Who do we teach a sociological snapshot of the lander student body
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Who do we Teach ? A Sociological Snapshot of the Lander Student Body. Dr. Dan Harrison, Political and Social Sciences. The Palmetto State. SC has 4.7 million people. 64% are white, 28% black, 5% Hispanic, 1.4% Asian, .5% Native American. 48.4 % male, 51.6 % female

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Who do we Teach ? A Sociological Snapshot of the Lander Student Body

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Who do we teach a sociological snapshot of the lander student body

Who do we Teach? A Sociological Snapshot of the Lander Student Body

Dr. Dan Harrison, Political and Social Sciences


The palmetto state

The Palmetto State

  • SC has 4.7 million people. 64% are white, 28% black, 5% Hispanic, 1.4% Asian, .5% Native American.

  • 48.4% male, 51.6 % female

  • SC is a very poor state. Median household income (2011): $40,500 (national: $50,054). Second lowest in nation (next to Kentucky)

  • SC historically agrarian economy, now primarily manufacturing, biotech, tourist and service.

  • Politically, culturally, socially, conservative state (but with pockets of blue) (see next slide)

  • For small state, many options for college students (e.g. USC, Clemson, Furman, Wofford, C of C, FM, etc.), plus tech schools, University of Phoenix, etc.

  • State of SC is providing less $$ to Lander and SC system (11.9%, 48th in country; link)

  • Partly, because of this, Lander is ranked 119/651 schools in cost of tuition (link)


2008 presidential returns

2008 Presidential Returns


2012 presidential returns

2012 Presidential Returns

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:South_carolina_presidential_election_results_2012.svg


Lander the school

Lander: The School

  • Started as Williamston Female College in 1872

  • Moved to Greenwood and renamed Lander University in 1904.

  • Became coeducational in 1943. Supported by Methodist Church until 1948.

  • 1951-1973, operated by Greenwood County

  • 1973 became a member of SC state University System (smallest).


Rank amongst southern regional colleges

Rank Amongst Southern Regional Colleges

http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/lander-university-3435


The students

The Students

  • 92% of Lander students are from SC.

    • Top Counties: Greenwood, Greenville, Anderson


Top recruitment counties

Top Recruitment Counties

2012 Academic Year:

  • Greenwood (583)

  • Greenville (262)

  • Anderson (230)

  • Richland (216)

  • Lexington (151)

  • Laurens (170)

  • Spartanburg (110)


The students1

The Students

  • 92% of Lander students are from SC

    • Top Counties: Greenwood, Greenville, Anderson

  • 5% are from out of state

    • Top states: Georgia, North Carolina, Florida

  • 3% are foreign students

    • Top countries: Australia, Brazil, China, France, England, Korea, Sweden, Zimbabwe (historically).


New student application history

New Student Application History


By the percentages

By the Percentages


The students etc

The Students, etc.

  • 188 students (7% of full time students) are student athletes (and some of better students)

  • 44% of our students come from single parent, divorced, widowed, etc. households.

  • Many are first in family to attend college.

  • Many of our students have overcome significant obstacles to just be here (rape, violence, deaths, etc.)

  • Many students have attended one or more schools before coming to Lander.

  • Many students are religious: In 2013, 55.7 % identify as Baptist or Christian; 10% none; 8% Methodist; 4% Presbyterian; 3% Catholic; 2 % AME, 1% Episcopalian.


Age of lander students

Age of Lander Students


Questions

Questions

  • Are our incoming students getting better or worse?


Sat scores are flat

SAT Scores are Flat


High school gpa scores are flat

HIGH SCHOOL GPA SCORES ARE FLAT


Changing demographics gender

Changing Demographics: Gender

  • Lander started as a women’s college and has been skewed heavily female for some time

  • This imbalance is increasing for all students:

    • Fall 2008: 66.1% female; Fall 2012: 69.6 %.

  • And especially for residential students:

    • Fall 2008: 71.4 % female; Fall 2012: 74.1 %


Changing demographics race

Changing Demographics: Race

  • 47% increase in African-American student body at Lander since 2008 (23% increase for males, 55% increase females). (See next slide)

  • In Fall 2012, African-American students 32.6% of total population, white students 57% (in fall 2008, it was 27%, 64% white); few Hispanic students (1%); few Asian students (though increasing)

  • In fall 2012, 42.5% of freshman class was African-American. (See Headcount Spreadsheet).

