Alexander W. Astin

Alexander W. Astin
University of California, Los Angeles | UCLA · Department of Education

Ph.D.

About

142
Publications
275,206
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11,942
Citations
Citations since 2016
0 Research Items
3512 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600

Publications

Publications (142)
Article
In this retrospective account of their scholarly work over the past 45 years, Alexander and Helen Astin show how the struggle to achieve greater equity in American higher education is intimately connected to issues of character development, leadership, civic responsibility, and spirituality. While shedding some light on a variety of questions havin...
Article
Presents an obituary for C. Robert Pace (1912-2011). After a long and distinguished career studying the environments of America's colleges and universities, psychologist C. Robert ("Bob") Pace died of natural causes at his home in Arcata, California, on February 5, 2011, at the age of 98. Bob Pace will be remembered by his students and colleagues a...
Article
:This paper describes a comprehensive set of 12 new measures for studying undergraduate students' spiritual and religious development. The three measures of spirituality, four measures of "spiritually related" qualities, and five measures of religiousness demonstrate satisfactory reliability, robustness, and both concurrent and predictive validity....
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A new national study of college students’ spiritual development is described. Measures of five spiritual qualities–Spiritual Quest, Equanimity, Ethic of Caring, Charitable Involvement, and Ecumenical Worldview–were developed from pilot data collected from 3,700 juniors attending 46 diverse colleges and universities. These measures were subsequently...
Article
Full-text available
In most multi-campus studies of college impact that have been conducted over the past four decades, investigators have relied on ordinary least squares (OLS) regression as the analytic method of choice. Recently, however, some investigators have advocated the use of Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM), a method specifically designed for analyses tha...
Article
The main problem with traditional views of excellence is that they do not directly address higher education's most fundamental purpose: the education of students.
Article
It has been more than a decade since the U.S. Congress enacted the Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act, which requires colleges and universities to make public their six-year degree completion rates. Like several more recent state "assessment" initiatives, the reasoning behind this federal law was presumably to make higher education insti...
Article
The Review of Higher Education 29.1 (2005) 120-122 This volume is the third in a series of comprehensive reviews of the literature concerning the impact of college on students to appear in the past three and a half decades. The first, a review of some 1,500 studies conducted by Kenneth Feldman and Theodore Newcomb (The Impact of College on Students...
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Full-text available
This study utilized a national longitudinal data set of college students to examine the educational relevance of cross-racial interaction and how campuses can best structure such opportunities. The general pattern of findings suggests that cross-racial interaction has positive effects on students' intellectual, social, and civic development. The re...
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Full-text available
An analysis of three decades of data from national samples of entering college freshmen reveals that (a) there are substantial socioeconomic inequities in access to the most selective U.S. colleges and universities and that (b) American higher education is more socioeconomically stratified today than at any time during the past three decades. The i...
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Before explaining the assertion put forward in the title of this essay, let me first try to clarify what I mean by "spirituality". Since the term covers a lot of territory and means different things to different people, there's little point in trying to develop a precise definition. Instead, let me simply lay out the general territory and range of...
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The purpose of this study was to explore the extent of possible input bias associated with the rapidly growing use by colleges and universities of one-time cross-sectional assessments of students. The results presented in this study demonstrate that cross-sectional assessments of enrolled college students are very difficult to interpret because the...
Article
A fair amount of what we know about college students and how they are affected by their college experience has been learned from the data gathered in the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP). In this article, CIRP's founder surveys the past, present, and future of the thirty-seven-year-old program. (Contains 12 references.) (GCP)
Article
This is the first in a series of reports on a national study of college students spiritual development currently being conducted at the Higher Education Research Institute. The results are derived from a sample of 3,680 undergraduates attending 46 diverse colleges and universities across the United States. Each student completed a specially designe...
Article
In extending their generous invitation to prepare this autobiographical chapter, John Smart and Alan Bayer kindly assured me of two things: (1) that accepting the invitation did not necessarily constitute an admission that I was “over-the-hill”; and (2) that the chapter did not have to be strictly autobiographical and that they would welcome some c...
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Full-text available
Evidence from two longitudinal student databases collected nearly a decade apart suggests that undergraduate education in the United States has been "transformed" in many ways that are consistent with national reform efforts that emerged during the 1980s. Institutions have strengthened their capacity to foster faculty-student interaction, student-s...
Article
