Deciding on a college is arguably the biggest decision of one’s adolescence. The true gravity of the choice, however, is not always fully understood until the students arrive on campus and test the water for themselves. For this reason, a recent survey was conducted by students at Kalamazoo College (a liberal arts school in western Michigan) on what factors, if any, impact overall satisfaction with their campus environment. The study was intended to highlight the good and poor facets of the College in an attempt to help not only prospective students with their difficult choice but also point out, to the administration, what aspects of the College need a bit of tweaking. As with most Colleges, students at K College gave mixed results as to what components of their environment facilitated their overall satisfaction. The survey, however, did turn up a few interesting correlations that might deserve some consideration by incoming students and the administration.
The first interesting correlation had to do with the major specific environment of this small, liberal arts school. In general, Psychology, Political Science, and English majors were the most satisfied with their major specific content and variety of courses offered. The interpretation of this correlation is that prospective students considering any of those three fields might find themselves in a fulfilling environment. This is not to say that the other majors offered at the school are sub-par; it is a mere reflection of the majors that, in general, incubated the most satisfied students.
Another correlation that may prove informative is around the overall satisfaction with the athletic facilities.The findings of the survey show that, in general, student athletes were very dissatisfied with their accommodations. On the other hand, non athletes did not even consider the athletic facilities to play a role in their college satisfaction. This may have the impact of turning away prospective athletes who are looking for a more serious athletic experience.
A third correlation deals with grade and satisfaction. There seems to be a negative relationship between age/grade of Kalamazoo College students and the overall satisfaction with their environment. In simpler terms, as K College students get older they become less and less satisfied with the College. Hopefully this survey will spark the administration in to action and develop more catering accommodations to their older students.