  • This is highly positive, especially given history of race in SC.

  • Lander has done great job with this.

  • Yet only 23% of students who graduated in May 2013 were black (chart)

  • Also troubling: white prospective students are increasingly less interested in Lander (chart)


Percentage of african american students

Percentage of African-American Students


Changing demographics race1

Changing Demographics: Race


Percentage of african american students1

Percentage of African-American Students


Shifting applicant pool

Shifting Applicant Pool


Changing demographics class

Changing Demographics: Class

  • Lower median household income. In 2008-2009, avg. household income for students filling out a FAFSA was: $59,366; in 2012, it was $56,354 (-$3012)

  • Many of our students come from “hard scrabble” circumstanceswhere often it is rare to graduate from high school, let alone go to college.

  • SC public high school experiences not good for many (fighting, drugs/alcohol, permanent substitutes, bad teachers, etc.)

  • More students working while in school (link). Full time student 15 hrs in class per week + part time job (20 hrs) = 35 hrs/week. Students working full time= 55+ hr week. Less time for being a student.


Changing demographics class cont

Changing Demographics: Class (cont).

  • Still, Lander students are significantly richer ($16,000 or so) than avg. SC household.

  • Yet many students have to pay their own way. The avg. student graduates with $26,278. ($3200/semester). Avg. for African-American students likely much higher (though no data on this).

  • Purpose of college has been to lift students into the middle class. This is becoming harder. (NYT link).


Question

Question

  • Have the changing demographics led to worsened academic performance?


Academic achievement @lander

Academic Achievement @Lander

  • Average GPA is flat.

  • Most students are doing satisfactorily.


Academic achievement cont

Academic Achievement, cont.

  • 91 students (~ 3%) are being actively managed/get assistance for Learning Disability

  • Best Lander students are excellent, but too few in number (in some classes, just 1 or 2 in class);

  • Top Lander Students do very well.

  • At the other end, handful of students at bottom who are quite poor.

  • Large group of students in the middle who are neither (C+/B-and content with grades.

  • Grades are not an incentive for this group (you can motivate the B+ student to get As, and the D student to get a C-, harder to motivate in the middle). Pluses/minuses may help.

  • As instructor at Lander, job is often more about taking student from F>C, or from D>B, than from C>A.

  • Hard to provide one-one-attention in large classes.


The lander campus profile

The Lander Campus Profile

  • In 2012-13, 1482 students lived on campus (54.6 % of full time students).

  • Residential Hall stats.

  • In 2012, 74% of on-campus students were female, 26% male; 12% of on-campus students were white males; 9.7% were black males; 27.8% were white females; 39.4% were black females (very few Asians and Hispanics)

  • In 2008, 908 students lived on campus (39.5%); 71.3% were female; 28.7% male; 15% were white males; 10.7 % were black males; 35.9% were white females; 30.3% were black females.


Tale of two campus cultures

Tale of Two Campus Cultures

  • 80% of black female student population and 70% of black males live on campus.

  • BUT, only 40 % of white females and 25% of white males live on campus.

  • Lander increasingly has two campus cultures, one black and residential, one white and based off campus.

  • The white students tend to view the campus instrumentally (come to class, pool, launching pad for off-campus activities such as study abroad); black students are more involved in campus activities, clubs, less likely to have cars, etc.

  • Historical factors (e.g. Jim Crow) and self-segregation processes (e.g. roommate assignments) keep the two groups from mingling. Main time together is in class.

  • White students often come from more rural or “country” places; black students more “urban” – also very different politically.


Subcultures on campus

Subcultures on Campus

  • Sociologists in the 1960s Martin and Trow identified four cultures on campus: Vocational, academic, collegiate, and rebel.

  • Developed these categories in terms of trade off between ideas and institutions(on board)

  • Using these terms, I would suggest Lander’s population is Lander is 10 % academic, 10 % rebel, 30% collegiate (“Bearcat”), 50% vocational.