In this article we suggest that despite decades of compelling research in suchfields as behavioral medicine and mind-body medicine, a more integral, less fragmented approach is still needed. We argue that one of the obstacles to realizing a more holistic-oriented medicine (ie, biopsychosociocultural) has been the lack of a comprehensive conceptual...
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This report summarizes the highlights of a national survey of college and university faculty that was conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) in fall and winter of 2001-2001. This is the fifth in a series of surveys conducted on a triennial basis. Results are based on the responses of 32,840 full-time college and university facu...
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This 35th annual report of national normative data on college freshmen is part of the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) longitudinal study to assess the effects of college on students. The freshman data reported here are weighted to provide a normative profile of the U.S. freshman population for use in policy analysis, human resourc...
Article
Examines the design of service learning research using psychologist-philosopher Ken Wilber's fourfold scheme. By interfacing Wilber's two dichotomies (interior versus exterior and individual versus group), researchers can access a comprehensive framework for conceptualizing the full range of service learning outcomes to study. Wilber's framework ca...
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This study addresses the question of whether the effects of volunteer service during the undergraduate years persist once students leave college. Data are drawn from 12,376 students attending 209 institutions who were followed up four and nine years after college entry. Results show that even when pre-college service participation is controlled, st...
Article
This article provides a personal account of some of John Holland's theoretical, empirical and developmental work during the period 1954 through 1963. It shows that fun as well as creativity characterized aspects of the development of the Vocational Preference Inventory, the Environmental Assessment Technique, and two large-scale longitudinal resear...
Article
During the past three years more than 80 scholars, students, and educational leaders have participated with the Higher Education Research Institute in an extended series of dialogues about issues of spirituality, authenticity, meaning, wholeness, and self-renewal in higher education. These dialogues explored issues related to: achieving a greater s...
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Originally published in March/April 1996, reviews the interconnections between two national reports, "Involvement in Learning," and the "Student Learning Imperative." Focuses on the issue of shared values and demonstrates how student affairs professionals can utilize the most recent research to realize the full potential of the reports' recommendat...
Article
The current challenge for higher education is not to change its traditional beliefs but to become more conscious of them and the role they play in academic life. Such inquiry will show that preoccupation with acquiring resources, enhancing reputations, and being smart has had an effect contrary to academics' own best interests and to the institutio...
Article
The Review of Higher Education - Volume 21, Number 2, Winter 1998
Article
Full-text available
Based on entering freshman and follow-up data collected from 3,450 students (2,287 women and 1,163 men) attending 42 institutions with federally funded community service programs, the impact of community service participation on undergraduate student development was examined. Even after regression analyses controlled for individual student characte...
Article
Attempts to assess institutional performance by means of retention rates, student performance on standardized tests, and other raw outcome measures are seriously flawed because such measures fail to take into account the powerful effect of student inputs. In this study, national longitudinal retention data on 52,898 students attending 365 baccalaur...
Article
Argues that the current U.S. educational system helps perpetuate some social problems; at the heart of this situation are beliefs held about the role of higher education in the larger society. Proposes that service learning as a powerful tool for colleges, both to address social problems and to strengthen experiential learning, which is central to...
Article
The 31st annual report of national normative data on college freshmen is part of the Cooperative Institutional Research Program's longitudinal study to assess the effects of college on students. Data are based on 251,232 entering students at 494 of the nation's two- and four-year colleges and universities in Fall, 1996. The normative data are repor...
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This lecture decries the lack of any real sense of community in the modern university. It argues that the fundamental difficulty of creating a greater sense of community in higher education institutions is a problem of values. Competitiveness and materialism are emphasized more than those values that support and nurture a sense of community. There...
Article
While higher education researchers have long been concerned with the development and application of methods to adequately assess the impact of college on students, strong advances in statistical theory and computational practice have shifted this focus from the fundamental issues of research design to the application of appropriate statistics. This...
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Describes the development of an empirical typology of college students using national data from the Cooperative Institutional Research Program for the period 1971–1980. A factor analysis of 60 items pertaining to behaviors, attitudes, expectations, values, and self-concept yielded 7 identifiable factors (Scholar, Social Activist, Artist, Hedonist,...
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New students entering higher education institutions in the United States have undergone dramatic changes during the past two decades. This paper summarizes some of the major trends observed in these surveys and discusses possible implications of the findings for educational policy and practice. Each fall since 1966 the Higher Education Research Ins...
