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Institutional Research Quarterly Newsletter

Volume 4, Issue 2
February 2004

About OIR

Mission Statement


About University Planning & Analysis


  • Al Menard,
    Associate Vice President

  • Susan Linn,
    Executive Assistant

Your comments about this newsletter are greatly appreciated.

2002-04 Research Notes
2002-04 Research Studies

Table of Contents

University Planning and Analysis and OIR staff have been busy with several major projects this winter. Below are links to important additions to our Web site.

Continuing Student Survey Highlights

The summary of the Continuing Student Survey, conducted for more than 25 years at JMU, has been completed and posted on the University Planning and Analysis Web site. Below is a summary of the findings:

  • Students, in general, continue to report traditional middle-class backgrounds. More than one half of the respondents report their annual family income is $100,000 or greater (Table 14).

  • Nearly one-half of the students in this year’s survey stated their philosophy of higher education is based on a vocational philosophy where education is viewed essentially as preparation for an occupation.

  • Three-fourths or more of this year’s respondents described JMU as being good, friendly, progressive and the right size. More than one-half of the respondents described JMU as the open and accessible, supportive, challenging, intellectual, sensitive, flexible and emotionally healthy.

  • More than nine out of ten of this year’s students said they are satisfied or very satisfied with the attractiveness of JMU campus landscaping; the cleanliness of JMU buildings; the Recreation Center; the general condition of the buildings and grounds; the attitude of the faculty toward students; JMU in general and class size relative to the type of course.

  • More than three fourths of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the following statements: faculty who teach their classes are knowledgeable in their field; the methods of instruction and course content are related to course objectives; in my courses I have a clear understanding of course aims and requirements; the classrooms I use generally have adequate equipment; I am treated courteously by buildings and grounds staff; I meet my information needs using computers outside the library and methods of instruction are challenging and understandable.

  • For the past two years, respondents have been asked about their satisfaction with various aspects of the General Education program (Table 22). The percentage of respondents satisfied or very satisfied has increased on all items except one again this year. This year, as was true in past years, students reporting that they have earned 28 hours or less at JMU were significantly more satisfied about all aspects of General Education than other students (with agree and strongly agree percentages in the 90’s).

  • Approximately one-half of the respondents in this year’s survey indicated they view raising a family as being an essential accomplishment. More than one-fourth or more of the students stated the following accomplishments are essential: becoming an authority in one’s field; helping others who are in difficulty; receiving a liberal arts education that is of high quality and very diversified; developing a meaningful philosophy of life; obtaining recognition from my colleagues for contributions to my special field; and being well off financially.

  • More than eight out of ten of the respondents said that friendship, education and family are very important values.

The full report can be found at: .


Research Notes
Fall 2003 On-Campus Enrollment Summary

On-campus headcount enrollment increased to 15,769 in Fall 2003, up 157 students (1.0%) from 15,612 in Fall 2002. Enrollment in Fall 2003 included 14,805 full-time and 964 part-time students, of which 14,683 were undergraduates, 702 were graduate students, and 384 were non-degree seeking students enrolled in regular credit courses. There were 298 more full-time and 141 fewer part-time students than Fall 2002. Full-time undergraduate enrollment increased by 312 (2.2%). Out-of-state students accounted for 29.7% of on-campus enrollment in Fall 2003, compared with 29.0% in Fall 2002. There were 3,388 entering class students, up from 3,283 in Fall 2002. Based on historical patterns, we can expect 91% of the entering class students to return for Fall 2004. We can also expect 80% of these new students to graduate within six years. Undergraduate transfers decreased from 646 in Fall 2002 to 607 in Fall 2003. The number of enrolled students returning grew, with 10,166 full-time undergraduates returning in Fall 2003, 95 students more than Fall 2002.

Applications for admission to the entering freshman class declined 3.7% to 15,056 in Fall 2003 from 15,639 in Fall 2002. Overall, the University accepted 9,404 (62.5%) of its applicants for the entering class, up from 9,048 (57.9%) in Fall 2002. The yield rate (the percentage of those offered admission who accepted the offer and enrolled) decreased slightly from 36.3% in Fall 2002 to 36.0% in Fall 2003. The yield rate for Virginia applicants decreased from 42.0% in Fall 2002 to 41.4% in Fall 2003. The out-of-state yield increased from 28.4% in Fall 2002 to 29.1% in Fall 2003. The percentage of minority entering class students in Fall 2003 was 9.9%, down from 10.6% in Fall 2002. The number of African-American entering class students in Fall 2003 was 64, down from 113 in Fall 2002. In-state African-American entering class students decreased from 101 to 49. Asian-American/Pacific Islanders continued as the largest minority with 180 entering class students, up from 149 in Fall 2002.

