Clark's "cooling out" concept as a factor in student completion of community college programs

MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
Clark's "cooling out" concept as a factor in student completion of community college programs
Physical Description:
xiii, 125 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Kaliszeski, Michael S., 1950-
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Community college students -- Counseling -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Educational Leadership thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Educational Leadership -- UF
Genre:
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida.
Bibliography:
Bibliography: leaves 117-123.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Michael S. Kaliszeski.
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 000889054
oclc - 15191549
notis - AEJ7423
System ID:
AA00011800:00001


This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text















CLARK'S "COOLING OUT" CONCEPT
AS A FACTOR IN STUDENT
COMPLETION OF COMMUNITY COLLEGE PROGRAMS







BY

MICHAEL S. KALISZESKI


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE
SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR
THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY




UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1986




























Copyright 1986

by

Michael Steven Kaliszeski


























To My Mother and Father

"Nita and Ski" Kaliszeski

for their willingness to give of
themselves and for encouragement
to strive above and beyond --














ACKNOWLEITNTS



Appreciative acknowledgment is extended to all those

who have through their inspiration and guidance made this

study possible.

Special thanks are extended to Dr. James L.

Wattenbarger, chairman, friend, and "fellow runner" whose

patience, support, encouragement, and leadership did not

falter throughout the course of my studies. His

contribution to my professional development cannot be

overstated.

I would also like to express my appreciation to Dr.

Marian L. Martinello, my undergraduate advisor 16 years ago,

whose inspiration and faith in my ability gave me the

confidence to pursue graduate studies.

Thanks are extended to Dr. Ernest St. Jacques and Dr.

Woodrow Parker who as members of my supervisory committee

graciously gave their time and valuable suggestions.

Thanks are offered to Dr. Richard Rogers, who

unselfishly shared a great deal of his time and energy

editing and "polishing" the many drafts of this study. His

friendship, humor, and daily motivational reminders to push

ahead will not be forgotten.










Appreciation is also expressed to Dr. Maxwell C. King,

President of Brevard Community College, for allowing me to

obtain a leave of absence to pursue my advanced degree.

Gratitude is also extended to Dr. Willis N. Holcombe,

Vice President of Brevard Community College, for his

friendship, guidance, and encouragement over the past five

years. His words of wisdom were of incalculable value.

I also wish to thank Dr. William Law, Dr. Murial Kay

Heimer, and Dr. James Heck for their assistance in obtaining

data for this study.

I must not forget Carol Copenhaver and John Wahl, two

fellow doctoral students who were always willing to provide

their time and expertise to help solve a problem, and Kathy

Carroll, a friend and excellent "listener" for her ability

to somehow keep us glued together through it all.

Most importantly, I owe a special debt to my mother and

father for shaping my behaviors throughout my life to the

point where I was able to pursue a meaningful goal. Their

love, support, encouragement, and many sacrifices will not

be forgotten.


















TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS . .

LIST OF TABLES . .

ABSTRACT . ....


S. iv

. ix

. xii


CHAPTERS


I INTRODUCTION .

Statement of the Problem .

Delimitations .
Limitations .


. 0 0 0 .


. 9

. 10
S. 10


Justification .
Assumptions .
Definition of Terms .
Procedures .


Sampling Plan .
Data Collection .
Data Analysis .

Summary .


II REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

Introduction .
The Cooling Out Process


Introduction .
Historical Perspective .
Methods for Cooling Out .
Cooling Out as a Class Based
Tracking Process .


. 19

. 20

. 20
. 20


. 27


Other Studies Related to Cooling Out
Within the Community College .
Summary of the Review of Literature
Pertaining to Cooling Out .


S 34

S 38













Factors Associated with Student
Attrition . .

Introduction . .
Demographic Factors Associated with
Student Attrition . .
Academic Factors Associated with
Student Attrition ..
Motivational Factors Associated with
Student Attrition . .
Personality Factors Associated with
Student Attrition .
Environmental Factors Associated with
Student Attrition . .
Conclusion and Summary .

III RESEARCH METHODOLOGY . .

Introduction . .
Design of the Study .........
Setting . .
Sample Selection . .
Procedures for Data Collection .
Statistical Procedures for Data Analysis .

Data Classification .
Procedures for Analysis .
Tests for Hypotheses ..


IV PRESENTATION OF RESULTS .

Introduction .. .
Descriptive Analysis of the Random
Sample . .

Student Status and Race .
Student Status and Gender .
Student Status and Father's
Occupation .
Process and Race .
Process and Gender .
Process and Father's Occupation


S 66

S 66

. 9 67
S 68


Tests of Hypotheses .


Page


S 39

S 39

S 41

S 46

S 51

S 53

S 54
S 56

S 57


. .


. 72











Page


Test of Hypothesis One . 73
Test of Hypothesis Two . 75
Test of Hypothesis Three 75
Chi-square Analysis: Race by Process,
Gender by Process, and Father's
Occupation by Process . 77
Test of Hypothesis Four . 80
Test of Hypothesis Five . 86
Test of Hypothesis Six . 90

Other Related Findings . 93

Educational Goals and Objectives 93
Experience as a Community College
Student . 95

Summary of Chapter IV . 98

V INTERPRETATION, CONCLUSIONS, DISCUSSION,
AND RECOMMENDATIONS . 100

Interpretation of Results . 100

The Overall Relationship Between
Student Status and Process 100
The Relationship Between Race,
Process, and Student Status 101
The Relationship Between Gender,
Process, and Student Status 102
The Relationship Between Father's
Occupation, Process, and Student
Status . 104
Other Related Findings . 106

Conclusions . 107

Discussion and Recommendations 109

Discussion of Results .. 110
Recommendations . 114
Topics for Further Study 115

REFERENCES . . 117

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . 124


viii
















LIST OF TABLES


Table Page

1. Density Breakdown of the Target Population 59

2. Urban Residence of the Target Population 59

3. Enrollment Breakdown of the Target
Population . .. .. 60

4. Selected Method(s) of Analysis for Each
Hypothesis . . 65

5. Descriptive Analysis of Sample: Student
Status and Race . .. 68

6. Descriptive Analysis of Sample: Student
Status and Gender . 69

7. Descriptive Analysis of Sample: Student
Status and Father's Occupation . 70

8. Descriptive Analysis of Sample: Process
and Race . . 71

9. Descriptive Analysis of Sample: Process
and Gender . . 71

10. Descriptive Analysis of Sample: Process
and Father's Occupation . 72

11. Chi-Square Analysis: Student Status by
Process . . 74

12. Chi-Square Test for Goodness of Fit: Dropouts
by Process . . 74

13. Chi-Square Test for Goodness of Fit:
Graduates by Process . 75

14. Chi-Square Test for Goodness of Fit: Those
Cooled Out by Student Status . 76










Table Page

15. Chi-Square Test for Goodness of Fit: Those
Not Cooled Out by Student Status . 77

16. Chi-Square Analysis: Race by Process 78

17. Chi-Square Analysis: Gender by Process 79

18. Chi-Square Analysis: Father's Occupation by
Process . . 80

19. Chi-Square Analysis: Race by Student Status
Sorted by Process to Isolate Those Who Were
Cooled Out . . 82

20. Fisher's Exact Test: Race by Student Status
Sorted by Process to Isolate Those Who Were
Not Cooled Out . . 83

21. Chi-Square Analysis: Gender by Student Status
Sorted by Process to Isolate Those Who Were
Cooled Out . . 84

22. Chi-Square Analysis: Gender by Student Status
Sorted by Process to Isolate Those Who Were
Not Cooled Out . .. 85

23. Chi-Square Analysis: Father's Occupation by
Student Status Sorted by Process to Isolate
Those Who Were Cooled Out . 85

24. Chi-Square Analysis: Father's Occupation by
Student Status Sorted by Process to Isolate
Those Who Were Not Cooled Out . 86

25. Chi-Square Analysis: Race by Process Sorted
by Student Status to Isolate Dropouts 88

26. Chi-Square Analysis: Gender by Process Sorted
by Student Status to Isolate Dropouts 88

27. Chi-Square Analysis: Father's Occupation by
Process Sorted by Student Status to Isolate
Dropouts . . 89

28. Fisher's Exact Test: Race by Process Sorted
by Student Status to Isolate Graduates 91

29. Chi-Square Analysis: Gender by Process Sorted
by Student Status to Isolate Graduates 92










Table Page

30. Chi-Square Analysis: Father's Occupation by
Process Sorted by Student Status to Isolate
Graduates . . 92

31. Frequency Distribution: Student Status by
Goal Fulfillment . 94

32. Frequency Distribution: Degree Obtained by
Future Educational Plans .. .. 96

33. Frequency Distribution: Student Status by
Future Educational Plans . 96

34. Frequency Distribution: Process by Future
Educational Plans . 97

35. Frequency Distribution: Student Status by
Experience as a Community College Student 97

36. Frequency Distribution: Process by
Experience as a Community College Student 98















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


CLARK'S "COOLING OUT" CONCEPT
AS A FACTOR IN STUDENT
COMPLETION OF COMMUNITY COLLEGE PROGRAMS

By

Michael S. Kaliszeski

August, 1986

Chairman: James L. Wattenbarger
Major Department: Educational Leadership

The purpose of this study was to determine if there was

a significant difference in relation to selected student

characteristics between students who have followed the

cooling out process and those who have not as measured by

their graduation status from a two-year community college.

The cooling out process was defined as a set of counseling

strategies designed to assist students with unrealistic

aspirations in selecting alternative career goals which

would be more in line with their abilities.

The sample drawn for this study was taken from two

community colleges in Florida based on the criterion that

one served a predominantly urban population and one served a

predominantly rural population. From each college a master

list of students was obtained whose last term of enrollment


xii










was the Fall semester 1984. From these lists a total of 100

dropouts and 100 graduates were randomly selected for study.

An ex post facto design was utilized which involved

collecting certain information for each student in the

sample by reviewing academic transcripts. Additional

information was obtained through a subsequent telephone

interview. Data which were collected concerning race,

gender, father's occupation, status (dropout or graduate),

and process (followed the cooling out process or did not

follow the cooling out process) were synthesized for each

student and recorded for analysis. Non-parametric

statistical procedures were performed to determine if

significant differences existed between student status and

process based on the variables of race, gender, and father's

occupation.

Results of the study showed (a) the relationship

between student status and process was statistically

significant. The cooling out process appears to be linked

to dropping out regardless of race, gender, or father's

occupation; (b) the relationship between race and process

was statistically significant and (c) the relationships

between gender and process, and father's occupation and

process were not statistically significant.

Recommendations based on the major findings of this

study and topics for further study were presented.


xiii
















CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION



Declining enrollment is a serious problem currently

affecting many institutions of higher education. This

problem becomes amplified when one considers that some

studies indicate a 24% to 50% rate of student attrition at

many institutions of higher education (Analysis of

Persistence, 1981; Astin, 1975; Beal & Noel, 1980; Clagett,

1982; MacMillian & Kester, 1973; Nespoli & Radcliffe, 1982;

Pantages & Creedon, 1978; Thornton, 1966; Tinto, 1982). In

their studies of college attrition, Pantages and Creedon

(1978) observed that, in terms of numbers alone, the

attrition problem deserves the attention of those affiliated

with institutions of higher education.

The open-door community college appears to be prone

particularly to high rates of student attrition. Zwerling

(1976) reported that national dropout rates for junior

college students range up to 75% during the course of the

two years. Cope and Hannah (1975) cited similar

observations

The rate of dropping out among community college
students is apparently considerably higher than
rates at four-year colleges. Although reliable










data on community colleges are difficult to find--
in fact, they are usually artfully buried--
nationally it appears that approximately one half
of community college students do not return for a
second year and only about half of the remaining
students go on to complete the requirements for
the associate degree. Our estimate is that
about 2 students in 10 entering community college
stay on to complete the requirements for an
associate degree and 1 in 10 go on to complete the
requirements for a baccalaureate degree. (p. 2)

Some of those who have been critical of the community

college blame this high rate of attrition on the open-door

admissions concept. Clark (1960b) discussed this unique

feature of the community college and noted that the open

door allows the community college to admit all applicants,

regardless of ability, academic achievement in high school,

or past experiences.

