Registration for the 2015 Your First College Year Survey (YFCY) is officially open! You can register now for the YFCY here and administer the survey any time between March 1 and June 12, 2015. We are happy to report that the paper administration is back! Join us in documenting the importance of the first year of college while getting valuable information about your students. If you click the registration link, you will also notice the first phase (registration and ordering) of our new portal for the follow-up surveys. Campus representatives will use this portal to register for the survey, track survey responses, download preliminary data, and retrieve final reports.
I wanted to highlight a few important changes to the 2015 YFCY. After each survey administration, we ask campus representatives about items they’d like to see on future instruments and we incorporate this feedback into the survey redesign process whenever possible. For the first time in its history, the YFCY includes items related to sexual orientation and gender identity – using the same items that have been on the Diverse Learning Environments (DLE) Survey for the past several administrations. Additionally, we have provided a more granular approach to asking about students’ race/ethnicity; we now provide four categories for Asian students: East Asian (e.g., Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese); Southeast Asian (e.g., Cambodian, Vietnamese, Hmong, Filipino); South Asian (e.g., Indian, Pakistani, Nepalese, Sri Lankan); and Other Asian. We also added a question asking respondents whether they identify as multiracial, similar to the DLE.
In addition, we decided to update the response options for the financial aid question to reflect the steady increase in college costs. In prior years, “$10,000 or more” was the highest option students could select for each of the different types of financial support (loans, family resources, etc.) used to cover educational expenses. The new response options provide campuses the opportunity to continue to trend the data (by combining different categories) while updating the total dollar amounts to reflect the following categories: None; $1-2,999; $3,000-5,999; $6,000-9,999; $10,000-$14,999; and $15,000+.
Other modifications include changing the wording for the self-rated abilities question and response options to incorporate students’ views on the role the institution has played in their abilities. The question in previous years read: “Think about your current abilities and tell us how strong or weak you believe you are in each of the following areas” and it now reads “This institution has contributed to my…” The response options were updated to reflect students’ agreement or disagreement with this statement (Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree). Finally, in keeping with the Association of American Colleges & Universities Essential Learning Outcomes, “General Knowledge” within this question was updated to “Intellectual and practical skills (including inquiry and analysis, critical thinking, and information literacy).”
The 2014 YFCY “A Year of Change” infographic is now available! The poster highlights some of our findings from the 2014 YFCY. The infographic provides an understanding of the first-year mindset, including how the adjustment to college affects first-year students. For institutions participating in the YFCY survey, we also provide a customizable version of the infographic, allowing them to easily compare their own data to the national results.
Is your institution currently posting findings from any of the CIRP surveys on your website? We’d love to see these pages! Please share your link by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to share information on your website but aren’t exactly sure what to include, I’d be happy to help. You can reach me directly at 310.825.6991 or the email address above.