Mean SAT scores for entering class students in Fall 2003 were 580 verbal, 587 math, and 1,167 composite. The 2003 composite is two points above the composite of 1,165 for Fall 2002. The highest mean SAT score since recentering began in 1995 was 1,186 in Fall 1995. The 2003 national average SAT composite score was 1,026, while the average for Virginia was 1,024.

On-campus males continue to decline in both headcount and proportion. The number of undergraduate males decreased from 5,930 (41.2%) in Fall 2002 to 5,889 (40.1%) in Fall 2003. Entering male freshmen increased from 1,167 (35.5%) in Fall 2002 to 1,220 (36.0%) in Fall 2003.

Graduate enrollment increased 2.6% from 684 in Fall 2002 to 702 in Fall 2003. Full-time graduate enrollment increased from 431 in Fall 2002 to 438 in Fall 2003. Graduate students represent 4.5% of on-campus enrollment.

The full Research Notes and tables are available at: .

Facilities Inventory and Utilization Reports

Annually OIR and Space Management submit to SCHEV a facilities inventory file of all space on campus. We currently have more than 12,000 unique spaces in the file. The inventory has been placed online so that space can be reviewed by building.  Departments have the ability to search for space assigned to them.

JMU Performance Measures Database

The Office of Institutional Research has been collecting performance information for many years. Three years ago we began building a database of these performance measures. The database allows for fast updates and reviews of the data by year and category. The database may be viewed by clicking here.

JMU Portfolio

In December 2001 the JMU Portfolio was placed on the Web. This is a portal for anyone who wants to review data about the institution's effectiveness. Sections include a Profile of JMU (Mission Statement, Centennial Commission, Defining Characteristics; Statistics and Summaries) and Evidence of JMU's Effectiveness (Accreditation, Planning, Accomplishments, Annual Reports, Performance Measures; Perception Surveys.).

Common Data Set

Ever need to complete a survey with official JMU data? One very useful source of these data is the Common Data Set, prepared annually by OIR. The CDS is used by many national publications, including U.S. News & World Report.  Data included in the CDS: General Information; Enrollment and Persistence; Undergraduate Admissions ; Transfer Admissions; Academic Offerings and Policies; Student Life; Annual Expenses; Financial Aid; Instructional Faculty and Class Size; Degrees Conferred; and Definitions. The data for 2002-03 will be available in February.

Data Warehouse

OIR has been collecting data on students for many years. These data have been instrumental in policy and trend analysis. The office this year developed a data warehouse of information that will be expanded yearly. Chuck DeHart has done a very nice job with this.  The first search capabilities are now on the Web at the following address (Note: Access is only available from JMU computers):


JMU Alumni Surveys Update

In 2003-04 the Office of Institutional Research assumed responsibility for the annual survey of JMU graduates. The purpose of this survey is to gather information from recent graduates about their experiences in the workforce and in graduate school. As a parent of a JMU freshman, I am very interested in the type of jobs my son may get when he graduates. John (my son) and I asked this question during Freshman Orientation last summer. At that time the information was more than two years old.

Beginning in January and continuing through March two surveys are being conducted. A survey of all 2001-02 graduates (N > 3,000) is being distributed via mail and email. In March nonrespondents will be contacted by telephone. Our objective is a response rate of more than 50 percent. A final report will be delivered in May and posted on OIR's Web site.

In January and June online surveys will be conducted of the 2003-04 graduates to determine their work and graduate school activity after graduation. These data are being collected to assist several departments with accreditation information. Summary data will be available in September.

Major Trends At JMU, 1990-91 To 2002-03

James Madison University has changed dramatically in the last dozen years. The growth from 11,000 students to nearly 16,000 students has had a major impact on the university's academic offerings, physical plant, its faculty and staff, and the Harrisonburg community. While some changes have been fairly dramatic, some equally important changes have occurred slowly and only reveal their importance over a relatively long period of time.

You may view the entire study and associated data at:

Statistical Summaries (link to all online)

Annually OIR produces a Statistical Summary of important information about JMU. In 1995-96 OIR placed its first Statistical Summary on the web. Almost all of the 2003-04 Statistical Summary tables are complete.


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