student success

What do freshmen want at the middle of their first year? New report provides clues

Brandi PhillipsSenior Director of Retention SolutionsMay 28, 2014

Anyone who is working to address the needs of today’s college freshmen will be interested in the findings from the 2014 Report: Changes in Freshman Attitudes Following a Semester of Classes and Interventions.

Below are the top five areas in which the freshmen requested assistance as they completed their first semester, among 24 areas examined, with the proportion of students in agreement:

Top five areas in which the freshmen requested assistance
Click table to enlarge.

Across sectors, support for career decision making was the most frequently named request freshmen made at the midpoint of their first year. This table also shows more than half of the freshmen from two-year institutions wanted help with improving their skills in math and writing. For context, the other 19 requests for student services (not shown) included personal counseling of various types, financial guidance of various types, academic needs such as individual tutoring or help with improving study habits, and help with getting involved in social activities.

The findings shown above are likely conservative for higher education as a whole—i.e., the percentages shown may actually be higher—since the 10,000 freshman respondents on which the report is based benefited from substantial first-semester interventions that were aimed at meeting these same requests, along with other needs.

Download the new report for all the details. You may also be interested in last month’s report on incoming freshmen, the 2014 National Freshman Attitudes Report, and the assessments on which these reports are based, the Mid-Year Student Assessment and the College Student Inventory.

Do you work with freshmen and have interest in using assessments to guide your interventions? Please contact me at 1-800-876-1117 or email me for more information. I will be happy to assist you.

2014 Report: Changes in Freshman Attitudes Following a Semester of Classes and Interventions

About the Author

Brandi Phillips

Brandi Phillips, senior director of retention solutions at Ruffalo Noel Levitz, works closely with colleges and universities to promote and support student success initiatives. In particular, Brandi provides guidance and support in using the College...

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