|Table of Contents|
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Review of the literature
Chapter 3. Methodology
Chapter 4. Results
Chapter 5. Discussion, conclusions, implications and recommendations
Appendix A. Letter to special services directors
Appendix B. Letter to subjects and informed consent form
Appendix C. Questionnaire evaluating special services programs (QESS)
Appendix D. Follow-up letter
A LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A SPECIAL SERVICES PROGRAM AND BLACK STUDENTS' ACADEMIC
PERFORMANCE AND ECONOMIC ENHANCEMENT
GWENUEL WILFRED MINGO
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
Copyright 0 1984
Gwenuel W. Mingo
This dissertation is dedicated to my wonderful family, Cynthia, Anne Marie and Gerald, who supported and encouraged me to finish this requirement for my doctorate. It is also dedicated to some special people in my life, namely, Zerlina
Reckley, Willie Summers, Samuel Summers and Willie Mae Summers, who supported and guided me through my childhood.
It would not have been possible to complete this research without God and the assistance of my wife, the students in the Special Services Program, and many other individuals. I would like to express my deep appreciation to Dr. Harold Riker, the chairman of my doctoral committee, for his time, advice, quality control procedures, encouragement and support while conducting this research. The other
doctoral committee members, Dr. Roderick McDavis and Dr. John Nickens, are also to be commended for the support, expert advice and guidance that they provided to help me complete this requirement.
Dr. Jerrie Scott, Dr. Rosie Bingham, Dr. Ronald
Foreman, Dr. Janet Larsen and Dr. Harry Shaw have been an inspiration, strong pillars of support and encouragement for
me to complete this research. Finally, I would like to express my sincere appreciation and thanks to all individuals who assisted and supported me while attempting to meet the requirements for this degree.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ...................................... iv
ABSTRACT ............................................. ix
CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION ...................... ...... 1
Statement of the Problem ............... 1
Purpose of the Study ................... 4
Rationale for the Study ................ 6
Definition of Terms .................... 12
Organization of the Study .............. 13
II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ................. 14
Philosophical Assumption and Theories.. 15
Heredity Theories .................... 16
Environmental Theories ............... 17
Theories of Learning ................. 19
Research Concerning Special Programs ... 21
Special and Compensatory Programs.... 21 Retention ............................ 24
National Studies ..................... 30
Ford Foundation Study ................ 35
Special Programs at the University of
Florida .............................. 39
Program Elements ..................... 41
Peer Counseling ...................... 42
Summary ................................ 44
III METHODOLOGY .................... ......... 48
Research Design ........................ 48
Research Questions ..................... 50
Population ............................. 50
Selection of Subjects .................. 51
Instrumentation ........................ 52
Pilot Study .......................... 54
Reliability .......................... 55
Validity ............................. 56
Procedures ............................. 57
Data Analysis .......................... 59
IV RESULTS..................... ........ 62
Research Question #1 ........ 0 ..... 0000 62
An Analysis of Responses of
Rarndomly Selected Special
Services Graduates to Items 1-7
and 10-16 on the QESSP.............o 63
Summary of Responses by Special
Services Graduates ........o......o... 72
Analysis of Graduates' Responses
to Items 20-41 of the QESSP.... .... 73
An Analysis of Responses of
Randomly Selected Special
Services Nongraduates to Items
1-7 and 10-16 on the QESSP. ........o 85
An Analysis of Nongraduates'
Responses to Items 20-41 of
the QESSP................o....... 91
Research Question #2 .............. 104
Analysis of 1974 Transcripts of
Randomly Selected Special
Services Students to Obtain
Their Grade Point Averages ........ 105
Analysis of 1975 Transcripts of
Randomly Selected Special
Services Students to Obtain
Their Grade Point Averages....... 105
Analysis of 1976 Transcripts of
Randomly Selected Special
Services Students to obtain
Their Grade Point Averages ......... 106
Analysis of 1977 Transcripts of
Randomly Selected Special
Services Students to Obtain
Their Grade Point Averages ......... 106
Analysis of 1978 Transcripts of
Randomly Selected Special
Services Students to Obtain
Their Grade Point Averages ............107
Research Question #3 ................. 124
Analysis of Class Enrolling in 1974.. 125 Analysis of Class Enrolling in 1975.. 125 Analysis of Class Enrolling in 1976.. 126 Analysis of Class Enrolling in 1977.. 126 Analysis of Class Enrolling in 1978.. 127
Summnary........................... ... .. 127
Research Question #4................. 141
Transcript Analysis of Randomly Selected Special Services Students Who Enrolled in 1974 to
Determine Their Graduation Rates ... 141 Degrees Earned ....................... 142
Courses Attempted and Completed ...... 143 Transcript Analysis of Randomly Selected Special Services Students Who Enrolled in 1975 to
Determine Their Graduation Rates ... 144 Transcript Analysis of Randomly Selected Special Services Students Who Enrolled in 1976 to
Determine Their Graduation Rates ... 146 Degrees Earned ....................... 147
Courses Attempted and Completed .... 147 Transcript Analysis of Randomly Selected Special Services Students Who Enrolled in 1977 to
