Parents as influencers in the faith based college search process
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Parents as Influencers In The Faith-Based College Search Process. Lutheran Educational Conference of North America (LECNA) Catholic College Admission Association (CCAA). Presentation Outline. Emotional and Spiritual Development Expectations of Today’s College Student

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Parents as influencers in the faith based college search process

Parents as InfluencersIn The Faith-Based College Search Process

Lutheran Educational Conference of North America (LECNA)

Catholic College Admission Association (CCAA)


Presentation outline

Presentation Outline

  • Emotional and Spiritual Development Expectations of Today’s College Student

  • Research: What Matters to Students

  • Communication Pattern between Parents and Students on Issues of Faith/Spirituality

  • What Matters to Parents

  • Intersection of Student/Parent Priorities

  • Faculty Perspective on Spirituality

  • Alumni Outcome Research

  • Discussion Questions


What matters in college

What Matters in College

  • Although different types of institutions tend to have particular types of environments, … it is the environment created by the faculty and the students - rather than the type of institution per se - that really seems to matter.

  • It is time to reassess the impact of college.

    - Alexander Astin, What Matters in College?


What matters in college1

What Matters in College

  • Our review indicates two persistent themes in the research literature on college effects. The first is the central role of other people in a student’s life, whether students or faculty, and the character of the learning environments they create…The second theme is the potency of the student’s effort and involvement in the academic and non academic systems of the institutions they attend.

    - Ernest T. Pascarella and Patrick T. Terenzini,

    How College Affects Students.


Religiously affiliated colleges universities

Religiously-Affiliated Colleges/Universities

  • There are 4,200 degree-granting institutions.

  • 2,500 of these are private.

  • 900 are identified as religiously affiliated.

    U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics


Parents as influencers in the faith based college search process

Spirituality in Higher Education: A National Study of College Students’ Search for Meaning and Purpose

  • In 2003 HERI (Higher Education Research Institute) launched a study to examine the spiritual development of undergraduate students during their college years. Spirituality in Higher Education: A National Study of College Students’ Search for Meaning and Purpose

  • Alexander Astin and Helen Astin wrote: “The project is based in part on the realization that the relative amount of attention that colleges and universities devote to the “exterior” and “interior” aspects of students’ development has gotten out of balance….we have increasingly come to neglect the student’s inner development---the sphere of values and beliefs, emotional maturity, spirituality and self-understanding.”


Spirituality survey details

Spirituality Survey Details

  • 2004 Survey: Examines student’s background, educational/occupational aspirations, and values and beliefs with respect to spiritual and religious matters.

  • Data collected from 112,232 college freshmen

  • National sample of 236 colleges and universities

  • 55% women, 45% men

  • 66% attend public colleges/universities

  • 17% nonsectarian private institutions

  • 8% “Other” Church-Affiliated

  • 7% Catholic

  • 3% Evangelical


Results

Results

  • Today’s college students (four in five) have very high levels of spiritual interest and involvement.

  • They display high levels of religious commitment and involvement. (Four in five report that they attended religious services in the past year and discuss religion/spirituality with friends and family.)

  • Freshmen have high expectations for the role their institutions will play in their emotional and spiritual development.

  • 75% of the students say that they are “searching for meaning/purpose in life” and similar numbers report that they have discussion about the meaning of life with friends.


Parents as influencers

Parents as Influencers

  • Parents and high school students are “jointly” making college decisions

  • “Co-Purchase“ Concept: Millennials Go To College

  • Helicopter Parents (www. collegeboard.com/parents)

  • Parents play a significant role in the occupational aspirations and career goal development of their children. (www.jobweb.com)


Communication pattern between parents and students on issues of faith spirituality

Communication Pattern between Parents and Students on Issues of Faith/Spirituality

  • The role of parents in the admissions process

  • Boston College Questionnaire about the Undergraduate Experience

  • Religiousness and Spirituality: Parent and Student Perspectives

  • Discussion Items for Families


What matters to parents

WHAT MATTERS TO PARENTS


Lutheran parent survey methodology

Lutheran Parent Survey Methodology

Surveys mailed to members of ELCA and LCMS churches:

  • Parents of 9th grade students

  • Parents of 10th grade students

  • A total of 3000 surveys mailed

  • Qualified families had student in 9th or 10th grade who planned to go to college; 95% qualified

  • Overall response rate of 30%


Parent profile

Parent Profile

  • Education

    • Not a college graduate44%

    • Public college or university graduate41%

    • Other private college graduate 8%

    • Lutheran college graduate 7%

  • Gender

    • Female77%

    • Male23%

  • Married89%

  • Income

    • Less than $50,00031%

    • $50,000-74,99937%

    • $75,000 or more32%


What matters to parents experiences

Extremely Important*

0%20%40%60%80%100%

What Matters to Parents: Experiences

Undergraduate Experiences

Campus community

Academic reputation and facilities

Spiritual growth opportunities

Involvement with faculty

Alternative study opportunities

Extracurricular involvement

*% rating a 5 on a five-point scale, where 1=“not at all important,” and 5=“extremely important”


Spiritual growth opportunities expected at lutheran colleges

Spiritual Growth Opportunities Expected at Lutheran Colleges

Parents: Where Will Students Find. . .

Extremely 27% 53% 27% 31%

Important:

Parents: Q.11, 13,16 Where do you think students would be more likely to find. . . ?


Most parents know lutheran colleges promote faculty involvement

Most Parents Know Lutheran Colleges Promote Faculty Involvement

Parents: Where Will Students Find. . .

Extremely 34% 37% 27% 45%

Important:

Parents: Q.13 Where do you think students would be more likely to find. . . ?


Parents don t recognize the availability of other learning opportunities at lutheran colleges

Parents Don’t Recognize the Availability of Other Learning Opportunities at Lutheran Colleges

Parents: Where Will Students Find. . .

Extremely 11% 33% 9%

Important:

Parents: Q.13 Where do you think students would be more likely to find. . . ?


Parents see no difference in extracurricular opportunities

Parents See No Difference in Extracurricular Opportunities

Parents: Where Will Students Find. . .

Extremely 11% 12% 13% 8%

Important:

Parents: Q.11 Where do you think students would be more likely to find. . . ?


What matters to parents outcomes

0%20%40%60%80%100%

What Matters to Parents: Outcomes

Undergraduate Outcomes

Extremely Important*

Sense of purpose in life

Critical thinking and communication skills

Career preparation

Strong personal values

Interpersonal skills

Spiritual development

Contributing to the community

Being well-off financially

*% rating a 5 on a five-point scale, where 1=“not at all important,” and 5=“extremely important”


What matters to parents bottom line

0%20%40%60%80%100%

What Matters to Parents: Bottom Line

*% rating a 5 on a five-point scale, where 1=“not at all important,” and 5=“extremely important”


Of these outcomes parents

Of these outcomes, parents:

  • recognize Lutheran colleges are better at developing strong personal values and integrating faith with other aspects of life

  • accurately note there is no difference between Lutheran colleges and public universities in preparing graduates to be well-off financially

  • concluded there were no differences for all other outcome areas, even though Lutheran college graduates gave higher ratings than public university graduates on each of them


Parents as influencers in the faith based college search process

Faith-based colleges must:

  • document their academic rigor and practical value

  • educate parents about the importance of an involving educational experience

  • explain the availability of financial aid

  • make college more affordable through financing options


Intersection of student parent priorities

Intersection of Student/Parent Priorities

  • Parent Priorities

    Spiritual growth opportunities

    Sense of purpose in life

    Strong personal values

    Spiritual development

    Contributing to the community

  • Student Priorities

    Interest in emotional and spiritual development

    Searching for meaning/purpose in life

    High degree of involvement in religion

    Religious beliefs provide strength, support, and guidance


Faculty perspective on spirituality

Faculty Perspective on Spirituality

  • HERI Survey of faculty attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors

    “Spirituality and the Professoriate”

  • 40,670 faculty surveyed at 421 colleges/universities

  • The spiritual dimension of life is highly relevant

  • 3 in 5 college professors (64%) say that they consider themselves to be “a religious person.”

