International Journal of Management Science and Business Administration
Volume 6, Issue 6, September 2020, Pages 51-57
Student Development Survey: A Case Study from Maranatha Christian University, Indonesia
1Candra Sinuraya, 2Robert Oloan Rajagukguk, 3Regina Fabian
1,3 Accounting Departement, Universitas Kristen Maranatha, Indonesia
2 Psychology Departement, Universitas Kristen Maranatha, Indonesia
Abstract: This survey research aimed to understand the development of Maranatha Christian University students enrolled in 2017 using Chickering Model (1993), as part of longitudinal research to monitor and to evaluate the level of students’ development each year. The participants of this study were MCU students enrolled in the 2017 academic year. Data gathering method used direct survey. Variance analysis used to interpret the data using SPSS software. Total participants in this study were 1,149 individuals. The results of the study showed: (a) almost all students enrolled in 2017 are mature enough to get into the next stage of development, (b) half of the students will be needing helps cultivating their areas of competence (intellectual, manual-physical, and social), managing emotion, and interdependency, (c) identity establishment, development of purpose, and integrity are not priority for the first-year study.
Keywords: student development, self-development, Chickering, identity, seven vectors.
Each educational level has different focus and goal, in which each of those will have to be align with individuals’ development stages. (Gardner, 1990). Most college students are in late adolescences. As adolescence, their developmental task is identity formation (Kerpelman et al, 1997; Nakula, 2006). In this stage of development, students will explore their world and learn to commit on their life choices. This identity formation process is a crucial process, because this identity will affect their behaviour for the rest of their life. (Marcia, 1980). Hence, in order to develop themselves holistically, college students need supports and assistant from their environment. The role of higher education is to provide such environment. Because of that, the focus and goal of university are different from those of elementary and secondary schools. In elementary and secondary schools, students learn every subjects in general, but in the university level, they only learn subjects that will help them cultivate the knowledge and skills in specific area. The dynamics of college student’s life is different than previous level of educations. For example, in elementary and secondary school tend to have fixed schedule—from 07AM to 02PM each day. In college, students’ schedule can be quite random; from morning to evening or only at noon. In the previous level of educations, students assigned in specific class for a whole year, but in college, each student will be taking different amount of classes depending on which they choose to take. Another difference is regarding the interaction with the educators. In elementary and secondary schools, teachers are more proactive reminding students to do their home works, to attend classes, and so on; in college, lecturers almost never ask them to do their homework or to attend classes. In other words, university students have to give more attention to their own schedule, to manage their own schedule, to motivate themselves to do the tasks at hand, and to socialize with other students, lecturers, and other employees. College environment is more dynamic and provides more opportunity for students to realize their full potentials.
College students’ development is crucial because, after graduating, they will be going to work. The professional area, individuals will be facing more demands with less room for trial and error. Furthermore, a college is one that can prepare their graduates on how to face the professional world. Which means, these students will be ready with both hard and soft skills. University should also equip its students with a holistic self-development.
In reality, some universities are only focused on improving their students’ intellectual development. They give less attention toward other personal aspects such as emotional, social, and spiritual. Chikering (1993) stated that colleges should take up more role in growing these other areas of competence, Therefor its graduates are individuals with balance competence that will contribute to the society. Maranatha Christian University has over half a century of experience in yielding college graduates. This university has approximately 11,000 students, 26 programs, and nine faculties. The standard duration of study is around 7-9 semesters.
Based on the interviews conducted over 18 alumni from Maranatha Christian University regarding how their study at Maranatha help them in finding a job, as much as 72.2% individuals stated that they applied to many companies and would work for whichever hiring them. From those 18 individuals, 44.4% stated that they had left their first job before a year. As much as 83.3% stated that the knowledge they gained from their college years were inapplicable in their jobs. Aside from that, around 77.7% of them also had trouble adjusting with their jobs.
