2010 SONS Freshmen: Results and Summary: Part 3

Academic Experience

Community and Civic Engagement

Student Life and Development

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 10 4 29 133 356 258
1% 1% 4% 17% 45% 33%
Attending a university with world-class researchers is important to me 6 13 25 172 282 286
1% 2% 3% 22% 36% 36%
It wouldn't really matter where I got my undergraduate education (UC, regional college, community college) since they are all similar in quality 257 260 144 61 44 26
32% 33% 18% 8% 6% 3%
The emphasis on research at Berkeley detracts from the quality of teaching on this campus 93 215 251 129 64 33
12% 27% 32% 16% 8% 4%

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

 Not importantNot very importantSomewhat importantImportantVery importantEssential
Learning about faculty research 11 77 191 253 154 97
1% 10% 24% 32% 20% 12%
Having courses with faculty members who refer to their own research as part of the class 13 97 182 258 161 73
2% 12% 23% 33% 21% 9%
Learning research methods 8 39 129 237 228 144
1% 5% 16% 30% 29% 18%
Assisting faculty members in their research, for pay or as a volunteer 14 52 142 241 194 142
2% 7% 18% 31% 25% 18%
Pursuing your own research 17 89 171 215 171 120
2% 11% 22% 27% 22% 15%
The prestige of this campus when you apply to grad school 8 12 83 214 247 218
1% 2% 11% 27% 32% 28%
The prestige of this campus when you apply for a job 6 7 70 197 254 251
1% 1% 9% 25% 32% 32%
Having access to a world-class library collection 8 35 119 226 219 175
1% 4% 15% 29% 28% 22%
Being able to attend plays, concerts, lectures, and other cultural events 12 54 145 205 203 158
2% 7% 19% 26% 26% 20%

3. While attending Berkeley, how frequently do you expect to engage in the following?

 NeverRarelyOccasionallySomewhat oftenOftenVery often
Interact with students from outside the U.S. in class (e.g., through section discussions, study groups or class projects) 6 31 183 212 203 150
1% 4% 23% 27% 26% 19%
Interact with students from outside the U.S. in social settings (e.g., in clubs or student organizations, or in informal settings) 7 32 184 210 219 134
1% 4% 23% 27% 28% 17%
Develop a friendship with a student from outside the U.S. 4 45 182 202 220 131
1% 6% 23% 26% 28% 17%
Work with a faculty member on a project with an international/global theme 31 124 242 172 147 62
4% 16% 31% 22% 19% 8%
Present a paper at a symposium or conference or participate in a panel on international / global topics 79 224 196 131 108 42
10% 29% 25% 17% 14% 5%
Attend lectures, symposia, workshops or conferences on international/global topics 23 112 227 174 164 80
3% 14% 29% 22% 21% 10%
Attend a performance with an international/global focus 29 89 252 164 170 73
4% 11% 32% 21% 22% 9%

4. During your first year at Berkeley, how often do you expect each of the following to be obstacles to your school work or academic success?

 Not at allRarelyOccasionallyFrequentlyAll the time
Competing job responsibilities (i.e., paid employment) 266 165 221 109 20
34% 21% 28% 14% 3%
Competing family responsibilities 238 274 191 62 18
30% 35% 24% 8% 2%
Other competing responsibilities (e.g., athletics, clubs, internship) 75 159 342 168 32
10% 20% 44% 22% 4%
Weak English skills 429 144 122 61 27
55% 18% 16% 8% 3%
Weak math skills 314 232 147 63 26
40% 30% 19% 8% 3%
Inadequate study skills (e.g., knowing how to start, knowing how to get help, organizing material) 165 251 268 77 24
21% 32% 34% 10% 3%
Poor study behaviors (e.g., wait till last minute, easily distracted, too much social time, too much web surfing) 107 185 305 141 45
14% 24% 39% 18% 6%
Bad study environment (e.g., noisy roommate, poor Internet access, inadequate computer or software) 136 270 280 73 24
17% 34% 36% 9% 3%
Feeling depressed, stressed, or upset 135 228 296 95 29
17% 29% 38% 12% 4%
Physical illness or condition 223 362 160 30 9
28% 46% 20% 4% 1%

