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Research Archives

PARENTS AS INFLUENCERS

Parents as Influencers in the Faith-based College Search Process. This is a presentation given at the National Association for Admission Counseling (NACAC) meeting in October of 2006 with the Catholic College Admission Association (CCAA).

The 44-slide presentation details the research into the faith-based college search process, what matters to parents and the comparative advantage alumni study. The presentation is 1.4 MB in file size.

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COMPARATIVE ALUMNI STUDY (2000)

A task force, consisting of senior Lutheran college administrators, concluded that the best way to identify where Lutheran colleges fit in the higher education landscape was to survey alumni from all sectors of higher education, asking them to describe their undergraduate experiences and assess the extent to which their college experience contributed to skills and life outcomes.

In this presentation, the responses of Lutheran college graduates are compared to graduates of public flagship universities. Our interest in making this comparison was to discover whether the experiences and outcomes of students who attended smaller, undergraduate-focused, values-based Lutheran colleges differed in meaningful ways from those of graduates of large, research-focused public institutions.

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PARENT COLLEGE SATISFACTION STUDY

In October of 2006, 384 parents participated in a 10-minute telephone survey on topics regarding their satisfaction with their child’s college experience. Parent participant names were obtained from LECNA colleges and were divided into two groups:

  1. 236 parents of sophomores currently enrolled at LECNA colleges (ELCA and LCMS colleges represented)
  2. 148 parents of sophomores who were admitted to LECNA colleges, but enrolled instead at a public university (ELCA and LCMS colleges represented)

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COMPARATIVE ALUMNI STUDY, DECADE COMPARISON

Decade Comparison: 1990s Graduates to Earlier Graduates

This presentation highlights differences between all graduates (Lutheran and non-Lutheran) of Lutheran colleges and Flagship public universities with significant differences noted between the decades.

This research demonstrates that there is significant progress being made at Lutheran colleges in terms of student experiences. While the charts also highlight progress at Flagship publics relative to Lutheran colleges, the statistical differences tested are between decades (not the type of institution).

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OBSERVATIONS ON THE CLASS OF 2007

Prepared by Dr. Ralph H. Wagoner and Dr. Richard Hanson

The authors analyzed data compiled by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. The information was collected as part of the annual CIRP study conducted by the Institute. Over 350,000 students who entered college in the fall of 2003 participated of which some 6897 were attending a Lutheran college or university.

The authors chose several cohort groups for comparison with special attention to those students attending a Lutheran college belonging to the Lutheran Educational Conference of North America and students attending major public and independent research institutions. Further analyses were conducted within the cohort attending a Lutheran institution.

The major points for discussion and analysis are:

  • General demographics
  • Issues of faith, religiousness and spirituality
  • Why this college? Decision making
  • Financial considerations and issues
  • Final observations

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HIGHER EDUCATION RESEARCH INSTITUTE
REPORT TO LECNA 2001

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HERI-LECNA Freshman Analysis 2001:

LECNA commissioned a special report on the Lutheran college freshmen included in UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute’s annual study. In this document, Ralph Wagoner, LECNA Executive Director, “toplines” the data.

HERI-LECNA Freshman Data 2001:

The raw data provided by UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute on Lutheran college freshmen.

FALL 2003 STUDENT RESEARCH FINDINGS QUANTITATIVE STUDY

  • The following charts comprise findings related to the student research study conducted for LECNA.
  • 916 high school students participated in a 20-minute telephone survey on various topics regarding the college consideration process. 613 juniors and 303 sophomores were interviewed.
  • Participant names were obtained from Student Marketing Group, a student listing service. Criteria specified the students be college-bound and dictated a 50/50 gender split.
  • An additional 200 Lutheran juniors were interviewed from lists obtained from ELCA and LCMS. The number of Lutheran students interviewed were proportionate to region of the country and Synod.
  • Interviews were conducted during November 2003.
  • Students were interviewed in the fall of their junior year of high school, with a smaller number of interviews conducted with sophomores as a means to gauge the timing of the college consideration and decision process.

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FALL 2003 STUDENT RESEARCH FINDINGS SUMMARY AND JUNE 2004 FOCUS GROUPS SUMMARY

The following charts comprise findings related to two different research projects conducted for LECNA.

Fall 2003: national quantitative study in which 916 high school students participated in a 20-minute telephone survey on various topics regarding the college consideration process. 613 juniors and 303 sophomores were interviewed. An over sample of 200 Lutheran juniors were interviewed from lists obtained from ELCA and LCMS. The number of Lutheran students interviewed were proportionate to region of the country and Synod.

June 2004: a qualitative study consisting of five focus groups, four of which were student only sessions and a fifth for which the participants were parents of college bound high school students. In each of the groups, participant recruitment was structured to include both Lutherans and persons of other, or no, faith.

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COMPARATIVE ALUMNI STUDY, LUTHERAN STUDENTS

Lutheran Student Comparison:
Lutheran Students at Lutheran colleges and Flagship Publics

This presentation highlights differences between Lutheran students who graduated from Lutheran colleges and Lutheran students who graduated from Flagship public universities.

This research demonstrates that there are compelling differences in the Lutheran student experience at Lutheran colleges and Flagship public universities.

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COMPARATIVE ALUMNI STUDY, OVERALL

Overall Comparison: Lutheran Colleges to Flagship Publics

This presentation highlights differences between all graduates (Lutheran and non-Lutheran) of Lutheran colleges and Flagship public universities with significant differences noted between the type of institution.

This research demonstrates that there are significant differences between the student experiences at Lutheran colleges and Flagship public universities. While the charts also highlight progress between decades, the statistical differences tested are between type of institution (not decades).

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WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN PLANNING FOR COLLEGE

An annotated PowerPoint presentation including comments by experts on higher education and employment, and the results of our extensive survey research.

Planning for College is designed to be shown using a personal or laptop computer attached to a small projector. You can also print out the slides, duplicate them as overheads, and use an overhead projector. It takes about half an hour to present, and each slide is completely annotated – all you have to do is read the notes. The presentation describes,

  • What our research shows about what Lutheran parents want their children to get out of college
  • What education experts say is important
  • What employers look for in job candidates
  • How the experiences of Lutheran college alumni compare to other college graduates’ experiences
  • What financial aid packages look like
  • When and how to visit colleges

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CHURCH CONNECTIONS

This annotated PowerPoint presentation is intended for use with Lutheran clergy, youth directors and other church leaders. It uses the RLS research findings to persuade church leaders to help us in our efforts to “Reclaim Lutheran Students.”

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SUPPORTING RESOURCES