System noise in feedback mechanisms presently utilized by Florida community colleges

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System noise in feedback mechanisms presently utilized by Florida community colleges
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Delaino, George T ( George Thomas ), 1942-
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Subjects / Keywords:
Community colleges -- Administration -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Feedback control systems   ( lcsh )
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bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

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Thesis:
Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 54-55).
Statement of Responsibility:
by George T. Delaino.
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.

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University of Florida
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SYSTEM NOISE


IN FEEDBACK MECHANISMS


PRESENTLY UTILIZED


FLORIDA


COMMUNITY


COLLEGES


GEGiGE


DELAINO


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED


TO THE


GRADUATE


COUNCIL


OF THE


UNIVERSITY


OF FLORIDA


PARTIAL


FULFILLMENT


OF THE


REQUIREMENTS


DEGREE


OF DOCTOR


OF PHILOSOPHY


UNIVERSITY


OF FLORIDA














ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


The past few years in which I have combined my

family responsibilities, my work, and my studies have

been both enjoyable and satisfying.


Of the many people to whom I


owe thanks for this


successful


time,


culminating in this dissertation,


particularly want to mention a few.


First,


are my wife,


children, and parents who have shared my


life and let me


share theirs.


Secondly, Dr.


John


Turner has given me an


opportunity to work in an enjoyable and productive environ-

ment at Santa Fe Community College while pursuing my studies.

The members of my committee need separate mention for


their patience and encouragement.


James L.


Wattenbarger


presented me with the opportunity and gave me guidance that

served me in my program and will continue to serve me in my


professional


endeavors.


Dr. John M. Nickens has certainly


contributed more to my academic success


than any other in-


dividual.


Far beyond this,


he has been a counselor, a


mechanic,


and a friend.


Paul R.


Varnes,


who also


assisted me in my master's program,


has been thorough in


hi t;cgiCgtnnrn nn thi di csertatlon.















TABLE OF


CONTENTS


Page


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


S~ S S S S a a S S S S ii


LIST OF

ABSTRACT

CHAPTER


TABLES


a a a


INTRODUCTION


VlI

vii

1


Problem


Procedure


CHAPTER II


REVIEW


RELATED


LITERATURE


S S S 51


Feedback Mechanism


Open


Accuracy Of


tem


a S S S S S 5 1


Self-Repor


ted Data


Summary


a S S S S SS S S S2


CHAPTER


RESULTS


AND


DISCU


SSIONS


S S S S S 52


Comparison


Data


listing


With


Data


of
Data


Extrapolated


Self-Reported
From Ex-


Files
Data


S 41


CHAPTER


SUMMARY,


CONCLUSIONS AND


RECOMMENDATIONS
STUDY . .
Summary .
Conclusions .
Recommendations


Further


Study


FOR FURTHER


for


S S S S S S S S 5 5 5 551


APPENDIX

RrrFDrrMFP


a~ ~ a a a 5 5 5 5 5 5 9 a


j /I














LIST OF TABLES


Page


Graduates Located on Florida State


University System Fil
Term, 1977 ----------


Table 2.


Table 3.


for Fall


Graduates Located on the Department
of Commerce Unemployment Insurance
Files, Final Quarter, 1977------------------

Graduates Not Located on the Florida


State University


tem Files Who


Were Located on the Department of
Commerce Unemployment Insurance Files


Table 4.


Table 5.


Table 6.


Total Graduates Located on Either
State University System or Department
of Commerce Files -------------------


Number of Graduates Responding to
Questionnaire -----------------------

Graduates Who Indicated Attendance in


the State University


tem But Who


Were Not Located in the State


University System Files


Table 7


Graduates' Indicated University of
Attendance Compared to University of
Attendance Extracted From State


University System Files


Table 8.


Table 9.


Discrepancies Between Graduates'
Indicated University of Attendance and
Attendance Data Extracted From State
University System Files --..----------


Graduates' Indicated Grade


.-a-- A -


Table 1.










LIST OF TABLES (continued)

Table 11. Extracted Grade Point Average for
Those Graduates who Responded to the
Questionnaire but did not Indicate
Their Grade Point Average -----.----

Table 12. Comparison of Extracted Grade Point
Averages for Those Graduates who
Indicated a Grade Point Average and
Those who did not Indicate a
Grade Point Average ------------

Table 13. Comparison of Grade Point Average
Extracted From State University
System Files With Grade Point Average
Indicated on Questionnaire --------

Table 14. Summary Comparison of Grade Point
Average Extracted From State Uni-
versity System Files With Grade
Point Average Indicated on
Questionnaire ---------------------


Page




- 30





- 30




- 31


Table 15. Comparison of Area of Study Ex-
tracted From State University
System Files and Area of Study
Indicated on Questionnaire ----


Table 16. Areas of Study That Were Indicated by
More Graduates Than Were Actually
Enrolled --------------------------


Table 17. Areas of Study Indicated by Less
Graduates Than Were Actually
Enrolled -- ----- ------------ ------ -- --

Table 18. Comparison of Graduates' Indicated
Area of Employment With the Area of
Employment Derived From Department
of Commerce Files --------------------------


Table 19. Extracted Monthly Salary for
Graduates who Responded to the
Questionnaire and who Indicated
Their Mnnf-hlv rv ........










LIST OF TABLES (continued)

Table 21. Comparison of Extracted Monthly
Salary for Graduates who Supplied
Monthly Salary Data and Graduates
who did not Supply Monthly
Salary Data ---------------------


Table


Table


Page


Graduates' Indicated Monthly Salary


Comparison of Monthly Salary Ex-
tracted From Department of Commerce
Files With Monthly Salary Indicated
on Questionnaire -----------------


Table 24. Summary Comparison of Extracted
Monthly Salary and Indicated
Monthly Salary -----------


Table 25. Comparison of Extrapolated and
Actual Numbers of Graduates En-
rolled in the State University
System ------------------------


Table 26.


Comparison o
of Graduates
With the Act
From the Sta
Files ------


f Extrapolated Number
in Each Area of Study
ual Number Extracted
te University System


Table 27. Number of Graduates in Each Salary
Range Extrapolated From the In-
dicated Monthly Salary of Graduates
Responding to the Questionnaire ---


Table 28. Number of Graduates in Each Salary
Range Extrapolated From the Ex-
tracted Monthly Salary of Graduates
REsponding to the Questionnaire ---


Table 29. Comparison of Extrapolated Salary
Ranges With Actual Salary Ranges
Extracted From Department of
Commerce Files ----------------














Abstract of Dissertation Presented
to the Graduate Council of the University of Florida
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy


SYSTEM NOISE IN FEEDBACK MECHANISMS
PRESENTLY UTILIZED BY FLORIDA COMMUNITY COLLEGES

By


George


December


Chairman: James
Cochairman: John
Major Department:


L.
iM


The purpose of thi


to which noise,


Delaino

1979


Wattenbarger
. Nickens
Educational Administration
and Supervision


s study was to determine the extent


in the form of inaccurate or incomplete data,


existed in the feedback mechanism presently utilized by

Florida community colleges for collecting the placement data

necessary to determine whether graduates are successful in

achieving the terminal objective of their program.


