2011 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 7 8 19 63 192 136
2% 2% 4% 15% 45% 32%
Attending a university with world-class researchers is important to me 2 7 22 75 139 175
0% 2% 5% 18% 33% 42%
It wouldn't really matter where I got my undergraduate education (UC, regional college, community college) since they are all similar in quality 144 149 73 31 20 7
34% 35% 17% 7% 5% 2%
The emphasis on research at Berkeley detracts from the quality of teaching on this campus 60 128 108 85 30 12
14% 30% 26% 20% 7% 3%

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 7 29 102 132 92 57
2% 7% 24% 32% 22% 14%
Having courses with faculty members who refer to their own research as part of the class 7 50 104 141 81 38
2% 12% 25% 33% 19% 9%
Learning research methods 6 18 60 139 107 88
1% 4% 14% 33% 26% 21%
Assisting faculty members in their research, for pay or as a volunteer 8 23 61 127 109 93
2% 5% 14% 30% 26% 22%
Pursuing your own research 11 36 87 128 87 71
3% 9% 21% 30% 21% 17%
The prestige of this campus when you apply to grad school 3 13 44 100 143 118
1% 3% 10% 24% 34% 28%
The prestige of this campus when you apply for a job 2 9 27 93 145 146
0% 2% 6% 22% 34% 35%
Having access to a world-class library collection 1 18 55 128 121 95
0% 4% 13% 31% 29% 23%
Being able to attend plays, concerts, lectures, and other cultural events 7 28 80 118 115 71
2% 7% 19% 28% 27% 17%

3. While attending UC 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) 0 10 71 114 143 77
0% 2% 17% 27% 34% 19%
Interact with students from outside the U.S. in social settings (e.g., in clubs or student organizations, or in informal settings) 0 10 71 127 135 72
0% 2% 17% 31% 33% 17%
Develop a friendship with a student from outside the U.S. 0 20 79 119 126 71
0% 5% 19% 29% 30% 17%
Work with a faculty member on a project with an international/global theme 16 74 118 101 76 29
4% 18% 29% 24% 18% 7%
Present a paper at a symposium or conference or participate in a panel on international / global topics 43 121 108 72 48 21
10% 29% 26% 17% 12% 5%
Attend lectures, symposia, workshops or conferences on international/global topics 15 62 125 93 84 35
4% 15% 30% 22% 20% 8%
Attend a performance with an international/global focus 9 66 128 93 86 31
2% 16% 31% 23% 21% 8%

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) 149 92 117 53 9
35% 22% 28% 13% 2%
Competing family responsibilities 138 152 93 25 7
33% 37% 22% 6% 2%
Other competing responsibilities (e.g., athletics, clubs, internship) 45 93 188 77 13
11% 22% 45% 19% 3%
Weak English skills 255 74 50 26 15
61% 18% 12% 6% 4%
Weak math skills 179 103 89 35 10
43% 25% 21% 8% 2%
Inadequate study skills (e.g., knowing how to start, knowing how to get help, organizing material) 99 146 129 37 8
24% 35% 31% 9% 2%
Poor study behaviors (e.g., wait till last minute, easily distracted, too much social time, too much web surfing) 67 129 152 53 17
16% 31% 36% 13% 4%
Bad study environment (e.g., noisy roommate, poor Internet access, inadequate computer or software) 74 151 143 41 8
18% 36% 34% 10% 2%
Feeling depressed, stressed, or upset 67 137 158 48 10
16% 33% 38% 11% 2%
Physical illness or condition 129 180 91 12 4
31% 43% 22% 3% 1%

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

Not important 6 1%
Not very important 3 1%
Somewhat important 39 9%
Important 60 14%
Very important 149 36%
Essential 154 37%
Not applicable 7 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 131 225 63
31% 54% 15%
From Cal advisors 21 282 113
5% 68% 27%
From friends 52 244 120
13% 59% 29%
From fellow Cal students 46 268 102
11% 64% 25%
High school teachers or counselors 30 301 85
7% 72% 20%

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

I have declared a major 115 27%
I will declare a major as soon as possible 176 42%
I plan to take my time and explore options 130 31%