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This report presents survey data (from 194,182 students at 382 higher education institutions) on the characteristics of students attending American colleges and universities as first-time, full-time freshmen. The normative data presented are reported separately for men and for women and for 35 different groupings of institutions. The major stratify...
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This report summarizes the results and presents statistical data (two-thirds of the report) of a 1988 followup national survey concerning the impact of different types of college environments on development of 1984 and 1986 freshmen. The survey involved the following general categories: satisfaction with college, talent development during college,...
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The best kind of performance-based funding system is that which encourages and rewards good practice. Any state incentive program should encourage colleges and universities to develop a comprehensive database, conduct more and better talent development assessments, increase student-faculty contact, and increase student involvement in learning. (MSE...
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An institution that exists primarily for its own sake--that identifies itself primarily in terms of its resources and reputation--compromises its capacity as an instrument for improving society. Colleges need to transcend their institutional egos and concern themselves with their impact on students and society. (MLW)
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The effects of state policy on private higher education institutions were assessed by means of multivariate analyses of several national longitudinal data bases. Increases in the level of state student aid (dollars per student) were associated with: (a) overall enrollment increases in the less selective private institutions; (b) increased enrollmen...
Article
Results of the Cooperative Institutional Research Program's annual surveys of college freshmen since 1966 are presented separately for men, women, and all freshmen. In addition to a narrative summary, the normative data are presented under seven headings: academic skills and preparation, demographic trends, high school experiences, educational and...
Article
Recent data in a longitudinal study are examined for insights into the retention patterns of institutions, characteristics of students who persist or drop out, and student satisfaction with the college experience. (MSE)
Article
In the following three excerpts from his 1985 Achieving Educational Excellence: A Critical Assessment of Priorities and Practices in Higher Education, reprinted by permission of Jossey‐Bass Publishers, Alexander W. Astin describes and critiques four traditional conceptions of educational excellence, explains and defends the talent development appro...
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Higher education's principal reason for being is seen as that of developing student talents. This premise suggests that a high-quality institution is one that maximizes the intellectual and personal development of its students. Student involvement is seen as the cornerstone of academic excellence. (MLW)
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Discusses pluralism and how colleges seek to meet the special needs of different student subpopulations. Reviews research on college students and the implications of issues relating to pluralism and discusses trends in academic skills, demographics, majors, career plans, and values. (JAC)
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It is argued that equal education and excellence are not mutually incompatible, but that by embracing new and more valid conceptions of excellence, both can be achieved. Two approaches to assessing institutional quality are compared: reputational, based on consensus of opinion, and resource, based on quantitative measures. (MSE)
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Discusses institutional quality and its implications for college admissions counselors in terms of changing student interests, recruitment, and outcomes of education. Describes the influence of college characteristics such as size and reputation on students' choice of a college and on high school counselors' advice. (JAC)
Article
The "value-added" conception of excellence in education, unlike any traditional view, focuses on the ability of a school or college to affect its students favorably and equitably. It focuses on changes in the student from the beginning to the end of the educational program. The "value-added" approach would involve the testing of students entering a...
Article
Trends in the characteristics of students who go directly on to college after completing high school have been surveyed for the past l6 years. Findings on significant trends are cited and analyzed: (1) Students are less well prepared academically than entering students of 10 or 15 years ago. (2) Declining academic skill levels are reflected in the...
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Five approaches to measuring higher education quality are outlined and criticized as incomplete: the nihilist, reputational, resources, outcome, and value-added approaches. Feedback from students and faculty is the key to discovering and improving institutional contributions to student development. (MSE)
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The Cooperative Institutional Research Program, the largest ongoing study of higher education in the United States, is discussed in terms of its conceptual framework, technical aspects of data collection, and uses of the data in research and national policymaking. (Author/MSE)
Article
The effect of the managerial style of a college's administrative team on student and faculty behaviors is examined. Reported are the findings of a five-year nationwide study that collected data on the style of administrations at each of 49 colleges and universities and information on the degree of student and faculty satisfaction and involvement at...
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Five views of quality education are identified: the mystical, the reputational, the resources, the outcome, and the value-added. A new approach is proposed with the emphasis on good teaching, unpublicized student evaluations, and disinterested peer evaluation. (Author/MLW)
Article
