1976: America's Bicentennial and College Freshmen's Views on Campus Control

Posted by Lesley McBain on April 28th, 2015 in News, News Homepage, Surveys, Uncategorized | Comments Off

Bicentennial Logo Commissioned by the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, public domain

It was America’s Bicentennial. It was also a year of the Summer and Winter Olympics. In the Summer Olympics, Nadia Comaneci, the 14-year-old Romanian gymnast, scored seven perfect 10s and won three gold medals. The U.S. men’s swimming team won 12 of 13 gold medals in swimming events, and Bruce Jenner won the decathlon. In the Winter Olympics, the Russian hockey team won the gold medal (again) and 19-year-old Dorothy Hamill won gold in women’s figure skating for the U.S.

In world events, the Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot became the virtual dictator of Cambodia; the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) mounted a raid on Entebbe Airport in Uganda to free Israeli hostages from a flight hijacked by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Scientific and technological accomplishments included the unmanned U.S. spacecraft Viking I landing on Mars and Air France and British Airways’ beginning regularly scheduled commercial supersonic flights. In the arts, notable fiction works published were Roots (Alex Haley) and The Woman Warrior (Maxine Hong Kingston); A Chorus Line received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Philip Glass wrote Einstein on the Beach, and movie releases included Rocky, Taxi Driver, Network, and All the President’s Men.

What were incoming college freshmen participating in the CIRP Freshman Survey thinking in 1976, in this unsettled time only six years after the Kent State and Jackson State shootings? Unsurprisingly, issues related to campus control were on their minds. When asked their views on the statement “College officials have the right to ban persons with extreme views from speaking on campus,” 77.6% disagreed either “somewhat” or “strongly.” However, responses to the statement “Students have the right to demonstrate to prohibit speakers from coming to campus were slightly less emphatic; 41.3% disagreed either “somewhat” or “strongly,” while 58.7% agreed either “somewhat” or “strongly.”

A total of 70.6% disagreed either “somewhat” or “strongly” with “Student publications should be cleared by college officials,” and 87.1% disagreed either “somewhat” or “strongly” with “College officials have the right to regulate student behavior off campus.” Interestingly, when asked to rate their political liberalism and conservatism (on a scale ranging from “lowest 10%” to “highest 10%”), 51.0% rated their liberalism “average”—just about identical to the 51.1% who rated their conservatism “average.” Only 2.6% of respondents rated their conservatism “highest 10%”; 3.7% of respondents rated their liberalism “highest 10%.”

Related to faculty and grades, 73.7% of entering freshmen respondents agreed “somewhat” or “strongly” that “Faculty promotions should be based in part on student evaluations.” However, 80.9% disagreed “somewhat” or “strongly” with “College grades should be abolished.” This, after the responses related to control of demonstrations, speakers, publications, and behavior, reaffirmed at least some desire for control and assessment as well as the ability to demonstrate academic accomplishments in an uncertain age.

Did you know?: 62.9% of entering college freshmen in 1976 rated themselves as “average” in physical attractiveness.

43.1% of entering freshmen disagreed “strongly” with the statement “As long as they work hard, people should be paid equally regardless of ability or quality of work.”

1976 CIRP Freshman Survey Instrument

1975: College Prep: Academic Skills and Finances Among Incoming Students

Posted by Abbie Bates on April 20th, 2015 in News, News Homepage, Surveys, Uncategorized | Comments Off


(Image is open access) http://www.gocollege.com/financial-aid/student-loans/

In 1975, the war in Vietnam finally ended as Communist forces controlled Saigon, and South Vietnam surrendered unconditionally. While Bill Gates and Paul Allen created Microsoft and started to market personal computers to the American people, events of 1975 centered around the global recession that continued to affect nations around the world. For instance, New York City avoided bankruptcy when President Ford provided a $2.3 billion loan and the unemployment rate hit a high of 9.2%.  Goods and services continued to become more expensive and education was no exception.  Tuition rates and other costs related to attending college increased and more students were receiving financial aid.  It is within this context that the CIRP Freshman Survey introduced a question specifically about financial aid and why students are receiving this support.  The question asked:

If you are receiving financial aid from this institution, what is your understanding as to the basis on which your aid was awarded?

  • Financial need
  • Academic talent
  • Athletic talent
  • Other special talent

The response options included: “not a reason,” “minor reason,” and “major reason.”