5.  How important is it to you to graduate from Berkeley in two years?

Not important 5 1%
Not very important 13 2%
Somewhat important 69 9%
Important 101 13%
Very important 261 33%
Essential 324 41%
Not applicable 13 2%

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 my family 243 428 114
31% 55% 15%
From Cal advisors 30 535 219
4% 68% 28%
From friends 67 489 228
9% 62% 29%
From fellow Cal students 57 510 215
7% 65% 27%
From transfer college teachers or counselors 49 539 192
6% 69% 25%

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

I have declared a major 196 25%
I will declare a major as soon as possible 320 41%
I plan to take my time and explore options 271 34%

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

Yes 506 64%
No 282 36%

 9. Using your best judgment, in how many years will you earn a bachelor's degree?

Less than 4 years 58 7%
In 4 years 686 88%
In 5 years (more than 4 years to 5 years) 36 5%
In 6 years (more than 5 years to 6 years) 4 1%
More than 6 years 0 0%

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 101 221 182
20% 44% 36%
From Cal advisors 241 75 186
48% 15% 37%
From friends 85 267 150
17% 53% 30%
From fellow Cal students 127 180 195
25% 36% 39%
From transfer college teachers or counselors 71 212 217
14% 42% 43%

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

Not applicable 18 4%
I am taking all the credit that I can and enrolling in advanced courses 173 34%
I am taking some credit but not all that I could 239 48%
I am taking the entry courses at Berkeley instead of the credit 62 12%
Other 11 2%

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Part 3: Community and Civic Engagement Activities

1.  During your senior year of high school, were you involved in any of the following activities or organizations?

 Participant or memberOfficer or leaderNeither
Academic (e.g., math club, philosophy club) 272 184 298
36% 24% 40%
Advocacy (e.g., Amnesty International, Living Wage Advocacy, Sierra Club) 88 74 578
12% 10% 78%
Campus sports club (e.g., rugby club, Kendo club) 131 53 563
18% 7% 75%
Campus varsity team (e.g., basketball, softball, soccer) 174 131 438
23% 18% 59%
Governing bodies (e.g., student government, IFC, panhellenic, residence hall association) 78 139 526
10% 19% 71%
Greek fraternity or sorority 6 7 729
1% 1% 98%
Honor society 382 112 252
51% 15% 34%
Media (e.g., campus newspaper, radio station) 78 87 581
10% 12% 78%
Performing group (e.g., school band, dance team) 179 120 449
24% 16% 60%
Political (e.g., Young Republicans, College Democrats) 53 28 664
7% 4% 89%
Recreational (e.g., chess club, bike club, rock climbing club) 155 87 507
21% 12% 68%
Religious (e.g., Korean Campus Ministry, World Peace Buddhist Club) 71 40 629
10% 5% 85%
Service (e.g., Special Olympics volunteers Club, Jewish Social Action Committee) 217 180 349
29% 24% 47%
Other campus-based club or organization 145 135 357
23% 21% 56%
 Participant or memberOfficer or leaderNeither
Off-campus club or organization 294 186 259
40% 25% 35%

2. 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 16 33 54 212 257 182
2% 4% 7% 28% 34% 24%
Opportunities to develop my leadership skills while at Berkeley are important to me 10 15 35 176 268 251
1% 2% 5% 23% 35% 33%
Opportunities to connect my academic work with community-based experience at Cal are important to me 12 15 22 179 269 249
2% 2% 3% 24% 36% 33%

Community Service & Leadership

3. DURING YOUR SENIOR YEAR, did you perform community service?

No 74 10%
Yes 687 90%

3a. How did you get involved in community service? If you have been involved in more than one form of community service, please answer for the one that has been the largest time commitment.