This egalitarian philosophy of admissions has been a

topic of controversy among educators as well as those who

have been critical of the community college. Cross (1974),

in discussing the various philosophies behind college

admissions policies, stated "the sign of the times is

illustrated by a headline (Time, 1970) reading: Open

Admissions: American Dream or Disaster?" (p. 4).

Many believe that it is difficult at best, if not

impossible, to provide equal opportunity, and maintain

academic integrity. Clark (1962) observed

democracy encourages aspiration, and generous
admission allows the student to carry his hopes
into the school or now principally the college.
But there his desires run into the standards










necessary for the integrity of programs and
training of competent workers. (p. 80)

As American higher education began to embrace the

egalitarian philosophy of admissions, enrollments increased

drastically as students began seeking post-secondary

education as a means of achieving upward mobility. Vaughan

(1980) noted that after World War II, the belief that

everyone should have the opportunity to pursue some form of

post-secondary education became very popular. The American

citizenry in general began to view the college credential as

a ticket to a better way of life. Karabel (1972) noted "the

stress on diplomas has led to a clamor for access to higher

education, regardless of social background or past

achievements" (p. 233). However, many four-year

institutions with aristocratic or meritocratic philosophies

of college admissions were not willing to open their doors

to accommodate the rising aspirations of the American

citizenry. Where then could these potential students go to

fulfill their dreams, goals, and aspirations? Jencks and

Riesman (1968) believed "the community colleges provide a

way out of this dilemma, allowing the universities to become

more exclusive without the overall system's doing likewise"

(p. 491).

The community college, by virtue of its egalitarian,

open-door philosophy, became the vehicle for providing

instruction and hopefully upward mobility for many students










with wide ranging aptitudes and academic ability. Many who

entered the community college lacked the academic prowess or

financial support to enroll directly into a four-year

institution. In essence the community college allowed the

masses to pursue a post-secondary education without altering

the basic structure of society or higher education. Jencks

and Riesman (1968) concluded that, for those institutions

practicing meritocratic admissions policies, the community

college served as a safety valve, releasing pressures that

might otherwise disrupt the overall structure of higher

education. They further concluded that by containing these

pressures the universities are allowed to go their own way

without experiencing the consequences of excluding those who

lack the ability to succeed.

However, many believe that community colleges have, in

some instances, become revolving doors by not fully

addressing student needs (Cross, 1974; Zwerling, 1976).

Clark (1960b) in his book The Open Door College: A Case

Study discussed the dilemma of accepting students with

varying academic aptitude. He explained that students with

low academic ability should not be allowed to pass through

the community college and then be allowed to transfer to a

four-year institution. Clark (1960b) stated

if a junior college allows students of low
academic promise to slip through, then the
frequency of failure by transfer students at
senior colleges will increase. The reputation and







5


self-respect of staff members are also affected.
(p. 69)

Clark (1960b) described the community college as having

three types of students; occupational, pure transfer, and

latent terminal. According to Clark (1960b) the latent

terminal student is one who aspires to transfer to a

four-year institution but realistically does not have the

skills to do so. He believed that students who cannot

perform academically at the appropriate level need to be

convinced that they are not capable of undertaking an

extended college education. Clark (1960b) observed

caught between its own open door and the standards
of other colleges, therefore, an unselective
two-year college needs to "administer" the student
who is, in fact, destined to be a terminal student
but who does not know it or refuses to recognize
this likelihood at the time of entry. The person
who earmarks himself as a terminal student is no
special problem, nor is the candidate for transfer
who comes with high scholastic promise. For the
pure terminal and the pure transfer students,
destiny is in line with intention. The
procedure-shaping type of student is the latent
terminal, the "overintender" whose transfer status
as a student belies his terminal future. (p. 69)

Clark (1960b) labeled the process of changing ones

goals so that they are in line with ones abilities as the

"cooling out" process. He believed that the task of

convincing latent terminal students that their educational

goals are unrealistic involves a sequential series of

events. Moore (1975), as cited by Clark (1980), summarized

this process.










The process as described by Clark entails a
student's following a structured sequence of
guidance efforts involving mandatory courses in
career planning and self-evaluation, which results
in "reorientation" of the student rather than
dismissal. The process begins with preentrance
testing, which identifies low-achieving students
and assigns them to remedial classes. The process
is completed when the "overaspiring student" is
rechanneled out of a transfer program and into a
terminal curriculum. Throughout the process the
student is kept in contact with guidance
personnel, who keep careful track of the student's
"progress." (p. 17)

Clark (1960b) observed that the primary problem of the

junior college is the processing of the student who falls

between the transfer and terminal groups. He explained that

the filtering out or cooling out process is very much what

the junior college is all about.

Many such as Zwerling (1976) and Karabel (1972)

believed that the cooling out process as described by Clark

(1960b) serves a hidden function in the overall scheme of

higher education and society. Zwerling (1976) devoted a

chapter in his book Second Best: The Crisis of the

Community College to Clark's cooling out concept and

maintained that community colleges, through the cooling out

process, covertly direct young people into basically the

same positions in the social structure that their parents

already occupy. He believed that community college students

for the most part come from the lowest socioeconomic classes

of college students and that the dropout rate among










community college students will be higher than the overall

college population.

The cooling out process is therefore viewed by some as

the capitalist way of tracking students who are from the

lower socioeconomic class in our society into low status

jobs (Bowles, 1971; Karabel, 1972; Zwerling, 1976). Karabel

(1972) stated that the high rate of attrition at community

colleges is actually functional and necessary for the

existing social system.

There appears to be two schools of thought regarding

the cooling out issue; those such as Clark who believe it is

the result of a conflict between academic standards and the

open door, and others such as Zwerling and Karabel who view

the concept as a class-based tracking process that maintains

the social status quo. In reviewing the thesis of both

views (of the debate), there appears to be agreement that

the cooling out process is implicity tied to the high rate

of attrition at the two-year community college. Clark

(1980) in his article, "The 'Cooling Out' Function

Revisited," summarized what was the primary focus of this

study.

Then, too, it probably would have helped to have
carried the cooling out process one step further:
after students move from transfer to terminal
programs, or while they are being asked to do so,
they often quickly move from college to a job or
some other form of withdrawal. This would have
hooked cooling out to the enormous attrition of
community colleges and suggested a major two- or










three-step flow in the denial of hope, lowering of
aspirations, and disengagement. (p. 29)

The cooling out process, as described by Clark (1960b),

appears to be a set of procedures designed to assist gently

students who have unrealistic career aspirations in

readjusting their educational goals so that they are in line

with academic ability. According to Clark (1960b) this

process should maximize the student's chances for success

within the academic environment and reduce the stress that

accompanies the realization that readjustment involves the

loss of status associated with the original career goal.

For the purpose of this study, the cooling out process

was defined as having the following set of procedures:

1. Pre-entrance placement testing and/or advising.

2. Mandatory or voluntary placement into one or more

developmental courses in areas such as mathematics,

English, reading, or study skills.

3. Placement on academic warning and/or probation.

4. Complete withdrawal from the institution (dropping

out) or, achieving graduate status by changing

initial major to an alternate program of study

which is perceived by the student as being less

rigorous and/or associated with less status.










Statement of the Problem

The purpose of this study was to determine if there is

a significant difference in relation to selected student

characteristics between students who have followed the

cooling out process and those who have not as measured by

their graduation status from a two-year community college.

Specifically, the following hypotheses were addressed:

1. There is no difference between the percentage of

dropouts who followed the cooling out process and

those who did not.

2. There is no difference between the percentage of

graduates who followed the cooling out process and

those who did not.

3. There is no difference between the percentage of

dropouts who followed the cooling out process and

the percentage of graduates who followed the

cooling out process.

4. There is no difference between the percentage of

dropouts who followed the cooling out process and

the percentage of graduates who followed the

cooling out process based on the variables of race,

gender, and father's occupation.

5. There is no difference between the percentage of

dropouts who followed the cooling out process and

those who did not based on the variables of race,

gender, and father's occupation.










6. There is no difference between the percentage of

graduates who followed the cooling out process and

those who did not based on the variables of race,

gender, and father's occupation.

Delimitations

The study was bound by the following restrictions.

1. The study was limited to those students who

graduated at the conclusion of the fall semester,

1984, and those students who withdrew during the

fall semester, 1984, and had not reenrolled for at

least two consecutive semesters.

2. The study of Clark's cooling out concept as a

factor in student completion of community college

programs was limited to two Florida community

colleges.

3. The study was an attempt to determine if Clark's

cooling out process is a factor in student

completion of community college programs; no

attempt was made to show a causal relationship.

Limitations

The study was classified as ex post facto research.

Inherent to ex post facto research are the following threats

to internal and external validity:

1. Since the researcher cannot manipulate or randomize

the independent variables of the study, the results










obtained may be considered spurious (Ary, Jacobs, &

Razavich, 1979, P. 274).

2. The results of this study should not be generalized

or projected beyond the setting from which the

samples are drawn.



Justification

Beginning after World War II and continuing through

the 1970s, institutions of higher education showed little

interest in solving the problem of student attrition.

With the post-war baby boom, legislation such as the G. I.

Bill, and the growing acceptance of the egalitarian

philosophy of admissions, it appeared that college

enrollment figures would never decline. Consequently,

colleges and universities did not feel the impact of

losing students because they were enrolling faster than

they were leaving. Resources also appeared to be

unlimited as funding formulae were usually tied to

enrollment. This situation slowly changed as the college

age cohort produced by the post-war baby boom began to

decline. With the pool of potential college students

drying up, institutions began to experience declining

enrollments and diminishing resources. Because of this

new situation, institutions of higher education have

placed greater emphasis on identifying factors which










contribute to student attrition. Pantages and Creedon

(1978), in their studies of college attrition, stated,

in terms of sheer numbers, the attrition problem
deserves the attention of those interested in and
affiliated with institutions of higher education.
From the institutional point of view, attrition
has a heavy impact on institutional operations and
finance. From the student's point of view, the
effect of dropping out is also another
important aspect of the attrition problem. The
need to understand this phenomenon becomes more
urgent every day. (p. 49)

Another phenomenon currently affecting the community

college is the decline of the transfer function. Kintzer

and Wattenbarger (1985) noted that many students who enter

community colleges intend to complete requirements for the

bachelor's degree; however, relatively few matriculate in

senior institutions. They cited several reasons for this

decline, including the shift in students' career interests

from academic to vocational/occupational fields.

It appears possible that these phenomena, the increase

in attrition and the decline of the transfer function, are

linked together through a conceptual framework involving the

cooling out process. If, indeed, students are being

"counseled" or "cooled" from transfer programs to terminal

programs and ultimately withdraw from the institution, then

the two or three step flow suggested by Clark (1980) which

links cooling out to attrition, may be valid. This study

should be an important step in determining this

relationship.












Assumptions

For the purpose of this study the following assumptions

were made:

1. It was assumed that students who had withdrawn and

not reenrolled for a period of at least two

consecutive semesters are dropouts and not

stop-outs.

2. It was assumed that individual student records

maintained by the registrar's office at the two

selected community colleges reflected accurate

information concerning those students selected for

study.

3. It was assumed that the telephone survey was a

valid technique for collection of the data and that

responses made by individual subjects were honest

and could be taken at face value.

4. It was assumed that the sample drawn for the study

was representative of the target population for

which generalizations would be made.


Definition of Terms

Community college. The terms "community college,"

"community junior college," and "junior college" will be

used interchangeably and refer to a two-year public

institution which offers programs and/or courses limited to










the first two years of post-high school education, including

the university parallel program and at least one of the

following areas, occupational education and/or continuing

education.

