Heritage Language Survey Report

Sec. 2/10: Demographics of the Respondents

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The following questions examine the demographic make-up of the respondents.

2. What university are you enrolled in?

In the initial stages of the survey, the UC system, especially UCLA, was targeted, and the responses continue to reflect an overwhelming number of participants who attend a UC campus. 1134 (70%) of our respondents were from a UC, 266 (16%) were from a CSU, and 231 (14%) were from outside the UC or CSU systems.

2a. Which UC are you enrolled in?

Again, as the survey was initially focused on UCLA language classes, the largest category of respondents from the UC system came from UCLA. Responses also came from Davis, Irvine, San Diego, Riverside, and Berkeley.

2b. Which non-UC, non-CSU are you enrolled in?

Of the non-UC, non-CSU universities that participated in the survey, the highest number of responses received from a single institution came from Rutgers University, which has a high enrollment of Russian heritage speakers. Responses also came from the University of Oregon, Columbia University, University of Hawaii-Manoa, Temple University, Portland State University, and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

3. What is your gender?

Following the trend among foreign language learners in general, the majority, 1065 (64%), of HLL respondents to the survey are female and 611 (36%) are male. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2000/2001, 13,260 college students obtained a bachelor’s degree in a foreign language, and of these students, 9,604 (72%) were females (see table 287 at http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d02/dt287.asp).

4. Age

As the survey was administered to language classes at colleges and universities, most students fall in the 17-22 year age range. 725 respondents are in the 17-19 year range, and slightly more, 766, are in the 20-22 year range. 122 answered that they were 23-25 years old, 48 were 25-30, and 13 were over 30.

5. Class Level

Class Level    
Undergraduate 1639 98%
Graduate 27 1.6%
Professional 2 0.1%
Other 5 0.3%

The results for class level correspond to the results for age. The vast majority of respondents were undergraduates, with only 27 graduate and two professional students. These results are also in keeping with the class level of most college students enrolled in language classes. In the “Other” category, one respondent reported being a high school student, and two were non-degree students.

6. If you are a transfer student, where did you attend college before?

Most respondents, 1115, were not transfer students. Of those who did transfer, 200 transferred from a California community college, 28 from a University of California campus, 5 from a California State University, and 4 from a private California college or university. Of the 48 “Other” respondents, many transferred from non-California community colleges and some from universities abroad.

7. What is your major?

Biological Sciences 609
Financial Studies 451
Social Sciences 711
Other Sciences 202
Miscellaneous 191
Languages and Linguistics 208
Other Humanities 223
International Studies 165
Ethnic Studies 130
Engineering 112
Arts and Design 80
Health Sciences (Except Biological) 72
Criminal Studies/Justice 52
Computer Sciences 30

Respondents reported a variety of majors that were then grouped into larger general categories. The sciences by far formed the largest category, with most majors in the biological sciences. This category includes all majors with “bio,” biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, microbiology, etc. Health Sciences include nursing, clinical nutrition, etc. The most common major reported under Other sciences was psychology, with relatively large groups of mathematics, physiological science, and neuroscience. Financial studies mainly included economics, business economics, finance, and business. Social Sciences mostly included students who studied Communications, Geography, History, and Political Science. Engineering consisted mostly of Electrical and Mechanical engineering majors. Arts and Design included mostly majors in design, art history, music, and film and media. International studies included mostly political science and international relations majors, as well as smaller categories like global studies and international development. Ethnic studies include not only Ethnic Studies majors, but also Chicano and Chicana Studies, Asian Studies, Chinese Studies, etc. In the Other Humanities grouping, English, History, and Sociology majors were the most numerous, with smaller groupings for Anthropology and Communications Studies.

8. Do you live with your parents?

751 (45%) respondents reported that they live with their parents, and 866 (52%) reported that they do not. Of the 52 (3%) “Other” respondents, the majority reported that they lived alone or in the dorms during the week, but went to their parents’ home for weekends or holidays.