2015 SONS Freshmen - Part 3: Random Module

Academic Experience
Student Life and Development
Items of Special Interest

Academic Experience

1. We would like to hear more about your perception of being an undergraduate at a research university. Please indicate your level of agreement with the following statements.

 Strongly disagreeDisagreeDisagree somewhatAgree somewhatAgreeStrongly agree
Berkeley has a strong commitment to undergraduate education 3 9 12 90 226 123
1% 2% 3% 19% 49% 27%
Attending a university with world-class researchers is important to me 4 7 18 85 183 163
1% 2% 4% 19% 40% 35%
The emphasis on research at Berkeley detracts from the quality of teaching on this campus 36 102 130 95 63 34
8% 22% 28% 21% 14% 7%

2. How important to you are the following aspects of being an undergraduate at a research university like UC Berkeley?

 Not importantNot very importantSomewhat importantImportantVery importantEssential
Learning about faculty research 6 32 94 155 112 63
1% 7% 20% 34% 24% 14%
Having courses with faculty members who refer to their own research as part of the class 7 74 112 135 95 38
2% 16% 24% 29% 21% 8%
Learning research methods 4 21 65 147 136 90
1% 5% 14% 32% 29% 19%
Assisting faculty members in their research, for pay or as a volunteer 6 21 66 129 134 104
1% 5% 14% 28% 29% 23%
Pursuing your own research 12 45 91 127 116 72
3% 10% 20% 27% 25% 16%
The prestige of this campus/faculty when you apply to grad school 6 23 43 122 152 115
1% 5% 9% 27% 33% 25%
The prestige of this campus when you apply for a job 2 17 27 103 169 145
0% 4% 6% 22% 37% 31%
Having access to a world-class library collection 6 26 84 133 127 85
1% 6% 18% 29% 28% 18%
Being able to attend plays, concerts, lectures, and other cultural events 10 28 64 126 140 93
2% 6% 14% 27% 30% 20%

3a. How do you expect to use the library and library staff while you are at Berkeley? (Check all that apply)

To find data and statistical information 278
58%
As a quiet place to study 273
57%
For help in learning to do academic research 268
56%
To find scholarly articles 271
57%
For help in organizing my research 263
55%
As a place to work on group projects 270
57%
For printing, copying and scanning 270
57%
To find books 260
55%
Other (please specify)
[Contact OPA for more information]
5
1%

3b. If you were seeking help in doing library research, which ways would you prefer to communicate? Rank the following from 1 to 6 or from 1 to 7 if 'Other' is specified

 1234567
Individual help at a library reference desk 177 89 71 42 22 19 8
41% 21% 17% 10% 5% 4% 2%
Individual help by appointment 79 120 77 68 58 20 2
19% 28% 18% 16% 14% 5% 1%
Take an hour-long clas in library research methods 26 37 53 42 59 193 8
6% 9% 13% 10% 14% 46% 2%
Use a virtual chat widget 28 42 51 75 123 94 4
7% 10% 12% 18% 30% 23% 1%
Email 89 81 87 87 52 30 3
21% 19% 20% 20% 12% 7% 1%
Phone 31 54 80 100 96 53 3
7% 13% 19% 24% 23% 13% 1%
Other
[Contact OPA for more information]
5 3 2 4 5 6 31
9% 5% 4% 7% 9% 11% 55%

4. While attending UC Berkeley, how often would you like to...

 NeverRarelyOccasionallySomewhat oftenOftenVery often
Interact with students from a country or state outside of your own in class (e.g., through section discussions, study groups or class projects) 5 5 30 66 194 156
1% 1% 7% 15% 43% 34%
Interact with students from a country or state outside your own in social settings (e.g., in clubs or student organizations, or in informal settings) 3 3 32 67 192 157
1% 1% 7% 15% 42% 35%
Develop a friendship with a student from a country or state outside of your own 3 5 27 68 190 162
1% 1% 6% 15% 42% 36%
Work with a faculty member on a project with an international/global theme 21 38 68 97 130 95
5% 9% 15% 22% 29% 21%
Present a paper at a symposium or conference or participate in a panel on international / global topics 45 87 94 69 91 68
10% 19% 21% 15% 20% 15%
Attend lectures, symposia, workshops or conferences on international/global topics 11 42 89 103 111 98
2% 9% 20% 23% 24% 22%
Attend a performance with an international/global focus 14 40 85 97 123 92
3% 9% 19% 22% 27% 20%