Cooling out process. For the purpose of this study the

cooling out process was defined as having the following set

of procedures.

1. Pre-entrance placement testing and/or advising.

2. Mandatory or voluntary placement into one or more

developmental courses in areas such as mathematics,

English, reading, or study skills.

3. Placement on academic warning and/or probation.

4. Complete withdrawal from the institution (dropping

out) or, achieving graduate status by changing

initial major to an alternate program of study

which is perceived by the student as being less

rigorous and/or associated with less status.

Developmental education. The terms "developmental

education" and "remedial education" will be used

interchangeably and refer to postsecondary courses in

mathematics, English, reading, and study skills, which are

designed to prepare the student for freshman level college

courses.

Dropout. A "dropout" is defined as a student who

leaves or withdraws from the institution and does not return

for at least two consecutive terms.










Father's Occupation. "Father's occupation" will be

classified as either white collar or blue collar based on

the following criteria:

1. An occupation will be considered white collar if it

falls into one of the following categories.

a. managerial and professional specialities

b. technical, sales, and administrative support

occupations

c. service occupations

2. An occupation will be considered blue collar if it

falls into one of the following categories.

a. farming, forestry, and fisheries

b. precision production and repair occupations

c. operators, fabricators, and laborers

Overaspiring student. In this study, the terms

"overaspiring student" and "overintender" will be used

interchangeably. An overaspiring student is one who has

educational goals which are above and therefore inconsistent

with academic abilities.

Stop-out. A "stop-out" is defined as a student who

leaves the institution for a period of time but returns to

the same institution for additional work or study.

University parallel. The terms "university parallel"

and "university transfer" will be used interchangeably. A

university parallel program is one that prepares students

for upper division work and is intended to be the first two










years of a four-year degree, therefore, a university

parallel program, by design, transfers to four-year

institutions.



Procedures
Sampling Plan

The sample used for this study was taken from two

community colleges in Florida based on the criterion that

one serves a predominantly urban population, and one serves

a predominantly rural population. The target population

from which the sample was drawn was defined as those

students at the selected community colleges whose last term

of enrollment was the fall term of 1984. An appropriate

size sample was drawn from the target population using a

table of random numbers.

Data Collection

The following steps were followed to obtain data for

the study.

1. Each of the two selected community colleges was

asked to provide a list of students whose last term

of enrollment was for the fall term of 1984. These

lists comprised the target population.

2. From the target population the appropriate size

sample was drawn. Sample selection was

accomplished using a table of random numbers.










3. Individual student records maintained by the

registrar's office at each of the two selected

community colleges were utilized to provide

information concerning those students selected for

study. This information included the following:

a. placement test scores (if available),

b. enrollment in developmental courses,

c. academic standing, and

d. demographics.

4. A telephone survey was utilized to obtain

additional information necessary for this study but

not found on individual student records maintained

by the registrar's office. This information

included the following:

a. father's occupation,

b. validation and/or clarification of the

student's initial major, and major at

graduation or exit, and

c. final determination as to whether or not

cooling out has taken place.

Data Analysis

After the sample was drawn and data for those students

selected for study were collected, the following procedures

were utilized for analysis.

The purpose of this study was defined in terms of two

factors:










1. Student Status

2. Process

Each of these factors has two levels:

1. Student Status

a. graduate

(1) race

(2) gender

(3) father's occupation

b. dropout

(1) race

(2) gender

(3) father's occupation

2. Process

a. followed cooling out process

b. did not follow cooling out process

Since the purpose of the study was to determine if

there is a significant difference between various levels of

these two factors, data were placed in the appropriate cells

of contingency tables. The following statistical tests were

utilized in order to answer the questions presented in this

study.

1. The chi-square test for contingency tables

2. Fisher's exact test

3. The chi-square test for goodness of fit










The statistical software package SAS (Statistical

Analysis System) was utilized to perform procedures

necessary for analysis.



Summary

Chapter I has provided background information and

justification for a study of Clark's cooling out concept as

a factor in student completion of community college programs

and described procedures which were followed to obtain data

for the study. Chapter II is a review of related literature

which focused on the cooling out process, and factors

associated with student attrition. Chapter III describes in

detail the source of data, collection of data, and

statistical procedures for the analysis of data. Chapter IV

presents the results of the data analysis and hypotheses

testing. Chapter V is a discussion concerning the

interpretation of the results and presents final conclusions

and implications of the study.
















CHAPTER II

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

Introduction

The review of literature related to this study

encompassed two specific areas: (a) the cooling out process

and (b) factors associated with student attrition. Since

the primary focus of this study is to determine if there is

a potential link between the cooling out process and

attrition, it seemed appropriate that this review be

organized thematically by those areas.



The Cooling Out Process

Introduction

The literature concerning the cooling out process was

organized thematically by the following subtopics:

historical perspective, methods for cooling out, cooling out

as a class-based tracking process, and research studies

related to the cooling out process.

It should be pointed out that while Burton Clark's

application of the cooling out process to higher education

was positive in that its intent was to provide alternatives

for the overaspiring student rather than dismissal, some

writers viewed the process as being deceitful and,










therefore, negative. However, it is important to note that

although the cooling out process has been controversial,

none of the writers found in the literature attempt to

compare directly community college counseling strategies to

tactics used by con artists.

Erving Goffman's (1952) description of the con game has

been included in the historical perspective to show its

relationship to the cooling out concept. The reader should

not infer that there is any relationship between counseling

practices in higher education and tactics used by con

artists.

Historical Perspective

Burton Clark's (1960b) analysis of the dissociation

between aspirations and achievement was based on an earlier

statement of the cooling out conception made by Erving

Goffman. Goffman (1952), using criminal terminology from

Maurer (1940) and Sutherland (1937), wrote an interesting

paper which described profoundly how victims of criminal

fraud adapt to their sudden loss of security and status,

therefore perceived failure.

According to Goffman (1952), in the criminal world the

"mark" is the victim or sucker. The operation of a

particular game, play, or racket which results in a loss of

money, status, or position for the mark is called a "play."

The persons who operate the racket and subsequently con the

mark are called "operators." Goffman (1952) believed that










the confidence game was a good racket in the United States

because Americans were easy targets; always ready and eager

to make easy money.

Goffman (1952) described the typical play as having

several phases:

The potential sucker is first spotted, and one
member of the working team (called the outside
man, steerer, or roper) arranges to make social
contact with him. The confidence of the mark is
won, and he is given an opportunity to invest his
money in a gambling venture which he understands
to have been fixed in his favor. The venture, of
course, is fixed, but not in his favor. The mark
is permitted to win some money and then persuaded
to invest more. There is an "accident" or
"mistake" and the mark loses his total investment.
The operators then depart in a ceremony that is
called the blowoff or sting. They leave the mark
but take his money. The mark is expected to go on
his way, a little wiser and a lot poorer. (p.451)

Goffman (1952) further explained that often there is a

need for an additional phase because sometimes the mark is

not willing to just accept the loss and leave quickly.

There is fear that the mark may "squawk" and go to the

authorities which would obviously be bad for business. To

avoid this type of situation, the "cooling out" phase of the

scam is added. Cooling out the mark is usually accomplished

by an operator who is left behind after the blowoff. This

person, called the "cooler," is an expert in the art of

consolation and is expected to give the mark a lesson in the

philosophy of taking a loss. Goffman (1952) described the

primary responsibility of the cooler.










In essence, then, the cooler has the job of
handling persons who have been caught out on a
limb--persons whose expectations and
self-conceptions have been built up and then
shattered. The mark is a person who has
compromised himself in his own eyes if not in the
eyes of others. (p. 452)

Although Goffman (1952) based his concept of cooling

out mainly on the confidence game where the mark is

deliberately deceived and misled, Clark (1960b) believed

that the general notion of a cooling out function could be

applied to situations of failure in which those who are

responsible act in good faith.

Clark (1960b), in his case study of the development of

San Jose Junior College, discussed the application of the

cooling out process to higher education. Clark (1960b),

explained that the junior college was expected to admit all

students regardless of academic ability. An unrestrained

choice of major or program of study became part of the open

door policy. Thus, with the advent of the egalitarian

philosophy of admissions and absolute freedom to pursue any

field of study, the community college found itself with the

dilemma of dealing with a multitude of entering students

with career aspirations far above academic ability.

Clark (1980) contended that cooling out was not on his

mind as either a phenomenon or term as he began his research

of San Jose Community College. However, he explained that

as his research progressed, certain procedures began to

emerge that appeared to be designed to channel students with










unrealistic goals out of transfer programs and into

curricula that terminated at the community college. Clark

(1980) observed that the reassignment of students into

programs that coincided with abilities was no easy task and

that no matter how helpful, these emerging procedures would

be looked upon as "the dirty work of the organization"

(p. 16). Clark (1980) explained how he came to choose the

term "cooling out" to describe this process.

This effort to rechannel students could have been
called "the counseling process" or "the
redirection-of-alternative process" or "the
alternative-career process" or by some other
similarly ambiguous term so heavily used in
education and sociology. I played with the terms
then readily available but all seem to have the
bite of warmed over potatoes. While I was stewing
about how to point a concept, a friend called my
attention to an article by Goffman (1952) in
which, for various sectors of society, the need to
let down the hopes of people was analyzed
brilliantly. Goffman used terms from the
confidence game in which the aspirations of the
"mark" to get rich quick are out-of-line with the
reality of what is happening to him or her, and
someone on the confidence team is assigned the
duty of helping the victim face the harsh reality
without blowing his mind or calling the police.
Now there was a concept with a cutting edge! So I
adopted and adapted it, aware that it would not
make many friends in community college
administrative circles. (pp. 16-17)

Methods for Cooling Out

Clark (1960a) explained that higher education had

basically two ways of handling the student who enters with

expectations that are unrealistic and out of line with

academic ability. The first method is to simply dismiss the

student. According to Clark (1960a),










this "hard" response is found in the state
university that bows to pressure for broad
admission but then protects standards by heavy
drop-out the response of the college is hard
in that failure is clearly defined as such.
Failure is public; the student often returns home.
(p. 571)

The second method described by Clark (1960a) is one that

appears to be more humane and, therefore, more socially

acceptable.

A second answer is to sidetrack unpromising
students rather than have them fail. This is the
"soft" response: never to dismiss a student but
to provide him with an alternative the major
form of the soft response is not found in the
four-year college or university, however, but in
the college that specializes in handling students
who will soon be leaving--typically the two-year
public junior college. (pp. 571-572)

Goffman (1952) described a variety of cooling out

strategies which could be applied to higher education,

specifically, the community college. The first strategy is

one of "stalling" the inevitable doom of failure. This is

accomplished in the criminal world by the cooler convincing

the mark that maybe the loss really did not happen. This

gives the mark a chance to get accustomed to the potential

loss of status or failure and adjust to the new lower

self-image before actually having to do so. In the context

of higher education, the placing of students on academic

probation could be considered a stalling tactic, giving

those students a chance to think about dismissal before

actually having to withdraw. Clark (1960b) stated that the










real meaning of academic probation was to kill off the hope

of those students with unrealistic program expectations.

Another method of cooling out observed by Goffman

(1952) was to

offer the person a status which is different from
the one he has lost or failed to gain, but which
provides at least something for him to become.
The alternative thus presented is usually a
compromise of some kind, providing him with some
of the trappings of his lost status as well as
some of its spirit. (p. 457)

This particular procedure appears to be the heart of the

cooling out process in the community college as defined by

Clark (1960b). Students with high goals and low ability are

gently persuaded to reevaluate their potential and, in doing

so, are offered alternative programs of study instead of

dismissal. Thus, the student who unrealistically aspires to

go to medical school may be convinced to reevaluate his or

her aptitude and subsequently decide to become a medical

laboratory technician or enter some other program which is

more in line with his or her ability.