YesNo
Through a related class 160 480
25% 75%
Through a program where I receive course credit (e.g., field studies credit for tutoring) 86 557
13% 87%
Through a formal service program (AmeriCorps, VISTA, etc.) where I receive pay or a stipend 60 576
9% 91%
Through another student organization on campus 363 281
56% 44%
Through a department or program at my college 246 393
38% 62%
Through my religious organization or church 159 479
25% 75%
Through an internship 80 559
13% 87%
I found the work on my own 389 258
60% 40%
Other 68 355
16% 84%

If other, please elaborate (N=60)  

3b.  What was the focus of the organization where you did this community service? (Select all that apply.)

Access and success in higher education 124 19%
Agriculture/nutrition 37 6%
Animal welfare 58 9%
Arts education 50 8%
Arts, community/public arts (all disciplines) 93 14%
Child care 134 21%
Civil rights/human rights 63 10%
Conflict resolution 29 4%
Crime/criminal justice 14 2%
Disability issues 76 12%
Disaster preparedness 33 5%
Diversity/multiculturalism 60 9%
Economic development 42 6%
Education, pre-K to community college 144 22%
Environment/sustainability issues 130 20%
Global citizenship 42 6%
Health 164 25%
HIV/AIDS 32 5%
Housing/homelessness 119 18%
Hunger 179 27%
Immigrants/migrant worker rights 26 4%
International issues 71 11%
Legal aid 11 2%
Mental health 36 6%
Mentoring 168 26%
Parenting 10 2%
Poverty 157 24%
Reading/writing 69 11%
Senior/elder services 103 16%
Sexual assault 5 1%
Substance abuse 12 2%
Tax form preparation 3 0%
Technology 26 4%
Transportation 6 1%
Tutoring 229 35%
Voting 20 3%
Women's issues 24 4%
Other 61 9%

3c. Please name up to three organizations and their location (for example, “United Way, Oakland, CA”) where you participated in community engagement during college:

Organization name and location (N=563)

Organization name and location (N=401)

Organization name and location(N=252)

3d. Thinking about your participation in all forms of community service, which includes service through clubs, courses, and one-time events, please estimate how many total hours of service you completed in high school:

One to ten hours 43 7%
Eleven to twenty hours 44 7%
Twenty-one to fifty hours 82 13%
Fifty-one to one hundred hours 122 19%
More than one hundred hours 360 55%

3e. Which of the following were significant reasons for getting involved in community service?

 A significant reasonNot a significant reason
Required as part of my academic program 251 400
39% 61%
Unique or interesting opportunity arose to participate 498 153
76% 24%
Encouragement from friends or family 395 261
60% 40%
Belief in the particular cause 468 184
72% 28%
Location of where the work was to be conducted 269 381
41% 59%
Opportunity to learn new things 473 180
72% 28%
Opportunity to enhance my academic achievement 381 272
58% 42%
Opportunities to develop leadership skills 462 193
71% 29%
Become a better citizen and community participant 540 112
83% 17%
Change conditions in the community 426 225
65% 35%
Strengthen my resume for college or employment 496 160
76% 24%
Other 20 367
5% 95%

If other, please elaborate (N=12)

3f. To what extent will participation in community-focused activities in high school influence your desire to continue community-focused activities at Berkeley?

Not at all 46 7%
To some extent 406 61%
To a great extent 211 32%

National and Global Engagement

4.  Do you consider yourself to be a

Democrat 367 50%
Republican 67 9%
Independent 219 30%
Other 74 10%

4a.  Do you consider yourself to be a strong Democrat?

Yes 110 31%
No 248 69%

4a.  Do you consider yourself to be a strong Republican?

Yes 12 19%
No 52 81%

4a.  Do you lean more toward the Democratic Party or Republican Party?

