A biweekly publication for faculty and staff

New Students Reflect on Academic Successes and Challenges

January 27, 2015

In the fall, new freshmen and transfer students completed a survey about their educational plans, transition to college and use of campus services. Major tasks on the minds of new students typically include:

  • finding and using campus resources;
  • developing habits that support their academic success; and
  • identifying obstacles to their success.  

Thirty-six percent of students responded. Below are highlights from the results that shed light on students’ progress on these important tasks.

Finding and using resources to support academic success: 85 percent felt somewhat or very sure that they could find resources that would help them overcome academic challenges and obstacles. Figure 1 shows the five academic resources most frequently used by new students in their first semester.

Developing habits that support academic success: 93 percent of new students attended the ASCEND conference during welcome week. One goal of ASCEND is to help the new students identify habits of academically successful students that they can adopt so they will be successful, too. Figure 2 shows the top five habits for academic success that students reported engaging in during their first semester.

Identifying obstacles to success: Students also reflected on the obstacles they faced during their first semester. Figure 3 shows the top five obstacles reported by students. The greater the number of obstacles students reported experiencing either frequently or all the time, the less likely students were to say they thought they could succeed academically and could find resources that would help them overcome academic challenges and obstacles.

The full report can be found here: http://ipa.ucmerced.edu/new%20student%20survey.html