Determine Their Graduation Rates ... 148 Degrees Earned ....................... 148
Courses Attempted and Completed ...... 149 Transcript Analysis of Randomly Selected Special Services Students Who Enrolled in 1978 to
Determine Their Graduation Rates... 150 Degrees Earned ....................... i5l
Courses Attempted and Completed .... 151 Analysis of Major Fields of Study .... 152 Summary .............................. 153
Research Question #5 ................... 187
Analysis of the Peer Counselors' Effectiveness as Perceived by Randomly Selected Graduates of
the Special Services Program ....... 188 Personal Concerns .................... 189
Academic Concerns .................... 189
Social Concerns ...................... 190
Financial Aid ........................ 190
Tutoring ............................. 191
Summary .............................. 191
Analysis of Peer Counselors' Effectiveness as Perceived by Randomly Selected Nongraduates
of the Special Services Program .... 191 Personal Concerns .................... 193
Academic Concerns .................... 193
Social Concerns ...................... 193
Financial Aid ........................ 194
Tutoring ............................. 194
Summary .............................. 194
Research Question #6 ................... 196
Procedure for Making Analysis of
Special Services Program's Value ... 200
Summary .............................. 207
V DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS
AND RECOMMENDATIONS .................... 208
Discussion ............................. 209
Academic Services and Activities..... 209 Grade Point Averages ................. 213
Retention Rates ...................... 214
Graduation Rates ..................... 215
Peer Counselors ...................... 217
Economic Status ...................... 217
Conclusions ............................ 219
Implications ........................... 221
Recommendations for Improving the
Special Services Program at the
University of Florida ................ 225
Recommendations for Further Research ... 227
A LETTER TO SPECIAL SERVICES DIRECTORS ....... 230
B LETTER TO SUBJECTS AND INFORMED CONSENT
FORM.... 9 ...... **...* ................ 232
C QUESTIONNAIRE EVALUATING SPECIAL SERVICES
PROGRAMS (QESSP) ......................... 234
D FOLLOW-UP LETTER ........................ *.. 242
BIBLIOGRAPHY ..................... oo..# ............... 244
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .................................. 249
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
A LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A
SPECIAL SERVICES PROGRAM AND BLACK STUDENTS' ACADEMIC
PERFORMANCE AND ECONOMIC ENHANCEMENT BY
GWENUEL WILFRED MINGO
Chairman: Harold C. Riker
Major Department: Counselor Education
The purpose of this study was to determine the relationshiD between the Special Services Program at the University of Florida and Black student retention, grade point averages, graduation and economic success. The areas
investigated in this study to determine this relationship included: 1) academic services and activities in which the
students participated, 2) grade point averages received during each term, 3) retention rates, 4) graduation rates, 5) influence of peer counselors; and 6) economic status of
participants. A total of 210 students, consisting of two randomly selected groups of 150 students and 60 students, respectively, was included in the sample of this study.
The Questionnaire Evaluating Special Services Programs (QESSP) was the instrument used in this study. The QESSP consists of a cover page with administrative directions and 41 items designed to solicit demographic information, responses about satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the Special Services Program, and evaluative comments regarding the Program's services and activities.
Some key findings of this study were: the Special
Services Program is effective in providing services and activities to its participants, 2) the activities and services provided by the Program are not being used by all o f its participants, 3) the retention efforts of the Special Services Program have significantly increased the University's retention of Black students, 4) the attrition rate of
Black freshmen in the Special Services Program is significantly lower than the rate for all freshmen from the total student body, 5) the graduation rate of Special Services students is not as high or equal to the graduation rate of the total student body, 6) overall, peer counselors are
effective providers of counseling services, 7) the Special Services Program improves the potential spending power of the Special Services students.
The data suggest that the Program is effective and that it has been a major factor contributing to increases in the
retention and graduation rates of Black students at the University of Florida.
Statement of the Problem
The education of Blacks or the lack of it has affected
the social, cultural, and economic progress of Blacks in Florida and throughout the United States (Perkins 1981). Recognizing the need to extend higher education opportunities to Black students, an Affirmative Action Order, number 11246, was issued in 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson to eliminate discrimination and provide equal educational opportunities for Blacks.
Institutions of higher education responded in various
ways to eliminate the barriers to higher education for Blacks and other minority students. Harvard University, in 1966, took several positive steps to increase opportunities for Blacks on its campus, including the recruitment of large numbers of Black students. Because of Harvard's teaching and research reputation and its elitist position, the institution did not experience a substantial yearly increase in the number of enrolled Black students (Flemming, Gill, and Swinton 1978).
