Experiencing a number of different academic and social environments in his college career, senior Dwight Gilabert has always been interested in the effect of social environment and school location on academics. For his College of Aviation senior capstone project, he took his interest even further and delved into the records of three universities, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Prescott, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach, and Northern Arizona University, to see what, if any, correlations he could find between grades and social life.
Gilabert started his studies off with the premise that a great social atmosphere would lead to better grades and overall satisfaction. To build his case, he contacted each school to obtain some information. Each school’s research department had years of student surveys that would become the basis for how Gilabert rated each school’s social atmosphere. The surveys focused on issues such as student satisfaction with campus events, with extra-curricular sports and activities, and overall satisfaction with school. In addition, he also looked at the city that each school was located in, whether it was large and had a rich social atmosphere, or whether it was small and lacked any sort of social atmosphere.
Along with an analysis of each school’s social climate, Gilabert also looked at the academic records of each school. He focused on grade reports issued by year, detailing how well students did each academic semester.
While saving the majority of his findings for his presentation on April 24, Gilabert was able to say that some of his findings were quite shocking. After experiencing major “culture shock” from transitioning from the Daytona Beach campus to the Prescott campus, he expected that student performance would be much lower in Prescott than back in Daytona Beach because of the lack of social environment. Instead, not only is student academic performance better on the Prescott campus, students are also generally happier on the Prescott campus than their Daytona Beach counterparts. If you want to learn about more of his findings, Dwight will be presenting his findings on April 24 in AC-1 Room 115 at 1:50 p.m.