Compared to when they were entering freshmen, college juniors are more likely to be engaged in a spiritual quest, are more caring, and show higher levels of equanimity and an ecumenical worldview. While 41.2 percent of freshmen in 2004 reported they considered developing a meaningful philosophy of life âvery importantâ or âessential,â just three years later in 2007 a 55.4 percent majority of those same students agreed. Additionally, âattaining inner harmonyâ was reported as âvery importantâ or âessentialâ by 48.7 percent when they were freshmen in 2004, and jumped to 62.6 percent by 2007.
âMany students are emerging from the collegiate experience with a desire to find spiritual meaning and perspective in their everyday lives,â said UCLA Emeritus Professor Alexander W. Astin, Co-Principal Investigator for the project. âThe data suggest that college is influencing students in positive ways that will better prepare them for leadership roles in our global society.â