At the same time, based on another interview on forth year students with twelve students, 66.7% of them still had no clear career orientation, and 25% of them chose to attend graduate school. Most of the respondents stated that they would be working; however, they still had not decided which area and types of companies they want to join. Other respondents already had some ideas on their ideal jobs; however, these ideals did not look realistic enough. Whereas, in their last year of college, these students should have known what they would do next after they graduate (Chickering & Reisser, 1993).
Those surveys gave us a general idea on how students from Maranatha Christian University were not enough prepared to enter the professional work, however, it were relatively easy for them to start to work. In many self-development areas, alumni felt deprivation and even incompatibility between what they learnt in college and what they needed to do in their jobs. Compared to Student Identity Development Theory from Arthur Chickering (1993), these alumni were not growing enough while they were in college, resulting in they are being unready to work. There are seven areas of development – called vectors – used to evaluate students’ development processes. Mature students should have (1) adequate competence, (2) ability to manage their emotion, (3) moving through autonomy toward interdependency, (4) developing mature interpersonal relationships, (5) established identity, (6) developing purpose, and (7) developing integrity. At the same time, from both interviews, there were indications that students of Maranatha Christian University were under-developed in terms of self-development.
Other symptoms often found on students of Maranatha Christian University relate to their ability in self-management, priority making, and developing interpersonal relationship. Many students are negligent in doing their tasks. Hence, they are not able to meet the agreed-upon deadlines, or their works do not meet the standard of quality. They skip classes, resulting in inadequate minimum attendance; hence, they often banned from taking the final test. These conditions resulting in failing classes and non-optimized study evaluations.
From an interview conducted toward 15 students, they stated that the most difficult things they faced are time and living cost management. These more often experienced by students living apart from their parents because no one was around to remind them to study, to eat healthy food, and to come home on time. Many friends from school became their distractions because they ended up spending time playing around. Even in the study group, they spent more time gossiping than studying or finishing a task.
In interpersonal relationships, as much as 46.7% students claimed to be lonely. They attributed it to the fact they had no close friends. Other factors laid at the fact that their friends are taking different classes. As much as 26.7% students stated that they chose to skip taking some classes if s/he did not know anyone from that class. When asked about how satisfying they were on their interpersonal relationship, 53.3% students felt that they felt somewhat dissatisfied over the friendship patterns in Maranatha Christian University. Majority of respondents stated that many friends were so choosy over who they wanted to befriend someone else when they needed something. Aside from that, many students also felt forgotten whenever their friends got new friends or boy/girlfriend. As much as 40% students stated that most students treated college like it were high school. In this case, they felt that students made cliques and surrounded themselves only with specific group of friends. They needed to remind about any tasks, tests, or quizzes. They also needed friends to do any other activities. These indicated that students have low social competence.
From that result, it concluded that Maranatha Christian University students have not met the criteria of self-development for their age. Many students are in shock with the fact that college is significantly different from high school. These sudden changes inhibit them in adjusting themselves. At the same time, should these students be unable to do so, it will be difficult for them to be productive, to grow, and eventually to contribute to society. This condition will cause a problem because the essence of higher education is to help students in self-development so they can help the society develop.
There are two factors given attention to; those are internal and external. First, the internal factor talks about the students themselves. It related to their motivation to learn and attitude toward college. These internal factors will determine the internal force of effort in developing themselves in college. Students whose motivation are strong in choosing and finishing the program they took will be more likely to succeed. At the same time, students whose motivation are low and lacking clear reasons to study will struggle in maintaining their academic performance and self-development. The motivation level and and clarity of purpose will help students in making prioritize in college.
Second, the external factor refers to Maranatha Christian University’s environment supporting these areas of development. In this case, the university’s learning environment has not been able to provide a conducive climate in preparing and assisting its students in forming their identities and becoming a mature individuals.
Based on the previous explanation, Maranatha Christian University needs to evaluate its effort in creating a conducive climate to learn and nurture their area of competences. It hoped that its graduates will be individuals who are ready to face the professional work and contribute to the society. This research will provide the empirical data describing the level of self-development in students of Maranatha Christian University. It will provide a foundation in making a sufficient programs targeting student development integrally, not just their academic competence.
