Presentation on theme: "Reclaiming Lutheran Students Project"— Presentation transcript:
1 Reclaiming Lutheran Students Project Prepared for:LECNAWe’re here today to talk about the “Reclaiming Lutheran Students” project, undertaken by the Lutheran Educational Conference of North America to increase the enrollment of Lutheran students in Lutheran colleges.Click mouse or use key to advance press ESC key to stop or end
2 AGENDA Reclaiming Lutheran Students: background Research findings: Church leaders’ expectations for Lutheran educationAlumni experiences and outcomesGreater church involvement by Lutheran college graduatesWhat parents don’t know about Lutheran educationRLS communication campaignHow can the Church help?I’d like to first fill you in briefly on the background of the RLS project. Then, we’ll look at some research results from surveys of church leaders, Lutheran college alumni and parents. I’ll review the steps LECNA has taken so far to communicate Lutheran college value to parents and students, and let you know how the Church can help get this message out.
3 RLS BackgroundCurrently, only 5% of Lutheran students enroll in Lutheran collegesTask force of college leaders was formed to investigateGoals: increase awareness of Lutheran college value among Lutheran families; increase Lutheran enrollment by at least one percentage point – to 6%.A few years ago, realizing that only 5% of Lutheran students enroll in Lutheran colleges, LECNA formed a task force of college leaders to determine why this number is so low – and look for ways to raise it, to at least 6%.
4 We hope the Church will share this goal, because… We’d like to enlist the active support of the Lutheran Church – synods and individual congregations – in our systematic, long-term efforts to enroll more Lutheran students in Lutheran colleges. We believe the Church has a strong interest in our success – for one simple reason….
5 Lutheran College Graduates Are More Likely to Participate Actively in their Churches …because it will help strengthen the church. The research we commissioned – which we’ll describe in detail in a minute – showed that Lutherans who attended Lutheran colleges are much more involved in their congregations, contributing in a wide variety of ways, than are Lutherans who attended national flagship public universities.S = Significant differenceQ.22 Are you involved in any of the following church activities?
6 Committee Recommendation: Three Interlocking Research Projects Alumni research: undergraduate experiences and life outcomesParent research: expectations and perceptions of college educationChurch leader research: expectations and perceptions of college educationThe RLS task force recommended three major research efforts among Lutheran parents of 9th and 10th graders, Lutheran church leaders, and Lutheran college alumni.
7 Church Leader Methodology Mail surveys sent to the following ELCA and LCMS groups:BishopsDistrict PresidentsPastors of the 300 largest congregations in each synodLutheran high school teachersLutheran church youth directorsA total of 1900 surveys mailed630 returned for an overall response rate of 33%First, we’ll talk about the church research and what we found out about your expectations and perceptions of Lutheran college education. We used a mail survey, and sent out 1900 to ELCA Bishops, LCMS District Presidents, pastors of the largest congregations in each synod, Lutheran high school teachers, and church youth directors.
8 National Awareness of Lutheran Colleges--ELCA This shows what kind of awareness level ELCA colleges have among church leadership…Q.8 What Lutheran colleges are you aware of? (mentions above 50%)
9 National Awareness of Lutheran Colleges--LCMS …and here we’re looking at awareness of LCMS colleges.Q.8 What Lutheran colleges are you aware of? (all LCMS colleges)
10 According to Church pastors, teachers, youth directors: To what extent do you agree that the Church has done as much as it should to inform you of the value of Lutheran colleges? ELCA: 22% -- LCMS: 29%One of the key findings among Church leaders was that most of them – approximately 75% overall – do NOT feel that the Church has sufficiently informed them of the value of Lutheran colleges. And in the absence of that information, many -- in some cases most – of our pastors, Lutheran high school teachers, and church youth directors, are not aware of the significant educational advantages a Lutheran college education offers.
11 THE CHURCH’S EXPECTATIONS FOR THE UNDERGRADUATE EXPERIENCE A commitment to good teaching and a personalized learning experienceA strong sense of community and the value of involvement beyond the classroomThe integration of faith and values into the college experienceFirst, we’re going to look at what you – church leaders – told us was important in the undergraduate experience. These facets indicate that you think a college education should cover three major areas (read list.).