Specifically,


comparisons were made between self-


reported data for university of attendance, grade point


average,


and program of study and matching data elements


ex-


traced from Florida State University System data files.











Findings


included


inaccuracies


in questionnaire data


grade


point


averages


salaries


differences


tween


respondents


and non-respondents


for university of


attendance,


grade


point


averages


salaries.


conclusion


study


was


that


use


questionnaire


data


feedback mechanism


community


colleges


are


obvious


extrapolated


Extensive


efforts


limitations,


total


should


especially when


population


forth


the data


graduates.


find alterna-


tive


sources


data


that


can


shown


more


valid.


questionnaire


data must


used,


efforts


must


be made


validate


results


and


correct


variations


between


responding


and non-responding


groups.














CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION


The community college


is an open,


living system that


attains a dynamic equilibrium or steady state by making


changes based on feedback from its environment.


This steady


tate exists when the equilibrium shifts to a new position


of balance after disturbance


(Chin,


1969, p.


05).


alternative is a closed system which is isolated from its


environment and inevitably moves toward entropy


(disorgani-


nation),


a death state


(Immegart,


1969,


168)


If a community college is to be successful in main-


training dynamic equilibrium


it must insure that it receives


adequate feedback from its environment with a minimum amount


of noise


(inaccurate or incomplete data).


This feedback is


the process of receiving input or


signals from the environ-


ment.


Lonsdale


(1964)


defines feedback as "


. the process


through which the organization learns:


it is the input from


the environment to the system telling it how it is doing as


a result of its output to the environment"


175)


Norbert Weiner


(1961,


coined the word cybernetics










environment.


In this study,


the community college would


be the system,


the graduate would be the output and place-


ment studies of the graduate would be the feedback mechanism.


If necessary,


the system (community college) would react to


feedback bringing the output more in line with the


pectations of the environment,


ex-


thereby maintaining the


community college in a steady state.

It should be noted that placement studies are only one


of several


feedback mechanisms utilized by community colleges.


The total process of output evaluation of which placement


studies are a part is called follow-up.


While placement


studies


see


k academic or employment status of community


college graduates,


follow-up studies are more comprehensive,


seeking information concerning the adequacy of graduates'


academic,


minal


skill or attitudinal preparation for their ter-


objective.


Historically,


the primary method of data collection in


placement studies has been use of questionnaires sent to the


entire population of graduates


for an academic year.


This


is an expensive and time consuming procedure which usually


results


in a very


low percentage of the survey instruments


being returned.


Utilizing techniques that increase the per-


centage of returns or test for representativeness can reduce








3

order to represent all categories of students and the

numerous programs offered in most community colleges,


large numbers of


cases


are still required.


This study attempted to determine whether currently


used feedback systems,

placement data, result


the feedback mechanism.


that of questionnaires to collect


in the interjection of noise into


study also attempted to de-


termine the impact this noise had on the final results of

the placement studies.


The Problem


Statement of the Problem


The problem in this study was to evaluate the extent


to which noise,


data,


in the form of inaccurate or incomplete


existed in the feedback mechanism presently utilized


by Florida community colleges for collecting the placement

data necessary to determine whether graduates are successful

in achieving the terminal objective of their program.


Specifically,


this study proposed to:


Determine the accuracy and completeness of transfer


information pertaining to the graduates'


self-reported


university of attendance.


Determine the accuracy and completeness of transfer


i nfn rm ati nn ner l ii n in tn the radl]nates '


self -renorted








4

Determine the accuracy and completeness of employment


data pertaining to the graduates


' self-reported area of


employment.


Determine


the accuracy and completeness of employment


data pertaining to the graduates'


self-reported salary


information.

6. Determine the accuracy of extrapolations for the total


population of graduates based on self-reported data


from


graduates who elect to respond to questionnaires.


Delimitation


The collection of student data was confined to Associate

of Arts and Associate of Science graduates from a selected


Florida community college.


stricted to


Transfer information was re-


those graduates who attended an institution in


Florida State University System.


Employment data were


restricted to those graduates who were employed in Florida

and whose employment files were included in the Florida State


Department of Commerce Unemployment


Insurance files.


Justification for the Study


Florida community colleges are required to submit


annual


reports that reflect the status of their graduates


from the previous year.


The importance of these reports


has significantly increased as both state and federal agencies








5
Taxpayers and their legislative rep-
resentatives at all levels are hard
pressed to continue the level of
support required to finance the ever
expanding costs of education. Evi-
dence justifying the investment in
public community colleges should
prove useful to those responsible
for deciding between alternative
uses of public funds. (p. 17)

Kastner later pointed out the importance of placement

data as this justifying evidence:

The community college educational
system is making a positive contribu-
tion to the economic well-being of
the nation and the current trend in-
dicates that the contribution will
expand.

The attractiveness of this level of
postsecondary education is destined
to improve its relative position as
the number of graduates from occu-
pational programs, who receive higher
beginning salaries than those who
graduate from four-year institutions,
is increased. Furthermore, cost data
at the course and program level are
now being identified in a number of
states; and more detailed follow-up
and placement studies concerning com-
munity college graduates are now be-
ing conducted. (p. 26)

The importance of these data is further emphasized by

proposed legislation in Florida that would eliminate state

funding for occupational programs that could not show that

50% of the graduates received employment in their area of
t,-ini nn Thr' VIn t srnnc Arm i ni c t rn + in ha nrnmil oa ted rl lec










With


this


level


importance


being


relegated


placement data,


obvious


that


introduction


noise


feedback mechanism


could


result


change


or deletion


a program,


contrary


actual


societal


needs.


Figure


depicts


role of placement


data as


feedback mechanism


programmatic


decision


process


community


college


system.


Input


(entering


students)


NOISE








Feedback


Figure


Based


feedback


of placement


data,


decisions


may


made


increase


or decrease


number of


Output
(program completed)










of a specious decision.


A series of these invalid decisions


would significantly depreciate the value of the community

college.

Definition of Terms


Community college--an institution supported by public

funds and governed by a publicly appointed or elected board,

which offers the first two years of postsecondary instruc-


tion;


including university parallel programs, and programs


in at least one of the following two areas:


vocational/


technical and continuing education.

Feedback--the use of parts or all of the output of a

system as input back into some phase of the system to be

used for self-correcting purposes.


Florida Community Junior College


Inter-Institutional


Research Council--a consortium of Florida community colleges


established in 1968 to


facilitate inter-institutional


re--


search and to foster institutional research.

Graduates--persons receiving either an Associate of


Arts or Associate of Science degree


from a Florida community


college.

Noise--inaccurate data elements or incomplete data that

results in erroneous feedback to a system from its environ-

ment.










Procedures


Study Design


This study was conducted in the following six phases:


The selected community college supplied a computer tape


containing the name and social


security number for selected


graduates.


The graduates were matched by social security number


with existing data files to obtain transfer and employment

information.


The selected college used five questions to seek trans-


fer and employment data from the same population of graduates.


Comparisons were made between the data from existing


data files and the self-reported data from questionnaires.


