles.

 

Top 5 Obstacles

 

The full report can be found here.

Graduate Student Experience

In the summer of 2014, current graduate students were invited to participate in a survey about their experiences at UC Merced. A large percentage (50%) of graduate students participated and here are some highlights:

  • 81 percent rate the quality of their overall experience at UC Merced as good or excellent
  • 92 percent agree or strongly agree that the students in their program are collegial
  • 86 percent agree or strongly agree that, overall, the climate of their program is positive
  • 82 percent are somewhat or very satisfied with the feedback they receive on their research
  • 80 percent are somewhat or very satisfied with the teaching and teaching assistant (TA) preparation offered by their academic program
  • 90 percent are somewhat or very likely to stay in their program until they receive their ultimate degree objective
  • 86 percent probably or definitely would select the same field of study if they were to do it again

The full 2014 report, as well as a 2007-2014 report that tracks change over time, can be found here.

Freshmen Expectations about College

In the summer before the 2014-2015 academic year, 33% of incoming freshmen completed a survey about their experiences in high school and expectations for college. Some highlights are below:
graduategrades

  • 45% said they spent 11 hours or more per week preparing for class during their last year of high school; whereas, 83% expected to spend that much time during the coming school year.
  • 67% said they expected to discuss their academic performance with faculty either often or very often; only 13% said they expected that interacting with faculty would not be difficult.
  • 80% said they expected to work with other students on course projects or assignments either often or very often; only 33% felt very prepared to work effectively with others.
  • 82% said they earned a C or better in pre-calculus; only 16% felt very prepared to analyze numerical and statistical information.
  • 16% and 18%, respectively, felt they were very prepared to either write or speak clearly and effectively; only 1% felt not at all prepared in these areas.
  • 19% felt very prepared to both think critically and analytically in their academic work and learn effectively on their own; 1% or less felt they were not at all prepared in these areas.

The full report can be found here.

Data Warehouse / Decision-Support Update

In the Spring of 2014, the UC Merced Data Warehouse Team successfully launched an Enrollment Data Mart. A demonstration of the data mart, using Cognos reporting tools, was presented to a campus stakeholders, including the AVC for Enrollment Management, CIO and other campus leaders. The data mart will allow report writers and analysts to examine enrollment trends from the campus' opening in Fall 2005 onward.

Progress on the Admissions Data Mart continues with the completion of the functional specifications. After the technical team reviews the specifications development will begin. The addition of the Admissions data mart, and its linkages with the Enrollment data mart, will allow more comprehensive analyses of student progress and experience at UCM.

The institution's reporting tool, Cognos, will also go through a major update this Summer. More details and announcements will follow.

 

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