4b. What are your values and beliefs with regards to your interaction with other students while attending UC Berkeley? Please tell us your level of agreement with the following statements:

 Strongly disagreeDisagreeSomewhat disagreeSomewhat agreeAgreeStrongly agree
I believe that exposure to students from other states and countries will help me interact effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures 5 1 10 53 151 237
1% 0% 2% 12% 33% 52%
I believe that exposure to students from other states and countries will help me be more open to and understanding of different opinions and points of view 3 1 8 53 147 242
1% 0% 2% 12% 32% 53%

5. How important is it to you to graduate in four years or, if you are a transfer student, in two years?

Not important 2 0%
Not very important 6 1%
Somewhat important 38 8%
Important 65 14%
Very important 149 33%
Essential 193 42%
Not applicable 3 1%

6. Regarding choice of a major, what advice have you received?

 Decide on a major as soon as possibleTake your time; explore optionsNo advice given
From your family 131 273 51
29% 60% 11%
From Cal advisors 33 329 91
7% 73% 20%
From friends 65 271 119
14% 60% 26%
From fellow Cal students 64 285 104
14% 63% 23%
High school teachers or counselors 64 298 89
14% 66% 20%

7. What do you plan to do about a major?

I have declared a major 130 28%
I will declare a major as soon as possible 206 45%
I plan to take my time and explore options 122 27%

Student Life and Development

Goals & Aspirations

1. Indicate how important each of the following college goals is to you.

 Not importantSomewhat importantVery important
Be in a position to give back to my community after finishing my education 29 147 278
6% 32% 61%
Acquire a well-rounded general education 8 88 357
2% 19% 79%
Explore and discover my personal identity 17 105 331
4% 23% 73%
Discover what kind of person I really want to be 18 76 360
4% 17% 79%
Achieve a high GPA 7 155 292
2% 34% 64%
Form (a) romantic relationship(s) 128 205 120
28% 45% 27%
Establish meaningful friendships 4 71 379
1% 16% 84%
Prepare for graduate or professional school 28 134 292
6% 30% 64%
Obtain the skills I need to pursue my chosen career 3 58 393
1% 13% 87%
Be in a position to make a lot of money after finishing my education 29 173 251
6% 38% 55%
Explore new ideas 9 114 329
2% 25% 73%
Enjoy my college years before assuming adult responsibilities 26 126 301
6% 28% 66%
Develop a personal code of values and ethics 30 137 285
7% 30% 63%
Develop an in-depth understanding of a specific field of study 6 92 356
1% 20% 78%
Integrate spirituality into my life 210 125 119
46% 28% 26%
Establish social networks that will help further my career 10 125 319
2% 28% 70%
Obtain the skills I need to function in the international arena 46 159 248
10% 35% 55%

2. Please indicate how much you agree or disagree that the following factors influenced your decision to choose UC Berkeley:

UC Berkeley would...

 Strongly disagreeDisagreeSomewhat disagreeSomewhat agreeAgreeStrongly agree
Challenge and/or change my perspective 7 19 44 124 158 100
2% 4% 10% 27% 35% 22%
Prepare me to succeed in a career 1 3 3 47 170 228
0% 1% 1% 10% 38% 50%
Prepare me to build a better life for myself and/or my family 2 5 14 67 167 195
0% 1% 3% 15% 37% 43%
Teach me to interact effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures 8 10 28 101 154 151
2% 2% 6% 22% 34% 33%
Prepare me to make a difference in this world 3 2 16 93 148 188
1% 0% 4% 21% 33% 42%
Allow me to create own field of study (combine disciplines, create own major, etc.) 33 57 68 108 103 83
7% 13% 15% 24% 23% 18%
Prepare me to get the job I desire 2 3 11 66 181 187
0% 1% 2% 15% 40% 42%
Help increase my social consciousness (e.g., be more aware of people and issues regardless of background, ethnicity; doing things for the public good) 14 11 24 95 150 157
3% 2% 5% 21% 33% 35%
Help me to be more open to and understanding of different opinions and points of view (e.g., openness, freedom) 6 9 23 89 166 159
1% 2% 5% 20% 37% 35%