Separate extrapolations for the total population of


graduates were made


from those graduates who responded to


the questionnaire and from those graduates identified in


ex-


listing data files.


Comparisons were made between the


ex-


trapolated figures.

Sample

The sample for this study consisted of all Associate of


Arts and Associate of Science 1976-77


uates


academic year grad-


from the selected community college.


It is assumed that the geographic location or size of










Instrumentation


Five questions were used by the college in the ques-


tionnaire phase of this study


(Appendix, p.


53).


questions were designed to elicit information that could be


coded,


converted to machine readable form and then compared


with data available from existing files.

Data Collection


The selected graduates were matched by social security

number with Florida State University System data files to


determine


university of attendance,


grade point


average, and (3) program of study.


The graduates were then


matched by social security number with the Florida State De-

partment of Commerce Unemployment Insurance files to de-


termine


(1) area of employment, and


(2) monthly salary.


The same population of graduates were then mailed

questionnaires asking that they report certain information


concerning their current status.


The questionnaire included


the five questions necessary to determine their


(1) uni-


versity of attendance,


of study,


grade point average,


(4) area of employment,


(3) program


and (5) monthly salary.


The questionnaire was administered during the same


time period covered by the


two existing data files.


Data Treatment










from existing Florida State University


System data


files.


Compare the relationship between grade point

average data from questionnaires and from

existing Florida State University System

data files.


Compare


the relationship between program of


study data from questionnaires and from ex-

isting Florida State University System data

files.

Compare the relationship between area of

employment data from questionnaires and from

existing Florida State Department of Commerce

Unemployment Insurance files.

Compare the relationship between salary data

from questionnaires and from e'-isting Florida

State Department of Commerce Unemployment

Insurance files.

Compare the relationship between extrapolations


for the total


population of graduates based on


data from questionnaires and extrapolations for

the total population of graduates based on

data from existing data files.










definition of terms and procedures.


The second chapter


provides a review of related literature concerning feed-

back mechanisms and the present state of placement studies

as a segment of the community college follow-up process.

Chapter three compares self-reported data with data from


existing data files,


and presents a comparison of extrapo-


nations of self-reported data and extrapolations of data


from existing files.


The final chapter summarizes the study


and presents conclusions and recommendations for further

study.













CHAPTER II

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE


The placement data collected by Florida Community

Colleges is an integral component of the feedback process

necessary to insure that the colleges are meeting a valid


community need.


This review of literature will develop the


concept of the feedback mechanism as a necessary element in

any system that aspires to attain a state of dynamic equi-


librium with its environment.

an overview of the very limit


The review will also present


:ed information available con-


cerning the accuracy of self-reported data.


The Feedback Mechanism In


The Open System


Ludwig von Bertalanffy


(1968),


original proponent of


a general systems theory,


defined a system as a "set of


elements standing in interaction"1


. 38).


He felt that the


concept of a "systems theory" would allow communication to

exist between the sciences and would allow "formulation of


principles that are valid for systems in general,


whatever


the nature of their component elements and the relations or


forces between them"


37) and that these are universal










A system is an entity composed of


(1) a number of parts,


(2) the re-


lationship of these parts and (3)
the attributes of both the parts


and the relationships.


(p. 30)


They perceived systems theory, not as a discipline in

itself but as "a methodology, an approach, a mode of thought


. for dealing with problems or situations"


(p. 30).


Elaborating on these definitions of systems, Immegart

(1969) stated:

The word system can be used to refer
to a vast array of things from the
smallest whole to the total universe.


There are value systems, number


sys-


stems, solar


teams,


school systems,


spacecraft systems, and even betting


systems.


(p. 167)


Hearn (1958) stated:


General


stems theorist


s believe that


it is possible to represent all forms


of animat


e and inanimate matter


systems; that all forms from atomic
particles through atoms, molecules,


crystals,
individual


viruses, cells, organs,
s, groups, societies, planets,


solar systems, even the galaxies, may


be regarded as systems.


They are im-


pressed by the number of times the


same principles have been independently


"discovered" by scientists working in


different fields


(p. 38)


Further:


. there are properties which are
common to systems of every order, al-
though manifest in different forms,
_----- i 1 -- _










A school system is an open, living
social system which can be concep-
tualized in a number of ways in


terms of system theory.


For example,


an individual school might be con


ceptualized as a system;


its depart-


ments,


sec


tions,


and divisions as


subsystems; and the central staff,


the board of education,
education agencies, and,


the state
if present


trends continue,


even federal


edu-


cation agencies may all


in the order


listed be conceptualized as supra-
systems. (i. 641


If a school


tem,


a community college,


can be defined


as a system then it is necessary to determine what prop-


erties of a system and what principal


teams theory


apply to this particular


tem.


Immegart


(1969), summar-


izing the work of Griffiths


(1964) and Hearn


(1958),


listed


the following properties of all systems:

1. All systems exist in time-space.
2. All systems tend toward a state of


randomness and disorder,
mate of which is entropy,


the ulti


or inertia.


All systems have boundaries,


which are


more or


s arbitrary demarcations of


that included within and that excluded
from the system.


All systems have environment,


which is


everything external


boundary of)


(without the


the system.


All systems have factors that affect
the structure and function of the
system. Factors within the system
are variables; factors in the system's
environment are parameters.


All but the


largest


systems have


suprasystems.
All but the smallest systems have


iI










this study is


limited to open systems since, as Morphet


et al.


(1974) noted, a school system "is an open,


living


social system"


Griffiths


a model


(1964),


in a discussion of system theory as


to use in the investigation of organizations,


stated:


Systems may be open or closed. An
open system is related to and exchanges


matter with its
closed system i


environment while a
s not related to nor


does it exchange matter with its en-


vironment.


Further, a closed system


is characterized by an increase


entropy, while open
ward the steady stat


teams tend to-


System theory deals only with systems
having the properties of systems in
general, together with certain char-
acteristics which distinguish them


from


closed systems.


115)


Griffiths listed the following six characteristics of an open

system:


Open


teams exchange energy and


information with their environment;


that is,


they have inputs and out-


puts.

Open systems tend to maintain them-
selves in steady states.


Open systems are


elf-regulating.


Open systems display equifinality;
that is identical results can be
obtained from different initial
conditions.










of a system which is fed back
to the input and affects succeed-


ing outputs,


and to the property


of being able to adjust future
conduct by past performance.
CP. 116)


Two of the properties


listed by Griffiths relate


directly to this study and need further clarification and


emphasis.


These are the


tendency of open systems to "maintain


themselves


in steady states" and use of "feedback processes."


Chin (1969) defined two types of equilibrium:


stationary equilibrium exists when


there i


s a fixed point or


level of


balance to which the system returns


after a disturbance.
such instances in hu


We rarely find
iman relationships.


A dynamic equilibrium exists when the


equilibrium shift


s to a new position


of balance after disturbance.


205)


Chin felt that a system will react to any outside im-

pingements by:


resisting the influence of the


disturbance,


edge its existence,


refusing to acknowl-


or by build-


ing a protective wall against the


intrusion,
maneuvers.


and by other defensive


by resisting the disturbance through
bringing into operation the homeo-
static forces that restore or re-


create a balance.


by accommodating the disturbance
through achieving a new equilib-


rium.