Still another form of cooling out applicable to higher

education involves allowing the person to retain the hope

for the desired status.but in a different environment

(Goffman, 1952). This tactic is somewhat analogous to the

situation where the student who graduates from a community

college with a very poor academic record is allowed entrance

into a four-year institution only if he or she agrees to

pursue an alternate program of study, one which is less










rigorous. In this case the student is still allowed to

pursue the status of a four-year degree; but through a

different program.

Finally, Goffman (1952) described a method by which

the operator and the mark may enter into a tacit
understanding according to which the mark agrees
to act as if he were leaving of his own accord,
and the operator agrees to preserve the illusion
that this was the case. (p. 458)

Simon (1967), in an article which discussed the cooling

out function of the community college, pointed out that this

particular technique allowed the student to use a variety of

face-saving rationalizations and other defenses when

confronted with inevitable failure and the subsequent loss

of prestige and status.

Cooling Out As a Class Based Tracking Process

Clark (1960b) believed that the cooling out process was

the result of a conflict between academic standards and the

open door policy of admissions. He believed that the

process was necessary and that it maximized the overaspiring

students' chances for success within the academic

environment and reduced the stress that accompanies the

realization that lowering ones career goals may result in a

loss of status.

Some writers, however, viewed the cooling out concept

in the context of a much wider debate. Templin and Shearon

(1980), in their article "Curriculum Tracking and Social

Inequality in the Community College" explained that there










appeared to be sharp disagreement between sociological

theorists over whether class structure itself was necessary,

what factors determine the quality of education a person

receives, and the influence of education on upward mobility.

Templin and Shearon (1980) pointed out that there were

two sides to this sociological debate; the functional

theorists vs. the conflict theorists. Functional theorists

viewed social stratification as a necessary, positive, and

effective means of assuring that there will be an adequate

supply of individuals available for the various divisions of

labor (Davis & Moore, 1966). Templin and Shearon (1980)

explained this point of view.

carrying the functionalist argument further,
functional theories of education maintain that in
the American class structure, higher education
serves as the means for the selection, training,
and placement of individuals in positions
commensurate with their abilities. The community
college in particular is viewed as being well
suited to serve as a channel for social mobility
and for the attainment of the American ideal of
achieving social position based upon motivation,
ability, and performance rather than on the basis
of race, sex, or family origin. (p. 84)

Those who support the functionalist point of view claim

the community college provides equal opportunity through its

open-door egalitarian admissions policy and assures that

societal needs will be met through its sorting out function

(Templin & Shearon, 1980). Some, however, disagreed

slightly by stating that community colleges do in fact

enhance social stratification but at the expense of equal










opportunity by channeling high risk students into the

community college.

In particular, the "cooling out function" and the
practice of tracking students with different
abilities into state systems of higher education
were viewed by some sociologists as contributing
to social stratification rather than to the
reduction of barriers to equal opportunity.
(Deegan & Tillery, 1985, p. 15)

The opposite side of this debate centers around what is

called the conflict theory of social stratification.

This viewpoint maintains that social stratification
is neither necessary nor serves to guarantee the
most able persons will fill the most important
positions in society. (Templin & Shearon, 1980,
p. 85)

Carrying the conflict theorists' argument further,

Templin and Shearon (1980) explained that those who

subscribe to this particular theory believed that class

structure served only those who were powerful and wealthy by

allowing them to pass their social status, with all its

inherent privileges, on to their children. This resulted,

they said, in the maintenance of the status quo and social

inequality.

Zwerling (1976), in his book Second Best: The Crisis

of the Community College, appeared to assume this position

by maintaining that community colleges, through the cooling

out process, covertly direct students into basically the

same positions in the social structure that their parents

already occupy. Emphasizing this point, Zwerling (1976)

stated










not only is maintaining the social hierarchy
a primary function of the community college,
but the community college is also remarkably
effective at the job. (p. xix)

Zwerling (1976) argued that, if his thesis were

correct, a hidden function of the community college was to

maintain the social status quo, then the high dropout rate

for community colleges, specifically among the economically

disadvantaged, was not a problem at all but necessary to

provide a labor force for lower level occupations.

Zwerling (1976) observed that although the cooling out

process was gentle, it was deceitful and that it only had

the appearance of openness and fairness. He added that the

primary purpose of testing and subsequent placement into

remedial classes was actually to cast doubt on the students'

confidence that they can do bona fide college work and that

probation was really a tactic designed to put to rest any

last hope that the overaspiring student may have.

Jerome Karabel (1972), in an earlier article entitled

"Community Colleges and Social Stratification: Submerged

Class Conflict in American Higher Education," appeared to

have laid the foundation for many of Zwerling's (1976)

ideas. Karabel (1972) noted that Americans took great pride

in what he called their country's apparent capacity to let

each person advance as far as his abilities could take him,

regardless of social origin. He believed that the emphasis

Americans placed on academic credentials led to a great










demand for access to higher education, regardless of

socioeconomic background or past achievements. However,

Karabel (1972) believed that the community college acted

merely as an illusion of opportunity.

Existing four-year colleges did not, for the most
part, open up to the masses of students demanding
higher education instead, separate two-year
institutions stressing their open and democratic
character were created for these new students.
Herein lies the genius of the community college
movement: it seemingly fulfills the traditional
American quest for equality of opportunity without
sacrificing the principle of achievement.
(pp. 233-234)

Karabel (1972) stated that existing evidence showed

that the community college actually promoted tracking

because, for the most part, those who attended the community

college were from lower social origins and that the

community college was the bottom track o7 the American

system of higher education. He further noted that tracking

took place within the community college in the form of

vocational education. Karabel (1972) summarized his

position as follows:

Thus, the current tracking system in higher
education may help transmit inequality
intergenerationally. Lower class students
disproportionately attend community colleges
which, in turn, channel them into relatively low
status jobs. (p. 237)

Corcoron (1972), in his article "Community Colleges:

The Coming Slums of Higher Education?" discussed another

disadvantage of tracking students into the community

college. He believed that if too many low income or










minority students attend one type of institution, in this

case the community college, then not only would the tracking

process be enhanced, but the educational rewards of ethnic

diversity would also be lost.

According to Templin and Shearon (1980), two studies

have been conducted to determine whether either the

functionalist or conflict theories of social stratification

best describe program activity of community colleges.

The first study (Shearon, Templin, & Daniel, 1976) was

conducted in 1974 using a sample of 6,937 students enrolled

in 16 two-year colleges in the North Carolina Community

College System. The second study (Shearon, Daniel, Hoffman,

Templin, & West, 1980) was conducted in 1979 using 11,888

students enrolled in 57 North Carolina Community Colleges.

In both studies, data regarding student academic ability,

socioecomonic status, curriculum, and demographic

characteristics were collected and analyzed.

Templin and Shearon (1980) summarized the results of

these two studies and noted that

Results from both studies generally confirmed that
students' socioeconomic status characteristics
were associated with the curriculum in which
students eventually enrolled. There indeed
appears to be some merit to Zwerling's charges
that community college programs are stratified in
a relationship which roughly mirrors the
socioeconomic status of students. However, there
also appears to be a relationship between academic
ability and program selection which is independent
of socioeconomic status, just as functionalist
theorists such as Clark might predict. (p. 86)










Templin and Shearon (1980) cautioned, however, that

even though overall there appears to be a positive

relationship between students' socioeconomic status

characteristics and their selected program of study, the

relationships are not consistent across all variables nor

are they particularly strong. They, therefore, finally

concluded that

Those who charge the community college with
tracking students according to their social origin
raise a valid issue which should not be ignored.
However, the problem of tracking can be easily
overplayed with the inference that it is a
pervasive activity in the two-year college which
seriously threatens equal educational opportunity.
The findings of the research [from these two
studies] simply do not support such a conclusion.
(Templin & Shearon, 1980, p. 88)

Bushnell and Kievit (1974) also appeared to be

discounting the tracking function of the community college

by suggesting that the community college be viewed from

another perspective.

The function of the community college is to
recognize that it is serving the needs of a
knowledge society. That is, it provides an
opportunity for developing job skills,
communication skills, and other badly needed
coping skills at low cost to an increasing number
of students. (p. 52)

Bushnell and Kievit (1974) summarized their position by

stating that community colleges should not be viewed as

institutions for cooling out but rather as "one of America's

most noteworthy expressions of egalitarian ideals" (p. 53).










Other Studies Related to Cooling Out Within the
Community College

A review of the literature yields relatively few

studies concerning the direct application of Clark's cooling

out concept to higher education. Several, however, were

identified and warrant inclusion.

Moore (1975) examined the applicability of the cooling

out concept to the experience of women in the two-year

college. The methodology involved interviewing 62 women in

three two-year colleges in central New York State. The

women interviewed were selected on the basis of their choice

of career as indicated by a questionnaire distributed

approximately one month prior to their scheduled interview.

Of the 62 women interviewed, 28 indicated that they were

pursuing a traditional career and 34 indicated a

nontraditional career choice. Moore (1975) believed that

the results of her study showed that women were often cooled

from nontraditional careers to traditional careers mainly

because of gender. This rechanneling, according to Moore

(1975), was facilitated by parents (particularly the

father), counselors, and other institutional personnel.

The research presented here has brought us to a
position similar to Karabel's. While we do not
question the utility and even necessity for
certain individuals to rechannel their aspirations
with the skilled assistance of counselors we
do question the utility and necessity of a process
that results in women being rechanneled because
they are women. (Moore, 1975, p. 583)










Another important study which presents a different

point of view was conducted by Baird (1971). The purpose of

his study was to examine the characteristics of students who

were cooled out during junior college and to compare these

characteristics to two other groups; those who "warmed up"

(increased their aspirations) and those who "stayed"

(retained their original aspirations).

Baird's (1971) sample was comprised of 1,511 men and

1,002 women attending 27 junior colleges. Results showed

that only a small percentage of the total sample lowered

their degree plans (11.4% for men and 14.3% for women),

while a majority actually raised their degree plans (45.3%

for men and 49.4% for women). Many also appeared to retain

their original degree plans (43.3% for men and 36.3% for

women). Variables were also presented which, according to

Baird (1971), helped distinguish between warmers and

coolers, the most significant of which was college grades.

Warmers had higher grades than coolers; however, these

groups did not differ on average high school grades.

Another important finding was that among women, the students

who were cooled out had a significantly higher ACT composite

scores and reported more high school achievements in art and

writing. They also came from families with incomes higher

than those of the warmers. Baird (1971) also reported that,

overall, those who cooled out received lower college grades










than warmers or stayers, but were not lower in academic

aptitude.

Baird's (1971) study, although earlier, appears to cast

doubt upon some of Zwerling's (1976) and Karabel's (1972)

assertions by showing that students who were cooled out were

not necessarily lower in socioeconomic status, academic

aptitude, or high school grades. Baird (1971) conceded

though that it was possible that students who had truly

cooled out, had probably dropped out, and therefore were not

included in the sample. However, Baird (1971) also pointed

out that, overall, those who warmed up tended to score low

on achievement variables and come from families with lower

incomes. According to Zwerling (1976) and Karabel (1972)

one would expect these students to be prime candidates for

cooling out.

Baird (1971) summarized his study and stated that

it is clear that the processes of cooling out and
warming up are not efficient. The talented are
not less likely to be cooled out, and the
untalented are not less likely to be warmed up.
In fact, warming up was much more common than
cooling out. (p. 171)

Fitch (1969) completed a study which also questioned

the effectiveness of the cooling out process at the

community college. Fitch (1969) investigated the cooling

out process as indicated by students' change of major.

Using a sample of 1,000 students from Cerritos College,

California, Fitch (1969, p. 17) hypothesized that, if the










cooling out process was working successfully, then,

operationally, the following should be observed:

1. Students on probation should change their major

more frequently than students who are doing

passing work.

2. Students who initially selected a transfer major

and found themselves on probation should change to

a terminal major.

3. Students who are on probation (both terminal and

transfer) should lower their level of aspiration

by changing to an easier major.