The majority of freshmen indicated that they were receiving financial aid because of financial need (61.8%).  There was a substantial percentage that indicated that they received financial aid due to academic talent (23.4%) as well.  The percentage of students who believed they were awarded financial aid due to athletic talent was relatively low (7.1%), but the majority of these students were male.  There was a huge gender gap within this category, where 11.8 % of males indicated that they believed their athletic talent was the basis for their financial aid, compared to only 1.4% of females.

Additionally, the survey asked about the confidence with which students felt that they were prepared for college level academics.  This was the first time that this question was asked and it set the stage for subsequent years where students were asked to reflect on their academic experiences in high school.  Specifically, the question stated:

How well do feel that your high school prepared you in the following areas:

  • Mathematical skills
  • Reading and composition
  • Foreign language
  • Science
  • History, social sciences
  • Vocational skills
  • Musical and artistic skills
  • Study habits

The response options for this question were: “poorly,” “fairly well,” and “very well.”

What is interesting about this question is that it asks students to reflect on their preparation for college as a subjective measure of their preparedness.  This question is especially interesting considering these students have not even taken any classes yet. While 40.6% of all students indicated that they felt that their high schools prepared them “very well” in history and social science, only 15.4% of them said the same about foreign language.  Furthermore, within these academic disciplines and skill sets, there are gender differences in terms of preparation as well.  For instance, male students felt they were more prepared in math and science than female students (math: 29.9% for males, 25.2% for females, science: 34.9% for males, 29.4% for females).  Females felt more prepared in reading and composition and music and art than their male counterparts (reading and composition: 36.1% for females, 26.1% for males, music and art: 27.2% for females, 19% for males).  Even though there were these gender differences within the various academic subjects, it is interesting to note that in general, the majority of students did not feel very well prepared in any category.  The highest percentage of students to indicate they felt that their high school prepared them “very well” was in history and social sciences, at 40.6%.  This reveals that students in general did not feel very confident about the education they were receiving from their high schools.


Did you know…

33.6% of all entering freshmen agreed somewhat or strongly that people should not obey laws which violate their personal values

29.8% of all entering freshmen agreed somewhat or strongly that the activities of married women are best confined to the home and family


CIRP-Related Presentations at AERA

Posted by Kevin Eagan on April 16th, 2015 in Conferences, News, News Homepage, Research | Comments Off

The annual conference of the American Educational Research Association kicks off today, Thursday, April 16, and CIRP data are well-represented among the presentations this year. The conference kicks off with a roundtable paper presentation by CIRP graduate student researcher Jennifer Berdan Lozano, former CIRP graduate student researcher Laura Bernhard, and CIRP Director Kevin Eagan. Their paper, “Campus in Color: Examining Faculty Perceptions of Institutional Commitment to Diversity,” highlights data from the 2010-11 HERI Faculty Survey. The authors examine the relationship between how faculty feel about their institution’s commitment to diversity and a number of correlates, such as stress due to subtle discrimination, perceptions of shared governance, and measures of the institutional climate.

On Friday, April 17, Adriana Ruiz Alvarado – a former CIRP graduate student researcher and current HERI postdoctoral research fellow – presents findings from her dissertation, which analyzed 2004 CIRP Freshman Survey data and 2010 data from the National Student Clearinghouse. Dr. Alvarado examines the issue of reverse transfer – moving from a four-year institution to a two-year institution – and what implications this phenomenon among Latino students, in particular, has for community colleges. Her presentation, “Latina/o Reverse Transfer Students: Implications for Community Colleges,” begins at 8:15 a.m. in the Swiss Hotel, Zurich E.

Dr. Sylvia Hurtado and her research team present a poster entitled “Replenishing STEM Pipelines: Factors That Contribute to Undecided Students’ Completion of STEM Bachelor’s Degrees” at 12:25 p.m. in the Sheraton, Chicago Ballrooms VI and VII. This poster examines the characteristics, preparation, and pre-college goals of students who started college as undecided in their major but later switched into and completed a STEM bachelor’s degree. Findings have implications for institutions looking to recover some of the talent lost due to attrition among STEM majors.

Drs. Hurtado and Ruiz Alvarado also present Sunday morning at 10:35 a.m. in a session that also has former HERI graduate student researcher (and current professor at UC Davis) Marcela Cuellar. The session, held in Zurich E of the Swiss Hotel, focuses on Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). Dr. Cuellar uses CIRP data to look at differences in outcomes among Latino students based on their enrollment at HSIs, emerging HSIs, or a non-HIS.