205)










1974).


Strategies 1 and


are characteristic of a


closed system while strategy


is characteristic of an


open system.


Morphet et al.


(1974) hypothesized that "If any social


system (including the school system)


fails to learn from its


environment,


it will eventually fail


to survive in that en-


vironment"


The process of learning from the en-


vironment is called feedback.


Norbert Wiener


(1961)


coined the word "cybernetics"


to cover the entire field of control and communication


theory.


An integral factor in this new "science" was feed-


back which he defined as follows:

It is enough to say here that when we
desire a motion to follow a given
pattern the difference between this
pattern and the actually performed
motion is used as a new input to
cause the part regulated to move
in such a way as to bring its mo-
tion closer to that given by the
pattern. (p. 7)


Chin (1969)


stated:


While affecting the environment, a


cess


gath
are
then
inpu
tion
back


we call


er info
doing.
fed ba
t to gu
s. Thi
un.


ou


rmation
Such i


tput, systems
about how they
information is


ck into the system as
ide and steer its opera-
s process is called feed-
206)


I n ( -Cnrtnh l n t-cnAl n c i a c 1 n A t- nn


lIn~n


Innr rl nln










a result of its output to the environ-
ment. This feedback-input is then
used to steer the operation of the


system.


Miller


173)


(1965) pointed out that feedback is not an


immediate nor infallible process:


The feedback signals have a certain
probability of error. They differ
in the lag in time which they re-
quire to affect the system.


Their lag may be minimal, so that
each one is fed back to the input


of the main cha


next s
their
eral s
before
decisi


ignal is
lag may
signals m
they ar
on about


b
a
r


transmit next.


nnel before the
transmitted. Or
e longer and sev-
y be transmitted
ive to affect the
what signal to
(p. 222)


Pfiffner and Sherwood


(1960)


agreed with the possi-


ability for error and emphasized the importance of the in-

strument used to collect the feedback information:

Essential to feedback is the notion
that the flow of information is ac-
tually having a reciprocating effect
on behavior. This is why the term
loop is frequently associated with
feedback. This circular pattern in-
volves the flow of information to
the point of action, a flow back to
the point of decision with informa-


tion on the action,


and then a re-


turn to the point of action with
new information and perhaps in-
structions. A primary element in
this process is the sensory organ,
the instrument through which infor-
I*** I ^ t nfl,''










Accuracy Of Self-Reported Data


General


texts on research in education discuss ques-


tionnaires as a means of surveying large groups relatively


inexpensively (Best,


1977).


Other advantages mentioned are


that the questionnaire requires little time to administer


and that it permits respondents to remain anonymous


and Robb,


(Turney


1971).


In discussing means of increasing response rates,


(1966)


Good


stated that "follow-up usually is necessary in reach-


ing a goal of a high percentage of questionnaire returns


(above 95 percent)"


In an earlier discussion,


Good


(1954)


stated that a


"high percentage of returns,


above 95 percent,


is now known to be important"


625).


Best


(1977)


elaborated on the problems of low response


rates:


As a result of sparse response, often
as low as 40 percent to 50 percent, th
data obtained are often of limited va-


lidity.


The information in the un-


returned questionnaires might have
changed the results of the investiga-


tion materially.


The very fact of


no responses might imply certain types


of reactions,


reactions that can never


be included in the summary of data.
(p. 157)


Smedley and Olson


(1975) were even more blunt in their


discussion of the questionnaire as a research instrument:










advantage of being inexpensive, how-
ever, there is little to recommend its
use. (p. 10)


Kerlinger


(1965) went one step further:


The mail questionnaire has been popu-
lar in education, although it has
serious drawbacks unless it is used
in conjunction with other techniques.
Two of these defects are possible
lack of response and the inability
to check the responses given. These
defects, especially the first, are
serious enough to make the mail ques-
tionnaire worse than useless, except
in highly sophisticated hands.
(p. 414)


He further stated:


If they are used, every effort should
be made to obtain returns of at least
80 to 90 percent or more, and lacking
such returns, to learn something of
the characteristics of the non-respondents.
(p. 414)


Turney and Robb


(1971)


reiterated the previously men-


tioned shortcomings of the questionnaire and questions the

truthfulness of the respondent:

Although questionnaires can be used
to advantage in many research pro-
jects, they are not without limita-


tions.
coming i


One rather obvious short-
s that, if the question-


naire is mailed, the number of re-
turns may be small. If only 20


percent of the mailed questionnaires
are returned to the researcher, it
is very doubtful that the data col-
lected are sufficient for use in the










perception, and lack of interest may
adversely affect the quality of re-


sponses.


Furthermore,


little assurance that all of the re-
sponses will be truthful. (p. 130)

Besides these general discussions of the questionnaire,

the only research found were studies by Bruce Walsh that


there can be


sought to determine


the accuracy of responses while ignoring


the problems with non-respondents.


1968)


His first study


involved college level students and concluded,


(Walsh,

"In


general,


questionnaire methods of collecting self-report data


show evidence of validity under varied conditions for bio-


graphical information


186).


second study


(Walsh and Maxey,


1972)


surveyed high


school students and concluded:

In general, students gave accurate
responses to the four academic items
as evidenced by the high relationship
between the self-reported grades and
the school reported grades. (p. 564)


Summary


Community colleges are open systems and must maintain

close contact with the environment if they are to attain a


dynamic equilibrium,


a necessary condition for survival of


any open system.

The process of receiving input from the environment


T : 4- ni-anr \nrirr~rrri Cna bnr-rl 4c1f nrl.ir t-mli


rl 1










The literature indicated that low response rates,


complete and inaccurate responses and biased samples created

problems with the use of questionnaire data in the feedback


process.


Even when total populations were used,


the dif-


ferences between respondents and non-respondents could result

in use of biased data.














CHAPTER III

RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS


Comparison of Self-Reported Data
With Data From Existing Data Files


There were a total of 992 1976-77 graduates of the

selected community college who were identified for inclusion


in this study.


These graduates were matched by social


se-


curity number with Florida State University System data


files.


Table 1 reflects the number and percent of these


graduates who, according to the files, were attending each of

the nine state universities during the Fall Term, 1977.


Table 1.


Graduate


Located on Florida State University


System Files for Fall Term, 1977


University Number of Percent
Graduates


Florida Agricultural & Mechanical

Florida Atlantic

Florida International

Florida State

University of Central Florida


University of Florida


77.3


--








24

The same graduates were matched by social security

number with the Florida State Department of Commerce Un-


employment Insurance files.


Table


indicates the number


and percent of graduates who were located on the Department

of Commerce files during the final quarter (October, No-


member and December),


Table


1977.


Graduates Located on the Department of Commerce
Unemployment Insurance Files, Final Quarter, 1977


Number


Status

Located


Percent


48.4


Not Located


51.6


TOTAL


100.0


After elimination of the 396 graduates who were


located


on the State University System files,


Table


shows the num-


ber and percent of graduates who were located on the Depart-

ment of Commerce files.


