2020 SONS Freshmen - Part 3: Random Module

Academic Experience
Student Life and Development
Items of Special Interest

Academic Experience

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
UC Berkeley has a strong commitment to undergraduate education 13 16 31 217 633 315
1% 1% 3% 18% 52% 26%
Attending a university with world-class researchers is important to me 6 14 38 237 527 401
% 1% 3% 19% 43% 33%
The emphasis on research at UC Berkeley detracts from the quality of teaching on this campus 82 256 240 205 276 164
7% 21% 20% 17% 23% 13%

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

Not important at allNot very importantSomewhat importantImportantVery importantEssential
The prestige of this campus/faculty when you apply to grad school 39 49 199 384 340 211
3% 4% 16% 31% 28% 17%
The prestige of this campus when you apply for a job 17 22 130 378 413 257
1% 2% 11% 31% 34% 21%
Having access to a world-class library collection 15 68 179 407 341 211
1% 6% 15% 33% 28% 17%
Being able to attend plays, concerts, lectures, and other cultural events 24 109 214 359 329 184
2% 9% 18% 29% 27% 15%

How important are the following features offered by a library?

Not that importantSomewhat importantImportantVery importantNot applicable
Online research collections 37 129 451 524 68
3% 11% 40% 46% -
Print research collections 47 152 491 426 85
4% 14% 44% 38% -
Remote instruction/research support 36 140 451 519 56
3% 12% 39% 45% -
In-person instruction/research support 31 113 431 546 88
3% 10% 38% 49% -
Group/collaborative space 22 65 399 654 68
2% 6% 35% 57% -
Individual space 12 37 326 772 63
1% 3% 28% 67% -
Public computers 135 166 356 468 80
12% 15% 32% 42% -
Computer lending services 157 172 371 417 85
14% 15% 33% 37% -
Production space (media, maker space) 98 150 397 476 88
9% 13% 35% 43% -
In-person technology support 84 147 422 479 74
7% 13% 37% 42% -
Quiet 10 47 328 766 57
1% 4% 29% 67% -
Food/drink friendly 48 143 416 543 58
4% 12% 36% 47% -
24/7 access to library buildings 9 57 323 759 61
1% 5% 28% 66% -

When you think about Library e-books how important are the following?

Not that importantSomewhat importantImportantVery importantNot applicable
Having a robust collection of e-books 51 144 401 569 45
4% 12% 34% 49% -
Downloading an entire book 28 114 434 593 40
2% 10% 37% 51% -
Downloading selected chapters 39 118 439 570 42
3% 10% 38% 49% -
Reading on my phone or tablet 54 134 423 559 39
5% 12% 36% 48% -
Highlighting and/or annotating text 51 125 396 599 38
4% 11% 34% 51% -
Printing 77 134 377 578 38
7% 12% 32% 50% -

Which resource do you expect to use most frequently when you start your research for a class assignment?

ResponseNumberPercent
Web search engine (Google) 787 65%
Google Scholar 164 14%
Library website 66 5%
Article database (e.g., JSTOR) 125 10%
Ask a peer 19 2%
Ask a librarian 7 1%
Ask a Graduate Student Instructor/professor 38 3%
Other resources/websites (please specify) 6 1%

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

ResponseNumberPercent
Not important 12 1%
Not very important 18 2%
Somewhat important 75 6%
Important 239 20%
Very important 422 35%
Essential 434 36%
Not applicable 25 -

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

ResponseNumberPercent
Decide on a major as soon as possible 165 13%
Take your time; explore options 799 65%
No advice given 263 21%

What do you plan to do about a major?