4. Over a period of time the proportion of students

selecting a terminal major should increase.

Results, however, did not support these hypotheses.

Fitch (1969) concluded that

1. Students on probation and those doing passing work

showed no significant differences in frequency of

major change.

2. Only one-third of the students initially selecting

a transfer major changed to a terminal major after

being placed on probation.

3. Almost as many probationary terminal and transfer

students changed to a more difficult major as

selected an easier one, with the majority failing

to change majors at all.










4. The proportion of students seeking terminal majors

declined over time.

Summary of the Review of Literature Pertaining to Cooling
Out

The cooling out concept was originally discussed by

Erving Goffman (1952) who analyzed this phenomenon within

the context of the criminal world. Goffman (1952) used the

term "cooling out" to describe the last phase of the

confidence game in which there was a need to console the

mark after a loss of money and/or status. Clark (1960b),

while studying the development of San Jose Community

College, noticed that a certain set of procedures began to

emerge which were designed to assist students with

unrealistic aspirations in setting alternative career goals

which would be more in line with their abilities. Searching

for terminology to adequately describe this process within

the context of higher education, Clark (1960a) adopted and

adapted "cooling out" to describe these counseling

strategies, fully aware of the consequences of choosing such

an ominous term.

Cooling out has been controversial among sociologists

as well as educators. The literature revealed two schools

of thought regarding cooling out, social stratification, and

the sorting function of the community college.

On one side are the functionalists such as Clark, who

believed that the community college, with its open door,










egalitarian policy of admissions assured equal educational

opportunity and provided a vehicle for upward mobility.

According to the functionalists, this process also assured

that there would be an ample supply of manpower at all

divisions of labor through a natural sorting of ability.

On the other side of the debate are the conflict

theorists who believed that social stratification was

unnecessary and that class structure was determined

primarily by power and wealth which was passed along from

generation to generation. Bowles (1971), Karabel (1972),

and Zwerling (1976) appeared to subscribe to this position

arguing that the community college provided only an illusion

of opportunity and covertly channeled students into

relatively the same social positions that their parents

already occupy.

The literature appeared to support both sides of this

debate. Several writers presented evidence that cooling out

is active within the community college (Karabel, 1972;

Moore, 1975; Zwerling, 1976). Others such as Baird (1971)

and Fitch (1969) discounted the effectiveness of cooling out

by showing a negative correlation between academic ability,

family income, and cooling out.



Factors Associated With Student Attrition

Introduction

Over the past 25 years much has been written concerning

student attrition. Thousands of studies have been conducted










in an effort to determine why some students drop out of

post-secondary education, while other students persist.

Even though a review of attrition-related literature yields

a plethora of research, much of it is not comparable. The

use of different operational definitions and methods of

analysis has, in many cases, "clouded" the attrition issue.

Specifically, the various definitions of the term "dropout"

have kept educational researchers from drawing any

definitive conclusions concerning rates of student

attrition. For example, one study conducted by Nickens

(1976) placed the dropout rate of community college students

in Florida at 2%. According to Nickens (1976) results

showed that many students are mislabeled as dropouts. He

believed that the term dropout as applied to community

colleges should be defined to include only those students

who have not reached their educational goals and have no

plans to do so. Nickens (1976) concluded that community

colleges in Florida do a far better job of retaining

students than previous studies indicated. However, research

conducted by others has indicated the average dropout rate

to be between 24% and 50% (Astin, 1975; Beal & Noel, 1980;

Pantages & Creedon, 1978; Tinto, 1982). Again, this wide

discrepancy is largely due to the variety of methodology

employed and lack of agreement by educational researchers on

common operational definitions. Tinto (1982) explained that










The field of dropout research is in a state of
disarray in large measure because we have been
unable to agree about what behaviors constitute an
appropriate definition of dropout. The result has
been confusion and contradiction as to the
character and causes of dropout from higher
education.

Astin (1975) discussed the disagreement over the

various definitions of dropout and concluded that

no categorization will be wholly satisfactory
until all students either obtain their degrees or
die without receiving them: any former student
can, in theory, go back to college at any time to
complete the degree. (p. 6)

It is therefore important that one proceeds through any

review of literature concerning student attrition with some

degree of caution.

This review is not intended to be exhaustive but will

focus on selected studies and reviews of literature that

will give a contemporary perspective concerning the student

attrition phenomenon. This material is presented so that

the findings related to the cooling out process and student

attrition can viewed in proper perspectives.

This review will focus on research concerning the more

prominent variables associated with student attrition and is

organized by the following subtopic factors: demographic,

academic, motivational, college environment, and

personality.

Demographic Factors Associated with Student Attrition

Age. Pantages and Creedon (1978) summarized 25 years

of attrition research and suggested that rates of attrition










were similar for younger and older students. They concluded

that based on their review, age was not a factor in causing

attrition. Smith (1982) cited other research which appears

to support this conclusion

Age at matriculation studies have shown no
consistently conclusive findings. [Several]
studies have shown similar attrition rates
for both younger and older students. (p. 4)

However, some studies do appear to suggest that age is

a factor in student attrition. Astin (1975) in his book

Preventing Students from Dropping Out explained that for the

most part, dropping out was associated with those students

who were older than traditional freshmen. Lenning (1982)

synthesized several studies and reviews of literature and

concluded that there does appear to be some relationship

between age and reasons given for dropping out. He conceded

though that studies sometimes conflicted because evidence

suggested that while older students were "rusty" on academic

skills, they were often more mature and motivated. Greer

(1980) completed a study which discussed the differences

between traditional and nontraditional age students relative

to academic success and persistence. Using discriminant

analyses, Greer (1980) found that age was negatively related

to persistence for students in regular academic programs and

positively related for those in a developmental program.

Donsky, Burk, and Hite (1979) investigated the

characteristics of 2,969 students who attended Lakeland










Community College, Ohio, in the fall of 1978 but did not

return for the winter term 1979. Results showed that the

typical non-returning student was likely to be a married

woman in her early 30's with little previous college

experience and no definite career goals. Garber (1979)

conducted a similar study and concluded as Donsky et al.

(1979) that non-returning students tended to be older with

limited educational objectives.

In summary, a review of literature concerning age and

attrition appears to be inconclusive. Research presented

here suggests that in some cases age may be a factor but

overall such a relationship is difficult to establish.

Gender. Some studies show that gender may be a factor

in attrition. Astin (1975) concluded that

Among freshman women, those who are either married
or have marriage plans are more likely to drop
out, although among male freshmen being married at
the time of college entrance is related to
persistence. (p. 45)

Taines (1973) discussed the success of a women's

re-entry program at Diablo Valley College in California and

suggested that women, more than men, seem to discontinue

their education early for a variety of reasons such as

marriage, child bearing and rearing, the need to earn money,

and societal discouragement of women in higher education.

Several studies appear to show that women drop out

more frequently than men. Baratta (1978) analyzed the

characteristics of nonpersisting students at Moraine Valley










Community College in Illinois and found that 56% of the

nonpersisters were female. Slark (1978) completed a

longitudinal study of student flow and persistence at Santa

Ana College in California. Results showed that 58% of the

male students persisted compared to a 50% rate for the

female students.

Several studies show no relationship between gender and

attrition. Pantages and Creedon (1978) concluded that sex

was not a significant variable in determining attrition,

however, they pointed out that sex does appear to become

more significant as scholastic, environmental,

institutional, and longitudinal factors come into play.

Smith (1982) stated that most studies show no significant

differences in attrition rates for men and women. However,

he added that women appear to have a slightly higher chance

of completing a bachelor's degree in four years than men.

Lenning (1982), in his summary of attrition research,

pointed out that different rates of attrition for men and

women can be explained by other variables such as

differences in motivation, socioeconomic level, and martial

status.

In summary, women appear to discontinue their education

slightly earlier than men do; however, it appears that these

differences can possibly be explained by other interacting

variables. Women are likely to cite non-academic reasons









for withdrawal while men are more likely to cite an academic

reason.

Socioeconomic status. Most researchers appear to agree

that students of lower socioeconomic status drop out more

frequently than those of higher status. Lenning (1982)

summarized several studies and concluded that

students from the lowest socioeconomic levels drop
out more often than do more advantaged students.
This is less the result of the parents' income and
occupation than of their educational level. The
educational level of parents is often related to
how much they value a college education for their
children, as well as to they type of environment
they provided for students while they were growing
up. (p.36)

Kester (1971) explained that the typical community

college dropout was likely to be black and from a family

background which is less affluent than the average.

Pantages and Creedon (1978) pointed out that there

appeared to be "little agreement as to the effects and

significance of SES [socioeconomic status] factors on rates

of attrition" (p. 58).

In summary, most research appears to show some

relationship between socioeconomic status and attrition.

However, as pointed out by Lenning (1982) it is often the

interaction of other variables such as parents' education,

and to some extent, parents' income and occupation that

determines the strength of the relationship.

Race and ethnic background. Pantages and Creedon

(1978) concluded from their review that most studies that











indicated a relationship between race, ethnic background,

and student attrition did not control for academic factors.

They explained that when factors such as high school rank

and scholastic aptitude were held constant, race and

ethnicity were not significant factors which explained

attrition.

However, McMillan (1977) in his attrition study of

Essex County College, New Jersey, found that the majority of

those who had dropped out were from minority racial or

ethnic origin. Kolstad (1977), in his national study of

attrition from two- and four-year colleges and universities,

found that black and Hispanic students withdrew more

frequently than white students. Another study by de los

Santos, Montemayor, and Solis (1980) found similar results.

They concluded that national data from two- and four-year

institutions indicated that Hispanics had significantly

higher rates of attrition than non-Hispanics.

Lenning (1982) summarized well the relationship between

race, ethnicity, and student attrition:

Hispanic students tend to drop out more often,
irrespective of controls used; Asian and Jewish
students less often. Blacks and American Indians
drop out more often, but such differences
disappear when socioeconomic level, ability test
scores, and motivation are controlled. (p.36)

Academic Factors Associated with Student Attrition

High school grades. High school grades appear to be

the single most important factor in determining who will










drop out of college. In combination with other factors such

as academic ability, high school grades become an even

better predictor of persistence. Astin (1975) stated that

"by far the greatest predictive factor is the student's past

academic record and academic ability" (p. 45). Pantages and

Creedon (1978) reviewed numerous studies and concluded, as

Astin (1975) did, that high school grades were extremely

useful in predicting success at the college level. However,

it is important to note that Pantages and Creedon (1978)

distinguished between academic success and academic

persistence. They cited several studies that showed high

school GPA was predictive of college grades but not

necessarily college persistence. Lenning (1982) in his

review of the literature stated that although high school

grades and rank in high school have been found to have a

high relationship to student attrition, they account for

only a small percentage of the variance, less than 10%.

In summary, most researchers appear to agree that high

school grades yield the highest single correlation

coefficient when correlated with persistence, however, this

coefficient is usually moderate at best (.50 or less),

leaving room for the interaction of many other variables.

Scholastic aptitude. Scholastic aptitude, like high

school grades, appears to be a good indicator of academic

success and potential for graduation. Rowell (1974)

surveyed the literature and examined characteristics of










students who dropped out after or during their freshman

year. He found that students quite often dropped out

because of poor scholastic ability. Astin (1975) found that

high scores on college admissions tests were significant in

predicting persistence but not as powerful as high school

grades. Lenning's (1982) review of the literature cited

similar results:

lower college-admissions test scores and reading
test scores are related to higher attrition
and imply that students have to work much harder
to succeed in college. Reading ability is also
related to other communication abilities important
for college achievement. (p. 37)

Smith (1982) cited several studies and stated that

"Most of the attrition appears to be during the first year

and among those who are academically less talented" (p. 2).