Efforts to implement affirmative action programs will not be effective until alternatives to the traditional use of standardized tests in admissions, grading, and tracking are considered. These test scores are used in college admissions to predict college grades. Some kind of selective admissions process is needed, but admissions procedures should...
Article
The annual report of national normative data on characteristics of students entering college as first-time, full-time freshmen is presented as part of the Cooperative Institutional Research Program. The 1979 survey is based on questionnaires completed by 289,814 new freshmen entering 560 two-year and four-year colleges and universities. Of these, 1...
Article
The texts of three conference papers are presented in this volume. The papers are: Student-Oriented Management: A Proposal for Change (Alexander W. Astin); Goals, Outcomes, and Academic Evaluation (Howard R. Bowen); and A Summary of the 1978 COPA Summer Conference (Charles M. Chambers). The first addresses the definition of quality in administratio...
Article
Is it possible to weigh disadvantagement in admissions? The results of preliminary research suggest that objective measures of disadvantagement can be developed so as to increase minority students' chances of being selected.
Article
Increasing the participation of minority groups at lower educational levels appears to offer substantially greater potential for eventually increasing the representation of minorities in graduate and professional schools than do changes in graduate and professional school admissions procedures.
Article
Changes in student attitudes, beliefs, self-concepts, and behaviors are reviewed, and findings on their satisfaction with various aspects of the college environment are summarized. Also discussed are sex differences and patterns of student development and their implications for both governmental and institutional policy. (AF)
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Institutional averages of entering freshman scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and the American College Test (ACT) were combined and edited to produce a single institutional measure of selectivity for 2,601 institutions. Older scores were adjusted to reflect decreasing performance over time, and ACT scores were converted to SAT equivalent...
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One area where sex discrimination has received relatively little attention is in recruiting and hiring administrators. This research examines how many women are working in top administrative posts in higher educational institutions in the United States. (Author/RK)
Article
It is possible to argue that higher education in the United States has evolved into a highly refined institutional-status hierarchy. Examines this hierarchy in both the private and public school systems with particular attention to the kinds of students attending these institutions. (Author/RK)
Article
The freshman survey data reported here have been weighted to provide a normative picture of the college freshman population for persons engaged in policy analysis, manpower planning, administration, educational research, guidance and counseling, as well as for the general community of students and parents. The survey instrument was the Student Info...
Article
The book is based in part on an unusual kind of social experiment whose main purpose was to see if a diverse group of 19 colleges and universities could be stimulated to undertake changes in their policies and programs that would be designed primarily to improve the educational environment for students. The stimulus for change was comprehensive dat...
Article
The impact of financial aid in helping a student stay in college is examined from data collected in 1972 from students who entered college in 1968. The findings include: (1) Students, especially men, who rely on loans for support during college increase their chances of dropping out. (2) Students who rely on scholarships or grants increase their ch...
Article
Equal access in public higher education is discussed because the public system is more susceptible to modification through changes in public policy. Related issues are: (1) selectivity of public institutions; (2) student characteristics; (3) educational resources and benefits; (4) student financial aid; (5) educational expenditures; and (6) educati...
Article
This testimony, by the Director, Cooperative Institutional Research Program, University of California, Los Angeles, before a public hearing of the New York City Commission on Human Rights in May 1974, is stated to place special emphasis on possible explanations for recent changes in earlier trends in minority enrollments. (Author/JM)
Article
As part of a follow-up study of a national sample of 59,000 freshmen who enrolled in colleges or universities in the fall of 1966, 14 random samples of approximately 1000 students each were assigned to various mail survey techniques. Cost and response rate data were examined to determine the relative cost-effectiveness of the techniques. The result...
Article
To produce meaningful results, research on col lege impact must be multi-institutional and longitudinal in de sign. Further, as more and more college-age youth actually enter higher educational institutions, the value of studies of college attendance versus nonattendance decreases, and the value of studies of the comparative effects of different co...
Article
The "invisible" colleges - private, often church-affiliated institutions with relatively open admissions policies and enrollments under 2,500 - comprise one-third of the four-year colleges in the United States and enroll almost 500,000 students. The author believes that only these colleges can offer their particular students the kind of college exp...
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Speculates on what some of the basic features of a dual manpower-job placement system should be, stressing that the 2 have a close relationship and could complement each other. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Full-text available
Two significant sociological theories which have been invoked in research about undergraduate aspirations are tested. The data, based on a national sample of students, contain some key measurements which had been missing from previous studies as well as a series of additional control variables. In general, relative-deprivation theory receives stron...

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