Democratic 191 79%
Republican 52 21%

5.  Do you think this country is moving in the right direction or wrong direction?

Right direction 174 24%
Wrong direction 161 22%
Don't know 400 54%

6. During your senior year, how frequently did you follow news about the following?

 NeverRarelyOccasionallySomewhat oftenOftenVery often
The United States 13 60 169 176 176 144
2% 8% 23% 24% 24% 20%
Countries outside the United States 24 94 207 182 145 82
3% 13% 28% 25% 20% 11%
Global politics and diplomacy 38 115 224 163 115 76
5% 16% 31% 22% 16% 10%
Global climate and environmental issues 33 87 214 170 129 100
5% 12% 29% 23% 18% 14%
International business and economics 48 133 249 154 88 62
7% 18% 34% 21% 12% 8%
Global health issues 40 110 235 170 123 57
5% 15% 32% 23% 17% 8%
International conflicts and peace issues 36 98 225 170 119 84
5% 13% 31% 23% 16% 11%

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

 PoorFairGoodVery goodExcellent
Understanding of the complexities of global issues 85 232 250 116 49
12% 32% 34% 16% 7%
Ability to apply disciplinary knowledge in a global context 90 208 250 135 47
12% 28% 34% 18% 6%
Linguistic and cultural competency in at least one language other than my own 109 182 191 147 103
15% 25% 26% 20% 14%
Ability to work with people from other cultures 15 79 204 254 182
2% 11% 28% 35% 25%
Comfort working with people from other cultures 20 72 184 245 212
3% 10% 25% 33% 29%

8. In the high school classroom, how often have you been asked to

 NeverRarelyOccasionallySometimesOftenVery often
Acknowledge personal differences 34 76 137 201 176 101
5% 10% 19% 28% 24% 14%
Appreciate the world from someone else's perspective 23 49 123 181 225 121
3% 7% 17% 25% 31% 17%
Interact with someone with views that are different from your own 16 28 107 146 265 162
2% 4% 15% 20% 37% 22%
Discuss and navigate controversial issues 14 34 117 166 252 142
2% 5% 16% 23% 35% 20%
Define an issue or challenge and identify possible solutions 14 39 119 179 241 133
2% 5% 16% 25% 33% 18%
Implement a solution to an issue or challenge 26 73 123 189 211 101
4% 10% 17% 26% 29% 14%
Reflect upon the solution of an issue or challenge 16 51 134 185 232 103
2% 7% 19% 26% 32% 14%
Reflect on community or social issues as a shared responsibility 18 69 141 189 218 90
2% 10% 19% 26% 30% 12%
Reflect on your responsibility for community or social issues 21 66 156 184 208 89
3% 9% 22% 25% 29% 12%
Act on community or social issues 52 98 152 187 162 70
7% 14% 21% 26% 22% 10%

9. Outside the high school classroom, how often did you

 NeverRarelyOccasionallySometimesOftenVery often
Acknowledge personal differences 11 41 96 176 249 151
2% 6% 13% 24% 34% 21%
Appreciate the world from someone else's perspective 10 37 96 179 246 156
1% 5% 13% 25% 34% 22%
Interact with someone with views that are different from your own 8 35 97 159 246 179
1% 5% 13% 22% 34% 25%
Discuss and navigate controversial issues 14 62 115 191 209 130
2% 9% 16% 26% 29% 18%
Define an issue or challenge and identify possible solutions 12 66 145 186 202 112
2% 9% 20% 26% 28% 15%
Implement a solution to an issue or challenge 33 81 131 189 185 105
5% 11% 18% 26% 26% 15%
Reflect upon the solution of an issue or challenge 19 72 117 203 202 111
3% 10% 16% 28% 28% 15%
Reflect on community or social issues as a shared responsibility 22 75 138 195 184 108
3% 10% 19% 27% 25% 15%
Reflect on your individual responsibility for community or social issues 25 62 124 190 200 122
3% 9% 17% 26% 28% 17%
Act on community or social issues 38 82 138 203 155 101
5% 11% 19% 28% 22% 14%