Pantiges and Creedon (1978) summarized the

effectiveness of academic factors such as high school

grades, rank, and scholastic aptitude in predicting

persistence and concluded that these factors

are effective in predicting college achievement,
but are less effective in predicting college
persistence. Whereas these measures are the most
significant predictors of attrition, they only
account for a small proportion of the students who
drop out. (p. 64)

Another study conducted by Farnsworth (1982) found that

academically accelerated students dropped out at the same

rate as marginal students. In his attrition study at

Muscatine Community College, Iowa, Farnsworth (1982)










concluded that these gifted students were dropping out

because they were not being challenged.

In summary, scholastic ability, as with high school

grades, appears to be an important criterion for predicting

college success, but not necessarily persistence.

College grades. Although dropouts tend to have lower

grades than persisters, most dropouts have satisfactory

grades (Lenning, 1982). Russell and Perez (1980) discussed

a study by the University of California and observed that

many students dropped out voluntarily before their average

dropped enough to be placed on academic probation.

According to Smith (1982) men more than women are likely to

say their reasons for dropping out were because of poor

academic performance. Baratta (1978) in an analysis of

nonpersisters at Moraine Valley Community College, Illinois,

found that of those students who dropped out, 40% had a GPA

over 3.0; however, 26% had a G.P.A. of 0.0. Pantages and

Creedon (1978) found that many studies showed a highly

significant relationship between attrition and first

semester college grades. However, they cautioned that other

studies seemed to indicate "that poor grades are a far more

stable predictor of attrition than good grades are a

predictor of retention" (p. 64).

In summary, it appears that students who drop out

generally have lower grades than persisters, however, while

these grades are lower, most often they are still









satisfactory. Good grades appear to be a poor measure of

persistence while bad grades appear to be a better indicator

of attrition.

Curriculum. Students in some majors persist better

than others (Lenning, 1982; Wilner, 1982). Math and science

majors drop out more frequently than most other majors

(Russell & Perez, 1980). Baratta (1978), in an attrition

study at Moraine Valley Community College, Illinois, found

that 53% of those who dropped out were in occupational

programs while 47% were in transfer programs. Smitherman

and Carr (1981) described a study of 20,031 noncurricular

community college students in Virginia. One purpose of the

study was to determine if the curriculum a student finally

enrolls in is predictive of persistence in the community

college. Results showed a statistically significant

relationship between the final curriculum choice of students

and persistence. Nespoli and Radcliffe (1982) conducted a

study to determine the persistence rate of Howard Community

College (Maryland) students from the fall of 1981 to the

spring of 1982. Results indicated the overall persistence

rate to be 61.1%; however, full-time occupational students

had the highest persistence rate at 83.6%.

In summary, there appears to be agreement in the

literature that students in some majors persist better than

others. However, the research is inconclusive as to which










majors or programs have the highest rates of attrition or

persistence.

Motivational Factors Associated with Student Attrition

Educational goals and commitment. According to Bean

and Metzner (1985) student educational goals at the time of

entry include

the highest level of education sought, the amount
of importance ascribed to obtaining a college
education, and the likelihood of completing an
educational goal at the present institution.
(p. 495)

Several major models have been developed which explain

the decision to withdraw from college as a process which

includes numerous interacting antecedents. In Tinto's

(1975) conceptual framework goal commitment is paramount:

In the final analysis, it is the interplay between
the individual's commitment to the goal of college
completion and his commitment to the institution
that determines whether or not the individual
decides to drop out from college. .
Presumably, either low goal commitment or low
institutional commitment can lead to dropout.
(p. 96)

Tinto (1975) also explained what appears to happen when

a student's institutional commitment, and commitment to

complete college, are of different levels and intensities:

Given levels of institutional commitment, the
lower the individual's commitment to the goal of
college completion, the more likely is he to drop
out from college. Largely the result of the
person's experience in the academic domain, the
person may reevaluate his educational expectations
and decide to withdraw voluntarily from the
institution. This may occur despite his having
been socially integrated into the institution.
The notion of self-selection applies here. Burton










Clark's (1960) discussion of the "cooling-out"
process in higher education may be another.
(p. 96-97)

Bean and Metzner (1985) developed a conceptual

framework based on variables which explained nontraditional

rather than traditional student attrition. Their model was

built on the premise that nontraditional students drop out

for somewhat different reasons than traditional students.

They found, as Tinto (1975) did for traditional students,

that educational goals at entry and commitment to those

goals were extremely significant factors for determining

student persistence.

Other studies stressed the importance of educational

goals. Beal and Noal (1980) stated that "low academic

achievement and limited educational aspirations were the two

most important dropout-prone characteristics" (p. 19).

Lenning (1982) in his review of the literature stated that

"Students aspiring to doctoral or professional degrees are

more likely to persist than those with lower degree

aspirations" (p. 38). Astin's (1975) study also appeared to

indicate a strong relationship between the academic degrees

one plans to obtain and persistence. Results reported by

Astin (1975) showed that students with higher degree

aspirations at entry enjoyed higher rates of persistence

when examined four years later.

In summary, motivational factors such as educational

goals and commitment to those goals, play an important role










in predicting student persistence. Several conceptual

models have been developed which attempt to explain

attrition for nontraditional as well as traditional

students. All of these models recognize the importance of,

and therefore, rely heavily on motivational factors. Ramist

(1981) summarized it well:

student motivational factors may be considered the
sine qua non of persistence, and therefore the
most important target of persistence research.
(p. 10)

Personality Factors Associated with Student Attrition

Pantages and Creedon (1978) observed that

the study of personality factors and their
relation to attrition is faced with many of the
same difficulties discussed in connection with
motivational factors in attrition. A problem lies
once again with measurement techniques. (p. 74)

Pantages and Creedon (1978) viewed personality

variables as a potential source of valuable information

concerning persistence. They cautioned however, that the

reason why most current studies fail to report significant

findings may not be due to measurement problems but simply

to the absence of a significant relationship between

motivation, personality, and attrition. Pantages and

Creedon (1978) also observed that "current research has

challenged the belief that dropouts are more angry than

persisting students, particularly towards the college"

(p. 72). They cited several studies that reported that most

"dropouts rarely felt any anger toward themselves, their










college, their parents, or toward society in general"

(p. 72). They concluded that based on their review of the

literature "personality variables should be included in any

analysis of persistence or withdrawal in college [however]

they cannot yet be regarded as predictive factors" (p. 75).

Lenning (1982), in his review, observed that students

who are more mature, responsible, and clear in their goals

and aspirations tend to persist. He also reported that

anxiety about success (at normal levels), and a healthy

positive self concept appear to enhance persistence.

In summary, the literature yields relatively few

studies concerning personality variables and student

attrition. Most research found inconclusive results. This

appears to be a neglected area of research primarily because

of the lack of accurate measuring techniques.

Environmental Factors Associated with Student Attrition

The ease at which students are able to integrate

themselves socially into the college environment has proven

to affect student retention and persistence. Tinto (1975)

suggested that students who academically and socially

integrate themselves into the college environment persist

significantly longer than students who attend for academic

or social benefits only. Tinto's (1975) observations have

been validated by other studies (Pascarella, 1982;

Pascarella & Terenzini, 1980).










Bean and Metzner (1985) suggested that for

nontraditional students, environmental factors were more

important than academic factors:

for nontraditional students, environmental support
compensates for weak academic support, but
academic support will not compensate for weak
environmental support. (p. 492)

Astin (1975) discussed the benefits of leaving home to

attend college and the positive effects of participation in

extracurricular activities:

students concerned about maximizing their chances
of finishing college should seriously consider
leaving home and living in a college dormitory.
Simply getting away from home appears to enhance a
man's chances of finishing college even if he
lives in a private room or apartment. For the
woman, however, leaving home may reduce her
chances of finishing college if she opts for
private residence. (p. 107)

Concerning extracurricular activities Astin (1975)

suggested that

participation in extracurricular activities,
especially membership in social fraternities or
sororities, is also significantly related to
staying in college. These findings support the
theory that student persistence to some extent
depends on the degree of personal involvement in
campus life and environment. (p. 108)

Rowell (1974) in his review of the literature, observed

the importance of what he called "college-related factors"

to persistence. According to Rowell (1974) these

environmental factors are important because they provide for

self interaction with peers, faculty, curricula, and

institutional activities.










In summary, students who acclimate themselves both

academically and socially to the college environment persist

longer than those who do not. The idea of an appropriate

"fit" between student and institution, as advanced by Astin

(1975) and Cope and Hannah (1975) appears to be valid.

Conclusion and Summary

The preceding review documents the complexity of the

student attrition problem. No single factor can account for

this phenomenon. While several variables in isolation

appear to be more significant than others, it becomes

obvious that the attrition problem must be viewed within the

context of a multitude of interacting variables. The

cooling out concept ascribed to Clark (1960) is significant

to this body of knowledge in that it could yet be another

piece of the puzzle which when viewed as a whole better

explains the attrition problem. This review has hopefully

provided the reader with an appreciation and understanding

of the breadth and depth of the student attrition

phenomenon.
















CHAPTER III

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Introduction

Basic procedures for completion of the study were

presented in Chapter I. This chapter will expand on those

procedures and discuss in more detail the following

subtopics: design of the study, setting, sample

selection, procedures for data collection, and statistical

procedures for data analysis.



Design of the Study

Since the variables involved in this study are

"attribute" variables in that they can not be directly

manipulated by the researcher, an ex post facto design was

utilized. Ex post facto designs are appropriate when "the

research in question is conducted after variations in the

independent variable have already been determined in the

natural course of events" (Ary, Jacobs, & Razavich, 1979,

p. 271). Although ex post facto designs are not

considered useful for showing causal relationships among

variables, they do "provide a method that can be used in

the circumstances under which much of educational research

must be conducted" (Ary, Jacobs, & Razavich, 1979, p. 273).










Students selected for this study were placed into discrete

categories based on historical information. Because of

this, it appears appropriate that this study be classified

as ex post facto research.



Setting

To assure that the sample selected for study

contained an adequate mix of students from white and blue

collar families, the target population was extracted from

two community colleges based on the criterion that one

serves a predominantly urban population (college A), and

one serves a predominantly rural population (college B).

College A and college B were chosen based on available

information such as the population density and urban

residence of the counties they serve, and the size of

their enrollment. Table 1 presents a density analysis of

the respective districts based on district population,

square miles, and persons per square mile. Table 2

contrasts the urban population of each district, and Table

3 compares the total annual (1983-1984) enrollment and

full-time equivalents of each college. The information

presented in these tables reveal the urban and rural

characteristics of college A and college B which confirms

the appropriateness of their selection as the target

population for this study.










Table 1

Density Breakdown of the Target Population


District District Area Persons per
College Population Square Miles Square Mile


A (URBAN) 728,531 280 2,601.0

B (RURAL) 74,372 2,682 27.7

STATE 9,746,424 54,153 180.0



Note. Data in Table 1 are from 1980 census handbook
Florida counties, F. W. Terhune & S. S. Floyd (Eds.),
1984, Gainesville, FL: University Presses of Florida.






Table 2

Urban Residence of the Target Population



District Population Percent
College Urban Urban


A (URBAN) 724,988 99.5

B (RURAL) 16,882 22.7

STATE 8,212,385 84.3



Note. Data in Table 2 are from 1980 census handbook
Florida counties, F. W. Terhune & S. S. Floyd (Eds.),
1984, Gainesville, FL: University Presses of Florida.










Table 3

Enrollment Breakdown of the Target Population


Annual 1983-1984

College Enrollment FTE


A (URBAN) 43,014 8,884

B (RURAL) 8,113 2,060



Note. Data for Table 3 are from the Report for Florida
community colleges 1983-84: Part 1 statistical tables.
Department of Education, Division of Community Colleges,
Tallahassee, FL.



Sample Selection

The registrar's office of each college (college A and

college B) was asked to provide a master list comprised of

students whose last term of enrollment was the fall

semester 1984. These master lists were then divided into

two subgroups: those who graduated at the conclusion of

the fall semester of 1984 and those who dropped out during

the fall semester of 1984. Using a table of random

numbers, 50 students were selected from each subgroup.

