Keene State College recently released two reports regarding the school and its students. One report is from a survey conducted in Spring 2014 that asked a series of questions to first-year and senior students. The other report is a study of the voting behaviors of KSC students in the 2012 Presidential election, including how many students registered, how many voted, etc. Both reports, while unrelated, offer a look into how KSC students get involved academically as well as politically.
National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
KSC participated in this survey as part of the National Survey of Student Engagement. This study compares students “who participated in various curricular and co-curricular high-impact practices vs. their classmates who did not have those experiences,” according to the official report. These high-impact practices include things like getting an internship, studying abroad, working with a teach on a big project, being a student leader in a campus organization, etc. KSC students answers are compared with other Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) institutions.
Overall, KSC seniors participate in high-impact practices during school much more than the average senior at another COPLAC. In fact, 89 percent of KSC seniors “Complete a culminating senior experience (capstone course, senior project or thesis, comprehensive exam, portfolio, etc.)” while only 56 percent of COPLAC seniors do the same thing. The report also found that KSC seniors participate in more internships/field work as seniors than seniors at other COPLAC schools.
KSC seniors also hold on-campus jobs more than other COPLAC seniors by a large margin, but worse less frequently at off-campus jobs than their contemporaries.
“Compared to seniors nationally, KSC seniors have significantly greater confidence in their ability to help people resolve their disagreements with each other and their ability to contribute to the wellbeing of their community,” the report said as one of its conclusive points.
National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) Student Voting Rates for Keene State College
This second report was done by Tufts University and includes the voting habits of KSC students in regards to the 2012 presidential election. “Since NSLVE’s launch in January 2013, nearly 600 campuses signed up to receive their student voting rates for the November 2012 presidential election,” according to the report.
According to enrollment records provided by KSC, 2,949 of KSC’s 5,008 students in 2012 registered to vote, about 59 percent of students. Of these 2,949 students that were registered voters, 2,107 students voted in the 2012 presidential election. This comes to about 71 percent of students that were registered voters actually voted.
Overall, 42 percent of KSC students voted in the 2012 presidential election. The average among the 464 total academic institutions in the complete Tufts study is 45.7 percent of students who voted in 2012.
The report broke down voting habits to students’ fields of study, showing the percentage of students in each field of study (major, minor, school) that voted. Education students voted at one of the highest rates at KSC, with 49.9 percent of education students voting in the 2012 presidential election.
Communication, Journalism and Related Programs had the second lowest percentage of students vote, with just 64 of these programs 182 students voting. That is just 35.2 percent of students.
Tufts University plans to release more reports regarding college students voting habits and, according to the report, “We are examining relationships between voting rates and graduation rates, civic learning opportunities on campus, and how these correlations vary by gender, socioeconomic status and race. We are also studying relationships between in-state versus out-of-state students, where students are registered, and voting outcomes.”
The full reports can be found on keene.edu/office/ir/.
Skyler Frazer can be contacted at email@example.com