Table


Graduates Not Located on the Florida State University
System Files Who Were Located on the Department of
Commerce Unemployment Insurance Files


Status Number Percent

Located 313 52.5

Not Located 283 47.5
.Atr r, 101 0


_ __










Table 4.


Total


Graduates Located on Either State Uni-


versity System or Department of Commerce Files


Status Number Percent

Located 709 71.5

Not Located 283 28.5

TOTAL 992 100.0


The same 992 graduates were mailed questionnaires re-

questing that they report certain information concerning

their present status. Table 5 indicates the number of

graduates who responded to the questionnaire.


Table 5. Number of Graduates Responding to Questionnaire

Status Number Percent

Responded 541 54.5

Did Not Respond 451 45.5

TOTAL 992 100.0


Utilizing the population of graduates as identified and


described above,


each research question was approached


separately.


Research
Question
Number 1


Compare the relationship between university
of attendance data from questionnaires and
from existing Florida State University


System data files.

Graduates were asked to indicate whether they were en-








26

Table 6 shows those graduates who indicated attendance at

one of the nine state universities but who were not located

in the State University System files.


Table 6.


Graduates Who Indicated Attendance in the State
University System But Who Were Not Located in
the State University System Files


University


Graduates Not Located


Number


Percent


Florida Agricultural 5 Mechanical


Florida Atlantic


Florida International


Florida State

University of Central Florida


University of Florida


University of North Florida


University of South Florida


University of West Florida


76.5


TOTAL


100.0


Table


compares the university of attendance indicated


on the questionnaire with the university of attendance

traced from the system files.


CX-


0


____ I __ ~










Table


Graduates'
Compared t
From State


Indicated
o University
University


University
y of Atten
System Fi


d


of Attendance
ance Extracted


les


University
Indicated University Located


Florida Agricultural & Mechanical

Florida Atlantic

Florida International

Florida State

University of Central Florida

University of Florida

University of North Florida

University of South Florida

University of West Florida


UWF USF UNF UF


UCF FSU FIU FAU FAMJ


Table


summarizes


discrepancies


between


grad-


uates'


indicated


university


attendance


attendance


data


extracted


from


state


university


system


files.


Table


Discrepancies
University of


Extracted


From


Between


Graduates'


Attendance and At
State University


Indicated


tendance


System


Data
Files


Status


Number


Percent


Indicated different
one extracted from


Indicated


on SUS


university


file


university
file


from


located


11.8


- -- ---








28

Those graduates who had continued their education by


transferring to


a university in the State University System


accurately reflected their attendance.


The two who indicated


attendance at a university different from the one extracted

from the file could be explained by a mistake in completing

the questionnaire or in the process of preparing the data

for computer analysis.

The 34 graduates who indicated attendance but were not

located on the State University System files cannot be as


easily explained.


While they might have attended the uni-


versity in the past or they might have had intentions to


attend in the future,


indicated.


they were not attending at the time


Accepting the questionnaire data on these


graduates would increase the number presumed to be attend-

ing the State University System from 255 to 289.


Research
Question
Number 2


Compare the relationship between grade
point average data from questionnaires
and from existing Florida State Uni-
versity System files.


Graduates were asked to


indicate their grade point


average at the institution attended by placing a check mark


beside the interval


that included their average.


The inter-


vals offered were:

Less than 1.50


1.50 to


1.99


-










Table 9.


Graduates


' Indicated Grade Point Average


Interval Number Percent


Less than 1.50

1.50 to 1.99


.00 to

.50 to


29.5


00 to 3.49


Over 3.50


TOTAL


100.0


Table 10 lists the extracted grade point average for

those graduates who were located on the State University

System files and who answered the question concerning their

grade point average.


Table 10.


Extracted Grade Point Average for Those Graduates
who Responded to the Questionnaire and Indicated
Their Grade Point Average


Interval


Number


Percent


Less than 1.50


1.50 to 1.99


11.0


00 to


.50 to 2.99


16.4


3.00 to


3.49


19.9


Over 3.50


22


15.0


-- ----- ----- --


~""''" --








30

System files, who responded to the questionnaire but who

did not answer the question concerning their grade point

average.


Table 11.


Extracted Grade Point Average for Those Graduates
who Responded to the Questionnaire but did not
Indicate Their Grade Point Average


Interval Number Percent

Less than 1.50 13 12.8

1.50 to 1.99 14 13.7

2.00 to 2.49 27 26.5

2.50 to 2.99 18 17.6

3.00 to 3.49 18 17.8

Over 3.50 12 11.8

TOTAL 102 100.0

Table 12 compares the grade point average extracted from

the files for those graduates who answered the grade point

average question on the questionnaire and those who did not.

Table 12. Comparison of Extracted Grade Point Averages for
Those Graduates who Indicated a Grade Point
Average and Those who did not Indicate a Grade
Point Average
Total Graduates Who Did Graduates Who
Interval Number Not Indicate GPA Indicated GPA


Number


Percent of Number


Column


Percent of


Column


Less
1.50
'2 ( f


than 1.50
to 1.99
i-n 9 A0


13
14
77


*i 1


13.7
76 S


~~t. t.L L'








31

Table 13 compares the grade point average extracted

from the State University System files with the grade point

average indicated on the questionnaire.


Table


Comparison of Grade Point Average Extracted From
State University System Files With Grade Point
Average Indicated on Questionnaire


Extracted Grade Point Average


Less
than
1.50


1.50
to
1.99


2.00
to
2.49


2.50
to
2.99


3.00
to
3.49


Over
3.50


Total


INDICATED
GRADE
POINT


Less than 1.50

1.50 to 1.99


AVERAGE


2.00 to


50 to


3.00 to 3.49

Over 3.50


TOTAL


'146


Table


14 summarizes the data in Table 13,


reflecting the


number of graduates who indicated a grade point average


lower,


the same as or higher than the grade point average


extracted from the State University System files.


Table


Summary Comparison of Grade Point Average Ex-
tracted From State University System Files With
Grade Point Average Indicated on Questionnaire


Indicated GPA was


Number


Percent








32

Only 146 of the 255 graduates who were in the State

University System and who responded to the questionnaire


answered the question concerning their grade point average.


This significantly reduced the already low response rate for


these data.


The 102 graduates who did not indicate a grade


point average were distributed across the GPA interval


s in


approximately the same proportions as the 146 who indicated

a grade point average.

More importantly, Tables 13 and 14 reflect that the in-

dicated grade point averages were clearly higher than the

grade point average extracted from the State University System


files.


While nine (9) or 6.2% of the indicated grade point


averages were lower than the extracted, seventy-six (76)

or 52.0% of the indicated were higher than the extracted.


Sixty-one (61) or 41.8% of the indicated grade point averages

were the same as the extracted.


Research
Question


Compare the relationship between area of study
data from questionnaires and from existing
Florida State University System data files.


Graduates were asked to indicate their area of study at


the institution they were attending.


This area of study was


converted to the primary Higher Education General Information


NOTE:


This difference can be partially explained by the


.I.L M~l.l n~irf n J~n n -u-n, ,.n-, ,; ,, i-b0 js -C, ret tm nth t











System discipline


code


compared


with


same


code


extracted


from


Florida


State


University


System


files.