Figure 1 illustrates this process.




























Target
Population-
(6253)


Master List
College A
(5757)


















Master List
"College B
(496)


-Dropouts Random Sample
(5230) (50)






-Graduates-- Random Sample
(527) (50)











-Dropouts --- Random Sample
(421) (50)





-Graduates Random Sample
(75) (50)


Figure 1

Sample Selection Process


Note: Numbers in parentheses indicate the total number of
students in that group.










Procedures for Data Collection

Academic transcripts were obtained for each student

in the sample. These transcripts were utilized to

determine the following information for each student:

1. race

2. gender

3. placement test scores (if available)

4. enrollment in developmental courses

5. academic standing

6. degrees) or certificates) awarded (if any)

A telephone survey was utilized to obtain the

following additional information necessary for the study

but not found on individual student transcripts:

1. major at entry

2. major at graduation or exit

3. reasons) for changing major (if appropriate)

4. father's occupation

By reviewing individual transcripts and information

obtained through the telephone survey, it was then

possible to synthesize and record for analysis the

following information for each student selected for study:

1. race: white, other

2. gender: male, female

3. father's occupation: white collar, blue collar

4. status: graduate, dropout









5. process: followed the cooling out process, did

not follow the cooling out process.



Statistical Procedures For Data Analysis

Data Classification

Based on the criteria set forth in Stevens' (1951)

taxonomy of measurement, the data which were collected,

synthesized, and analyzed for this study were classified

as "nominal" data. "Nominal measurement involves the

placing of objects or individuals into categories which

are qualitatively rather than quantitatively different"

(Ary, Jacobs, & Razavich, 1979, p. 92). As explained in

the preceding section, Procedures for Data Collection, all

student information collected for this study was

synthesized and placed into descrete categories such as

race, gender, father's occupation, status, and process.

The placement of students into these qualitative groups

constitutes a nominal or classificatory scale of

measurement.

Procedures for Analysis

Because the data collected for this study were

classified as belonging to the nominal scale of

measurement, the appropriate nonparametric statistical

procedures were sought to evaluate the six hypotheses

presented in Chapter I. Depending on expected cell

frequencies, degrees of freedom, and the number of










variables being considered, each hypothesis employed one

or more of the following procedures defined below.

Chi-square test for contingency tables. This

procedure commonly referred to as the chi-square test for

independent samples, is considered a useful procedure for

determining whether two nominal measures are related

(Roscoe, 1975; Siegel, 1956). Although this procedure has

no restrictions with respect to the number of categories

in either the row or column variable, there are, however,

restrictions with respect to sample size. According to

Siegel (1956), chi-square tests for contingency tables

with two or more degrees of freedom are appropriate if

fewer than 20% of the cells have an expected frequency of

less than five, and no cell has an expected frequency of

less than one. Roscoe (1975) recommends that in

two-by-two contingency tables (the situation where degrees

of freedom is equal to one) the average expected cell

frequency should be no less than seven. For smaller

expected frequencies, Fisher's exact test should be used.

Fisher's exact test. This nonparametric procedure is

extremely useful in comparing two independent samples on a

dichotomous criterion (two-by-two contingency tables).

The Fisher's exact test may be substituted for the

chi-square test for contingency tables when the data are

cast into a two-by-two bivariate frequency table and the








average expected cell frequency is less than seven

(Roscoe, 1975; Siegel, 1956).

Chi-square test for goodness of fit. This procedure,

sometimes called a one sample chi-square test, is useful

to determine whether an observed frequency distribution

departs significantly from an expected frequency

distribution based on the null hypothesis (Roscoe, 1975).

It is recommended by Roscoe (1975) that when the degrees

of freedom are less than two, the expected cell

frequencies should be equal to, or, greater than five.

Tests for Hypotheses

Table 4 presents information regarding the methods)

of analysis selected for each null hypothesis presented in

Chapter I. The .05 level of significance was used as the

basis for rejecting the null hypotheses.



Table 4

Selected Method(s) of Analysis for Each Hypothesis



Hypothesis Method(s) of Analysis


1 chi-square test for goodness of fit

2 chi-square test for goodness of fit

3 chi-square test for goodness of fit

4 chi-square test for contingency tables
Fisher's exact test

5 chi-square test for contingency tables

6 chi-square test for contingency tables
Fisher's exact test
















CHAPTER IV

PRESENTATION OF RESULTS

Introduction

The primary purpose of this study was to determine if

there is a significant difference in relation to selected

student characteristics between students who have followed

the cooling out process, and those who have not, as measured

by their graduation status from a two-year community

college. This chapter presents an analysis of the data

which were collected to answer this research question and is

organized by the following subtopics: (a) descriptive

analysis of the random sample, (b) tests of hypotheses, (c)

other related findings, and (d) summary of Chapter IV.



Descriptive Analysis of the Random Sample

As described in Chapter III the sample selected for

study was extracted from the target population using a table

of random numbers. A total of 100 dropouts (50 from each

college) and 100 graduates (50 from each college) were drawn

for study. Since the hypotheses addressed in this study

were defined in terms of two factors,

1. Student Status and,

2. Process










with each of these factors having two levels,

1. Student Status

a. graduate

(1) race

(2) gender

(3) father's occupation

b. dropout

(1) race

(2) gender

(3) father's occupation

2. Process

a. followed the cooling out process

b. did not follow the cooling out process

a descriptive analysis of the sample based on these two

factors and their corresponding levels is presented.

Student Status and Race

Of the 200 students drawn for study, 86.5% were

classified as "white", and 13.5% were classified as "other"

minorities. Considering only white students, 49.7% were

dropouts while 50.3% were graduates. Minority students

showed a similar distribution with 52.0% and 48.0% falling

into the dropout and graduate categories respectively. The

racial composition of the sample in relation to student

status is presented in Table 5.










Table 5

Descriptive Analysis of Sample: Student Status and Race



Student Status

Race Dropouts Graduates Total


White 86 (49.7) 87 (50.3) 173 (100.0)

Other 14 (52.0) 13 (48.0) 27 (100.0)

Total 100 100 200



Note. Values presented are frequency totals.
Numbers in parentheses indicate row percentages.


Student Status and Gender

Of the 200 students selected for study, 45.0% were male

and 55.0% were female. Both male and female students were

relatively evenly distributed between the dropout and

graduate categories. Considering only male students, 47.8%

were dropouts and 52.2% were graduates. Female students

showed a similar distribution with 51.8% and 48.2% falling

into the dropout and graduate categories respectively.

Table 6 presents a frequency analysis of gender in relation

to student status.

Student Status and Father's Occupation

Of the 200 students drawn for study, 44.0% had a father

whose occupation was considered to be "white" collar, and

56.0% had a father whose occupation was considered to be










Table 6

Descriptive Analysis of Sample: Student Status and Gender



Student Status

Gender Dropouts Graduates Total


Male 43 (47.8) 47 (52.2) 90 (100.0)

Female 57 (51.8) 53 (48.2) 110 (100.0)

Total 100 100 200



Note. Values presented are frequency totals.
Numbers in parentheses indicate row percentages.


"blue" collar. When isolating those students of white

collar families, 55.0% were dropouts and 45.0% were

graduates. Students of blue collar families showed a

similar distribution with 46.4% and 53.6% falling into the

dropout and graduate categories respectively. Table 7

presents a frequency analysis of father's occupation and

student status.

Process and Race

Of the 200 students selected for study, 31.5% followed

the cooling out process and 68.5% did not follow the cooling

out process. When considering only white students, 27.2%

followed the cooling out process and 72.8% did not. Other

minority students showed a somewhat different distribution

with 59.3% and 40.7% falling into the cooled out and not












Table 7

Descriptive Analysis of Sample: Student Status and
Father's Occupation



Student Status

Father's
Occupation Dropouts Graduates Total


White 48 (55.0) 40 (45.0) 88 (100.0)

Blue 52 (46.4) 60 (53.6) 112 (100.0)

Total 100 100 200



Note. Values presented are frequency totals.
Numbers in parentheses indicate row percentages.


cooled out categories respectively. Table 8 presents a

frequency analysis of process and race.

Process and Gender

Of the 90 male students included in the sample, 34.4%

followed the cooling out process and 65.6% did not follow

the cooling out process. Of the 110 female students

included in the sample, 29.1% and 70.9% fell into the cooled

out and not cooled out categories respectively. Table 9

presents a frequency analysis of process and gender.

Process and Father's Occupation

Of the 88 students selected for study whose father had

a white collar occupation, 29.6% followed the cooling out









Table 8

Descriptive Analysis of Sample: Process and Race



Process

Race Cooled Out Not Cooled Out Total


White 47 (27.2) 126 (72.8) 173 (100.0)

Other 16 (59.3) 11 (40.7) 27 (100.0)

Total 63 (31.5) 137 (68.5) 200 (100.0)



Note. Values presented are frequency totals.
Numbers in parentheses indicate row percentages.




Table 9

Descriptive Analysis of Sample: Process and Gender



Process

Race Cooled Out Not Cooled Out Total


Male 31 (34.4) 59 (65.6) 90 (100.0)

Female 32 (29.1) 78 (70.9) 110 (100.0)

Total 63 (31.5) 137 (68.5) 200 (100.0)



Note. Values presented are frequency totals.
Numbers in parentheses indicate row percentages.










process and 70.4% did not follow the cooling out process.

Of the 112 students whose father had a blue collar

occupation, the distribution was somewhat similar with 33.0%

and 67.0% falling into the cooled out and not cooled out

categories respectively. Table 10 presents a frequency

analysis of process and father's occupation.



Table 10

Descriptive Analysis of Sample: Process and
Father's Occupation



Process

Father's
Occupation Cooled Out Not Cooled Out Total


White 26 (29.6) 62 (70.4) 88 (100.0)

Blue 37 (33.0) 75 (67.0) 112 (100.0)

Total 63 (31.5) 137 (68.5) 200 (100.0)



Note. Values presented are frequency totals.
Numbers in parentheses indicate row percentages.


Tests of Hypotheses

As previously outlined, the purpose of this study was

defined in terms of six null hypotheses which involved the

analysis of various factors and levels of factors, based on

the variables of race, gender, and father's occupation.

This section addresses each hypothesis individually and










discusses its statistical significance based on the method

of analysis employed. In some cases it was necessary to

preface and/or supplement the testing of some of these null

hypotheses with other statistical analyses to enhance the

limpidity of the overall investigation. All null hypotheses

were tested at the .05 level of significance.

Before proceeding to hypotheses one, two, and three

which test for significant differences between the primary

levels of student status and process, it was logical to

determine first if a statistically significant relationship

existed between student status and process. A chi-square

test for independent samples was employed to test the null

hypothesis that there is no significant relationship between

student status and process. The obtained X2 (1, N = 200) =

12.26, p<.05, with its corresponding contingency coefficient

of .24 resulted in rejecting the null hypothesis.

Therefore, the relationship between student status and

process is statistically significant. Table 11 presents

this analysis.

Test of Hypothesis One

HO1: There is no difference between the percentage of
dropouts who followed the cooling out process and
those who did not.

A chi-square test for goodness of fit was utilized to

determine if there was a statistically significant

difference between the percentage of dropouts who followed










the cooling out process and those who did not. The obtained

X2 (1, N = 100) = 6.129, p<.05, resulted in rejecting null

hypothesis one. Table 12 presents this analysis.



Table 11

Chi-Square Analysis: Student Status by Process



Process

Status Cooled Out Not Cooled Out Total


Dropouts 43 57 100

Graduates 20 80 100

Total 63 137 200



Note. Chi-square value = 12.26, df = 1, p = .000.
Contingency coefficient = .24.



Table 12

Chi-Square Test for Goodness of Fit: Dropouts by Process


Frequencies (Dropouts)

Observed Expected


Cooled Out 43 31.5

Not Cooled Out 57 68.5

Total 100 100



Note. Chi-square value = 6.129, df = 1, p = .013.