Current CIRP graduate student researcher Abbie Bates presents her study, “Predicting Social Self-Concept: The Role of Racial Identity and High School Experiences in College Development,” at 12:25 p.m. Sunday in Zurich C of the Swiss Hotel. This study draws from longitudinal CIRP Freshman Survey and College Senior Survey data to examine the intersection of pre-college experiences and students’ racial identities in terms of understanding how they change in their social self-concept during college.

Check out the full slate of CIRP-related presentations here.

1974: New Social Order: Understanding Students' Identification with Varying Social Identities

Posted by Abbie Bates on April 14th, 2015 in News, News Homepage, Surveys | Comments Off

(Image is open access) https://www.flickr.com/photos/friarsbalsam/3290348012/

In 1974, the global recession continues to affect not just the United States, but the rest of the world as well. Additionally, impeachment hearings for Richard Nixon ultimately lead to his resignation as President of the United States following the Watergate Scandal. This was also the first year that an African American model appeared on the cover of a fashion magazine and girls were allowed to play in Little League baseball.

It is within this context of political scandal, economic instability, and social “firsts” that a new bank of questions was introduced on the CIRP Freshman Survey that sought to examine students’ identity salience as young adults.  This was the only year that this bank of questions was asked, yet its appearance in 1974 signals a growing interest in non-academic issues that affect students in college.

Specifically, the set of questions contextualized the concept of identity: “Most people identify with (feel they have a great deal in common with) a lot of different groups. But they identify more with some groups than with others.”  The question then asked, “How strongly do you identify with each of the following groups?”

  • People who live in my community
  • People of my own religion
  • People of my own sex
  • People of my own race
  • People of my own generation

Response options for these questions included “little or none,” “moderately,” “strongly,” and “strongest of all.”

Students identified “strongest of all” with people of their own generation (29.1%).  No other identification group even came close as the group with which students identified “strongest of all” (community: 13.6%, religion: 6.7%, sex: 3.5%, race: 8.2%).

For the rest of the identification groups, the majority of students either “moderately” or “strongly” identified with each group.  It is important to note, however, that gender identity was more salient for women than men.  In fact, 37.2% of women indicated that they “strongly” identified with people of their own sex, compared to only 28.8% of men.  Additionally, few students had strong identity ties to people of their own religion, with 34.6% of all freshmen responding that had “little or no[ne]” identification and 42.7% indicating that they only “moderately” identified with this group.

Capturing incoming students’ views as they enter college is important given what we know about how identity shapes the college experience. While the vast majority indicated that they identified most strongly with their generation, and least strongly with their religion, most of the students did identify with more than one group.  This was (and continues to be) an important aspect to consider when trying to understand the impact of college on students.  Beyond academic impacts, the identities that students bring to college will inevitably shape their experiences once enrolled.  It would be interesting to compare the results of this question in 1974 to results of a similar question in the future.  The similarities or differences between these results would characterize the students of the time in a clear and interesting manner.

Did you know…

46% of all entering freshmen agreed somewhat or strongly that if two people really like each other, it’s alright for them to have sex even if they’ve known each other for only a very short time

61.4% of all entering freshmen agreed somewhat or strongly that young people these days understand more about sex than most older people


1973: Stocks Crashing and Oil Rising (& CIRP moves to UCLA): Career Concerns among Incoming College Students

Posted by Abbie Bates on April 7th, 2015 in News, News Homepage, Surveys | Comments Off

(Image is open access – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_oil_crisis)

In 1973, the CIRP Freshman Survey left the American Council on Education (ACE) and moved to its current home at UCLA. The reasoning for this move is best explained by the authors of the 1973 Freshman Monograph:

“In order to maximize the utilization of these data in research and research training, responsibility for administering the CIRP was transferred in 1973 to the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Los Angeles.  The annual CIRP survey of entering freshmen is now administered from the Higher Educational Laboratory at UCLA under continuing support and sponsorship of the American Council on Education.”

CIRP and the Freshman Survey have remained at UCLA now for over 4 decades, with the continued support of ACE throughout the years.

A major recession hit the globe in 1973 due to inflation in the United Kingdom and the United States. In response, U.S. car makers closed multiple manufacturing plants, affecting over 100,000 workers nationwide. The prices of gas, food, and other bills skyrocketed as the economy tried to adjust for inflation.