ResponseNumberPercent
I have declared a major 338 28%
I will declare a major as soon as possible 611 50%
I plan to take my time and explore options 278 23%

Student Life & Development

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 44 362 816
4% 30% 67%
Acquire a well-rounded general education 27 218 974
2% 18% 80%
Explore and discover my personal identity 29 246 944
2% 20% 77%
Achieve a high GPA 34 424 761
3% 35% 62%
Form (a) romantic relationship(s) 352 580 284
29% 48% 23%
Establish meaningful friendships 7 163 1,048
1% 13% 86%
Be in a position to make a lot of money after finishing my education 62 512 642
5% 42% 53%
Explore new ideas 11 258 948
1% 21% 78%
Enjoy my college years before assuming adult responsibilities 42 320 856
3% 26% 70%
Develop an in-depth understanding of a specific field of study 11 206 1,002
1% 17% 82%
Integrate spirituality into my life 518 337 364
43% 28% 30%
Establish social networks that will help further my career 13 256 950
1% 21% 78%

On the scale from 1 to 6 below, please indicate how concerned you are about each of the following:

(1) Not at all concerned(2)(3)(4)(5)(6) Very concerned
Financing my education at UC Berkeley 260 197 197 221 161 176
22% 16% 16% 18% 13% 15%
Finding affordable housing while I'm a student at UC Berkeley 183 149 199 238 216 227
15% 12% 16% 20% 18% 19%
Getting into my first choice of major 248 154 163 196 207 243
21% 13% 14% 16% 17% 20%
Being able to maintain a high GPA 25 43 129 259 321 430
2% 4% 11% 21% 27% 36%
Getting the academic advising I need 105 160 272 297 187 184
9% 13% 23% 25% 16% 15%
Getting the career and professional advising I need 77 130 222 290 246 246
6% 11% 18% 24% 20% 20%
Getting the psychological counseling I might need 307 270 238 190 110 94
25% 22% 20% 16% 9% 8%
Getting along with my roommate(s) 279 210 237 259 146 78
23% 17% 20% 21% 12% 7%
Being able to balance academic and social activities 58 91 208 314 287 248
5% 8% 17% 26% 24% 21%
Being able to make the kind of friends I want 92 104 185 268 295 266
8% 9% 15% 22% 24% 22%
Being away from family and friends; being 'homesick' 256 253 240 194 134 130
21% 21% 20% 16% 11% 11%
Feeling disconnected from the Berkeley community 161 185 217 262 193 190
13% 15% 18% 22% 16% 16%
Being able to maintain good health 145 160 211 265 226 203
12% 13% 17% 22% 19% 17%
Being able to cope with expectations of parents and family 216 189 221 230 176 177
18% 16% 18% 19% 15% 15%
Being overwhelmed with all the things I'm expected to do my first semester 108 100 188 269 256 289
9% 8% 16% 22% 21% 24%
Regretting my decision to attend UC Berkeley 492 241 164 133 89 93
41% 20% 14% 11% 7% 8%

Based on your experience and observation, rate the general climate for students at UC Berkeley along the following dimensions:

Campus climate is...

ResponseNumberPercent
(6) Friendly 332 27%
(5) 502 41%
(4) 306 25%
(3) 71 6%
(2) 5 0%
(1) Hostile 3 0%
ResponseNumberPercent
(6) Caring 281 23%
(5) 403 33%
(4) 364 30%
(3) 146 12%
(2) 15 1%
(1) Impersonal 9 1%
ResponseNumberPercent
(6) Intellectual 707 58%
(5) 361 30%
(4) 111 9%
(3) 31 3%
(2) 5 0%
(1) Not intellectual 0 0%
ResponseNumberPercent
(6) Appreciative of diversity 547 45%
(5) 442 36%
(4) 179 15%
(3) 43 4%
(2) 4 0%
(1) Unappreciative of diversity 3 0%
ResponseNumberPercent
(6) Safe 314 26%
(5) 366 30%
(4) 314 26%
(3) 142 12%
(2) 51 4%
(1) Dangerous 23 2%
ResponseNumberPercent
(6) Too hard academically 208 17%
(5) 476 39%
(4) 455 37%
(3) 68 6%
(2) 7 1%
(1) Too easy academically 1 0%
ResponseNumberPercent
(6) Competitive 423 35%
(5) 421 35%
(4) 263 22%
(3) 94 8%
(2) 11 1%
(1) Not Competitive 3 0%
ResponseNumberPercent
(6) Affordable 107 9%
(5) 213 18%
(4) 426 35%
(3) 272 22%
(2) 135 11%
(1) Not affordable 64 5%

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

Very poorPoorFairGoodVery goodExcellent
Understanding of the complexities of global issues 10 64 273 455 292 123
1% 5% 22% 37% 24% 10%
Ability to apply disciplinary knowledge in a global context 7 59 273 466 276 136
1% 5% 22% 38% 23% 11%
Comfort working with people from other cultures 4 4 98 338 399 373
0% 0% 8% 28% 33% 31%

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
Opportunities to develop my leadership skills while at UC Berkeley are important to me.

