ERIC Number: ED217918
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr-15
Reference Count: 0
Measuring the Benefits of Liberal Arts Education in Washington's Community Colleges.
In fall 1981, a survey of students enrolled in the 27 community colleges in Washington was conducted to determine student background characteristics and educational objectives, self-ratings of abilities, types of college courses taken, types of learning activities participated in during particular courses, reasons for and for not enrolling in liberal arts courses, and estimates of progress made toward each of 14 educational objectives (e.g., thinking critically and writing effectively). Survey responses from 6,162 students enrolled in 338 classes in 26 of the 27 colleges were analyzed to determine the relationship between the types and number of courses students completed and their ratings of their educational abilities and progress. Findings included the following: (1) students felt most confident in their ability to read (81%), write (73%), and speak (70%) effectively; (2) the majority of the students felt they had made progress in all but one of the 14 educational objectives, with the exception being appreciation of art, music, and drama; (3) students who had completed one or more courses in each of four liberal arts areas (i.e., humanities, sciences, social sciences and mathematics) were likely to rate their abilities and progress higher than those without this background; and (4) in most instances, an increase in the number of college units completed was accompanied by an increase in students' ratings of their educational progress. The questionnaire is appended. (HB)
Descriptors: Academic Ability, Academic Achievement, Community Colleges, Enrollment Influences, Enrollment Trends, Liberal Arts, Outcomes of Education, Questionnaires, Self Evaluation (Individuals), State Surveys, Student Characteristics, Student Educational Objectives, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Endowment for the Humanities (NFAH), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Washington State Board for Community Coll. Education, Olympia.; Center for the Study of Community Colleges, Los Angeles, CA.