Florida Tech Survey Keeps Abreast of Freshman Adjustment

MELBOURNE, FLA. — The freshman year of college often is a big year of adjustment and growth for a young adult. Freshmen require special attention from
faculty and staff to help make the transition a smooth one. One way Florida Tech supports freshmen is by requiring them to take a University Experience
course, which offers a range of academic and social survival skill topics.
Another tool is a survey. To learn where to make positive adjustments in a freshman’s academic and campus life, Florida Tech conducts a survey near the end
of a freshman’s critical first term. The students are asked to assess their satisfaction and comfort in a variety of areas. These include academics,
administrative procedures, staff support, computer facilities, residence hall life, dining experiences and extracurricular activities.
The results from December 2006 show small to major up-ticks for most items in the 106-question survey. Among the greater increases over the previous year,
83 percent said they were satisfied with the social activities on campus, up 10 percent; 93 percent agreed that Florida Tech has an accessible intramural
athletics program, up 6 percent; 90 percent thought the university has adequate community programs on campus, up 8 percent; and 95 percent said that the
textbooks needed are readily available for purchase on campus, up 23 percent.
Regarding their majors, 88 percent said their department makes clear the relevance of the courses, up 10 percent; 76 percent said their department offered
adequate activities for getting to know faculty, staff and other students in the department, up 13 percent; 82 percent said the instructors in their major
convey material clearly, up 18 percent; 86 percent said that teaching assistants convey material clearly, up 13 percent; and 92 percent said that exams in
their major are graded fairly, up 12 percent.
Also, satisfaction with classroom facilities, general registration procedures and residence facilities were all up 8 percent. Satisfaction with food
services was at 84 percent, up 12 percent.
“The survey gives us the opportunity to gauge freshman satisfaction with services and personnel, and lets us make improvements during the students’ first
year here,” said Florida Tech President Anthony J. Catanese. “For example,” he added, “some freshmen expressed concern over class size in certain core
courses. This led the administration to make the decision that no freshman lecture class would be larger than 50 students and all other undergraduate
courses would be a maximum of 20 students.”

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