HIGHLIGHTS OF THE
PROFILE OF THE FRESHMAN CLASS OF 2004
BASED ON THE TRANSITION TO COLLEGE INVENTORY
The Transition to College Inventory (TCI) is administered each year to the incoming freshman class at Preview to identify students who may be at-risk for academic difficulty or attrition. Student responses provide an overview of the attitudes, characteristics, and behaviors of each year’s freshman class, which can also provide a context for better understanding the student populations we serve.
· This year, as in previous years, the most important reason for attending college is to be able to get a better job. Ninety-five percent of the 2004 freshman class saw this as a very important reason for attending college, a percentage much higher than that found in similar national data. ODU freshmen continue this year to be very focused on a future career and the ability to make more money as their primary reasons for attending college.
· Students this year appear to be relying less on the opinions of others (parents, teachers, ODU friends and faculty) and more on their own decision resources when choosing to attend ODU. Increasingly, students say they based their decisions to attend on the University’s academic reputation and location and their direct experience at Open Houses.
· As high school seniors, most ODU freshmen spent much more time each week engaged in nonacademic activities such as working for pay or socializing with friends than they spent studying or doing homework. Sixty-two percent spent fewer than 6 hours a week studying in their senior year while 49% worked for pay over 16 hours per week.
· Similar to past surveys, the majority (73%) of freshmen continued to rate themselves highly (above average or top 10%) in general academic ability. In contrast, far fewer (about half) rated themselves highly in fundamental courses like math and writing, and fewer still rated themselves highly in study skills (25%) or time management skills (40%).
· In some areas, appear to be slightly less committed to the role of being a good college student.
· ODU freshmen continue to enter with an inflated notion of their potential for academic success in college (75% indicate a very good chance of earning at least a B average), both in comparison to the reality of college GPAs and in comparison to the predictions of their national peers.
· Some items from each of the Traits, Attitudes and Predictions categories of the TCI indicate a shift toward entering freshmen having less confidence and/or motivation than previous entering classes.
· Given the greater selectivity in admissions this year, it is puzzling that a higher percentage of freshmen are planning somewhat less involvement in the academic and social life of the campus than previous entering classes.
· While career enhancement is a major focus of college attendance for ODU freshmen, less than one third of entering students are firmly grounded in their career decisions.