This economic downturn set the stage for the introduction of a new question on the CIRP Freshman Survey.  As people all over the country are thinking about the economy and jobs, students entering college in this context are beginning to think seriously about their careers.  This new bank of items sought to gauge students’ priorities in planning for future careers.  Specifically, the question asked:

Which of the following are important to you in your long term choice of a career occupation? (Very Important, Somewhat Important, Not Important)

  • Job opening generally available
  • Rapid career advancement possible
  • High anticipated earnings
  • Well respected or prestigious occupation
  • Great deal of independence
  • Chance for steady progress
  • Can make an important contribution to society
  • Can avoid pressure
  • Can work with ideas
  • Can be helpful to others
  • Able to work with people
  • Intrinsic interest in the field

The majority of students sought to have careers that were of intrinsic interest to them and provided them with opportunities to work with other people (70.9% and 62.8%, respectively).  Gender differences in terms of career priorities were evident.  For example, approximately half (49.7%) of males indicated that high anticipated earnings were “very important” to them in selecting a future career, compared to only a third (33.4%) of women.  Further, 74.1% of women indicated that they wanted a career in which they could be helpful to others.  In contrast, only 52% of men responded that this was “very important” to them.

These differences showed that although all students entering college were actively thinking about their career choices, stark gender differences characterized this process even as entering freshmen.  Women tended to prioritize careers that involved helping others or contributing to society, while men tended to value careers in which there was more potential for higher earnings or opportunities for progress.

Astin, A. W., King, M. R., Light, J. M., & Richardson, G. T. (1973). The American Freshman: National Norms for Fall 1973.

Did you know…

21.7% of all entering freshmen had no brothers/sisters under 21.

42% of all entering freshmen had no brothers/sisters 21 or older.

60.8% of all entering freshmen had no brothers/sisters currently in college.

HERI Summer Institutes

Posted by Lesley McBain on March 25th, 2015 in News, News Homepage | Comments Off

Does combining networking, learning, and summer fun in Los Angeles sound like a good way to spend part of your summer? If so, HERI will again be offering four institutes throughout June, July, and August. These workshops provide opportunities for researchers and practitioners to connect on issues related to diversity research, retention and persistence, using CIRP data on campus, and innovation in undergraduate STEM education. All four institutes will be held at UCLA’s Westwood campus.

The Diversity Research Institute (DRI) will be held on June 16-17, 2015. Last year’s guest speaker Professor Adrianna Kezar will again join Professor Sylvia Hurtado for an intensive, hands-on and expert-led program. Attendees will gain knowledge and confidence to make diversity-related institutional improvements on their campuses.

The Retention & Persistence Institute (RPI) will be held on July 6-7, 2015. CIRP Director Kevin Eagan will lead this institute, focusing on HERI’s recent “Completing College: Assessing Graduation Rates at Four-Year Institutions” report and the latest data on retention from other leading scholars in the field. Participants will learn how to reframe retention discussions on their campuses as well as learn more about HERI’s retention calculator, an innovative tool that accurately predicts an institution’s graduation rate.

The CIRP Summer Institute (CSI) will be held on July 27-29, 2015. At the CIRP Summer Institute, led by CIRP Director Kevin Eagan, CIRP Assistant Director Ellen Stolzenberg, and CIRP Senior Data Manager Maria Suchard, participants not only find out about CIRP’s latest research findings on issues ranging from retention to campus climate and diversity but also receive in-depth training on:

  • The conceptual framework of the CIRP surveys
  • The interpretation and analysis of institutional data
  • Potential uses for the data on campuses

The STEM Summer Institute (SSI) will be held on August 11-12, 2015 and features research from a 10-year study at HERI focused on undergraduate student pathways into and through STEM programs. This intensive two-day workshop will equip participants with skills, knowledge, and insight helpful in identifying, assessing, and addressing campus-specific needs regarding STEM education.

In addition to these exciting programs, participants will have access to all that the beautiful, diverse city of Los Angeles has to offer. We hope you will consider joining us this summer to learn and network.

