Presentation on theme: "Enhancing Parents’ Role in Higher Education Assessment Anne Marie Delaney Director of Institutional Research, Babson College."— Presentation transcript:
Enhancing Parents’ Role in Higher Education Assessment Anne Marie Delaney Director of Institutional Research, Babson College
Introduction This paper presents a rationale and a model for enhancing parents’ role in higher education assessment. The issue is important given the cost of higher education and the evolving nature of parent-child relationships. The model is based on a study that compared parents' and students' evaluation of undergraduate education.
Introduction The study addressed the following research questions : To what extent do parents think the undergraduate program enhanced their child's abilities? How satisfied are parents with various aspects of their child's college experience? What specific aspects of parents' evaluation predict their overall satisfaction? How do parents' evaluations compare with their children's assessments?
Background: Highlights from the Literature Rationale Administrators gain a partner who has the most at stake in their student’s well-being. (Wartman and Savage, 2008) Developments in society and parent-child relationships Our nation has an educational deficit relative to the rest of the industrialized world; we must recapture the sense of higher education as a common good (Kirwan, 2007). The evolution of parent-child relationships into partnerships is a major factor accounting for a change in the role of parents in higher education (Jackson & Murphy, 2005). The 2007 National Survey of Student Engagement results revealed that 7 out of 10 students communicated very often with at least one parent during the academic year.
Background: Highlights from the Literature (continued) Role of Parents in College Choice Parents were involved in information gathering but not necessarily in decision-making. (Smith & Bers, 1989) Parents and students identified academics as the most important criterion and shared four of the same top criteria - academics, tuition, financial aid and friendly atmosphere. (Warwick & Mansfield, 2003) However, Brokemier and Seshadri (1999) discovered that students attributed more importance to social life, friends attending an institution, and athletic programs, while parents assigned more importance to cost, program of study, facility quality, academic reputation, and safety.
Highlights from the Literature Review (continued) Comparison of Parents' and Students' Views In assessing institutional quality, parents were more likely to select faculty indicators, while students were more likely to select program related factors (Litten & Hall, 1989). In defining goals, parents emphasized managing stress and skills for self-sufficient living, while students valued gaining a sense of interdependence and involvement in community service. (Papish, 2000) Bisset et al. (1999) found that both parents and students highly valued career related goals, including acquiring skills for a special job and getting a good job after graduation. In assessing an undergraduate program, parents' and students' ratings correlated significantly on faculty teaching skills, advising, overall satisfaction, willingness to recommend the college. (Browne, Kaldenberg & Browne, 1998)
Methodology Population: 281 parents of May 2007 graduating seniors Respondents: 155 parents Response rate: 55 % Survey: administered primarily on the Internet during the 2008 spring semester Data source: 155 parent responses and 122 matched parent and child responses
Methodology Methods of Analysis - Correlation examined relationships between parents' evaluation of specific aspects of college and their overall assessment. - Regression identified specific aspects of parents' evaluation that predicted their overall assessment. - Matched pair t tests examined differences between parents' and students' assessment and satisfaction with college experiences. - Analyses were conducted with individual items and scale scores.
Results: Significant Correlates of Parents’ Overall Satisfaction
Results: Significant Correlates of Parents' Willingness to Recommend the College
Predicting Parents’ Overall Satisfaction Regression analysis addressed the question, “What specific aspects of parents' evaluation predict their overall satisfaction?” Regression results identified 3 predictors of overall satisfaction: perceived impact on ability to acquire new skills and knowledge; satisfaction with academic advising; and satisfaction with career services. These variables explained 51% of the variance in overall satisfaction.
Predicting Parents’ Willingness to Recommend the College Regression addressed the question, “What specific aspects of parents' evaluation predict their willingness to recommend the college?” Results identified three significant predictors of parents’ willingness to recommend the college: perceived impact on ability to acquire new skills and knowledge satisfaction with student housing; and satisfaction with extra-curricular programs. These variables explained 49 % of the variance in parents’ willingness to recommend the College.
Predicting Parents' Willingness to Recommend the College
Comparison of Parents’ and Students’ Assessment Matched pair t tests were conducted with responses from 122 parents and their children to answer the question: “How do parents’ evaluations compare with their children’s in terms of the College’s impact on students’ abilities and satisfaction with aspects of college life?”
Comparison of Parents' and Students' Assessment
Recommendations The following recommendations were formulated based on the study results: Use parent testimony to portray the UG program as a wise investment. Promote parents' assessment of the program’s impact on students' abilities. Publicize parent's high level of satisfaction with the undergraduate program. Intensify the program's focus on enhancing students' ability to write. Review and enhance the undergraduate academic advising program. Closely monitor student housing to ensure high quality maintenance.
Discussion – Linking this Study to Previous Research This study is based on the belief that parents ought to be involved in assessing higher education’s effectiveness given: the investment they make; their expectation to be involved; and the significant role they play in their children’s lives. (Kirwan, 2007; Scott & Daniel, 2001).
This study found no significant differences between parents' and students' satisfaction with faculty attitude and quality of business courses; both reported Satisfied to Very Satisfied ratings. Browne, Kaldenberg and Browne (1998) found significant positive correlations between parents’ and students’ ratings on faculty teaching skills and satisfaction with overall value of the education. Discussion – Linking this Study to Previous Research
Perceived impact on ability to acquire new knowledge was a predictor of parents’ overall satisfaction and willingness to recommend the College. Other predictors of these outcomes varied. Satisfaction with advising and career services predicted overall satisfaction. Satisfaction with housing and extracurricular programs predicted willingness to recommend the College. Discussion – Linking this Study to Previous Research
Previous research with graduating seniors found different predictors of overall satisfaction and willingness to recommend the college. Satisfaction with the quality of business courses and faculty attitude and the perception of enhanced ability to think analytically significantly predicted seniors’ overall satisfaction. (Delaney, 2005) Satisfaction with campus life and campus safety significantly predicted their likelihood of choosing the same college again. (Delaney, 2005) In both parent and student studies, academic factors predicted overall satisfaction and student life factors predicted choosing same college. Discussion – Linking this Study to Previous Research
Conclusion Parents perceive a greater impact than students on the ability to learn to relate well to different races and understand ethical issues. Parents’ perceived impact on students’ ability to acquire new skills and knowledge significantly affects their overall assessment. Parents’ satisfaction with academic advising and career services also significantly influences their overall satisfaction. Parents’ satisfaction with student housing and extra-curricular programs significantly affects their willingness to recommend the college.