Student Focus Group Summary Data

Background

In FY 2013-14, Snow College implemented a new initiative to demonstrate the institution’s commitment to diversity and inclusion on campus. The Inclusion Initiative will be used to assist the institution in developing a paradigm-changing effort to increase the College’s impact in transforming lives for those students who have historically been underserved by higher education. Using the achievement gap for African American, Latino, and American Indian students as a starting point, we hope to discover what does and does not work for historically underserved students at Snow College. Data will be used to inform institutional best practices related to underrepresented students of color and will be gathered through activities and tools including institutional data analysis, interviews, surveys, and focus groups. The qualitative and quantitative data obtained will be used to develop, implement, and evaluate an institutional response through the Inclusion Initiative.

 

About the Focus Groups

In the spring of 2014, members of the Snow College Inclusion Team conducted several focus groups among students representing diverse backgrounds at Snow College. For consistency in conducting the groups, Rosie Connor and Fernando Montano acted as the focus group moderators. The following groups/clubs participated in the focus groups:

 

The following groups/clubs were scheduled to be convened as focus groups. However, due to time constraints, these groups were not interviewed. We hope to meet with these groups in the fall of 2014 and incorporate the data from these additional focus groups into the committee’s recommendations to the College. They include:

 

Focus Group Questions

The following questions were used to guide the discussions held in the focus groups.

  1. Why did you choose a community college to begin your college career?
  2. What attracted you to Snow College, or why did you decide to attend here?
  3. Since coming to Snow College, what has been most helpful to you in adjusting to college? Think in terms of student life, student services, campus groups, etc.
  4. What, if anything, has made your adjustment, or the adjustment for other students, to Snow College difficult?
  5. What portions of your college life (academic and social) are most enjoyable for you? Which ones are the least enjoyable?
  6.  If you could change one thing about Snow College, what would it be?
  7. What are your thoughts about diversity here at Snow College?
  8. What have been the most positive things related to diversity that you have seen here at Snow College?
  9. What have been some challenges related to diversity that you have seen here at Snow College?
  10. How would you propose that Snow College increase diversity?

 

Focus Group Summary Data

Below is an aggregate summary of the salient themes that emerged from the focus group discussions. Some sections include direct student quotes to assist in the analysis and interpretation of the data. Responses are not presented in order or level of importance.

 

Question 1: Why did you choose a community college to begin your college career?

-               Affordability 

-               Location

-               Transfer opportunities

-               Small class sizes

-               Atmosphere

-               Quality academic programs

-               Scholarship funding

-               Help with higher education transition

-               Family member attended previously

 

Question 2: What attracted you to Snow College, or why did you decide to attend here?

-               Affordability 

-               Snow’s high ranking

-               Small class sizes

-               Good preparation for transfer to a four-year school

-               Reputation of the College

-               Reputation of the faculty

-               Scholarship funding

-               Academic program

 

Question 3: Since coming to Snow College, what has been most helpful to you in adjusting to college? Think in terms of student life, student services, campus groups, etc.

-               Student involvement through clubs (MCC, BSU, Polynesian Club, etc.)

-               Friendliness

-               Student Support Services

-               Small class sizes

-               Environment/atmosphere

-               Support available through academic programs

-               Acceptance by some students/faculty of LGBTQ status

 

Question 4: What, if anything, has made your adjustment, or the adjustment for other students, to Snow College difficult?

-               Lack of attention to international students

-               Challenges with advising

-               Not enough jobs for students

-               Not enough jobs for international students

-               Small town environment offers few amenities and little diversity

-               Being from a non-dominant faith/belief/culture

-               Homogeneity of campus/community

-               Need to repeat courses not accepted at Snow College

-               Lack of access to transportation

 

Question 5: What portions of your college life (academic and social) are most enjoyable for you? Which ones are the least enjoyable?

Most Enjoyable

-               Extracurricular student activities

-               Friendliness of students

-               Small class sizes

-               Instructor attention

 

Least Enjoyable

-               Socially, not much to do if you are from the big city

-               Frustrating being an international student on holidays and weekends

-               Student activities (need be more diverse and student-centered)

-               LGBTQ social stigma

-               Small town environment and culture

 

 

Question 6: If you could change one thing about Snow College, what would it be?