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

Yes 284 67%
No 140 33%

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

Less than 4 years 38 9%
In 4 years 365 86%
In 5 years (more than 4 years to 5 years) 19 4%
In 6 years (more than 5 years to 6 years) 2 0%
More than 6 years 0 0%

10. 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 51 140 86
18% 51% 31%
From Cal advisors 126 48 102
46% 17% 37%
From friends 46 139 91
17% 50% 33%
From fellow Cal students 70 103 102
25% 37% 37%
High school teachers or counselors 52 124 99
19% 45% 36%

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

Not applicable 10 4%
I am taking all the credit that I can and enrolling in advanced courses 89 32%
I am taking some credit but not all that I could 142 51%
I am taking the entry courses at Berkeley instead of the credit 29 10%
Other 7 3%

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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) 145 107 179
34% 25% 42%
Advocacy (e.g., Amnesty International, Living Wage Advocacy, Sierra Club) 62 33 334
14% 8% 78%
Campus sports club (e.g., rugby club, Kendo club) 74 33 323
17% 8% 75%
Campus varsity team (e.g., basketball, softball, soccer) 103 89 236
24% 21% 55%
Governing bodies (e.g., student government, IFC, panhellenic, residence hall association) 50 75 306
12% 17% 71%
Greek fraternity or sorority 8 2 421
2% 0% 98%
Honor society 220 54 157
51% 13% 36%
Media (e.g., campus newspaper, radio station) 55 56 320
13% 13% 74%
Performing group (e.g., school band, dance team) 81 78 274
19% 18% 63%
Political (e.g., Young Republicans, College Democrats) 26 14 389
6% 3% 91%
Recreational (e.g., chess club, bike club, rock climbing club) 102 34 292
24% 8% 68%
Religious (e.g., Korean Campus Ministry, World Peace Buddhist Club) 50 22 351
12% 5% 83%
Service (e.g., Special Olympics volunteers Club, Jewish Social Action Committee) 143 97 186
34% 23% 44%
Other campus-based club or organization 87 64 212
24% 18% 58%
 Participant or memberOfficer or leaderNeither
Off-campus club or organization 169 93 158
40% 22% 38%

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 9 15 36 128 154 91
2% 3% 8% 30% 36% 21%
Opportunities to develop my leadership skills while at Berkeley are important to me 8 3 17 86 174 145
2% 1% 4% 20% 40% 33%
Opportunities to connect my academic work with community-based experience at Cal are important to me 7 6 9 87 173 150
2% 1% 2% 20% 40% 35%

Community Service and Leadership

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

No 45 10%
Yes 393 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 101 262
28% 72%
Through a program where I receive course credit (e.g., field studies credit for tutoring) 66 298
18% 82%
Through a formal service program (AmeriCorps, VISTA, etc.) where I receive pay or a stipend 33 330
9% 91%
Through another student organization on campus 229 138
62% 38%
Through a high school department or program 138 229
38% 62%
Through my religious organization or church 95 271
26% 74%
Through an internship 39 326
11% 89%
I found the work on my own 219 150
59% 41%
Other 39 207
16% 84%

If other, please elaborate (N=36)

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

Access and success in higher education 69 19%
Agriculture/nutrition 17 5%
Animal welfare 23 6%
Arts education 25 7%
Arts, community/public arts (all disciplines) 52 14%
Child care 90 24%
Civil rights/human rights 37 10%
Conflict resolution 17 5%
Crime/criminal justice 12 3%
Disability issues 42 11%
Disaster preparedness 22 6%
Diversity/multiculturalism 37 10%
Economic development 16 4%
Education, pre-K to community college 94 25%
Environment/sustainability issues 89 24%
Global citizenship 18 5%
Health 83 22%
HIV/AIDS 17 5%
Housing/homelessness 67 18%
Hunger 105 28%
Immigrants/migrant worker rights 18 5%
International issues 31 8%
Legal aid 6 2%
Mental health 16 4%
Mentoring 99 27%
Parenting 7 2%
Poverty 92 25%
Reading/writing 53 14%
Senior/elder services 58 16%
Sexual assault 7 2%
Substance abuse 10 3%
Tax form preparation 2 1%
Technology 11 3%
Transportation 6 2%
Tutoring 124 33%
Voting 14 4%
Women's issues 19 5%
Other 36 10%

