Individual student characteristics and satisfaction within the college environment

Doris I Helmich, Johnson & Wales University

Abstract

This study addressed the student's perception of satisfaction within the college environment. More specifically, it sought to understand the extent and manner that satisfaction within the college environment could be explained by individual student characteristics. This study extended present research, which focused primarily on institutional characteristics' influence on student satisfaction. ^ The investigation was a secondary analysis of 1998 USAGroup Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory data. The student characteristics formed fourteen independent variables. Nine factor analytically derived measures of the environment comprised the dependent variables: Academic Advising, Campus Climate, Instructional Effectiveness, Financial Aid, Responsiveness to Diverse Populations, Service Quality, Academic Support Services, and Campus Life. ^ PRECEDE (Predisposing, Reinforcing, Enabling Constructs in Educational Diagnosis and Evaluation) enlightened the study. This comprehensive theory helped understand the focus, which was the students' individual characteristics and satisfaction within the college environment. Analysis of variance calculated how satisfaction within the college environment varied by individual student characteristics. Multiple regression measured the extent and manner that student satisfaction within the college environment was explained by individual characteristics. ^ The major findings included the frequency that individual student characteristics appeared in the satisfaction factors. Freshmen and sophomores were positive predictors to satisfaction within the college environment, while juniors were negative predictors for Instructional Effectiveness and seniors were negative predictors to Service Quality. Students attending their third-choice institution were dissatisfied with everything except Campus Life. Women were significantly more satisfied with Campus Climate, and Academic Support Services, while men were significantly more satisfied with Academic Advising. Ethnicity also played a major role in satisfaction within the college environment. African-American students were significantly more satisfied with Service Quality, while American Indian or Alaskan Native students were significantly less satisfied with Administration Effectiveness. Hispanic students were significantly less satisfied with Campus Life. ^ The implications for curricular and co-curricular programs and policies are: to develop a seminar-type offering for each class level and not simply focus on freshmen; to share the results with high school guidance counselors to establish an improved institutional-fit; and to determine which students are attending their third-choice institution in order to provide interventions for academic and social integration. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Curriculum and Instruction|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Doris I Helmich, "Individual student characteristics and satisfaction within the college environment" (January 1, 1999). Dissertation & Theses Collection. Paper AAI9946604.
http://scholarsarchive.jwu.edu/dissertations/AAI9946604

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