Through this study, the university will be able to make such programs. These programs expected to help students to live up to their full potentials, and so the university can create graduates with integrity, care, and excellence. It is one responsibility of Maranatha Christian University to increase the quality of its graduates, therefore this study hoped to be the project providing the data needed to do so.
2. Literature Review
2.1 Student Development
The concept of student development is a concept of development in a higher education context. This concept emphasises the direction of development in some aspects of a student’s life. In this model, development isn’t a simple-staged process. A college education will push individuals to develop some of these aspects of life. This movement toward a direction is called a vector.
Essentially, a college education will develop four-vectors used by students to establish their identity. These four vectors are competence, emotional management, autonomy, and mature interpersonal. Students will get a clearer picture regarding their future and career goals, values, and mind-set. Here, students will be able to create and maintain some satisfactory relationships. These will increase students’ awareness over their self-esteem,
Eventually, the seven vectors expected to develop in their college years are (Chickering, 1993; Forkom, 2003 in Rustam, et al. 2007):
- The developing competence. There are three aspects of competence developing in students’ college years; those are intellectual competence, physical and manual competence, and interpersonal competence. Individuals need to develop their own skills and confidence in these three aspects. Intellectual competence refers to individual’s ability to think in a more planned, sophisticated, and elaborated way. Physical and manual competence refers to one’s ability to maintain their strength, endurance, and discipline. Interpersonal competence refers to individual’s adjustability to his/her social environment, ability to respond appropriately in different context, to integrate personal and group goals, and to use suitable strategy in groups so that it can work smoothly.
- Managing emotion refers to an individual’s ability to express and to utilise both positive and negative emotions in balance. In this vector, a student needs to foster a sense of awareness toward all positive and negative emotions s/he feels. This awareness will help them to express their emotions appropriately to the contexts. In other words, individuals will have flexible control over their emotions. Have also required assertiveness, participation, emotion identification, and maintaining emotional attachment with their environment.
- Moving through autonomy toward interdependency refers to one’s quality to self-motivate and self-directing. In other word, mature students will move toward a goal with some persistence, being who they are, while still being aware of others’ significance in their life. In these vectors, students must learn to function in a relatively sufficient way, responsible toward one’s own goal, and relatively independent from others’ opinions. They should develop some autonomy without forgetting the needs of others.
- Developing mature interpersonal relationship refers to the development of tolerance and appreciation toward differences as well as increasing their capacity to be intimately involved with others. This showed through tolerance, acceptance, and capacity to nurture mature relationships.
- Establishing identity refers to students’ attainment of accurate, realistic self-concept that are capable, familiar, and worthwhile. This identity formation is a result of the previous four Students expected to be comfortable in their skin, gender and sexual orientation, having a sense of self in a social, historical, and cultural context, and able to acknowledge another opinion while maintaining a stable and integrated self.
- Developing purpose refers to students’ coherent self-directing ability in integrating their identity with their interest, career choice, and lifestyle. In these vectors, students expected to be capable of doing things with clear intentions, figuring out their interests and choices, planning their goal, and fighting off challenges. There are three major elements in this vector; those are planning and career aspiration, personal interest, and interpersonal commitment.
- Developing integrity vector related to identity formation and goal clarity. Personal values and beliefs will be a strong foundation in interpreting experience, directing behaviours, and maintaining self-respect. There are three overlapping stages in these vectors; those are the humanisation of values—integrating self-interest with humanitarian needs, personalisation of value—affirming values and beliefs by acknowledging others beliefs, and developing congruency—adjusting personal values with socially responsible behaviours. In this case, there are established personal values (such spiritual life) guiding their behaviours that emphasises on social responsibility.
Just like most humanistic models, this model is also based on optimistic view on human development, with assumption that nurturing and somewhat challenging environments will develop student’s personal self holistically. The goal of higher education is to help their graduates excel in multiple aspects of their lives.