Process










Test of Hypothesis Two

HO2: There is no difference between the percentage of
graduates who followed the cooling out process and
those who did not.


A chi-square test for goodness of fit was used to

determine whether the percentage of graduates who followed

the cooling out process differed significantly from the

percentage of those who did not. The obtained X2 (1, N =

100) = 6.129, p<.05, resulted in rejecting hypothesis two.

Table 13 presents this analysis.



Table 13

Chi-Square Test for Goodness of Fit: Graduates by Process



Frequencies (Graduates)

Process Observed Expected


Cooled Out 20 31.5

Not Cooled Out 80 68.5

Total 100 100



Note. Chi-square value = 6.129, df = 1, p = .013.



Test of Hypothesis Three

HO3: There is no difference between the percentage of
dropouts who followed the cooling out process and the
percentage of graduates who followed the cooling out
process.










A chi-square test for goodness of fit was used to

determine if the percentage of dropouts who followed the

cooling out process differed significantly from the

percentage of graduates who followed the cooling out

process. The obtained X2 (1, N = 63) = 8.397, p<.05,

resulted in rejecting hypothesis three. Table 14 presents

this analysis.



Table 14

Chi-Square Test for Goodness of Fit: Those Cooled Out by
Student Status



Frequencies (Those Cooled Out)

Student Status Observed Expected


Dropouts 43 31.5

Graduates 20 31.5

Total 63 63



Note. Chi-square value = 8.397, df = 1, p = .003.


Since the rejection of hypothesis three established

that a statistically significant difference existed between

the percentages of dropouts and graduates who followed the

cooling out process, a second chi-square test for goodness

of fit was applied to determine if a statistically

significant difference existed between the percentages of










dropouts and graduates who did not follow the cooling out

process. The obtained X2 (1, N = 137) = 3.861, p<.05,

resulted in rejecting the null hypothesis that there is no

significant difference between the percentage of dropouts

who did not follow the cooling out process and the

percentage of graduates who did not follow the cooling out

process. Table 15 presents this analysis.



Table 15

Chi-Square Test for Goodness of Fit: Those Not Cooled Out
by Student Status


Frequencies (Those Not Cooled Out)

Student Status Observed Expected


Dropouts 57 68.5

Graduates 80 68.5

Total 137 137



Note. Chi-square value = 3.861, df = 1, E = .049.


Chi-Square Analyses: Race by Process, Gender by Process,
and Father's Occupation by Process

Before proceeding to hypotheses four, five, and six

which test for significant differences between student

status and process based on the variables of race, gender,

and father's occupation, it was logical to determine first

if a statistically significant relationship existed between










these variables and process. Therefore, the following

chi-square tests for independent samples were employed.

1. race by process

2. gender by process

3. father's occupation by process

Race by process. A chi-square test for independent

samples was applied to test the null hypothesis that there

is no statistically significant relationship between race

and process. The obtained X2 (1, N = 200) = 11.147, p<.05,

with its corresponding contingency coefficient of .23

resulted in rejecting the null hypothesis. Therefore, the

relationship between race and process was statistically

significant. Table 16 presents this analysis.



Table 16

Chi-Square Analysis: Race by Process



Process

Race Cooled Out Not Cooled Out Total


White 47 126 173

Other 16 11 27

Total 63 137 200



Note. Chi-square value = 11.147, df = 1, p = .001.
Contingency coefficient = .23.









Gender by process. A chi-square test for independent

samples was applied to test the null hypothesis that there

is no significant relationship between gender and process.

The obtained X2 (1, N = 200) = .657, p>.05, with its

corresponding contingency coefficient of .06 resulted in

accepting the null hypothesis. Therefore, the relationship

between gender and process was not statistically

significant. Table 17 presents this analysis.



Table 17

Chi-Square Analysis: Gender by Process



Process

Race Cooled Out Not Cooled Out Total


Male 31 59 90

Female 32 78 110

Total 63 137 200



Note. Chi-square value = .657, df = 1, p = .417.
Contingency coefficient = .06.


Father's occupation by process. A chi-square test for

independent samples was applied to test the null hypothesis

that there is no statistically significant relationship

between father's occupation and process. The obtained X2

(1, N = 200) = .598, 2>.05, with its corresponding










contingency coefficient of .04 resulted in accepting the

null hypothesis. Therefore, the relationship between

father's occupation and process was not statistically

significant. Table 18 presents this analysis.



Table 18

Chi-Square Analysis: Father's Occupation by Process



Process

Father's
Occupation Cooled Out Not Cooled Out Total


White 26 62 88

Blue 37 75 112

Total 63 137 200



Note. Chi-square value = .278, df = 1, p = .598.
Contingency coefficient = .04.


Test of Hypothesis Four

HO4: There is no difference between the percentage
of dropouts who followed the cooling out process and
the percentage of graduates who followed the cooling
out process based on the variables of race, gender,
and father's occupation.


The investigation of hypothesis four involved the use

of the chi-square test for independent samples and the

Fisher's exact test. Each variable (race, gender, father's

occupation) was cross tabulated with student status










(dropouts, graduates) which was sorted by process (those who

followed the cooling out process, those who did not follow

the cooling out process). This design resulted in the

following six cross tabulations each of which utilized the

chi-square statistic with the exception of number two which

employed the Fisher's exact test because 25% of the cells in

that contingency table had expected frequencies less than

five:

1. race by student status (for those cooled out),

2. race by student status (for those not cooled out),

3. gender by student status (for those cooled out),

4. gender by student status (for those not cooled

out),

5. father's occupation by student status (for those

cooled out), and

6. father's occupation by student status (for those

not cooled out).

Race by student status (those cooled out). A

chi-square test for independent samples was used to test the

null hypothesis that there is no difference between the

percentage of dropouts who followed the cooling out process

and the percentage of graduates who followed the cooling out
2
process based on the variable of race. The obtained X (1,

N = 63) = .002, p>.05, with its corresponding contingency

coefficient of .01 resulted in accepting the null

hypothesis. Table 19 presents this analysis.












Table 19

Chi-Square Analysis: Race by Student Status Sorted by
Process to Isolate Those Who Were Cooled Out



Student Status (Those Cooled Out)

Race Dropouts Graduates Total


White 32 15 47

Other 11 5 16

Total 43 20 63



Note. Chi-square value = .002, df = 1, p = .961.
Contingency coefficient = .01.


Race by student status (those not cooled out). The

Fisher's exact test was selected to test the null hypothesis

that there is no difference between the precentage of

dropouts who did not follow the cooling out process and the

precentage of graduates who did not follow the cooling out

process based on the variable of race. The selection of

Fisher's exact test was based on expected cell frequencies.

The obtained two-tailed probability of occurrence under the

null hypothesis was .361 (N = 137), p >.05, which resulted

in accepting the null hypothesis. Table 20 presents this

analysis.










Table 20

Fisher's Exact Test: Race by Student Status Sorted by
Process to Isolate Those Who Were Not Cooled Out



Student Status (Those Not Cooled Out)

Race Dropouts Graduates Total


White 54 72 126

Other 3 8 11

Total 57 80 137



Note. Fisher's exact test two-tail probability of
occurrence under the null hypothesis = .361.


Gender by student status (those cooled out). A

chi-square test for independent samples was used to test the

null hypothesis that there is no difference between the

percentage of dropouts who followed the cooling out process

and the precentage of graduates who followed the cooling out

process based on the variable of gender. The obtained X2

(1, N = 63) = 2.924, p>.05, with its corresponding

contingency coefficient of .21 resulted in accepting the

null hypothesis. Table 21 presents this analysis.

Gender by student status (those not cooled out). A

chi-square test for independent samples was used to test the

null hypothesis that there is no difference between the

percentage of dropouts who did not follow the cooling out

process and the percentage of graduates who did not follow










Table 21

Chi-Square Analysis: Gender by Student Status Sorted by
Process to Isolate Those Who Were Cooled Out



Student Status (Those Cooled Out)

Gender Dropouts Graduates Total


Male 18 13 31

Female 25 7 32

Total 43 20 63



Note. Chi-square value = 2.924, df = 1, p = .087.
Contingency coefficient = .21.


the cooling out process based on the variable of gender.

The obtained X2 (1, N = 137) = .025, p>.05, with its

corresponding contingency coefficient of .02 resulted in

accepting the null hypothesis. Table 22 presents this

analysis.

Father's occupation by student status (those cooled

out). A chi-square test for independent samples was used to

test the null hypothesis that there is no difference between

the percentage of dropouts who followed the cooling process

and the percentage of graduates who followed the cooling out

process based on the variable of father's occupation. The

obtained X2 (1, N = 63) = .921, p>.05, with its

corresponding contingency coefficient of .12 resulted in

accepting the null hypothesis. Table 23 presents this

analysis.










Table 22

Chi-Square Analysis: Gender by Student Status Sorted by
Process to Isolate Those Who Were Not Cooled Out



Student Status (Those Not Cooled Out)

Gender Dropouts Graduates Total


Male 25 34 59

Female 32 46 78

Total 57 80 137


Note. Chi-square value = .025, df = 1,
Contingency coefficient = .02.


E = .874.


Table 23

Chi-Square Analysis: Father's Occupation by Student Status
Sorted by Process to Isolate Those Who Were Cooled Out



Student Status (Those Cooled Out)

Father's
Occupation Dropouts Graduates Total


White 16 10 26

Blue 27 10 37

Total 43 20 63



Note. Chi-square value = .921, df = 1, p = .337.
Contingency coefficient = .12.










Father's occupation by student status (those not cooled

out). A chi-square test for independent samples was used to

test the null hypothesis that there is no difference between

the precentage of dropouts who did not follow the cooling

out process and the percentage of graduates who did not

follow the cooling out process based on the variable of

father's occupation. The obtained X2 (1, N = 137) = 4.668,

p<.05, with its corresponding contingency coefficient of .18

resulted in rejecting the null hypothesis. Table 24

presents this analysis.



Table 24

Chi-Square Analysis: Father's Occupation by Student Status
Sorted by Process to Isolate Those Who Were Not Cooled Out



Student Status (Those Not Cooled Out)

Father's
Occupation Dropouts Graduates Total


White 32 30 62

Blue 25 50 75

Total 57 80 137



Note. Chi-square value = 4.668, df = 1, p = .031.
Contingency coefficient = .18.


Test of Hypothesis Five

HO5: There is no difference between the percentage of
dropouts who followed the cooling out process and
those who did not based on the variables of race,
gender, and father's occupation.










Hypothesis five involved the use of the chi-square test

for independent samples. Each variable was cross tabulated

with process which was sorted by student status to isolate

dropouts. This design resulted in the following cross

tabulations:

1. race by process (for dropouts),

2. gender by process (for dropouts), and

3. father's occupation by process (for dropouts).

Race by process (for dropouts). A chi-square test for

independent samples was used to test the null hypothesis

that there is no difference between the percentage of

dropouts who followed the cooling out process and those who

did not based on the variable of race. The obtained X2 (1,

N = 100) = 8.404, p<.05, with its corresponding contingency

coefficient of .28 resulted in rejecting the null

hypothesis. Table 25 presents this analysis.

Gender by process (for dropouts). A chi-square test

for independent samples was used to test the null hypothesis

that there is no difference between the percentage of

dropouts who followed the cooling out process and those who

did not based on the variable of gender. The obtained

X (1, N = 100) = .040, p>.05, with its corresponding

contingency coefficient of .02 resulted in accepting the

null hypothesis. Table 26 presents this analysis.




Full Text
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8
REPORT xmlns http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitss xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitssdaitssReport.xsd
INGEST IEID EFKBJZP43_12NX50 INGEST_TIME 2012-09-24T13:51:31Z PACKAGE AA00011800_00001
AGREEMENT_INFO ACCOUNT UF PROJECT UFDC
FILES