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

Organization name and location (N=322)  

Organization name and location (N=232) 

Organization name and location (N=147) 

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 24 6%
Eleven to twenty hours 21 6%
Twenty-one to fifty hours 41 11%
Fifty-one to one hundred hours 77 21%
More than one hundred hours 207 56%

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

 A significant reasonNot a significant reason
Required as part of my academic program 137 239
36% 64%
Unique or interesting opportunity arose to participate 283 93
75% 25%
Encouragement from friends or family 226 148
60% 40%
Belief in the particular cause 279 98
74% 26%
Location of where the work was to be conducted 146 229
39% 61%
Opportunity to learn new things 268 107
71% 29%
Opportunity to enhance my academic achievement 209 165
56% 44%
Opportunities to develop leadership skills 285 92
76% 24%
Become a better citizen and community participant 313 63
83% 17%
Change conditions in the community 247 129
66% 34%
Strengthen my resume for college or employment 289 87
77% 23%
Other 17 212
7% 93%

If other, please elaborate  (N=11)  

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 25 7%
To some extent 228 60%
To a great extent 125 33%

National and Global Engagement

4.  Do you consider yourself to be a:

Democrat 188 46%
Republican 43 10%
Independent 139 34%
Other 40 10%

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

Yes 48 27%
No 133 73%

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

 Yes 14 35%
No 26 65%

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

Democratic 124 77%
Republican 37 23%

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

Right direction 49 12%
Wrong direction 161 39%
Don't know 207 50%

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

 NeverRarelyOccasionallySomewhat oftenOftenVery often
The United States 8 30 108 93 85 95
2% 7% 26% 22% 20% 23%
Countries outside the United States 9 45 112 99 85 68
2% 11% 27% 24% 20% 16%
Global politics and diplomacy 19 75 111 88 74 50
5% 18% 27% 21% 18% 12%
Global climate and environmental issues 15 66 116 91 81 48
4% 16% 28% 22% 19% 12%
International business and economics 25 100 114 90 59 30
6% 24% 27% 22% 14% 7%
Global health issues 17 83 136 96 58 25
4% 20% 33% 23% 14% 6%
International conflicts and peace issues 13 58 115 93 78 60
3% 14% 28% 22% 19% 14%


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

 PoorFairGoodVery goodExcellent
Understanding of the complexities of global issues 59 114 133 86 26
14% 27% 32% 21% 6%
Ability to apply disciplinary knowledge in a global context 58 108 139 84 27
14% 26% 33% 20% 6%
Linguistic and cultural competency in at least one language other than my own 77 86 94 98 63
18% 21% 22% 23% 15%
Ability to work with people from other cultures 6 35 128 132 116
1% 8% 31% 32% 28%
Comfort working with people from other cultures 7 32 116 135 126
2% 8% 28% 32% 30%

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

 NeverRarelyOccasionallySometimesOftenVery often
Acknowledge personal differences 18 37 68 97 128 65
4% 9% 16% 23% 31% 16%
Appreciate the world from someone else's perspective 9 19 56 99 154 75
2% 5% 14% 24% 37% 18%
Interact with someone with views that are different from your own 7 9 39 77 174 106
2% 2% 9% 19% 42% 26%
Discuss and navigate controversial issues 3 14 53 90 156 96
1% 3% 13% 22% 38% 23%
Define an issue or challenge and identify possible solutions 5 11 54 99 156 83
1% 3% 13% 24% 38% 20%
Implement a solution to an issue or challenge 14 41 71 88 128 70
3% 10% 17% 21% 31% 17%
Reflect upon the solution of an issue or challenge 5 27 67 101 139 71
1% 7% 16% 25% 34% 17%
Reflect on community or social issues as a shared responsibility 8 38 68 111 128 57
2% 9% 17% 27% 31% 14%
Reflect on your responsibility for community or social issues 10 36 77 96 133 59
2% 9% 19% 23% 32% 14%
Act on community or social issues 25 59 89 89 96 50
6% 14% 22% 22% 24% 12%