3. How concerned are you now about each of the following?

 Not at all concernedUnconcernedSomewhat unconcernedSomewhat concernedConcernedVery concerned
Financing my education at Berkeley 64 34 66 110 96 77
14% 8% 15% 25% 22% 17%
Finding affordable housing while I'm a student at Berkeley 46 25 49 141 115 72
10% 6% 11% 32% 26% 16%
Getting into my first choice of major 75 55 60 90 86 82
17% 12% 13% 20% 19% 18%
Being able to maintain a high GPA 11 5 22 96 139 170
3% 1% 5% 22% 31% 38%
Getting the academic advising I need 30 38 83 119 104 69
7% 9% 19% 27% 24% 16%
Getting the career and professional advising I need 22 30 70 127 122 72
5% 7% 16% 29% 28% 16%
Getting the psychological counseling I might need 83 89 116 88 43 30
19% 20% 26% 20% 10% 7%
Getting along with my roommate(s) 69 88 107 99 55 30
15% 20% 24% 22% 12% 7%
Being able to balance academic and social activities 16 17 46 141 132 96
4% 4% 10% 32% 30% 21%
Being able to make the kind of friends I want 18 29 40 115 133 112
4% 7% 9% 26% 30% 25%
Being away from family and friends; being 'homesick' 71 62 92 103 63 57
16% 14% 21% 23% 14% 13%
Being able to maintain good health 27 43 64 136 113 66
6% 10% 14% 30% 25% 15%
Being able to cope with expectations of parents and family 60 59 91 104 92 41
13% 13% 20% 23% 21% 9%
Being overwhelmed with all the things I'm expected to do my first semester 27 27 49 119 124 103
6% 6% 11% 27% 28% 23%
Regretting my decision to attend Berkeley 164 73 74 69 35 34
37% 16% 17% 15% 8% 8%

4. Based on your experience and observation, rate the general climate for students at Berkeley along the following dimensions: Campus climate is...

6 - Friendly 102 23%
5 197 44%
4 116 26%
3 27 6%
2 8 2%
1 - Hostile 2 0%

6 - Caring 70 16%
5 161 36%
4 141 31%
3 45 10%
2 27 6%
1 - Impersonal 8 2%

6 - Intellectual 210 47%
5 176 39%
4 44 10%
3 12 3%
2 5 1%
1 - Not intellectual 4 1%

1 - Appreciative of diversity 158 35%
5 173 38%
4 78 17%
3 27 6%
2 10 2%
1 - Unappreciative of diversity 5 1%

6 - Safe 46 10%
5 97 22%
4 150 34%
3 98 22%
2 43 10%
1 - Dangerous 13 3%

6 - Too hard academically 36 8%
5 161 36%
4 200 44%
3 44 10%
2 11 2%
1 - Too easy academically 0 0%

6 - Affordable 18 4%
5 73 16%
4 136 30%
3 116 26%
2 76 17%
1 - Not affordable 29 7%

5. As you start your first semester at Cal, please rank your concerns in these five general areas. One (1) is first or the area of most concern. (Rank the following from 1 to 5)

 12345
Being successful academically (e.g., understanding material, GPA, getting into the major I want) 219 105 71 28 24
49% 24% 16% 6% 5%
Financing my education at Cal (e.g., money for expenses, being able to work, finding affordable housing) 49 53 52 49 243
11% 12% 12% 11% 55%
Making good choices, finding direction for my life (e.g., what I want to do after college, making the right career choice) 37 66 89 175 80
8% 15% 20% 39% 18%
Balancing things, finding time for everything (e.g., balancing academic and social life, not being overwhelmed) 86 122 122 88 28
19% 27% 27% 20% 6%
Making friends, having a personal life (e.g., not being lonely, having a good relationship) 53 102 112 111 69
12% 23% 25% 25% 15%