2.2 Adolescence and College Adjustment
According to Sarwono (2006), there are three stages of adolescences journeys toward adulthood; early adolescence, mid-adolescence, and late adolescence. Most students enter college at the age of 18-22, or late adolescence. This stage is a consolidation phase toward adulthood, identified by attainment five areas: steady interest in intellectual function, desire to socialise and experience seeking stabile sexual identity, balancing self and others’ interests, and capability to be separate themselves and their social groups.
Generally, college education helps adolescence to think critically. In personality development, these students will also be more independent, religious, and critical toward authoritarian figures. They will be less dogmatic, becoming more open-minded, and more accepting toward new ideas. They will lower their degree of authoritarianism. They accept others are different individuals, a decrease of ethnocentrism, stereotyping, and prejudice. They have a positive attitude toward freedom, and they tend to see their seniors as a more tolerant and permissive compared to their juniors.
Framework and Development of Hypothesis
The framework of this study is depicted in the figure below:
Figure 1: Conceptual Framework
The conceptual framework above shows the dynamic of the seven vectors of student’s development. There are seven areas of self-development that interconnected and effected by the environment of Maranatha Christian University itself.
Starting college, students have already developed to a certain degree of maturity as a result of their previous educations. This condition then assessed by doing a survey. The result of this survey would answer our first questions in the problem identification. This condition would then be compared to assessment toward students going through at least four-years of college (class of 2013 and previously) to gather empirical data regarding differences in self-development in newcomers and more senior students. This will answer the second questions in problem identification.
Following that, after these freshmen enrolled in 2017 interact with life in Maranatha Christian University, through academic and extracurricular activities they undertake, another follow up survey will be conducted in the second, third, and forth year of their study. This will answer the fifth question in problem identification.
Also, this study will also test this student development model using correlational statistic from each vector of class 2017 students. This will answer the third and fourth questions in the problem identification.
3.1 Research Type
In overall, this quantitative study combined both cross-sectional and longitudinal approach as well as descriptive and correlational analysis. There are multiple stages in this study, those are:
- First, survey will be conducted resulting a quantitative description of 7 development vectors. This will show the maturity level of Maranatha Christian University students enrolling in 2017 academic year. Data gathering process will be conducted by distributing questionnaires on the targeted population. After that, each questionnaire would be scored and statistically analysed. Descriptive analysis provided us an overall picture of these students’ condition entering college.
- The second stage of this study will employ a comparative-correlational approach aiming to differentiate the level of maturity between the class of 2017 cluster, class of 2013 or previously (students graduating soon) cluster, and in between the two clusters. Data gathered from each group compared.
- The third stage is model testing. In this stage, regression analysis conducted toward competences, management of emotion, interdependency, mature interpersonal relationships, and identity development.
- On the fourth stage, another model testing done by correlating identity establishment vector, purpose in life, and integrity.
- Lastly, in the fifth stage, a longitudinal comparative study conducted in the class of 2017 clusters. It done by gathering the data on them at the end of their first, second, third, and fourth year. The measurement of each assessment compared to the first year measurement.
3.2 Population and Sample
The population for this research is all of the Maranatha Christian University students enrolled in 2017. There was no technique sampling used because the data gathering is conducted on all members of the population. This approach is chosen over sampling so individual records of student’s development can be used for the longitudinal study.
3.3 Research Variables and Operationalization
The variable of this study is student development with seven sub-variables as its indicators. Those sub-variables measured in this study are:
- Competence is a degree of capabilities of a student in fostering his/her knowledge, maintaining and regulating his/her health and lifestyle, as well as creating and sustaining his/her interpersonal relationships.
- Managing emotion is a degree of capability of a student in acknowledging and expressing his/her feelings in appropriate times and situations.
- Interdependency is a degree of student’s ability to do what needs to be done without depending on others’ opinions and demands. In this case, student is able to choose their own activities, advice, and environment that are suitable with his/her goals.
- Interpersonal relationship is a degree of student’s ability to build and maintain a healthy social relationship. Which means, student is able to choose individuals whom together, they will help each other grow. In this sub-variable, there are some types of interpersonal relationships, such acquaintances, friendship, and romantic relationship.