-               More programs that include international students

-               More accommodation and acceptance of other faiths

-               More four-year degrees

-               More study rooms

-               Ability to charge books in the bookstore to student accounts

-               Extended hours for services in the GSC

-               More things open later and on the weekends

-               An appropriate space for the LGBT club to meet

-               New science building

-               New gym/fitness center

-               A building devoted to the art division

-               More jobs for international students

-               Larger cafeteria space

-               More food options in the cafeteria

-               Less expensive food options in the cafeteria

-               A recreational center on campus

-               Less LDS-centered

 

Question 7: What are your thoughts about diversity here at Snow College? Student quotes included in the section.

-               “Diversity is improving, more opportunities for diverse students like MCC and BSU.”

-               “Most things seem segregated by race and ethnicity; would like to see more integration.” 

-               “It would be nice to have more clubs working together and helping out.”

-               “People stick to themselves; not a lot of cross-cultural communication.”

-               “Diverse students need to reach out too. Americans tend to fear the color of our skin and where we’re coming from. We have to reach out and show them about our culture.”

-               “I don’t think it’s very diverse in reality. I just feel like we are not very diverse. “

-               “Snow needs a more diverse faculty and staff.”

-               “I think it’s diverse because when I came to the college there were many diverse clubs that meet the needs of diverse students.” 

-               “The faculty, oh no! There are very few teachers who are not white.”

-               “Maybe it would be better if we had teachers we could relate to.”

-               “Maybe the admissions office isn’t doing enough to get a diverse group.”

-               “When we went out recruiting, every person on the pictures was white.  If we are saying they have diversity we need to have more diversity in the materials.”

-               “There is some diversity within the student body, but it’s not very unified.”

-               “The speed dating thing was very awkward, it was not open for people who are not straight. What would they do if I sat in the men’s section? It was just for straight people.”

 

 

Question 8: What have been the most positive things related to diversity that you have seen here at Snow College?

-               The Polynesian Club event

-               International Food Festival

-               The increasing student body diversity

-               Celebration of Black History Month

-               Diverse clubs

 

Question 9: What have been some challenges related to diversity that you have seen here at Snow College?

-               Stereotypes/Pre-conceived judgments

-               Language barriers

-               Group racism

-               Lack of acceptance of diverse students

-               Being treated differently

-               Advising

-               Lack of accommodation for international students in housing (only one dorm available in the summer)

-               Diverse students must initiate their own activities (little institutional support)

-               Perceived differences in status of clubs

-               Lack of participation and support for diverse clubs

-               Problems getting an ID card for International students beyond the student ID card

-               The LDS Church’s stance on homosexuality

-               The LDS culture

-               Lack of translators

-               Academic and social barriers for international students

 

Question 10: How would you propose that Snow College increase diversity?

-               Offer more diverse opportunities/clubs for students

-               Offer more diversity focused classes

-               Offer more scholarships for international students

-               Offer more on-campus jobs for international students

-               Reduce tuition after one year for international students

-               More diversity in faculty and staff hiring

-               More diverse advisors

-               Better communication between diverse students and administration

-               Add a soccer team to increase more opportunities for international students to be engaged

-               Make students aware of opportunities available for diverse groups

-               Continue focus groups in the future

-               Provide more transportation services locally and up north

-               A diversity web page

-               Education about different groups of people, getting a dialogue started

-               Listing of diverse clubs for new students

-               More interchange between diverse groups and clubs on campus

-               More advertisements showing the diversity 

-               College needs to address the fact that some groups are being bullied

-               Need different programs and support units for international and minority students

-               Promote diversity in college videos and on the website

-               More events that are diverse and appeal to more diverse students

-               Awareness of different cultures

-               A night or week with traditional music and food, displays with information about different countries/cultures/regions sponsored by the College

-               Gallery type display on campus telling the story of other countries and peoples

 

“It’s not necessarily a question of how to increase diversity, but how to increase acceptance.” – Student quote