- The Cooperative Institutional Research Program at the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA has released its 50th anniversary report about the norms and beliefs of college freshmen, finding this cohort is more open to student-led protest than any other, including those of the late 1960s.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that out of 141,289 responses from first-time, full-time freshmen at 199 four-year colleges in the U.S., nearly one in 10 freshmen said there was a very good chance they would participate in a protest in college — and among black students, that portion increases to 16%.
- Other takeaways from the annual survey are that the vast majority of Pell Grant recipients worry about paying for college and women are more likely to do so than men; LGBTQ students report lower levels of emotional health and a higher incidence of depression; and more students than ever (60%) say the job prospects of their college’s graduates were “very important” in their decision about where to attend.
The annual survey out of UCLA provides an important set of data for college administrators adapting to a new generation of students. The wave of protests that swept the country this fall, forcing institutional leaders to resign and shaping the diversity initiatives on campuses large and small, are very likely not over. This generation of students is ready to use what power they have to influence their colleges’ policies.
The LGBTQ students among them are also in need of targeted mental health services. And administrators are on the right track in building out career services opportunities, partnerships with industry, and project-based curricula that give students concrete skills to take with them into the job market. Increasingly, this is what students are looking for, even before they arrive on campus.