ResponseNumberPercent
Strongly disagree 39 3%
Disagree 11 1%
Disagree somewhat 26 2%
Agree somewhat 238 20%
Agree 507 42%
Strongly agree 400 33%

Items of Special Interest

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.

- Career and Professional advising

ResponseNumberPercent
1 211 17%
2 192 16%
3 227 19%
4 184 15%
5 166 14%
6 123 10%
7 112 9%

- Choosing classes

ResponseNumberPercent
1 218 18%
2 229 19%
3 206 17%
4 202 17%
5 150 12%
6 122 10%
7 87 7%

- Enrichment opportunities (e.g., Study abroad, research)

ResponseNumberPercent
1 145 12%
2 192 16%
3 165 14%
4 178 15%
5 198 16%
6 183 15%
7 152 13%

- Financial aid and scholarships

ResponseNumberPercent
1 178 15%
2 141 12%
3 163 13%
4 144 12%
5 165 14%
6 184 15%
7 239 20%

- Understanding Campus Resources

ResponseNumberPercent
1 116 10%
2 120 10%
3 123 10%
4 145 12%
5 205 17%
6 260 22%
7 241 20%

- Selecting a major

ResponseNumberPercent
1 178 15%
2 162 13%
3 133 11%
4 145 12%
5 134 11%
6 199 16%
7 263 22%

- Academic Support

ResponseNumberPercent
1 175 14%
2 184 15%
3 201 17%
4 216 18%
5 194 16%
6 139 11%
7 107 9%

Did you use any of the following resources/people when selecting courses for your first semester? (Choose all that apply)

Selected
Golden Bear Advising online content 429
36%
Golden Bear Advising interactive activities (e.g. completing assignments/quizzes, uploading class schedule, direct messaging with advisors, chatroom conversations) 424
35%
Other online resources (e.g., department website, Facebook, online Berkeley Academic Guide) 570
48%
College advisor in your home College (e.g., Letters & Science, College of Engineering) 371
31%
Major advisor 340
28%
Co-curricular Advisors/Student Services Support Staff (e.g., advising staff working in offices such as the Educational Opportunity Program, the Berkeley International Office, the Transfer Center) 88
7%
Faculty member 98
8%
Another student 579
48%
Parent, Guardian, or family member 480
40%
Friend(s) 570
48%
Other (please specify)
[Contact OPA for more information]
12
1%
No resource/person 79
7%

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

ResponseNumberPercent
Golden Bear Advising online content 123 10%
Golden Bear Advising interactive activities 71 6%
Other online resources 214 18%
College advisor in your home College 89 7%
Major advisor 132 11%
Co-curricular Advisors/Student Services Support Staff 25 2%
Faculty member 19 2%
Another student 176 15%
Parent, Guardian, or family member 125 10%
Friend(s) 109 9%
No resource/person 110 9%
Other
[Contact OPA for more information]
14 1%

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

ResponseNumberPercent
Very dissatisfied 42 3%
Dissatisfied 63 5%
Somewhat dissatisfied 140 11%
Somewhat satisfied 419 34%
Satisfied 455 37%
Very satisfied 100 8%

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

ResponseNumberPercent
Yes 80 7%
No 1,143 94%

Please provide a brief explanation of what happened (when you received advice from two different offices or staff members at UC Berkeley that was contradictory or in conflict)

[Contact OPA for more information]

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

First:

