September 6, 2004 :: Tulsa Needs Assessment Yields Positive Results
A recently completed higher education needs assessment of Tulsa-area residents shows a high level of interest in attending college and overall positive perceptions about higher education.
The survey was conducted on behalf of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the Tulsa-area public higher education institutions by Kenneth D. Bailey Research/The Bailey Poll. The survey’s purpose was to determine how higher education programs can best meet the needs of current college students, high school seniors and potential adult students (18 to 49 years of age) in the Tulsa area.
“This study has revealed a lot of useful information,” said Chancellor Paul G. Risser. “There are high levels of satisfaction with Oklahoma higher education overall, and we have identified program areas where there may be opportunities for improvement. The State Regents and the presidents of the Tulsa-area institutions will continue to work together to improve the quality of our programs and identify ways to increase efficiencies.”
Langston University–Tulsa, Northeastern State University–Broken Arrow, Oklahoma State University–Tulsa, Rogers State University, Claremore, Tulsa Community College and the University of Oklahoma–Tulsa participated in the study.
Tulsa-area higher education officials are encouraged by the positive nature of the results, including that the vast majority of current college students say that they have not had problems transferring credits from one institution to another and that classes are offered at convenient times and locations.
The officials also noted that growing interest in Internet classes could hold a great deal of promise for delivering additional services.
Highlights of the high school senior survey findings include:
- Most say they are likely to attend college (94 percent) and do so full time.
- Preferred majors (in order of preference) are health professions, business/finance, education, engineering, biological sciences, law, psychology, visual and performing arts, communications/journalism, computer science/information technology and marketing.
- The most important considerations for selecting a college are choice of degree program (98 percent), financial aid (95 percent), convenience of class schedule (93 percent), cost (92 percent) and student services (89 percent).
Findings from the current college student survey show that:
- Almost all survey respondents are working toward a degree (97 percent) and are taking college courses to advance their careers (85 percent).
- Online curriculum offerings are an important factor in determining the choice of institution.
- Students make decisions among colleges based primarily on choice of degree programs, class schedule convenience, cost and proximity to home or work.
The potential adult student survey revealed that:
- More than half (55 percent) of the households responding have family members likely to enroll in classes within the next five years.
- Preferred majors, in order of preference, are education, business/finance, health, engineering, biological sciences, psychology, communications/journalism, computer science/information technology, foreign languages and social services/history.
A total of 453 completed surveys were returned by current college students, while 714 surveys were completed with high school seniors and 401 interviews were completed with potential adult students from households in the Tulsa Metropolitan Statistical Area.
In response to the assessment, senior academic officers from each of the six Tulsa-area institutions will be working with State Regents’ staff on ways to improve collaboration to better meet the higher education needs of Tulsa.