12 A Commitment to Good Teaching and a Personalized Learning Experience Where likely to find: no difference30%44%45%20%This chart shows what Church leaders mentioned most often as important factors in college education. For example, 97% of you indicated that a high-quality, teaching oriented faculty was very important. The numbers on the right answer a different question: Where do you think students are more likely to find these factors? At a public university, a Lutheran college, or no difference? For example, 30% said there was no difference – I.e. it is just as likely at both types of institutions – between public universities and Lutheran colleges when it comes to finding a high quality, teaching oriented faculty.Later, you’ll see charts showing that indeed, many more Lutheran college graduates than public graduates feel they benefited from most of these very important educational factors.38%13%55%Q.13 How important should each of the following be in selecting a college?Q.15 How important is it for students to have each of the following academic opportunities in college?
13 A Commitment to Good Teaching and a Personalized Learning Experience Where likely to find: no difference15%30%56%7%Looking at relationships with professors, in particular, most of the church leaders surveyed did recognize that there’s much closer faculty-student interaction at Lutheran colleges than on public university campuses….16%Q.13 How important should each of the following be in selecting a college?Q.15 How important is it for students to have each of the following academic opportunities in college?
14 A Commitment to Good Teaching and a Personalized Learning Experience Where likely to find: no difference5%48%55%…and that Lutheran college students were more likely to take small, discussion classes. But on most of these other factors, look at the percentages – 35%, 48%, 55% -- indicating “no difference.”35%48%Q.13 How important should each of the following be in selecting a college?Q.15 How important is it for students to have each of the following academic opportunities in college?
15 A Strong Sense of Community and the Value of Involvement Beyond the Classroom Where likely to find: no difference/Lutheran10/89%36/58%42/54%Church leaders gave Lutheran colleges the credit they deserve for a strong sense of community on campus, with 89% saying they thought students were more likely to find this at Lutheran colleges, and only 10% indicating “no difference.” But they were less likely to recognize Lutheran colleges’ superiority – which we’ll see documented in later slides -- at encouraging participation in specific community-related activities.61/24%34/57%Q.13 How important should each of the following be in selecting a college?Q.15 How important is it for students to have each of the following academic opportunities in college?
16 The Integration of Faith and Values Into the College Experience Where likely to find: Lutheran college94%93%91%89%Church leaders also give credit to Lutheran colleges for helping students develop values and strengthen their faith.88%59%Q.13 How important should each of the following be in selecting a college?Q.15 How important is it for students to have each of the following academic opportunities in college?Q.18 How important is it for students to have each of the following non-academic opportunities in college?
17 THE CHURCH’S EXPECTATIONS FOR UNDERGRADUATE OUTCOMES Development of job-related skills and abilitiesStrong sense of commitment to communityIntegration of faith and values into daily lifeNow, we’re going to look at what kind of life outcomes church leaders expect from a college education.
18 Development of Job-Related Skills and Abilities Where likely to find: no difference69%74%69%As you can see here, most of the bishops, presidents, pastors, teachers and youth directors surveyed saw no difference in the ability of Lutheran colleges and public universities to impart communication and critical thinking skills, or the ability to learn new skills.79%75%Q.20 How important do you believe it is for colleges to help students develop each of the following skills or traits?
19 Development of Job-Related Skills and Abilities Where likely to find: no difference66%77%71%7474%Q.20 How important do you believe it is for colleges to help students develop each of the following skills or traits?Q.22 Think about the kind of people you hope students will become some day. How important do you hope the following things will be to them?
20 Strong Sense of Involvement in Community Where likely to find: no difference60%61%59%A majority also saw no difference in the ability of these very different types of colleges to graduate adults who are politically and socially aware, who promote social justice, who appreciate the fine arts, and who affiliate with organizations that help the disadvantaged.50%Q.20 How important do you believe it is for colleges to help students develop each of the following skills or traits?Q.22 Think about the kind of people you hope students will become some day. How important do you hope the following things will be to them?
21 The Integration of Faith and Values Into Daily Life Where likely to find: Lutheran college74%74%88%89%However, church leaders do credit Lutheran colleges with preparing their alumni to integrate faith and values into their daily life.92%50%Q.20 How important do you believe it is for colleges to help students develop each of the following skills or traits?Q.22 Think about the kind of people you hope students will become some day. How important do you hope the following things will be to them?