ResponseNumberPercent
I found the subject generally interesting 310 26%
Parental desires 8 1%
Recommendation of continuing UC Berkeley student 41 3%
Recommendation of another new UC Berkeley student 11 1%
Academic Advisor 66 6%
Co-curricular Advisor/Student Services Support Staff 4 0%
I thought/had heard a course was not as rigorous or demanding 6 1%
Reputation of professor 16 1%
Course(s) fulfilled a general or breadth requirement 138 12%
Course(s) fulfilled a major requirement 442 37%
The course fit my schedule 22 2%
Prepares me for my major 89 7%
Course(s) offered sections at a convenient time for my time zone 5 0%
I'm required to take one or more of my courses this first semester 41 3%


Second:

ResponseNumberPercent
I found the subject generally interesting 123 10%
Parental desires 13 1%
Recommendation of continuing UC Berkeley student 83 7%
Recommendation of another new UC Berkeley student 27 2%
Academic Advisor 68 6%
Co-curricular Advisor/Student Services Support Staff 3 0%
I thought/had heard a course was not as rigorous or demanding 20 2%
Reputation of professor 56 5%
Course(s) fulfilled a general or breadth requirement 263 22%
Course(s) fulfilled a major requirement 244 20%
The course fit my schedule 126 11%
Prepares me for my major 144 12%
Course(s) offered sections at a convenient time for my time zone 7 1%
I'm required to take one or more of my courses this first semester 21 2%


Third:

ResponseNumberPercent
I found the subject generally interesting 198 17%
Parental desires 7 1%
Recommendation of continuing UC Berkeley student 68 6%
Recommendation of another new UC Berkeley student 27 2%
Academic Advisor 56 5%
Co-curricular Advisor/Student Services Support Staff 8 1%
I thought/had heard a course was not as rigorous or demanding 25 2%
Reputation of professor 55 5%
Course(s) fulfilled a general or breadth requirement 170 14%
Course(s) fulfilled a major requirement 168 14%
The course fit my schedule 172 14%
Prepares me for my major 180 15%
Course(s) offered sections at a convenient time for my time zone 21 2%
I'm required to take one or more of my courses this first semester 42 4%

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

[Contact OPA for more information]

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 22 57 136 342 501 140
2% 5% 11% 29% 42% 12%
Availability of courses to fulfill prerequisite requirements 19 61 130 306 523 156
2% 5% 11% 26% 44% 13%
Ability to get into the lectures or seminars (i.e., primary courses) you wanted 53 77 171 312 441 143
4% 6% 14% 26% 37% 12%
Ability to get into the discussion sections or labs (i.e., secondary courses) you wanted 49 75 177 343 417 135
4% 6% 15% 29% 35% 11%
Variety of courses available 15 33 73 283 565 224
1% 3% 6% 24% 47% 19%
Access to small classes 46 103 225 371 355 96
4% 9% 19% 31% 30% 8%

UC Berkeley has recently introduced courses in Data Science, which combines tools from statistics and computer science with domain knowledge to develop new insights from data. The questions below seek to understand your interest in data science at UC Berkeley.

Data Science is a new field, so many people don't know about it. Before enrolling at UC Berkeley, how much did you know about data science?

ResponseNumberPercent
I had never heard of data science 264 22%
I had heard the term data science but didn't know what it meant 386 32%
I had some familiarity with data science, but had not used it 468 39%
I had used data science in my school work, employment, internships, or extra-curricular activities 96 8%

Which of the following do you associate with data science? (Choose all that apply)

Selected
Artificial intelligence 722
61%
Programming or Coding 1,003
85%
Statistics 1,030
87%
Social Impact 369
31%
Healthcare 317
27%
Ethics 229
19%
Social Media 437
37%
Linguistics 228
19%
Criminal justice 236
20%
Biology 329
28%
Physics 288
24%
Climate change 348
30%
Neuroscience 311
26%

We are interested in your opinions about data science courses at UC Berkeley. Please indicate the degree to which you personally agree or disagree with each of the following statements.

