On August 2, 2016, the CMC Office of Institutional Research released the complete results of the Student Life and Campus Climate (SLCC) survey on its website. A full PDF of the results with the Office of Institutional Research’s annotations can be found here.
Only 486 of CMC’s 1,295 students filled out the survey, constituting a response rate of 37.5%. This rate is substantially lower than the 51% response rate in 2013, the last time the survey was administered. 55% percent of respondents were women, a ratio that does not reflect CMC’s 49% female student body. The race/ethnicity sample is nearly proportionate to CMC’s student body makeup. 44% of respondents were on need-based financial aid, and 83% of those that self-identified their sexual orientation said they were heterosexual. Students generally expressed more dissatisfaction than in 2013 across all survey categories, ranging from campus activities to facilities to campus climate.
In April, The Forum published a preview of the SLCC survey results. This preliminary data showed that 56% of the student body believes that CMC students “treat other students fairly regardless of their gender identity,” a decrease from 71% in 2013. Women, students who are not exclusively white, and those who are not exclusively heterosexual are less likely to agree that faculty or students treat students fairly regardless of gender identity. Roughly a third were satisfied with ASCMC’s social activities, while 34% expressed satisfaction with ASCMC’s clubs and organizations budgeting process.
Respondents were significantly more concerned about tension on campus related to identity than in 2013, perhaps owing to the tense campus climate this year. Eighty percent of students feel that “there is tension related to ethnicity and race” on CMC’s campus, while 24% remarked that they have “personally experienced discrimination” at CMC because of their ethnicity or race. This percentage has increased four-fold since 2013, when 10% of students reported experiencing discrimination. Two categories asking questions about socioeconomic class and disability were added to the 2016 survey. Of the 4% that self-identified as having a disability, 5% have experienced discrimination because of their disability and 67% think CMCers treat other students fairly regardless of their disability.
81% expressed the value they place in residence halls that enable the development of relationships with diverse students, yet only 50% were satisfied with their experiences. Almost 90% of respondents said that faculty assist with career opportunities, and 52% indicated satisfaction in academic advising in their major. Just 40% of respondents were satisfied that faculty include the contributions and narratives of diverse demographic groups in their curricula.
Regarding substance abuse, 53% of students agree that there are problems arising from alcohol consumption on the CMC campus; women are significantly more likely than men to agree. Furthermore, 49% of students believe there are problems arising from controlled substances on the CMC campus. Roughly half of respondents think that ethnic, racial, and gender issues should be incorporated into more classes. Only 32% reported that they were satisfied with their improvement of understanding diverse culture through general education, although 72% said this was important.
80% of respondents agree that CMC students are overly concerned about getting high paying jobs after college, and 76% believe CMC students are under intense academic pressure.
However, 76% of respondents would recommend CMC to their siblings and friends as a good place to go to college. The survey asked students to generally assess CMC using four benchmarks: whether students perceive themselves belonging at CMC (69% agree), have had a positive experience (82% agree), would recommend CMC to others (76% agree), and would choose CMC as their college if they were given the choice again (73% agree). Women, those were are not exclusively heteroseuxal, and those who were not exclusively white had a significantly lower agreement rate with those four statements compared to white, exclusively heterosexual, male students.
The SLCC survey report analyzed these results in the context of the 2013 responses and events on campus. The report notes: “Responses are very much driven by current, immediate events. In other worlds, while the questions are framed as general, not time-bound statements, respondents tend to make their judgments based nearly exclusively on the current situation at the time they participate in the survey.”
The Office of Institutional Research emailed this survey to the student body in February 2016; the climate on campus following events of the fall offers a potential explanation for the rather low satisfaction rates when compared to the satisfaction rates reported in the 2013 survey. The Office of Institutional Research survey holds claims that the comparison between the two survey years “tells us more about how these two specific moments in time differed, rather than denoting any deeper, long-term trend.”
In an email to The Forum last week, John Haller, the Assistant Director of Institutional Research noted: “These results need to be considered with the larger issue at hand, [a process that] really demands the input of more voices on campus. We need to let the new Dean of Students and the PSR committee get involved. There was also more qualitative work done with a consultant during the last year, and it would be good to consider these two studies together to bring in that qualitative part.” Those qualitative results have not yet been released.
Although the college announced the results of the 2013 edition of the survey to the student body in an email that April, the administration has yet it publicize this year’s findings.