Table


reflects,


each


area


study,


number


graduates


whose


indicated


area


study


extracted


area


study


were


same.


also


reflects,


each


area


study,


number


graduates


stated


they were


enrolled


that


area


when


they were


and


number of


graduates


actually


enrolled


area


when


they


had .indicated


some


other


area


study.


'Table


Compar i


son


University
dicated on


Area


Study


System Files
Questionnaire


and


Extracted From State
Area of Study In-


Graduates In- Graduates I
dicated and were dicated and
Enrolled Were Not
Enrolled


Area of Study


1
25


0
8
3
0
0
2
0
9
13


Graduates Did
Not Indicate
But Were
Enrolled


Agriculture
Architecture


Area Studies
Biology
Business
Communications
Computer Science
Education
Engineering
Fine Arts
Health


Home
Lett


Economics
ers


Mathematics
Physical Science
Psychology
Public Affairs
Qorinl Snirnce


0
15
0
5
2
2
5
0
0
3
7
4


L


_ _t I___








34

The scattered nature of these data and its unsuit-

ability for further aggregation made it extremely difficult


to determine trends


in the inaccuracies in reporting.


ditionally the difference between the indicated area of study

and the area of study extracted from the State University

System files could have been the result of a change by the

student that was not yet updated in the file rather than an

inaccuracy in the questionnaire data.


Despite these reservations,


it was possible to select


areas of study that were indicated by more graduates than


were actually enrolled


(Table


and areas of study that had


more graduate


enrolled than the number that indicated they


were


in that area


(Table 17)


Table 16.


Areas of Study


Graduates


That Were


Indicated by More


Than Were Actually Enrolled


Graduates Indicating
Area of Study


Area of Study


Number of Graduates
Actually Enrolled


Architecture

Area Studies

Business

Computer Science

Health

Home Economics

Phvi rcl S.r i nrpe










Table 17


Areas of Study


Indicated by Less Graduates


Than Were Actually Enrolled


Graduates Indicating
Area of Study


Area of Study


Number of Graduates
Actually Enrolled


Biology

Communications

Education

Fine Arts

Letters

Psychology


Table


16 reflects that certain areas of study were in-


dictated by more graduates than were actually enrolled.

Utilization of questionnaire data would tend to inflate the


perceived enrollments in these areas.


Table 17 reflects that


certain areas had a lower indicated than actual enrollment.

Questionnaire data would tend to deflate the perceived en-

rollments in these areas.


Research
Question
Number 4


Compare the relationship between area of
employment data from questionnaires and
from existing Florida State Department of
Commerce Unemployment Insurance files.


Graduates who responded to the questionnaire were asked


indicate their present


job title.


To allow realistic com-


prison with data from Department of Commerce files,


the job


4.- 4-C1 at-rr r rnrr* nr nrt 1.na~rl 4r n al Cal 1 nt, ,n ,y nra-I n- anini aan *











Department


Commerce


Unemployment


Insurance


files


contained an


industrial


Classification


Code


business


which


graduate


was


employed.


Whil


this


had


obvious


problems


with


large


organizations


that


would


utilize


employees


several


different


areas


employment,


an attempt


was


made


compare


data


sources.


Industrial


Classification


Codes


were


grouped


same


areas


employ-


ment


titles.


Table


compares


graduates


indicated area


em-


ployment


with


area


employment


derived


from


Florida


State


Department


Commerce


Unemployment


Insurance


files.


There


were


graduates


with


data


from


both


sources.


Table


Comparison


ployment


Graduates'


With


Area


Indicated Area


of Employment


of Em-


Derived


From Department


Commerce


Files


INDICATED AREA OF EMTPIDYMENT


Agri-
culture


Busi-
ness


Health
Occupa -
tions


Indus-
trial


Educa-
tion &4
Public
Service


Uncl.


Total


Agriculture


DERIVED
AREA OF
EMPLOY-
MENT


Business

Health
Occupations


Industrial










data,


aggregated at


this


level,


clearly


reflected


problems


employment


involved


with


with


area


comparing


employment


indicated


derived


area


from


business s


which


graduate


was


employed.


A community


college


may make


assumption


that


a graduate


nurse


work-


education and


public


service


actually working


nurse


teaching


hospital.


Likewise,


they may


assume


that


busine


graduate


working


industrial


firm


actually working


in hi


field


training.


These


assumptions


could


not


made


for the


purpose


this


study.


Therefore,


further


comparisons


were


attempted


between


indicated area


employment and


derived area


employment.


Research
Question
Number 5


Compare


data


from


Florida


relationship


ques


State


employment


tionnaires
Department


Insurance


between


from


alary
existing


Commerce


files


Graduates


responded


the questionnaire


were


asked


indicate


their present monthly


salary.


These


salaries


were


then aggregated


following


ranges:


$401
$601
$801
Over


to $400
to $600
to $800
to $1000
$1000


Florida


State


Department


Commerce


Unemployment








38

Table 19 lists the extracted monthly salary for all

graduates who responded to the questionnaire and who

answered the monthly salary question.


Table 19.


Extracted Monthly Salary for Graduates who
Responded to the Questionnaire and who In-
dicated Their Monthly Salary


SALARY RANGE NUMBER PERCENT

1 to 200 20 12.5

201 to 400 31 19.4

401 to 600 35 21.9

601 to 800 31 19.4

801 to 1000 22 13.8

Over 100u 21 13.0

TOTAL 160 100.0


Table 20 reflects the salary ranges for those graduates

who were located on the Department of Commerce files and who

did not respond to the questionnaire or who did not answer


the salary question.


ranges


Table 21 compares the extracted salary


for those graduates who responded to the salary ques-


tion and those who did not.


Table 20.


Monthly Salary Extracted From Department of


Commerce Files


for Graduates who did not Supply


Salary Data on the Questionnaire


-- ----- -- -- --'- --











Comparison of Extracted Monthly Salary for
Graduates who Supplied Monthly Salary Data
and Graduates who did not Supply Monthly
Salary Data


Graduates Who Supplied
Salary Data


Graduates Who Did Not
Supply Salary Data


Salary Range


Number


of Column


Number


% of Column


1 to 200


201 to 400
401 to 600
601 to 800
801 to 1000
Over 1000


TOTAL


12.5
19.4
21.9
19.4
13.8
13.0
100.0


26.8
23.4
20.9
10.0


12.4


100.0


Table


lists the indicated monthly salary for all


graduates who responded to the questionnaire and who answered


the monthly salary question.


Table


compares the monthly


salary extracted from the Department of Commerce files with

the monthly salary indicated on the questionnaire.


Table


Graduates '


Indicated Monthly Salary


Salary Range Number Percent


to 200


13.6


201

401

601

801


to 400


to 600


18.6


23.6


to 800


1000


13.1


l I


Table 21.


