Analysis of academic achievement, biographical characteristics, in relation to persistence descriptors of selected Virginia community college students
Merritt, Johnnie Earl, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Chronister, Jay, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Gibbs, Annette, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Taylor, Alton, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Walter, Paul B., Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
The study was conducted to determine if there were biographical characteristics and academic variables which reveal differences between students who enter and complete their program of study from those who do not persist to the attainment of the Baccalaureate, Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, or Associate in Applied Science Degrees.
Subjects of the study were 542 first-time in college, full-time freshmen enrolled in Central Virginia Community College and Danville Community College during the Fall Quarter, 1968. The subjects were stratified into two groups: college transfer and occupational-technical.
were collected from the American College Testing Program, community college and high school records, and a biographic questionnaire. Complete data were obtained for 448 (82.6%) of the students in the study: 181 students in the college transfer program and 267 in the occupational-technical program. The 448 subjects were classified as Category I Persisters, Category II Persisters, and Non-Persisters depending if they were graduates; transferred to a four-year institution, continued their work at the community college, or went to work in an area related to their community college curriculum; or left the community college not in one of the above categories, respectively.
The academic achievement variables were treated with an analysis of variance (F-Ratio). The biographic variables were analyzed by use of means, standard deviations, ranges, and percentages. There were 8 academic achievement and 10 biographic variables included in the study. The 18 variables were included in a stepwise linear regression analysis for the college transfer and occupational-technical programs.
The p ≤.05 level was considered statistically significant for the study.
The major findings are as follows:
Academic achievement. It was determined that the academic variables for the college transfer respondents varied significantly between Category I Persisters, Category II Persisters, and Non-Persisters for high school rank, high school-grade-point-average, and American College Testing Program's mathematics and social science scores.
The academic variables for the occupational-technical respondents also varied significantly between Category I Persisters, Category II Persisters, and Non-Persisters for high school rank and American College Testing Program's mathematics scores.
There were not adequate numbers in the biographic cells to permit statistical analysis by chi-square and, as such, the study did not reflect significant differences for biographic variables. There were some descriptive differences that might be noteworthy. Older students, students who expected to work less on part-time jobs, and whites were more likely to be Category I Persisters in both the college transfer and occupational-technical programs.
The father's higher occupational status tended to be of some importance to respondents in the college transfer program, since the higher the job status, the higher the percentage of Category I Persisters. The reverse was found to be true for occupational-technical students since the lower the father's occupational status, the higher the percentage of Category I Persisters.
There was an exceptionally high percentage of Non-Persisters in the college transfer program from high school graduating classes of 400 or more students. Respondents in the occupational-technical program who did not know their family income tended to be Non-Persisters.
There was trend for community college students to attend college until they had sufficient job expertise to obtain employment. There were seventy-six of two hundred sixty-seven occupational-technical students who left college before receiving their degree and became employed in an area related to their community college training. Further, one hundred ninety (71.2%} of the occupational-technical students have been, or are, employed in areas related to their community college training.
There was a trend for community college students to transfer to four year institutions without receiving community college degrees. A review of the fifty-nine Category I Persisters in the college transfer program, forty (67.8%) reported that they did not complete a degree at the community college. There were twenty-five more respondents who reported that they were scheduled to receive a bachelor's degree during the the fifth year of college.
When combining variables, it was possible to identify those which distinguish between Category I Persisters, Category II Persisters and Non-Persisters. The college transfer stepwise linear regression determined 26 percent and occupational-technical 15 percent of the total variance identified, and yet, this is only a small portion.
Community colleges can use more effectively biographic data for counseling of students who exhibit traits of Non-Persisters.
Colleges cannot assume that obtaining a degree was the objective for students entering the community college. Obtaining job expertise for occupational-technical students and two years education toward a bachelor's degree for college transfer students were found to be of major significance.
Note: Abstract extracted from PDF file via OCR.
EDD (Doctor of Education)
Junior college students, Virginia
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