  • Spirituality Scale: 64% of the faculty at religious colleges have high spirituality scores, compared to 33% of faculty in public universities


Highly spiritual faculty

Highly Spiritual Faculty

  • Highly spiritual faculty express a much more positive outlook about their jobs and their lives (59%) than their less spiritual colleagues (36%).

  • Highly spiritual faculty support the use of “student-centered” pedagogical approaches such as cooperative learning, group projects, and reflective writing

  • 57% of college/university faculty disagree with the statement that “the spiritual dimension of faculty members’ lives has no place in the academy.”


Comparative alumni studies

Comparative Alumni Studies

  • LECNA Comparative Alumni Study in 1999, updated in 2004 www.lutherancolleges.org/research

  • CCAA Comparative Alumni Study 2006

  • Snapshot of those results…….


A comparative advantage alumni study

A Comparative Advantage Alumni Study


A majority of classes taught by professors

A Majority of Classes Taught by Professors

Q.1 Please tell me how much you personally benefited from your college offering . . . rating “benefited very much” (top box on a five-point scale)


High quality teaching oriented faculty

High Quality, Teaching-Oriented Faculty

Q.1 Please tell me how much you personally benefited from your college offering . . . rating “benefited very much” (top box on a five-point scale)


Professors often challenged students but personally helped them meet the challenge

Professors Often Challenged Students, But Personally Helped Them Meet the Challenge

Q.2 How often did your college experience include the following? (rating 4 or 5 on a five-point scale, where 1=never and 5=always)


Parents as influencers in the faith based college search process

Faculty Personally and Academically Interested in Students

Q.12 How much do you agree or disagree with the following? (rating a 4 or 5 on a five-point scale, where 1=strongly disagree and 5=strongly agree)


Parents as influencers in the faith based college search process

Professor Served as Mentor or Role Model in College

Q. 4 Who, if anyone, did you meet at your college who was a mentor or role model for you?


Extensive classroom discussions

Extensive Classroom Discussions

Q.2 How often did your college experience include the following? (rating 4 or 5 on a five-point scale, where 1=never and 5=always)


Participated in off campus or international study

Participated in Off-Campus or International Study

Q. 5 While in college, did you participate in . . . ?


Volunteer or community service activities

Volunteer or Community Service Activities

Q.6A Were you involved in any of the following?


Academic clubs and activities

Academic Clubs and Activities

Q.6A Were you involved in any of the following?


Frequent interaction with students with similar values

Frequent Interaction with Students with Similar Values

Q.2 How often did your college experience include the following? (rating 4 or 5 on a five-point scale, where 1=never and 5=always)


Friendships often developed from classroom experiences

Friendships Often Developed from Classroom Experiences

Q.2 How often did your college experience include the following? (rating 4 or 5 on a five-point scale, where 1=never and 5=always)


Integration of values and ethics in classroom discussions

Integration of Values and Ethics in Classroom Discussions

Q.2 How often did your college experience include the following? (rating 4 or 5 on a five-point scale, where 1=never and 5=always)


College helped integrate faith with other aspects of life

College Helped Integrate Faith with Other Aspects of Life

Q.12 How much do you agree or disagree with the following? (rating a 4 or 5 on a five-point scale, where 1=strongly disagree and 5=strongly agree)


Writing effectively

Writing Effectively

Q.10 How effective was your college in helping you develop . . .? (rating 4 or 5 on a five-point scale, where 1=not at all effective and 5=extremely effective)


Leadership

Leadership

Q.10 How effective was your college in helping you develop . . .? (rating 4 or 5 on a five-point scale, where 1=not at all effective and 5=extremely effective)


Developing moral principles that can guide actions

Developing Moral Principles that Can Guide Actions

Q.10 How effective was your college in helping you develop . . .? (rating 4 or 5 on a five-point scale, where 1=not at all effective and 5=extremely effective)


A sense of purpose in life

A Sense of Purpose in Life

Q.10 How effective was your college in helping you develop . . .? (rating 4 or 5 on a five-point scale, where 1=not at all effective and 5=extremely effective)


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