22 Comparative Alumni Research: Undergraduate Experiences and Outcomes Telephone surveys with Lutheran and non-Lutheran graduates of the following institutions (600 each)Lutheran collegesOther private collegesFlagship public universitiesOther public colleges and universitiesFrom the classes of2400 surveys completedRegional balanceNow, we’re going to look at what graduates of different kinds of colleges told us about their undergraduate experience, and about their lives since graduating. We’re going to focus on Lutheran graduates of Lutheran colleges and Lutherans who attended flagship public universities – on many dimensions, Lutheran college graduates’ responses were very similar to other private college alumni. The same is true for the two public university groups.
23 Undergraduate Experiences Lutheran college graduates were more likely than their Lutheran peers who attended public universities to say that their undergraduate experience included….When asked about their undergraduate years, Lutheran college graduates more often ….
24 Strong Academic Reputation, Faculty and Facilities … reported benefiting more from high-quality, teaching-oriented faculty and strong overall academic reputation. On a five-point scale, where one is low and five is “benefited very much,” the percentages shown are those graduates who responded with a four or a five.Most of the comparisons offered in this presentation report the percentage of respondents who marked one of the top two positive responses to the question (e.g., “agree” and “strongly agree”), but each slide notes the basis of comparison.Bars followed by an “S” indicate a statistically significant difference between Lutheran colleges and public flagship universities.S = Significant differenceQ.1 Please tell me how much you personally benefited from your college offering (rating 4 or 5 on a five-point scale, where 1=did not benefit at all, and 5=benefited very much)
25 Involvement With Faculty While graduates of Lutheran and public universities rate their colleges’ academic resources and reputation very similarly, when the survey questions asked to what extent students were involved with faculty on a day-to-day basis, there were marked differences in responses.Graduates of Lutheran colleges report far greater benefit from a majority of classes taught by professors; faculty who were interested in them personally as well as academically; personal interaction with professors; professors who really challenged them, and helped them meet those challenges; and conversations with professors outside of class.One of the most important benefits offered by small colleges in general is the opportunity to find a mentor or role model. In an open-ended question, graduates were asked to name anyone at their college or university who was a mentor or role model for them. Not surprisingly, professors were the most frequently named mentors. Graduates of Lutheran colleges far more frequently reported that a professor had served as a mentor for them.Nearly half of public flagship graduates reported that they found no one who was a mentor or role model for themS = Significant differenceQ.1 Please tell me how much you personally benefited from your college offering (top-two box)* Q.2 How often did your college experience include the following? (top-two box)** Q.12 How much do you agree or disagree with the following? (top-two box)*** Q. 4 Who, if anyone, did you meet in college who was a mentor or role model for you?
26 Involvement With Peers Many high school students believe they’re more likely to make friends on a big university campus – but our research indicates that this just isn’t true.S = Significant difference* Q.12 How much do you agree or disagree with the following? (top-two box)** Q.1 Please tell me how much you personally benefited from your college offering (top-two box)*** Q. 2 How much did your college experience include the following? (top-two box)
27 Applied Learning Experiences People also tend to think there are more co-curricular and extracurricular learning opportunities available at big public universities – and there may be, but there are also far more students competing for those opportunities. More Lutheran college students, by far, are able to actually take advantage of international study programs, internships, music and theater performances, and other learning experiences outside the classroom.S = Significant differenceQ.5 While in college, did you participate in…?
28 Extracurricular Activities S = Significant differenceQ.6a Were you involved in…? Q.6b Did you have a leadership role in…?
29 The Integration of Faith and Values Into the College Experience Not surprisingly, graduates of Lutheran colleges reported benefiting far more frequently from an emphasis on ethics and personal values, and more frequent interaction with students of similar values. They also reported greater opportunities for spiritual development. In a question not associated specifically with religion or spirituality, they far more frequently reported an integration of values and ethics in classroom discussions.One would expect public institutions not to offer many opportunities for spiritual development. However, it is surprising that their alumni report so little classroom discussion of values and ethics, which are important elements of personal development and citizenship.S = Significant differenceQ.1A/1B Please tell me how much you personally benefited from your college offering (top-two box)* Q.6a Were you involved in…?** Q.12 How much do you agree or disagree with the following? (top-two box)
30 OutcomesCompared to Lutheran graduates of public flagship universities, Lutheran graduates of Lutheran colleges rate their colleges as...This next section of slides documents that a liberal arts education from a Lutheran college or university is at least as relevant, if not more so, as career preparation than the kind of education students receive at public flagship institutions. These slides cover how graduates rate their college experience as a source of specific professional skills, career preparation, and life skills. In these slides, we’re still looking at Lutheran alumni of public universities, and Lutheran alumni of Lutheran colleges.