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Part 3: 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 something back to my community after finishing my education 33 259 420
5% 36% 59%
Acquire a well-rounded general education 16 134 557
2% 19% 79%
Discover what kind of person I really want to be 26 106 575
4% 15% 81%
Achieve a high GPA 33 248 428
5% 35% 60%
Form romantic relationships 181 332 193
26% 47% 27%
Establish meaningful friendships 6 133 569
1% 19% 80%
Prepare for graduate or professional school 27 169 511
4% 24% 72%
Obtain the skills I need to pursue my chosen career 4 88 616
1% 12% 87%
Be in a position to make a lot of money after finishing my education 77 274 358
11% 39% 50%
Explore new ideas 10 171 526
1% 24% 74%
Enjoy my college years before assuming adult responsibilities 48 196 463
7% 28% 65%
Develop a personal code of values and ethics 42 228 438
6% 32% 62%
Develop an in-depth understanding of a specific field of study 14 134 559
2% 19% 79%
Integrate spirituality into my life 321 217 169
45% 31% 24%
Establish social networks that will help further my career 27 241 440
4% 34% 62%
Obtain the skills I need to function in the international arena 94 257 353
13% 37% 50%

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

 Not at all concernedUnconcernedSomewhat unconcernedSomewhat concernedConcernedVery concerned
Financing my education at Berkeley 37 71 88 176 127 212
5% 10% 12% 25% 18% 30%
Finding affordable housing while I'm a student at Berkeley 35 56 93 185 168 167
5% 8% 13% 26% 24% 24%
Getting into my first choice of major 80 74 87 159 142 163
11% 10% 12% 23% 20% 23%
Being able to maintain a high enough GPA 9 16 43 152 206 281
1% 2% 6% 21% 29% 40%
Getting the academic advising I need 18 50 117 202 194 125
3% 7% 17% 29% 27% 18%
Getting the career and professional advising I need 16 44 111 198 188 148
2% 6% 16% 28% 27% 21%
Getting the psychological counseling I might need 132 190 157 108 70 50
19% 27% 22% 15% 10% 7%
Getting along with my roommate(s) 69 121 140 175 120 84
10% 17% 20% 25% 17% 12%
Being able to balance academic and social activities 13 32 88 198 221 155
2% 5% 12% 28% 31% 22%
Being able to make the kind of friends I want 18 51 82 182 198 178
3% 7% 12% 26% 28% 25%
Being away from family and friends; being 'homesick' 90 94 134 183 116 90
13% 13% 19% 26% 16% 13%
Being able to maintain good health 24 67 102 202 185 124
3% 10% 14% 29% 26% 18%
Being able to cope with expectations of parents and family 54 103 125 178 135 111
8% 15% 18% 25% 19% 16%
Being overwhelmed with all the things I'm expected to do my first semester 22 36 87 183 206 170
3% 5% 12% 26% 29% 24%
Second guessing whether Berkeley was the right choice for me 215 117 114 125 71 65
30% 17% 16% 18% 10% 9%

Perceptions and Campus Climate

3. Based on your experience and observation, rate the general climate for students at your high school along the following dimensions:

High school was

Friendly Hostile
187 263 163 64 22 11
26% 37% 23% 9% 3% 2%
Caring Impersonal
132 206 208 102 47 14
19% 29% 29% 14% 7% 2%
Intellectual Not Intellectual
175 181 175 103  60 14
25% 26% 25% 15% 8% 2%
Tolerant of diversity Intolerant of diversity
186 204 176 95 36 15
26% 29% 25% 13% 5% 2%
Safe Dangerous
320 209 102 59 13 6
45% 29% 14% 8% 2% 1%
Too hard academically Too easy academically
35 133 240 175 97 28
5% 19% 34% 25% 14% 4%
Affordable Not affordable
460 106 56 46 22 18
65% 15% 8% 6% 3% 3%