- Identity is a degree of self-acceptance, in which a student feels comfortable being his/herself and sufficiently functioned in one’s environment.
- Future and career choices is a degree of clarity a student has regarding what s/he wants in life including his/her career, so that the efforts given directed to those goals.
Integrity is a degree of congruency that student has regarding values s/he believes, says, and does. Integrity showed by student’s responsibility toward the environment and society.
4. Result and Discussion
This section will descript the findings from survey conducted earlier on class of 2017 students. Just like how it planned, the participants of this study are all of the students enrolled in 2017. From approximately 1,400 individuals, this study managed to gather 1,149 participants (data gathering was done until 11th August 2017).
The distributions of our population based on faculty is as followed: 27% from faculty of economy, 14% from faculty of art and design, 13% from faculty of medicine, 11% from faculty of engineering, 10% from faculty of psychology, 8% from faculty of literature, and 6% for each from faculty of information engineering and faculty of law, and 5% from faculty of law. Based on sex, the majority of participants were women for 57,6% and men fir 41,9%, and 0.5% were not specified. From the measurement on these 2017 class, the majority of students fell into the category of adequately developed, that is 61.3% of the population. As much as 36,0% were into the highly developed, 2,5% were somewhat developed, and 0,2% were under-developed.
In the competence vector, the result shows that 51.3% of students were adequately competent and 8,1% students were highly competent. This indicated that in general, these students were self-sufficiently nurture their intellectual competence, manual and physical competence, and social competence. The other 30,6% and 1% of students were somewhat developed and under-developed respectively. It means, these students need to cultivate these intellectual, manual and physical, and social competence as a specific vector of self-development. In the managing emotion vector, the majority of students were categorized as adequately capable and highly capable in managing emotion, that is 42,5% and 10,1%. This means that these students are able to managing their own emotion appropriately. The other 42,7% of students were somewhat capable, 4,5% were less able, and 0,2% were unable to manage their emotion. This calls for some ways to nurture this ability. As much as 8,2% students were highly interdependence, 50,4% were adequately so. The other 39,8% were somewhat interdependence, followed by 1,5% and 0,2% of students were in the low and very low category of interdependency. On the maturity of interpersonal relationship vector, 56,4% of students were adequately capable and 21,6% were highly capable. The rest would need more effort in nurturing this vector. Those are 21,2% were somewhat capable, 0,7% were less able, and 0,1% were unable. Regarding establishment of identity, 62,6% of students were categorized as having high degree of self-acceptance and 31,4% were adequate. The other 5,7% were somewhat accepting themselves, 0,2% had low acceptance, and 0,1% had very low self-acceptance. In purpose in life vector, majority of students, that was 61,5% considered themselves as having clear purpose in life. The other 18,8% stated that they know exactly what their purpose were. As much as 18,3% stated that they have somewhat clear ideas of what their purposes were. Followed by 1,3% and 0,1% of students stated that they didn’t really know and didn’t have any goals yet.
From the total population, 31,8% of students had high integrity and 49% had it adequately. As much as 18,5% of students were somewhat integral. The other 0,2% and 0,1% had it low and very low. The following table shows the overall result of the data.
Table 1: Result of Vector Measurements
Source: Data process, 2018
Based on the previous result, it is safe to conclude that:
- Almost all of Maranatha Christian University students enrolled in 2017 are matured enough to step into the next stage of self-development.
- Almost half of the students are needing help in nurturing their competences (intellectual, manual and physical, as well as social), managing their emotion, and interdependency.
- One out every four students are needing help in cultivating their ability in building and maintaining a mature interpersonal relationship.
- The identity establishment, purpose in life, and integrity vectors aren’t the current priority to nurture in the first year of college.
- Based on these result, it is advisable to do a follow-up study using correlational method between demographic factors and these development vectors.
- It is advisable to do a comparative study comparing this subject category and the classes before them.
- This result should be used by the student affair body to make a set of self-development programs for students. These programs will target the prioritized vectors such competence, managing emotion, and interdependency in students of 2017 class.
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