31 More Effective in Career Preparation and Leadership S = Significant differenceQ.10 How effective was your college in helping you develop the following? (rating 4 or 5 on a five-point scale, where 1=not at all effective and 5=extremely effective)
32 More Effective in Developing Interpersonal Skills S = Significant differenceQ.10 How effective was your college in helping you develop the following? (rating 4 or 5 on a five-point scale, where 1=not at all effective and 5=extremely effective)
33 More Effective in Helping Students Develop a Sense of Purpose While preparation for career is the predominant interest students and parents have in gaining a college degree, parents of Lutheran students are particularly concerned that a college experience help their sons and daughters develop a sense of purpose in life. Indeed, this is an explicit part of the mission of many Lutheran colleges. Not surprisingly, graduates of Lutheran colleges are much more likely to credit their college as a source of their purpose in life.S = Significant differenceQ.10 How effective was your college in helping you develop the following? (rating 4 or 5 on a five-point scale, where 1=not at all effective and 5=extremely effective)
34 Compared to Lutheran graduates of public flagship universities, Lutheran college graduates... The reported differences between public and Lutheran college alumni experiences and outcomes suggest that the smaller size, academic focus, and attention to the personal development of students is more productive educationally in a number of ways.Specifically, compared to Lutheran graduates of public flagship universities, Lutheran graduates of Lutheran colleges are…
35 Are Much More Likely to Graduate in Four Years or Less …much more likely to have graduated in four years. As a result, their education often costs no more than a family pays to send a child to school for six years at a state school, and students enter the job market or go on to graduate or professional school, getting a head start on those who do not earn degrees in four years.S = Significant differenceQ.18 How many years did it take for you to complete your undergraduate degree?
36 Are Equally Likely to Earn a Graduate or Professional Degree Are Likely to Earn Equal IncomesThough public flagship universities are often seen as more job oriented, their graduates are no more likely to earn graduate or professional degrees and do not earn higher incomes than graduates of Lutheran colleges, many of whom serve the Church as teachers, pastors, and church workers.
37 Place Higher Value on Family, Ethical and Religious Concerns Perhaps it is simply consistent with the match that exists between the mission of Lutheran colleges and the intentions of students who choose them, but graduates of these schools are far more likely to report that it is highly important to raise a family, be free to consider the moral and ethical sides of decisions, and to integrate faith with other aspects of their lives than the graduates of public, flagship institutions. Although their median incomes nearly equal those of their publicly educated peers, they are less likely to say that it is highly important to be well off financially.If these are values that many students bring with them to a Lutheran college, they become an important element of the peer culture, and self-reinforcing.S = Significant differenceQ.19 How important is it to you to. . .? (rating a 5 on a five-point scale, where 1=not at all important and 5=extremely important)
38 Place Higher Value on Community Concerns Interestingly, graduates of Lutheran colleges—which are independent schools—are far more likely to place greater importance on “public” values such as promoting racial equality and social justice and affiliating with organizations that help the disadvantaged than are graduates of public flagship institutions.S = Significant difference* Q.10 How effective was your college in helping you develop the following? (top-two box)Q.19 How important is it to you to. . .? (rating a 5 on a five-point scale, where 1=not at all important and 5=extremely important)
39 Are More Likely to be Active, Contributing Members in Their Communities Recent Involvement in Volunteer ActivitiesFinancial support76%66%50%49%47%27%Consistent with their reported interests and values, graduates of Lutheran colleges are far more likely than Lutheran graduates of public flagship institutions to report being involved with foundations and non-profit organizations, with K-12 schools, and with their undergraduate college or university.S = Significant differenceQ.20 In the past five years, have you been involved in the volunteer activity ? Have you financially supported. . . ?
40 Are More Likely to Participate Actively in their Churches And, again, looking at Lutheran respondents, those who attended a Lutheran college report significantly greater involvement with their churches than do Lutherans who attended a public university.S = Significant differenceQ.22 Are you involved in any of the following church activities?
41 Lutheran Parent Survey Methodology Surveys mailed to members of ELCA and LCMS churches:Parents of 9th grade studentsParents of 10th grade studentsA total of 3000 surveys mailedOverall response rate of 30%We also surveyed Lutheran parents of high school students.The survey methodology is detailed above. The response rate of 30% is very good for a mail survey.