I1nn J^ /










Table


Comparison


of Monthly


Department of Commerce
Salary Indicated. on Qu


Salary
Files


Extracted


From


With Monthly


estionnaire


EXTRACTED


MONTHLY SALARY


1 to 201 to


401
600


601 to
800


801 to
1000


Over
1000


Total


INDICATED
MONTHLY
SALARY


1 to 200

201 to 400


401 to 600

601 to 800

801 to 1000


Over


1000


TOTAL


Table


summarizes


data


Table


reflecting


number


graduates


indicated a monthly


salary


lower,


same


as or higher


than


monthly


salary


extracted


from


Florida


State


Department


Commerce


Unemployment


Insurance


files.


Table


Summary


Comparison


of Extracted Monthly


Salary


and


Indicated Monthly


Salary


INDICATED MONTHLY


SALARY


NUMBER


PERCENT


Lower


than Extracted Monthly


same


Extracted Monthly


Salary


Salary


Higher


than


Extracted Monthly


Salary








41

Tables 23 and 24 clearly reflect that the monthly

salaries indicated on the questionnaire were higher than

the salaries extracted from Department of Commerce files.


Additionally,


Table 20 reflects that the graduates who did


not supply salary data have lower extracted monthly salaries

than the extracted salaries of those graduates who supplied


the data.


These factors combined result in the inflation


of questionnaire collected salary data.


Extrapolated Data


The purpose of this section is to present the final re-

search question which sought to determine if inaccuracies in


self-reported data noted in Research Questions 1


through 5


were compounded by extending the results from the portion of

the population that responded to the questionnaire to the


total population.


Research
Question
Number 6


Compare the relationship between extrapo-
lation for the total population of graduates
based on data from questionnaires and ex-


for the total population of


graduates based on data from existing data
files.

Data from each of the first five research questions

will be treated separately.

University of Attendance


trapolations


The 255 graduates enrolled in the Florida State Uni-









42
questionnaire data indicated that 289 of 541 or 53.4% of

the graduates were enrolled in the State University System.

This would extrapolate to 530 of the 992 graduates who were


enrolled.


Correcting for the 34 inaccurate responses,


ratio becomes 255 of 541 or 47.1% of the graduates enrolled.

This extrapolates to 467 of the 992 graduates.


Table


compares these extrapolated numbers with the


actualnumber of graduates who were enrolled in the State

University System.


Table


Comparison of Extrapolated and Actual Numbers
of Graduates Enrolled in the State University
System


Source Number Percent of
Total Graduates
i i i


Extrapolated from questionnaire data


53.4


Extrapolated from corrected
questionnaire data


47.1


Actual enrollment from system files


39.9


Correcting for the inaccurate questionnaire data re-

sulted in a number of graduates closer to the actual system


enrollment.


The remaining difference between extrapolated


and actual enrollments must be explained by the varying

characteristics of those graduates who responded to ques-

tionnaire and those who did not respond.








43

in the data collected could only increase the distortion


of the data if extrapolated to the total population.


Over


52% of those graduates answering the question reported a

grade point average at least one interval higher than the

average extracted from the State University System files.


Twenty-nine


(29)


19.9


reported their average at least


two intervals higher.


the group that responded to the questionnaire but


did not indicate their grade point average,


extracted average below a 2.00.


26.5% had an


Of the group that indicated


their grade point average,


only


19.9% had an extracted


average below 2.00.


Comparing these percentages with the


questionnaire data that reflected only


7% of the graduates


indicating an average below 2.00 further emphasizes the in-

accuracies of the data.

Area of Study


Of the 396 graduates located on the State University


tern fil


Of these,


88 had a code designating their area of study.


248 indicated an area of study on the questionnaire.


Utilizing the number of graduates


indicating each area of


study,


it was possible to determine the percentage and,


there-


the number of graduates


from the total population that


could be expected in each area of study.


Table 26 compares










Table 26.


Comparison of Extrapolated Number of Graduates
in Each Area of Study With the Actual Number
Extracted From the State University System Files


Extrapolated From
Indicated Area of


Area of Study


Study


Actual Extracted
From State Uni-
versity System
Files


Number


Percent


Number


Percent


Agriculture
Architecture
Area Studies
Biology
Business
Communications
Computer Science
Education
Engineering
Fine Arts
Health
Home Economics
Letters
Mathematics
Physical Science
Psychology
Public Affairs
Social Science
Physical Education
Interdisciplinary


15.6
20.3


51.6
26.6
1.6
81.4
25.0
4.7
21.9
9.4
7.8
1.6
9.4
18.8
15.6
59.4


4.9
4.3


0.2
4.6
10.5
7.7
0.2
24.0
7.5


13.3
6.9
0.4
21.0
6.5
1.2
5.6
2.3
2.0


4.8
4.0
15.3
0.8


5.2
2.8
12.6
0.5


TOTAL


388.0


100.0


100.0


A close review of the data indicates that the relation-

ship between the extrapolated enrollment and the actual en-

rollment was the same as the relationship between the ques-

tionnaire data and the extracted data of the 192 graduates


who responded to the area of study question.


That is,


ldA n(arnanatpc whon li nnt resnnnd to the questionnaire. or










Area of Employment


The difficulties encountered in making comparisons

between questionnaire data and data derived from Depart-

ment of Commerce files also apply to extrapolated data.


Therefore,


no further attempted comparisons were made.


Salaries


There were 199 graduates who responded to the ques-

tionnaire and indicated their monthly salary and there were

481 graduates who had monthly salaries located on the De-


apartment of Commerce files.

tween these numbers, it was

indicated salaries, the tot


be expected in each salary range.


Utilizing the relationship be-


possible to extrapolate from the

:al number of graduates who could


Table 27 presents these


extrapolated numbers.


Table 27


Number of Graduates in Each Salary Range Ex-
trapolated From the Indicated Monthly Salary
of Graduates Responding to the Questionnaire


EXTRAPOLATED FROM INDICATED SALARY
Salary Range Number Percent


to 200


to 400


to 600


to 800


Srm 1 -n onn


18.5


*. I










There


were


graduates


indicated monthly


salary


the questionnaire


who


salary


data


extracted


from


Department


Commerce


files.


extrapolating


ex-


traced


salary


these


graduates


full


number


graduates


salary


data


located


Department


Commerce


files,


becomes


possible


to determine


impact


inaccuraci


different


questionnaire


characteristics


data


and


graduates


impact


who


responded


questionnaire


and


graduate


respond.


Table


presents


Table


extrapolation


compares


extracted


extrapolated numbers


with


salaries


actual


numbers


extracted


from


Department


Commerce


files.


Table


Number


Graduates


trapolated From


of Graduates


in Each Salary


Range


Extracted Monthly


Responding


Salary


the Questionnaire


EXTRAPOLATED


FROM EXTRACTED


SALARY


Salary


Range


Number


Percent


19.3


to 600


601

801

Over


to 1000

1000


TOTAL


100.0










Table 29.


Comparison of Extrapolated Salary Ranges With
Actual Salary Ranges Extracted From Department
of Commerce Files


Extrapolated
From Indicated
Salary


Extrapolated
From Extracted
Salary


Actual Salary
From Department
of Commerce Files


Salary Range


to 200


13.5


to 400


18.5


19.3


22.1


to 600


23.7


to 800


24.1


19.3


1000


13.7


Over


1000


12.6


TOTAL


100.0


100.0


100.0


The difference between the extrapolation of the in-

dicated salary and the actual salary is explained by in-


accuracies


in questionnaire data and by differences in the


characteristics of the responding and non-responding groups.

