Senior Survey Details Increased Satisfaction, Lower Academic Standards

Posted: June 17, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Adam Modzelesky

The 2001-02 Graduating Senior Survey Report, released recently by the Office of Institutional Assessment, indicates that satisfaction with the sense of feeling belonging to the George Mason community is at an all-time high, but consistent academic challenges and plans to attend graduate school have fallen a small amount.

With the survey’s highest ever response rate (89.6 percent), the report indicated that 74 percent of Mason’s graduates were content with their feeling of belonging to the Mason community. However, 19 percent said that their coursework was “always challenging” and 46 percent indicated interest in graduate school as opposed to the previous year’s 25 percent and 53 percent respectively. Still, 90 percent claimed that their coursework was demanding, only a one percent drop from 2000-01. In addition, 95 percent were pleased with their overall education and, more specifically, 92 percent were satisfied with their education in a major field.

Data also illustrated an increase in upper-level classes not requiring students to revise their work. The latest poll said 12 percent of graduating seniors did not have to revise coursework, the highest percentage in six years. In 2000-01, only seven percent reported not having to revise assignments. Only 36 percent, the lowest number in six years, reported having five or more classes requiring modifications to homework. When asked to rate their writing abilities, most rated themselves as “very good” or “good.” Yet a relatively high percent (eight percent) of students said that their “use of grammar, syntax, spelling, and punctuation” is poor.

The percentage of seniors who work during the school year has not oscillated much since 1999, the only exception coming in 2001. This year, 83 percent of Mason’s seniors were employed while 88 percent held jobs in 2001. More than half of this year’s students (54 percent) said they worked each semester and 53 percent claimed that their jobs were related to their fields of study. On average, graduating seniors worked 27.2 hours per week.

Each semester, graduating seniors are asked to complete the Graduating Senior Survey at the time they file for graduation. For more information, contact OIA at

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