42 Many Parents Don’t Have Strong Awareness or Impressions of Lutheran Colleges When asked about Lutheran Colleges they were aware of:Public flagship universities, because they receive sizeable allocations of state resources and offer commercially visible intercollegiate sports programs, get a lot of media attention. Often this attention revolves around important scientific or medical advances that are hallmarks of research institutions. Many people, parents among them, assume that reputation and resources will translate into benefits for their children, even though they are largely unavailable to undergraduate students.Lutheran colleges, like most small private colleges, are unknown by large segments of the population. Even among Lutheran parents, a sizeable percentage have no impression of Lutheran colleges, and none of these colleges are known to a majority of Lutheran parents. Less than half of Lutheran parents could name a Lutheran college they would consider for their child.* Among LCMS parents ** Among ELCA parentsQ.9 Overall, what are your impressions of Lutheran colleges?Q.5 What Lutheran colleges are you aware of?Q.6 What Lutheran colleges would you consider for your son or daughter?
43 Like church leaders, many parents don’t recognize important educational differences… Not surprisingly, given the low awareness levels that Lutheran church leaders have of the educational differences we’ve looked at, parents are even less likely to recognize the advantages a Lutheran college offers.
44 In College Experiences and Outcomes: High-quality teaching oriented facultyMentoring relationships with professorsMost classes taught by professorsProfessors who both challenge and help studentsOpportunities for independent study, internships, international studyExtracurricular opportunities*************************************************Career preparationCommunication skillsCritical thinking skillsInterpersonal skillsIn general, a substantial minority or even a majority of parents saw “no difference” between Lutheran colleges and public universities in providing many important facets of a quality undergraduate education. Many parents don’t realize that close, mentoring relationships with professors are more likely at Lutheran colleges. They also don’t recognize that co-curricular and extracurricular learning opportunities are much more accessible at Lutheran colleges – and they underestimate the importance of these activities, which experts say are essential for an effective, involving educational experience.Parents are also largely unaware of Lutheran colleges’ strengths in preparing alumni for careers, with effective communication, critical thinking and interpersonal skills.
45 Parents’ Financial Concerns: Affordable costConsidered more likely at public universityEmployment opportunities after graduationGraduation in four yearsBoth considered equally likely at public and Lutheran collegesThe bottom line: Parents think their children are just as likely to graduate in four years at both public and Lutheran colleges, and just as likely to get good jobs. Since they don’t see the differences in quality we’ve documented, they naturally see public tuition as more affordable. Many are also unaware of the generous financial aid that Lutheran colleges offer.But , again, Lutheran students are much more likely to have graduated in four years from a Lutheran college. When you add up the extra years of tuition, plus a year or more of lost earnings from entering the job force later – often $30,000 a year – plus the availability of financial aid, a Lutheran college education is an incredible value.
46 Lutheran colleges must: document their academic rigor and practical valueeducate parents about the importance of an involving educational experienceexplain the availability of financial aidLutheran colleges need to do a better job of three things:Documenting the academic rigor and practical value they offer, as differentiated from the style of education delivered by large public flagship institutions.Educating parents about the importance of an involving educational experience to a successful college career and life outcomes.Explaining the availability of financial aid and scholarship support.
47 Reclaiming Lutheran Students Communication Campaign Direct mail campaign to Lutheran parents of high school studentsFour-panel mailers offer a brochure featuring key messages about educational qualitySeries of five messages, sent over three yearsPress kit prepared for colleges, distributed to nationwide mediaCollege Fair banners promote key messagesCollegevalue.com website expands on information in brochureCD-Rom presentation used by colleges with fundersAnd, we’re begun a systematic communication campaign to accomplish these goals.
48 How Can the Church Help?But we do need your help….
49 How Can the Church Help?Promote research findings and Lutheran college value throughout the ChurchDisplay & distribute brochures in individual churchesHold college planning information sessionsEncourage participation in Lutheran college fairs – send a van!Publicize research findings in church mailingsWe’d like you to help us promote the research findings, and the value of Lutheran college education, through the church – we have brochures you could display and distribute, and we’d like to hold college planning information sessions for congregations. We’d also like you to encourage the high school age members of your congregations to participate in Lutheran college fairs – you could even send a van.Thank you. I hope we’ll have many opportunities to work together to strengthen both our colleges, and our Church.