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

 NeverRarelyOccasionallySometimesOftenVery often
Acknowledge personal differences 4 23 51 87 151 97
1% 6% 12% 21% 37% 23%
Appreciate the world from someone else's perspective 4 22 45 91 149 102
1% 5% 11% 22% 36% 25%
Interact with someone with views that are different from your own 2 23 55 79 136 117
0% 6% 13% 19% 33% 28%
Discuss and navigate controversial issues 5 41 60 98 129 79
1% 10% 15% 24% 31% 19%
Define an issue or challenge and identify possible solutions 7 37 68 109 121 70
2% 9% 17% 26% 29% 17%
Implement a solution to an issue or challenge 15 46 76 114 102 60
4% 11% 18% 28% 25% 15%
Reflect upon the solution of an issue or challenge 8 33 76 106 121 66
2% 8% 19% 26% 30% 16%
Reflect on community or social issues as a shared responsibility 11 42 78 105 112 62
3% 10% 19% 26% 27% 15%
Reflect on your individual responsibility for community or social issues 11 42 69 102 125 64
3% 10% 17% 25% 30% 15%
Act on community or social issues 23 52 83 108 92 52
6% 13% 20% 26% 22% 13%

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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 19 152 222
5% 39% 56%
Acquire a well-rounded general education 6 95 292
2% 24% 74%
Discover what kind of person I really want to be 15 61 314
4% 16% 81%
Achieve a high GPA 13 138 243
3% 35% 62%
Form romantic relationships 121 170 100
31% 43% 26%
Establish meaningful friendships 3 79 308
1% 20% 79%
Prepare for graduate or professional school 16 101 276
4% 26% 70%
Obtain the skills I need to pursue my chosen career 3 45 345
1% 11% 88%
Be in a position to make a lot of money after finishing my education 31 168 193
8% 43% 49%
Explore new ideas 7 100 284
2% 26% 73%
Enjoy my college years before assuming adult responsibilities 37 116 240
9% 30% 61%
Develop a personal code of values and ethics 27 135 230
7% 34% 59%
Develop an in-depth understanding of a specific field of study 10 88 293
3% 23% 75%
Integrate spirituality into my life 165 124 101
42% 32% 26%
Establish social networks that will help further my career 15 139 237
4% 36% 61%
Obtain the skills I need to function in the international arena 37 148 206
9% 38% 53%

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

 Not at all concernedUnconcernedSomewhat unconcernedSomewhat concernedConcernedVery concerned
Financing my education at Berkeley 18 23 25 109 104 112
5% 6% 6% 28% 27% 29%
Finding affordable housing while I'm a student at Berkeley 12 25 26 131 107 87
3% 6% 7% 34% 28% 22%
Getting into my first choice of major 38 40 39 80 93 95
10% 10% 10% 21% 24% 25%
Being able to maintain a high enough GPA 3 3 24 82 107 169
1% 1% 6% 21% 28% 44%
Getting the academic advising I need 9 24 59 110 100 84
2% 6% 15% 28% 26% 22%
Getting the career and professional advising I need 10 21 60 99 112 83
3% 5% 16% 26% 29% 22%
Getting the psychological counseling I might need 71 91 92 68 42 23
18% 24% 24% 18% 11% 6%
Getting along with my roommate(s) 39 88 68 94 64 36
10% 23% 17% 24% 16% 9%
Being able to balance academic and social activities 10 14 39 121 116 87
3% 4% 10% 31% 30% 22%
Being able to make the kind of friends I want 11 35 37 99 104 102
3% 9% 10% 26% 27% 26%
Being away from family and friends; being 'homesick' 42 60 71 93 68 56
11% 15% 18% 24% 17% 14%
Being able to maintain good health 18 43 45 97 111 75
5% 11% 12% 25% 29% 19%
Being able to cope with expectations of parents and family 27 50 70 85 82 71
7% 13% 18% 22% 21% 18%
Being overwhelmed with all the things I'm expected to do my first semester 13 14 42 106 108 104
3% 4% 11% 27% 28% 27%
Second guessing whether Berkeley was the right choice for me 86 67 57 93 53 33
22% 17% 15% 24% 14% 8%

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:

Friendly         Hostile
109 136 90 37 14 5
28% 35% 23% 9% 4% 1%
 Caring  Impersonal
88 116 103 52 27 7
22% 30% 26% 13% 7% 2%
Intellectual Not intellectual
101 101 98 54 26 12
26% 26% 25% 14% 7% 3%
 Tolerant of diversity  Intolerant of diversity
117 104 90 49 21 11
30% 27% 23% 13% 5% 3%
 Safe  Dangerous
201 97 59 27 5 3
51% 25% 15% 7% 1% 1%
 Too hard academically  Too easy academically
19 98 121 82 51 22
5% 25% 31% 21% 13% 6%
 Affordable  Not affordable
239 73 37 23 14 7
61% 19% 9% 6% 4% 2%

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 7 5 22 45 105 188 21
2% 1% 6% 11% 27% 48% 5%
Students of my socio-economic status were respected at my high school 6 4 17 46 124 179 16
2% 1% 4% 12% 32% 46% 4%
Students of my gender were respected at my high school 7 1 13 33 124 196 17
2% 0% 3% 8% 32% 50% 4%
Students of my religious beliefs were respected at my high school 7 11 24 56 108 135 48
2% 3% 6% 14% 28% 35% 12%
Students of my political beliefs were respected at my high school 9 9 20 49 123 133 46
2% 2% 5% 13% 32% 34% 12%
Students of my sexual orientation were respected at my high school 5 4 10 34 93 201 43
1% 1% 3% 9% 24% 52% 11%
Students of my immigration background were respected at my high school 6 6 14 35 87 127 116
2% 2% 4% 9% 22% 32% 30%
Students with a physical, psychological, or learning disability like mine were respected at my high school 6 3 20 41 79 84 157
2% 1% 5% 11% 20% 22% 40%

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) 198 116 45 24 8
51% 30% 11% 6% 2%
Financing my education at Cal (e.g., money for expenses, being able to work, finding affordable housing) 46 47 61 57 179
12% 12% 16% 15% 46%
Making good choices, finding direction for my life (e.g., what I want to do after college, making the right career choice) 52 66 81 117 76
13% 17% 21% 30% 19%
Balancing things, finding time for everything (e.g., balancing academic and social life, not being overwhelmed) 61 99 94 90 47
16% 25% 24% 23% 12%
Making friends, having a personal life (e.g., not being lonely, having a good relationship) 35 63 110 103 80
9% 16% 28% 26% 20%

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

 Very poorPoorFairGoodVery goodExcellent
My own racial and ethnic identity 4 8 40 104 133 101
1% 2% 10% 27% 34% 26%
Social class and economic differences/issues 1 7 45 136 117 81
0% 2% 12% 35% 30% 21%
Racial and ethnic differences/issues 2 7 53 117 129 79
1% 2% 14% 30% 33% 20%
Gender differences/issues 4 7 46 135 119 76
1% 2% 12% 35% 31% 20%
Sexual orientation differences/issues 4 14 62 130 104 71
1% 4% 16% 34% 27% 18%
Physical or other observable disabilities 5 23 70 123 100 64
1% 6% 18% 32% 26% 17%
Learning, psychological, or other disabilities that are not readily apparent 8 33 81 114 89 61
2% 9% 21% 30% 23% 16%

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 8 16 69 132 121 44
2% 4% 18% 34% 31% 11%
There is a clear sense of appropriate and inappropriate behavior on this campus 6 21 71 135 129 29
2% 5% 18% 35% 33% 7%
I am proud to be a student at this campus 3 4 6 69 151 159
1% 1% 2% 18% 39% 41%
Most students are proud to attend this school 1 1 7 56 167 160
0% 0% 2% 14% 43% 41%
This institution values students' opinions 2 6 18 110 158 95
1% 2% 5% 28% 41% 24%
Academic cheating is a problem on this campus 20 121 134 51 37 21
5% 32% 35% 13% 10% 5%
Alcohol use is a problem on this campus 14 64 106 109 66 29
4% 16% 27% 28% 17% 7%
Drug use is a problem on this campus 19 70 97 102 61 38
5% 18% 25% 26% 16% 10%
Diversity is important on this campus 1 2 20 75 143 150
0% 1% 5% 19% 37% 38%
Diversity is important to me 7 7 25 80 130 141
2% 2% 6% 21% 33% 36%

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