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Big difference in pre-college experience

Purdue aims to provide students with a rich college experience including both in- and out-of-class experiences. Many students expect to get involved in clubs, volunteer work, studernt governance and other activities. They formed a habit in co-curricular involvement in high school and expect to continue it in college.

But that is not the case with many international students. As the chart shows, Chinese students are much less likely to have experience with out-of-class activities from their school days.graph

Whereas more than 40% of students in other racial and ethnic groups came to Purdue with experience leading student groups, barely 10% of Chinese students did.

That matters at Purdue because students who haven't done something at their previous school are less likely to expect to do it at their new school. Involvement in co-curricular activities are an important part of the college experience, and the Division of Student Affairs doesn't want anyone to miss out. But we may need extra effort to communicate the value of those activities to students who aren't familiar with them.


This comment is based on data from the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership survey, administered at Purdue in March 2012. There wsere 1,903 valid responses to the survey.