6. As a beginning UC Berkeley student, how would you rate your competencies below?

 Very poorPoorFairGoodVery goodExcellent
Understanding of the complexities of global issues 9 50 134 138 88 31
2% 11% 30% 31% 20% 7%
Ability to apply disciplinary knowledge in a global context 7 47 122 156 86 32
2% 10% 27% 35% 19% 7%
Linguistic and cultural competency in at least one language other than my own 24 47 93 125 97 63
5% 11% 21% 28% 22% 14%
Ability to work with people from other cultures 1 9 62 155 137 86
0% 2% 14% 34% 30% 19%
Comfort working with people from other cultures 2 8 63 135 137 105
0% 2% 14% 30% 30% 23%

7. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following?

 Strongly disagreeDisagreeDisagree somewhatAgree somewhatAgreeStrongly agree
Opportunities for community service while at Berkeley are important to me 8 23 38 143 162 70
2% 5% 9% 32% 37% 16%
Opportunities to develop my leadership skills while at Berkeley are important to me 2 8 16 113 193 111
1% 2% 4% 26% 44% 25%
Opportunities to connect my academic work with community-based experience at Cal are important to me 4 9 19 112 189 110
1% 2% 4% 25% 43% 25%

Items of Special Interest

Advising and Course Selection

1. What type of advising do you expect and hope to receive from an advisor? Please rank from 1 to 7, in order of what is personally important to you, assigning a 1 to the option you feel is most important.

 1234567
Career and Professional advising 78 101 71 79 69 42 30
17% 22% 15% 17% 15% 9% 6%
Choosing classes 134 81 76 67 51 36 26
29% 17% 16% 14% 11% 8% 6%
Enrichment opportunities (e.g., Study abroad, research) 42 67 87 78 72 73 52
9% 14% 19% 17% 15% 16% 11%
Financial aid and scholarships 60 58 45 60 59 67 120
13% 12% 10% 13% 13% 14% 26%
Understanding Campus Resources 19 34 45 60 99 136 76
4% 7% 10% 13% 21% 29% 16%
Selecting a major 62 58 57 53 54 63 124
13% 12% 12% 11% 12% 13% 26%
Academic Support 81 74 89 70 64 48 44
17% 16% 19% 15% 14% 10% 9%

2a. With whom did you consult with when selecting courses for your first semester? Please select all that apply.

CalSO leader (i.e., student CalSO staff) 96
20%
College advisor in your home College (e.g., Letters & Science, College of Engineering) 224
45%
Major advisor 219
44%
Co-curricular Advisors/Student Services Support Staff (e.g., advising staff working in offices such as the Student Life Advising Services, Bridge, the Berkeley International Office, the Transfer, Reentry, & Student Parent Center) 44
9%
Faculty member 56
11%
Another student 216
44%
Parent, Guardian, or family member 213
43%
Online (e.g., departmental website, forum, catalog review) 235
48%
Friend(s) 202
41%
No one 19
4%
Other (please specify)
[Contact OPA for more information]
6
1%

2b. Who provided the most useful guidance in the selection of your courses for the current term?

CalSO leader 11 2%
College advisor in your home College (e.g., Letters & Science, College of Engineering) 97 21%
Major advisor 78 17%
Co-curricular Advisors/Student Services Support Staff (e.g., advising staff working in offices such as the Student Life Advising Services, Bridge, the Berkeley International Office, the Transfer, Reentry, & Student Parent Center) 13 3%
Faculty member 15 3%
Another student 56 12%
Parent, Guardian, or family member 51 11%
Online (e.g., departmental website, forum, catalog review) 84 18%
Friend(s) 20 4%
No one 39 8%
Other (please specify)
[Contact OPA for more information]
7 2%

2c. How satisfied are you with the amount of individualized guidance you received from the people you consulted with in selecting your courses?

