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PBA Home > Institutional Research & Analysis > Performance Measures > QIS > 2000 > Item #9

CCHE Quality Indicator System (QIS)
CU-Boulder Fall 2000 Submission
For funding 2001-02

CU-Boulder specified measure #1 (QIS item #9)

Title: Undergraduate participation in special academic opportunities

NOTE: This measure was used last year as well, as CU-Boulder institution-specific #1.

Measure: Percent participating in special academic opportunities, of calendar year bachelors degree recipients who entered CU-Boulder as full-time fall freshmen.

The special academic opportunities considered are honors courses, independent study, credit internships, service learning, and independent research courses; courses sponsored by research centers including the museum; special research programs for undergraduates; study abroad; completion of an honors thesis in the major discipline; leadership, residential, and first-term small-group academic programs; double and student-designed majors; formal minors; combined bachelors-masters programs; and academically-intense programs for students with special needs.

Rationale: Special academic opportunities are a hallmark of the unique, total learning environment provided by a comprehensive research university with top faculty and a large and diverse student population. Our ultimate goal is that all undergraduates have the opportunity for a personalized, small-group academic experience, whether they avail themselves of such opportunities or not. We measure the proportion of entering-freshmen graduates who have participated in special academic opportunities increases as a proxy, and aim to keep this proportion at or above two-thirds.

Time period: Calendar year 1999 bachelors recipients. Last year: 1998 recipients.

Benchmark: Maintain the participation level reported for 1998 bachelors recipients, 64%.

Results: 77% of calendar-year 1999 bachelors recipients who had entered as freshmen (N 2728) had participated in at least one special opportunity. This exceeds the benchmark and our long-term goal.

The four most popular programs each garnered participation by over 15% of the 1999 graduates: honors courses (17%), credit internships (19%), study abroad (23%), and first-year residential academic programs (21%). We are especially pleased that 23% of graduates entering as freshmen had studied abroad, for this program is probably our most intense.

For comparison: When we made our 1999 QIS submission we reported 64% participation among 1998 bachelors recipients. Since then we have identified several additional programs to be included. Examples include the INVST service learning program, Norlin scholars, and FallFEST (a small-group academic program for first-year students). Using the full revised list, 76% of calendar-year 1998 bachelors recipients who had entered as freshmen (N 2383) had participated in at least one special opportunity. The average number of programs was lower than for 1999 graduates.

Data sources and definitions

  • Full-time fall freshmen: First time students, usual IPEDS definition; includes those entering the prior summer and enrolled in their first fall
  • Calendar year bachelors degree recipients: From spring, summer, and fall terms.
  • Participation is measured by course enrollments, degree records (e.g., for honors and combined bachelors/masters), and listings of participants by programs in which participation yields neither credit enrollments or identifiable degrees (e.g., undergraduate research participation).

National comparisons: Comparable overall (unduplicated) participation figures from other institutions are not available. Informal comparisons with estimates published in the Best Colleges issue of U.S. News and World Report show that CU-Boulder has much higher rates of participation in study abroad and honors than do other public AAU institutions that reported.

From l:\ir\cche\qis\00\ms9.doc, 11/7/00, Lou McClelland

Last revision 07/02/02


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