  • This means that half of students identify neither with ideas or with Lander, yet they constitute half of our student body.

  • Unlike the 1960s, vocational students are more likely to live on campus and constitute the campus culture.


Campus cultures

Campus Cultures

  • In 2012, 495 students at Lander were a part of an official Student Organization (21.5% of full time students).

  • 12 registered fraternities (~ 9% of FT students)

  • 78.5 % of students (both on and off campus) are NOT involved in campus life.


Students seeking more help

Students seeking more help

  • Students are seeking out more assistance and behavioral problems are on the rise.

  • 173 students went to the Counseling Center for help last year (5.6 percent of off campus students; 6.8 percent of on campus students or 3/45 students). Each student visited about 3.5 times. 35 % increase in number of students relative to AY 2011-2012.

  • Freshmen (29%); Juniors (27%); sophomores (24%), seniors (19%).

  • Major issues: stress, anxiety, depression.


Health of students

Health of Students

  • Lander’s Health Services saw 2424 students (some of them repeats) in 2012-2013.

  • “One significant area of concern has been the number of students presenting with sexually transmitted infections.” (LU, SABR,)


Students are keeping the lupd busy

Students are Keeping the LUPD Busy

  • See Chart


Students are keeping the behavioral intervention team busy

Students are Keeping the Behavioral Intervention Team Busy

  • See chart


Behavioral problems on the rise

Behavioral Problems on the Rise


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • Many of these issues may not specific to Lander; enrollment concerns across higher education; increasing questioning of value of college.

  • Lander student body will always be changing; Rumsfeld doctrine.

  • Lander’s future is tied mainly to Greenwood’s future.

  • Maybe dynamics are outside our control, but achieving a balanced campus culture seems important (true for faculty as well).

  • Campus culture should reflect aims and aspirations of Lander mission (e.g. developing local leaders with global vision).


Conclusions cont

Conclusions, cont.

  • Many faculty and students are too busy/stressed to reflect or participate in campus culture during school year.

  • New calendar is mixed blessing.

  • Students now in class 15 hrs a week (pre-calendar change, 13.125); faculty teach 12 hrs in class/ week (used to be 10.5). Lander students faculty and students spend more time in class per week than any other institution.

  • Avg. hours taken is going up (see chart).

  • There is an perverse incentive for students to take as many classes as they can. (The better student, the more classes). Yet this means less time/attention and worse performance in any one class.

  • Few times during day/week when no one is in class.

  • The constraints we impose on ourselves and students are very rigid; yet our students are used to flexibility.


Questions1

Questions

  • Should we concerned about these dynamics?

  • Should we try to attract more out of state students?

  • What are the implications for teaching? (Cynthia and Ashley)

  • How can we get more students at Lander who “exceed” standards? (As small school, shouldn’t be impossible).

  • Are we doing all we can to help low-performing African-American students?

  • Are we doing all we can to attract higher performing minority students? (is this an issue for Honors Program?)

  • What can we do to reach beyond the vocational student who are neither interested in ideas or the institution?

  • Is it possible to adjust the mix of residential students to have more balance on campus, both socially/ethnically, etc. and also academic, collegiate and rebel cultures (and perhaps older students) on campus?


Thanks to

Thanks to:

  • Mac Kirkpatrick, Randy Bouknight, Debra “Joe” Franks, Pam Bartley, Cynthia Dysart, Fred Hardin, Tom Covar, and Kim Shannon.

  • Attend Part II of Workshop (Cynthia Gardner and Ashlee Horton’s “…And How do we Reach Them,” on Friday, October 25th.


Links

Links

  • http://www.thestate.com/2013/07/13/2860484/sc-colleges-lead-the-league-in.html

  • http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2013/aug/11/ron-johnson/average-college-degree-takes-six-years-us-sen-ron-/

  • http://www.nbcnews.com/business/students-work-more-college-costs-soar-6C10887939

  • http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/lander-university-3435

  • http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/22/business/in-climbing-income-ladder-location-matters.html?smid=fb-nytimes&WT.z_sma=US_ICI_20130722&_r=1&


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