AERA Conference-April 16-20, 2015 Chicago, Illinois

Posted by Silvio Vallejos on March 10th, 2015 in Conferences | Comments Off

More information >> AERA 2015

1972: High School Habits: Alcohol, Sports, and Artistic Experiences of Incoming College Students

Posted by Abbie Bates on March 10th, 2015 in News, News Homepage, Surveys | Comments Off

(Image is open access) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roosevelt_Stadium

In 1972, equal participation became the focus in higher education.  Not only were more people realizing that a college education was increasingly important, but there was a new interest in ensuring that women had equal access to the benefits of a college education as well.

This year saw the passage of Title IX, a landmark law that sought to increase equal protections for women within education. Title IX was part of the Education Amendments of 1972, which included laws and regulations for higher education, vocational education, elementary, and secondary education.  Title IX made it illegal to exclude, deny benefits from, or discriminate against any individual on the basis of gender.

As women’s perspectives became central to the narrative of the college experience, the CIRP Freshman Survey examined a range of activities men and women participated in during their last year in high school.

Specifically, a new set of questions asked students whether specific topics applied to them in high school:

  • During the past year I: played a musical instrument
  • During the past year I: visited an art gallery or museum
  • While in high school I: was a member of a scholastic honor society
  • While in high school I: won a varsity letter in basketball or football
  • While in high school I: won a varsity letter in another sport
  • While in high school I: edited the high school paper, year-book, or literary magazine
  • During the past year I: drank beer

In general, college freshmen were engaging in a wide variety of experiences and accomplishments that shaped their lives prior to entering college.  For example, 33.2% of the respondents indicated that they had played a musical instrument in the past year and 54.4% had visited an art gallery or museum. Gender differences particularly stand out within this bank of questions.   For instance, 32.5% of women indicated that they were members of a scholastic honor society, compared to only 20.9% of men.  This same pattern holds for editing the high school paper, year-book, or literary magazine, with 18.2% of women responding that they had participated in one or more of these activities, compared to only 9.9% of men.

However, when it comes to athletics, we see the opposite trend holds true.  36.9% of male freshmen indicated that they had won a varsity letter in a sport other than basketball or football, compared to only 13.9% of females.  The contrast is even more apparent when looking only at basketball or football, with 26% of males stating that they had won a varsity letter in these sports, as opposed to only 4.5% of females.

Finally, for this freshman class, nearly half of the women came from the top quarter of their graduating class (49.8%), significantly higher than the 38.1% of the men who did so.  These differences between men and women reveal different patterns of experiences that shape the lives of students prior to college.  While women tend to have more scholastic and academic experiences (e.g., honor society, editor, top of their class), men tend to participate in athletics at much higher rates (e.g. varsity letters).  The recent passage of Title IX would begin to play a role in how these experiences shifted (or didn’t) in the years to come.


Did you know…

67.4% of all entering freshmen agreed somewhat or strongly that parents should be discouraged from having large families.


1971: Flower Power: Understanding the Relationship between Students and their Parents

Posted by Abbie Bates on March 10th, 2015 in News, News Homepage, Surveys | Comments Off

(Image is open access) https://openclipart.org/detail/46357/family-by-greggrossmeier

In 1971, many of the same social issues that influenced the late 1960s continued to impact American society. In addition, we see the emergence of the digital age with the invention of the first Microprocessor and the creation of the pocket calculator. This was also the beginning of internet chat rooms and the invention of the email, though common use was still years away.  The lowering of the voting age to 18 was officially ratified into law as the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

As young people gained this new right to vote at 18 and as new technology was emerging, we start to see a growing divide between young Americans and their parents.  Disillusioned by a prolonged war in Vietnam and a growing mistrust of the government and its power over American citizens, young adults were beginning to distance themselves from their parents’ generation. In order to capture this burgeoning shift by young men and women, the CIRP Freshman Survey included a number of different questions related to how students interacted with their parents.

One question in particular, only included this year, directly sought students’ opinions on the emerging generation gap by asking students the extent to which they agreed with the following statement:

  • The generation gap between me and my parents is so great that we can barely communicate.

Nearly one in five (18.6%) incoming students indicated that they agreed “somewhat” or “strongly” with this statement.  While certainly not the majority opinion, it clearly shows the generation gap.

Despite this belief in the growing generation gap, many freshmen still relied on their parents for future planning and funding for college.  For example, the following question asked students the frequency with which they engaged in certain activities:

Indicate which activities you did during the past year: Discussed my future with my parents.

