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Making the Case for Christian Higher Education: New Challenges, New Opportunities Laurie A. Schreiner, Ph.D. Azusa Pacific University CCCU CEO Conference.

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Presentation on theme: "Making the Case for Christian Higher Education: New Challenges, New Opportunities Laurie A. Schreiner, Ph.D. Azusa Pacific University CCCU CEO Conference."— Presentation transcript:

1 Making the Case for Christian Higher Education: New Challenges, New Opportunities Laurie A. Schreiner, Ph.D. Azusa Pacific University CCCU CEO Conference 1/8/2004

2 The CCCU’s Comprehensive Assessment Project  Has collected data on entering students since 1994  Added student satisfaction data in 1997  90% of the CCCU has participated in some aspect of the project  Retention and graduation rates posted on the web annually

3 CCCU Retention and Graduation Rates First-year retention Sophomore retention year graduation year graduation Average SAT

4 Comparison to National Data CCCUTrad.Sel. First-year76%72.7% 81.2% retention 5-year 53.2%51.6% 62.1% Graduation Source: ACT website, 2003

5 Predictors of Retention in the CCCU  Type of Institution  More selective  Higher tuition  Larger  Gender balance  Student satisfaction  Campus climate  Spiritual fit  Teaching effectiveness  Academic advising

6 Retention Predictors (cont.)  Student Characteristics  Living on campus  Intend to pursue graduate study  Not working  In their first-choice institution (71.3% of students in Fall 2003)

7 Retention in the CCCU  The more selective the school, the more predictive campus climate and teaching effectiveness are of retention rates.  The less selective the school, the more predictive spiritual fit is of retention.

8 The Latest Student Satisfaction Data Fall 2003 Results Comprehensive Assessment Project

9 Satisfaction When expectations are met or exceeded by the student’s perception of the campus reality. - Schreiner & Juillerat, 1994

10 The Student Satisfaction Inventory  Importance Scores  How important is it that this expectation is met?  Satisfaction Scores  How satisfied are you that this expectation is being met on this campus?  Performance Gap Scores  The discrepancy between the expectation (importance score) and the reality (satisfaction score)

11 Identifying Strengths And Challenges Not at all important Very Important VeryDissatisfiedVerySatisfied

12 Strengths to Market 1. Academics – most important issues to students are  Valuable content in the major  Excellent instruction in the major  Knowledgeable faculty  Excellent instruction in most classes  Able to experience intellectual growth  Knowledgeable/approachable academic advisor  Campus commitment to academic excellence  Faculty available outside of class  Caring faculty  All of the above are in the top quartile of satisfaction items

13 Strengths to Market 2. Sense of Community  Most important to students:  Enjoyable experience to be a student here  Safe and secure campus  Caring staff and faculty  Institution shows concern for students as individuals  Students are made to feel welcome  All of the above are in the top quartile of satisfaction items

14 Strengths to Market 3. Spiritual Growth Most important to students are: 1. Being on campus contributes to spiritual growth 2. Understanding of God is being strengthened by classroom and/or campus experiences 3. Given where I am spiritually right now, this campus is a good fit for me 4. Faculty/staff/administrators available to process faith issues 5. Opportunities for ministry  All of these are in the top quartile of satisfaction items, EXCEPT for #4

15 Challenges to Address 1. Tuition as a worthwhile investment 2. Course registration issues and variety of courses available 3. Financial issues  Adequacy of financial aid  Timing of financial aid awards  Helpfulness of financial aid counselors

16 Challenges (cont.) 4. Housing 5. Security response time 6. Timely feedback from faculty 7. Career services 8. Campus run-around

17 New Realities  14% enrollment growth continues into the next decade  BUT 80% of that growth will come from students of color – a population where the CCCU track record is not stellar  In Fall 2003, only 11.6% of CCCU students were students of color  Students of color are significantly less satisfied than white students on ALL items on the SSI

18 Challenges in Meeting the Needs of Students of Color 1. Academic Issues  Course variety  Registration process  Commuter population  Library  Drop/add policies  Faculty taking into consideration student differences as they teach  Academic support services  Computer access

19 Challenges in Meeting the Needs of Students of Color 2.Social Issues  In general, climate issues are not as important to students of color  However, the notable exceptions are  Commitment to racial harmony  Commitment to under-represented populations  Freedom of expression on campus  Gender equity  This is also an area where students of color are very dissatisfied  This is the area of the biggest perceptual differences between students of color and white students

20 Challenges in Meeting the Needs of Students of Color 3. Financial Issues  These issues are much more important to students of color—and on the whole, we are doing well in this area  Exception: the timing of financial aid award announcements

21 Challenges in Meeting the Needs of Students of Color 4. Spiritual Issues  These issues are not nearly as important to students of color as to white students  They tend to be about as satisfied as white students in this area

22 Recruiting Students of Color  Lead with the academic experience  Quality of the majors offered  Teaching effectiveness  Emphasize the academic community on campus – especially advising, support, and availability of courses  Continual follow-up and involvement of the family throughout the recruiting process— especially regarding financial aid awards

23 Institutions with the Best Graduation Rates  Have a distinctive niche and a strong sense of mission  Emphasize the learning process, recognizing that retention is a natural by-product of quality education  Focus on fit: academic, social, and spiritual integration

24 Value-Added Education  Our biggest challenge is to convince our students that it’s worth graduating from a Christian college  We have made strides in retention, but may have only postponed the attrition to the end of the sophomore year  The “sophomore slump” exists on too many of our campuses

25 Identifying and Affirming Students’ Strengths  Key to the sophomore slump  Key to students of color  Key to academic engagement and student motivation  Distinctive of a Christian college education: “Becoming the person God created you to be”


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