Strongly disagreeDisagreeSomewhat disagreeSomewhat agreeAgreeStrongly agree
Data science meets a requirement for my major (or intended major) 158 231 228 275 179 99
14% 20% 20% 24% 15% 9%
Data science skills are important to my major (or intended major) 69 123 179 398 264 136
6% 11% 15% 34% 23% 12%
Data science skills will improve my chances of getting a good job after graduation 30 44 119 428 379 172
3% 4% 10% 37% 32% 15%
Data science skills are important to my extra-curricular activities 84 217 248 353 190 79
7% 19% 21% 30% 16% 7%
Data science skills will help me make an impact and solve problems in society 29 48 103 470 368 154
3% 4% 9% 40% 31% 13%
Data science is intellectually interesting to me 76 125 196 367 269 141
7% 11% 17% 31% 23% 12%
Data literacy is important for everyone these days no matter what their career or major 23 41 121 444 347 196
2% 4% 10% 38% 30% 17%
I don't feel prepared to take a data science course 108 165 211 338 246 101
9% 14% 19% 29% 21% 9%
Data science isn't for students like me 176 274 301 226 132 56
15% 24% 26% 19% 11% 5%
Data science courses are too competitive 42 131 296 443 201 56
4% 11% 25% 38% 17% 5%
I don't have time in my schedule for data science 80 153 215 381 247 92
7% 13% 18% 33% 21% 8%
I worry that I won't have anyone to study with in a data science course 129 267 258 296 159 60
11% 23% 22% 25% 14% 5%

If you had the opportunity, would you enroll in a data science course at UC Berkeley?

ResponseNumberPercent
No 165 13%
Yes 415 34%
Maybe 653 53%

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.

We also want to know if you have been able to access the classes you need.

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

ResponseNumberPercent
Yes 697 57%
No 415 34%
Don't know 116 9%

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

ResponseNumberPercent
Yes 210 17%
No 866 71%
Don't know 152 12%

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

ResponseNumberPercent
Yes 641 92%
No 34 5%
Don't know 20 3%

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

ResponseNumberPercent
Yes 189 90%
No 13 6%
Don't know 8 4%

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

ResponseNumberPercent
Yes 315 26%
No 913 74%

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

ResponseNumberPercent
Yes 323 26%
No 906 74%

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

ResponseNumberPercent
I had a preference for an R&C 1a course in a particular department, but it was already full 58 21%
I could not gain access into ANY of the R&C 1a courses offered across the various departments on campus 59 21%
I did not like the times of the remaining courses that had available seats 9 3%
I decided to wait until another semester for reasons not listed above 56 20%
I will be using exam credit (e.g., AP, A-level English, International Baccalaureate Higher Level English Language A1 or A2) instead 20 7%
I did not know my AP score 6 2%
I have not yet passed the Analytical Writing Paper Exam (AWPE) 16 6%
I don't know 22 8%
Other, please specify:
[Contact OPA for more information]
35 12%

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

ResponseNumberPercent
I have not yet satisfied the first half of the R&C requirement (R&C 1a) 319 45%
I had a preference for an R&C 1b course in a particular department, but it was already full 56 8%
I could not gain access into ANY of the R&C 1b courses offered across the various departments on campus 34 5%
I did not like the times of the remaining courses that had available seats 13 2%
I decided to wait until another semester for reasons not listed above 173 24%
I will be using exam credit (e.g., AP, A-level English, International Baccalaureate Higher Level English Language A1 or A2) instead 22 3%
I did not know my AP score 17 2%
I don't know 33 5%
Other, please specify:
[Contact OPA for more information]
48 7%

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

ResponseNumberPercent
Yes 710 58%
No 510 42%

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 103 424 647
9% 36% 55%
From UC Berkeley advisors 187 165 812
16% 14% 70%
From friends 128 495 547
11% 42% 47%
From fellow UC Berkeley students 136 378 649
12% 33% 56%
From former teachers, instructors, or counselors 112 392 665
10% 34% 57%

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

ResponseNumberPercent
I am taking all the credit that I can and enrolling in advanced courses 601 59%
I am taking some credit but not all that I could 319 31%
I am taking the entry courses at UC Berkeley instead of the credit 86 8%
Other, please specify:
[Contact OPA for more information]
21 2%
Not applicable 165 -

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