Differences between the extrapolation of the extracted

salary and actual salary is explained only by the difference

in characteristics of the two groups.


U- __














CHAPTER IV


SUMMARY,


CONCLUSIONS AND


RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY


Summary


The purpose of this study was to determine if in-

accurate or incomplete data were being collected in place-


ment


studies being conducted by Florida community colleges.


Nine hundred and ninety-two


(992) Associate of Art


and Associate of Science graduates of a selected Florida

community college were mailed a questionnaire seeking infor-

mation concerning their university of attendance, grade


point average,


program-of-study,


area of employment and


monthly salary.


Data from the questionnaires were compared


with data available from Florida State University System and


Florida Department of Commerce data files.


Additionally,


comparisons were made between extrapolations of the ques-

tionnaire data and extrapolations of the data extracted

from the existing data files.

Summary findings are presented for each of the first


five research questions separately.


The impact of extrapo-


lating the questionnaire data to the full population










Research
Question
Number 1


Compare the relationship between university
of attendance data from questionnaires and
from existing Florida State University


System data


files.


Graduates accurately reflected which university they


were attending.


However,


thirty-four (34)


respondents in-


dicated they were attending a college in the State University


System but were not located on the system


s data files.


Utilizing the questionnaire data and extrapolating to

the total population resulted in a finding that 530 or 53.4%

of the 992 graduates were continuing their education in the


State University System.


Data from the existing files re-


flected that only


96 or


39.9


of the graduates were actually


enrolled.


The combination of inaccurate data and variations


between responding and non-responding graduates results in

unacceptable differences between self-reported questionnaire

data and actual graduate behavior.


Research
Question
Number 2


Compare the relationship between grade point
average data from the questionnaires and
from existing Florida State University


System files.

Of the 146 graduates who answered the grade point


average question on the questionnaire,


52% indicated an


average at least one interval higher than the actual grade


point average


e from the existing files.


Of these,


19.9%


reported their grade point average at least two intervals










Research
Question
Number 3


Compare the relationship between area
of study data from questionnaires and
from existing Florida State University
System data files.


Certain areas of study--business,


health and social


science--were indicated on the questionnaire by more grad-


uates than were actually enrolled in these areas.


Likewise,


some areas of study--education and letters--were indicated


by fewer graduates than were actually enrolled.


However,


these differences were not major and could possibly be


ex-


plained by the failure to update university records as well

as by the inaccuracies in the questionnaire data.


Research
Question
Number 4


Compare the relationship between area of
employment data from questionnaires and
from existing Florida State Department of


Commerce Unemployment Insurance files.

The area of employment data from the questionnaire


requested the graduates job

Commerce data file gave the


title while the Department of

Industrial Classification Code


for the company in which the graduate was employed.


While


either of these classifications might supply appropriate


data for placement studies,


it was not possible to make a


realistic comparison of the data from these two sources.


Research
Question
Number 5


Compare the relationship between salary
data from questionnaires and from existing
Florida State Department of Commerce Un-


employment


Insurance files.


fl.C~n,, ,, #t 1A r~r rnaie nnn ~acr tn i~'n -rnc nnn o i- i-h ni cinnar








51

not supply salary data on the questionnaire had much lower

salaries than the graduates who responded to the salary


question.


Of the


160 graduates who supplied salary data,


46.2% had salaries on the Department of Commerce file of


above $600.00 per month.


Of the 321 graduates who did not


supply salary data,


only


28.9% had salaries on the file of


above $600.00 per month.

The combination of inaccuracies in salary data and of

variations between responding and non-responding graduates

raised serious questions concerning the use of question-

naires as a means of collecting salary data.


Conclusions


It can be concluded that questionnaire data utilized

in Florida community college placement studies is both in


accurate and incomplete.


When the questionnaire data from


the respondents is extrapolated to the total population,


the errors are exaggerated,


interjecting significant amounts


of noise into the feedback mechanism.


Recommendations for Further Study


The use of questionnaire data in the feedback mechanism


for community colleges has obvious limitations.


When the


questionnaire data are extrapolated to the total population










questionnaire


data must


used,


efforts


mus t


made


validate


results


to correct


for variations


tween


responding


and non-responding


groups.














APPENDIX


Placement


Questions


What


your


present


title?


What


your


present


salary


per


month?


you


are


enrolled


a college


or university,


please


place


a checkmark


name


that


college


Florida A


or university.


& M University


Florida
Florida
Florida
Florida
Universi
Universi


Atlantic


Unive


International
State Universi
Technological
ty of Florida
ty of North Fl


rsity
University
ty
University


orida


University of South Florida
University of West Florida
Other


1.71a.


your


grade-point


average


this


institution


than
to 1


1.50
.99


over


What


your


program


study


this


institution















REFERENCES


Best,
N.


Chin, R.
models


e R. C
Rineha


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for practitioner
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rt & Winston, 196


ucation.
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stems mc
s. In 1
ine of c


Englewood


dels
7. B.
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New


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Holt,


Good, C. V. Essentials of e
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1966


Good, C. V., & Scates, D. E.
Appleton-Century-Crofts,


Methods
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behavior in e
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inquiry


into


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of organizational
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for the educational a
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college
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F. N.


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Grif


---


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4-~;e


New










Miller, J. C
Science,


Living
1945, 10


systems:
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Basic


concepts.


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John


Reller,


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and admini


Prentice-Hall,


station


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Cliffs,


1974


Pfiffner,
tion.


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Englewood


Cliffs,


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trative


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organiza-
1960.


Smedley,
How


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duction


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431)


follow-up st
cument Repro


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Hinsdale,


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H.,















BIOGRAPHICAL


SKETCH


George


Thomas


Delaino


was


born


Gainesville,


Florida,


1942.


lived


Cedar


Key,


Florida,


until


graduation


received his


from


BSPE


Cedar


from


Key High


School


University


1960.


of Florida


1965


MAPE


1966.


served


ix years


United Stat


Air


Force,


year


Basic Military


Training


Training


Officer


Squadron


Squadron


and


Commander


four years


structor,


Assistant


Professor


Executive Officer


Department


of Physical


Education


United States


Air


Force


Academy


left


Force


summer


1973


return


University


Higher


of Florida


Education Administration


an advanced


He


spent


graduate


years


residence


graduate


research


assi


stant


Florida


Community/Junior


College


Inter


-Institutional


Research


Council


(IRC).


then


spent


one


year


Legislative


Intern


with


Senate


Education


Committee


worked


since


that


time


Coordinator


of Management


Information Services


Santa


--


-


--











I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.


Jiaes L. Wa'ttenbargjr, Chairman
P ofessor of Educational
Administration and Supervision


I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.


n M. Nickens,


Irman


Associate Professor of Educational
Administration and Supervision


I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.


Paul R.


Varnes, Department Chairman


and Professor of Professional
Physical Education



This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of
the Department of Educational Administration and Super-
vision in the College of Education and to the Graduate


Council,


and was accepted a


partial fulfillment of the


reFni rements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophvy





































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