Very dissatisfied 19 4%
Dissatisfied 26 6%
Somewhat dissatisfied 54 12%
Somewhat satisfied 168 36%
Satisfied 161 34%
Very satisfied 43 9%

3. Since being admitted, have you ever received advice from two different offices or staff members at Cal that was contradictory or in conflict?

Yes 56 12%
No 416 88%

3a. Please explain what happened (when you received advice from two different offices or staff members at Cal that was contradictory or in conflict)

[Contact OPA for more information]

3b. Please describe how you decided which advice to follow

[Contact OPA for more information]

4. Select the top three factors that most influenced how you selected courses for your first semester.

First:

Academic Advisor 98 21%
Co-curricular Advisor/Student Services Support Staff 2 0%
Course(s) fulfilled a general or breadth requirement (e.g., Reading and Composition, American Cultu 156 34%
I found the subject generally interesting 161 35%
I thought/had heard a course was not as rigorous or demanding 5 1%
Parental desires 4 1%
Recommendation of another new UC Berkeley student 5 1%
Recommendation of continuing UC Berkeley student 21 5%
Reputation of professor 8 2%

Second:

Academic Advisor 89 20%
Co-curricular Advisor/Student Services Support Staff 6 1%
Course(s) fulfilled a general or breadth requirement (e.g., Reading and Composition, American Cultu 124 27%
I found the subject generally interesting 105 23%
I thought/had heard a course was not as rigorous or demanding 14 3%
Parental desires 11 2%
Recommendation of another new UC Berkeley student 16 4%
Recommendation of continuing UC Berkeley student 53 12%
Reputation of professor 36 8%

Third:

Academic Advisor 86 20%
Co-curricular Advisor/Student Services Support Staff 14 3%
Course(s) fulfilled a general or breadth requirement (e.g., Reading and Composition, American Cultu 81 18%
I found the subject generally interesting 92 21%
I thought/had heard a course was not as rigorous or demanding 24 5%
Parental desires 13 3%
Recommendation of another new UC Berkeley student 17 4%
Recommendation of continuing UC Berkeley student 61 14%
Reputation of professor 53 12%

5. What other factors did you consider when setting up your course schedule for the current term?

[Contact OPA for more information]

6. How satisfied are you with each of the following, based on your experiences with accessing courses for the current semester?

 Very dissatisfiedDissatisfiedSomewhat dissatisfiedSomewhat satisfiedSatisfiedVery satisfied
Availability of courses for general education or breadth requirements 13 19 39 155 182 53
3% 4% 9% 34% 40% 12%
Availability of courses to fulfill prerequisite requirements 9 17 39 146 199 50
2% 4% 9% 32% 43% 11%
Ability to get into the lectures or seminars (i.e., primary courses) you wanted 25 46 86 123 134 48
5% 10% 19% 27% 29% 10%
Ability to get into the discussion sections or labs (i.e., secondary courses) you wanted 22 39 81 141 137 42
5% 8% 18% 31% 30% 9%
Variety of courses available 5 6 20 103 217 110
1% 1% 4% 22% 47% 24%
Access to small classes 30 48 83 159 109 32
7% 10% 18% 35% 24% 7%

AP Experiences

At UC Berkeley, there are "common-good" courses that are identified as serving the broad student community as well as being critical to students' intellectual development, academic success, and timely graduation. These common-good courses include Reading and Composition (both 1a and 1b), lower division "gateway" courses in Math & Science (Chemistry, Statistics, Math, Physics, and Biology), and Foreign Language Instruction. As the campus continues to work toward increasing access to these common-good courses, planning for the appropriate number of students who will be enrolling in these courses is essential for proper resource allocation. Thus, we would like to get a sense of whether you, personally, have fulfilled some of these requirements through exams (e.g., AP, A-level English, International Baccalaureate Higher Level English Language A1 or A2) and, if so, if you still plan to enroll in a course at Berkeley that would also fulfill the requirement.

1. Do you have an exam score in the appropriate subject that, if used, will fulfill your UC Berkeley Reading and Composition 1a requirement?