4. Please indicate the extent to which you agree with the following statements.

 Strongly disagreeDisagreeSomewhat disagreeSomewhat agreeAgreeStrongly agreeNot applicable
Students of my race/ethnicity were respected at my high school 20 15 27 83 242 305 19
3% 2% 4% 12% 34% 43% 3%
Students of my socio-economic status were respected at my high school 21 9 31 80 263 289 16
3% 1% 4% 11% 37% 41% 2%
Students of my gender were respected at my high school 20 3 15 80 265 307 16
3% 0% 2% 11% 38% 43% 2%
Students of my religious beliefs were respected at my high school 21 19 44 108 234 207 77
3% 3% 6% 15% 33% 29% 11%
Students of my political beliefs were respected at my high school 19 20 39 121 247 209 54
3% 3% 6% 17% 35% 29% 8%
Students of my sexual orientation were respected at my high school 24 7 20 56 189 348 65
3% 1% 3% 8% 27% 49% 9%
Students of my immigration background were respected at my high school 20 12 12 86 177 205 196
3% 2% 2% 12% 25% 29% 28%
Students with a physical, psychological, or learning disability like mine were respected at my high school 25 10 36 97 129 85 322
4% 1% 5% 14% 18% 12% 46%

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.

 12345
Being successful academically (e.g., understanding material, GPA, getting into the major I want) 371 188 95 43 14
52% 26% 13% 6% 2%
Financing my education at Cal (e.g., money for expenses, being able to work, finding affordable housing) 74 103 90 106 336
10% 14% 13% 15% 47%
Making good choices, finding direction for my life (e.g., what I want to do after college, making the right career choice) 70 105 137 236 161
10% 15% 19% 33% 23%
Balancing things, finding time for everything (e.g., balancing academic and social life, not being overwhelmed) 118 183 194 154 60
17% 26% 27% 22% 8%
Making friends, having a personal life (e.g., not being lonely, having a good relationship) 78 131 193 170 137
11% 18% 27% 24% 19%

6. Please rate your awareness and understanding of the following issues.

 Very poorPoorFairGoodVery goodExcellent
My own racial and ethnic identity 5 16 47 193 250 200
1% 2% 7% 27% 35% 28%
Social class and economic differences/issues 4 18 73 235 242 137
1% 3% 10% 33% 34% 19%
Racial and ethnic differences/issues 3 19 82 243 224 134
0% 3% 12% 34% 32% 19%
Gender differences/issues 2 22 89 235 232 127
0% 3% 13% 33% 33% 18%
Sexual orientation differences/issues 5 32 117 226 201 126
1% 5% 17% 32% 28% 18%
Physical or other observable disabilities 11 38 154 211 178 113
2% 5% 22% 30% 25% 16%
Learning, psychological, or other disabilities that are not readily apparent 17 66 168 195 154 103
2% 9% 24% 28% 22% 15%

7. As you begin your academic career at Cal, what is your level of agreement or disagreement with the following:

 Strongly disagreeDisagreeSomewhat disagreeSomewhat agreeAgreeStrongly agree
I feel valued as an individual on this campus 10 28 122 273 211 66
1% 4% 17% 38% 30% 9%
There is a clear sense of appropriate and inappropriate behavior on this campus 8 37 109 297 207 51
1% 5% 15% 42% 29% 7%
I am proud to be a student at this campus 0 5 14 126 252 313
0% 1% 2% 18% 35% 44%
Most students are proud to attend this school 0 1 7 92 310 300
0% 0% 1% 13% 44% 42%
This institution values students' opinions 5 10 35 172 300 183
1% 1% 5% 24% 43% 26%
Academic cheating is a problem on this campus 36 182 269 115 67 34
5% 26% 38% 16% 10% 5%
Alcohol use is a problem on this campus 16 105 193 246 99 44
2% 15% 27% 35% 14% 6%
Drug use is a problem on this campus 24 129 190 222 85 49
3% 18% 27% 32% 12% 7%
Diversity is important on this campus 6 10 30 137 280 245
1% 1% 4% 19% 40% 35%
Diversity is important to me 4 6 41 166 228 263
1% 1% 6% 23% 32% 37%

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