Of the respondents, 38.7% of all freshmen “frequently” discussed their future with their parents. However, there are significant differences between the opinions and behaviors of men and women.  For example, women (46.1%) were more likely to frequently discuss their future with their parents than men were (32.4%).

Additionally, one question asked about the funding sources for students’ education:

For each item below, indicate its importance as a source of financing your education.

In response to this question, 54.5% relied on their parents as a “major” source of financial support for their education. Only 48.9% of men relied on their parents to pay for college, compared to 61.2% of women.  Adding a layer of complexity to the perceived generation gap, these findings reveal a continued reliance on parents for support and funding, especially for women.

Did you know…

51.6% of all entering freshmen rated themselves as better than average in comparison to the average student their age in terms of cheerfulness.

36.3% of all entering freshmen rated themselves as better than average in comparison to the average student their age in terms of stubbornness.

1970: Students' Changing Views on the Role of the Federal Government

Posted by Abbie Bates on March 10th, 2015 in News, News Homepage, Surveys | Comments Off

(Image is open access) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pay-for-Performance_(Federal_Government)

In many ways, 1970 was very much a continuation of the unrest and social activism that was characteristic of the 1960s. However, this year also marked the beginning of a “New Right” that sought to renounce the social movements and freedoms of the previous decade. This new conservative backlash favored a return to traditional family roles and a federal government that stayed out of the concerns of the American people.  The “New Right” believed that the government coddled poor people and Black people too much, all on the taxpayer’s dime.  This new group sought to reign in the interference of the government and return to traditional values of individualism and independence.

Additionally, 1970 saw the occurrence of major events that would shape national policy for years to come.  For example, the environmental movement continued to gain momentum, with the first Earth Day and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency.  The women’s rights movement continued to fight for political and social equality for women, which included addressing issues such as marriage and divorce, the wage gap, and family planning.  In addition, after complications, the Apollo 13 mission to the moon was abandoned, which slowed the space race for the United States.  1970 was also the year that President Nixon signed an extension of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to lower the national voting age to 18.

Finally, both higher education and the general public were shaken by the Kent State Massacre in May of 1970, in which the Ohio National Guard shot and killed unarmed students on campus who were protesting the Cambodian Campaign, a military incursion launched by the United States in Eastern Cambodia. All of these events not only shaped national policy, but they impacted the values and beliefs of students who were entering college for the first time.  In order to capture the attitudes and beliefs about the role of government in various national issues, a bank of questions, only used in 1969 and 1970, was added to the CIRP Freshmen Survey.

During the next few years, to what extent do you think the Federal Government should be involved in each of the following national issues? (Response options: Eliminate any existing programs or remain uninvolved, Decrease involvement from current levels, Maintain current level of involvement, Increase involvement from current level, Initiate new crash program)

  • Control of environmental pollution
  • Use of tax incentives to control the birth rate
  • Protection of the consumer from faulty goods and services
  • Compensatory education for the disadvantaged
  • Special benefits for veterans
  • Control of firearms
  • Elimination of poverty
  • Crime prevention
  • School desegregation
  • Compensatory financial aid for the disadvantaged
  • Provision of birth control information, pills or devices to the general population
  • Military involvement in Southeast Asia
  • Development of antiballistic missile (ABM) capability
  • Control of TV and newspaper news reporting
  • Space program

Interesting findings emerged both overall and by gender.  For example, 92.9% of respondents indicated that they believed the Federal Government should increase involvement or initiate new crash programs to control environmental pollution. In contrast, only 16.5% supported this role for the Federal Government for military involvement in Southeast Asia.  The overwhelming support for the environment contrasted with waning support for American military presence in Southeast Asia reveals a shift in the national priorities, as seen through the perspectives of this group of students.

In terms of gender differences, 42.5% of men believed that the Federal Government should increase their involvement or initiate new programs to control firearms, compared to the 54.6% of women who supported this level of involvement.  Similarly, 30.5% of men supported increased or new federal support for the development of antiballistic missile (ABM) capability contrasted with only 15.9% of women.  Finally, 38.7% of men thought that the Federal Government should increase or initiate involvement in the space program.  On the other hand, only 22.6% of freshmen women supported this idea.

While there were varying opinions on the role of the Federal Government for many of these issues, it is clear that the events in 1970 coupled with the movement of the “New Right” influenced the beliefs of these students as they began their college careers.


Did you know…

21.4% of all entering freshmen indicated that in the past year, they frequently cursed or swore.