Yes 306 65%
No 136 29%
Don't know 28 6%

2. Do you have an exam score in the appropriate subject that, if used, will fulfill your UC Berkeley Reading and Composition 1b requirement?

Yes 108 23%
No 323 69%
Don't know 39 8%

1a.Will you use your exam score to actually fulfill the Reading & Composition 1a requirement?

Yes 270 89%
No 19 6%
Don't know 13 4%

2a. Will you use your exam score to actually fulfill the Reading & Composition 1b requirement?

Yes 88 82%
No 11 10%
Don't know 9 8%

1b. You indicated that you have an exam score that will fulfill your UC Berkeley Reading & Composition 1a requirement, but that you will NOT use this score to fulfill the requirement. Please share with us the reason(s) why you will not use your exam score to fulfill your R&C 1a requirement and will instead enroll in one of the UCB courses that will fulfill this requirement.

[Contact OPA for more information]

2b. You indicated that you have an exam score that will fulfill your UC Berkeley Reading & Composition 1b requirement, but that you will NOT use this score to fulfill the requirement. Please share with us the reason(s) why you will not use your exam score to fulfill your R&C 1b requirement and will instead enroll in one of the UCB courses that will fulfill this requirement.

[Contact OPA for more information]

3. Are you currently enrolled/planning to complete a Reading & Composition 1a course this semester?

Yes 88 19%
No 384 81%

4. Are you currently enrolled/planning to complete a Reading & Composition 1b course this semester?

Yes 113 24%
No 358 76%

3a. Why did you not enroll in a Reading & Composition 1a course this semester? (Please select the primary reason)

I had a preference for an R&C 1a course in a particular department, but it was already full 9 8%
I could not gain access into ANY of the R&C 1a courses offered across the various departments on campus 27 25%
I did not like the times of the remaining courses that had available seats 5 5%
I decided to wait until another semester for reasons not listed above 17 16%
I will be using exam credit (e.g., AP, A-level English, International Baccalaureate Higher Level English Language A1 or A2) instead 10 9%
I did not know my AP score 2 2%
I have not yet passed the Analytical Writing Paper Exam (AWPE) 15 14%
I don't know 6 6%
Other, please specify:
[Contact OPA for more information]
18 17%

4a. Why did you not enroll in a Reading & Composition 1b course this semester? (Please select the primary reason)

I have not yet satisfied the first half of the R&C requirement (R&C 1a) 126 47%
I had a preference for an R&C 1b course in a particular department, but it was already full 26 10%
I could not gain access into ANY of the R&C 1b courses offered across the various departments on campus 12 5%
I did not like the times of the remaining courses that had available seats 7 3%
I decided to wait until another semester for reasons not listed above 52 19%
I will be using exam credit (e.g., AP, A-level English, International Baccalaureate Higher Level English Language A1 or A2) instead 4 2%
I did not know my AP score 15 6%
I don't know 13 5%
Other, please specify:
[Contact OPA for more information]
14 5%

You indicated that the primary reason for not enrolling in an R&C course was because you had a preference for an R&C course offered in a particular department and that course was full. May you please share with us which department(s) you were hoping to take an R&C course from and briefly describe why you prefer to take a course from that particular department:

[Contact OPA for more information]

5. Did you have an AP of 4 or 5 in Math, Chemistry, Biology or Physics?

Yes 331 70%
No 139 30%

6. Regarding use of AP eligibility, what advice have you received?

 Don't AP out; take the entry course at BerkeleyAP out; take a more advanced courseNo advice given
From my family 55 186 217
12% 41% 47%
From Cal advisors 160 79 215
35% 17% 47%
From friends 76 215 168
17% 47% 37%
From fellow Cal students 94 184 176
21% 41% 39%
High school teachers or counselors 57 196 201
13% 43% 44%

7. If you could have used your AP scores for course credits, what did/will you do?

Not applicable 71 15%
I am taking all the credit that I can and enrolling in advanced courses 179 39%
I am taking some credit but not all that I could 148 32%
I am taking the entry courses at Berkeley instead of the credit 52 11%
Other, please specify:
[Contact OPA for more information]
13 3%