Oberlin College, a predominantly White private Liberal
Arts College located in Ohio, made a conscious effort to diversify its student body by actively seeking and recruiting Black students. The Black Oberlin student retention rate is as high as the college average because of the support systems put into operation. Standards at Oberlin were not lowered, but special tutoring programs were made available for students who needed them. Although 50 percent of
the students who used these special services were Black in 1978, the program was designed to aid all students with deficiencies in reading, writing, mathematics, and other courses in which they were having difficulty. The philosophy behind Oberlin's Special Services Program is not to lower standards but to bring deficient students at least up to the average (Flemming, Gill, and Swinton 1978).
At Florida State University, a program called "Horizon Unlimited" was created in 1966 to increase the Black student representation on that campus. By utilizing a Florida Board
of Regents' policy, which states that 10 percent of the freshman class need not meet admission requirements, the University was authorized to enroll Blacks who did not meet minimum standards for admission. Consequently, the University, through the Horizon Unlimited Program and the Board of Regents' policy, substantially increased the number of Black students on its campus (Flemming, Gill, and Swinton 1978).
The University of Florida responded to the call to educate Black youths by creating the "Critical Freshman Year Program" in 1970. This program was designed to assist Black students academically by rendering to them services such as tutoring and counseling. The Florida Board of Regents' 10
percent policy for students who did not meet the minimum standards for admission was also used to increase the Black student population on the University of Florida campus.
Black students enrolled in many institutions often
found it difficult to complete their courses of study. The revolving door situation was too often the pattern of Black student participation. Recognizing the need to assist these Black students and the institutions of higher education, the United States Congress amended the Higher Education Act of 1965 to create the Special Services Program in 1970. Services under this program were designed to assist students from low-income families. These students had academic potential but lacked adequate secondary school preparation to enter, continue or resume programs of postsecondary education.
The main goal of the Special Services Program is to increase the retention and graduation rates of low-incom students. The Special Services authorized by the Higher Education Act of 1965 included the following:
a) Counseling, tutoring, summer and remedial programs.
b) Career guidance, placement and other services to
encourage or facilitate the students' continuance
in higher education.
c) identification, encouragement or counseling of students for graduate or professional schools.
Instead of acknowledging inadequacies of their programs, some administrators of the special programs have prepared reports which have been more of a defense of the program and of the students than evaluation (Cross 1976). The Special Services Program at the University of Florida has been administered primarily on the basis of such reports. The Special Services Program has been operating for
more than a decade without an objective analysis of its effectiveness. The program has been planned and modified primarily on the basis of administrative experiences and not evaluative data. This study focuses on the federally funded program, Special Services, that is designed to provide support services such as counseling, tutoring and academic advisement.
Purpose of the Stud
The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between the Special Services Program at the University of Florida and Black student retention, grade
success. The questions examined in this study were as follows:
1. How effective are the academic services and activities of the Special Services Program as perceived
by Black students at the University of Florida?
2. What are the grade point averages of Black students
in the Special Services Program at the University
3. What are the retention rates of the Black students
in the Special Services Program at the University
4. What are the graduation rates of the Black students
in the Special Services Program at the University
5. What influence does the peer counselor component
have on the academic performance of Black students in the Special Services Program at the University
6. What is the economic status after graduation of
Black students who participated in the Special Services Program at the University of Florida.?
Specifically, this study investigated and reported on the types of academic services and activities in the Special Services Program that are most effective for its students.
Rationale of the Study
Institutions of higher education similar to the University of Florida are expected to continue responding to the needs of their Black students and to increase their Black student enrollment. Like most predominantly White institutions of higher education, the University of Florida has shown a growing sensitivity to the problems of equal educational opportunities for Black students. This growing commitment to the solution of their problems is readily apparent in the number of programs available to Black students at the University of Florida and similar institutions nationwide.
in spite of this growing commitment and desire of the University of Florida as administrators to provide academic support programs for its Black students, it is easy to see that the implementation of these programs is not a result of
evaluative data. Government grants, court orders, humanistic feelings and politics appear to influence most of the decisions to design and implement the academic supports programs for Blacks at many of this nation's institutions of higher education.
The University of Florida, like other universities in the United States, needs to re-examine its efforts and the effect of those efforts to provide academic support for its
Black students. A cursory examination of the Special Services Programs in the southeastern United States reveals a need for the improvement and augmentation of their efforts
to retain Black students at many of the institutions like the University of Florida.
Retention of Black students and their graduation from these institutions are major goals of the Special Services Program. Significant improvements in the Special Services Program could directly affect the recruitment, retention, and graduation of Black students. Increases in Black student retention rates also could help the institution comply with its state commitment to equal access and equal opportunity in public higher education.
In spite of this commitment, the University of Florida is tightening its admission policies by raising its entrance requirements. The high cost of education and the current reductions in state and federal aid will cause many institutions like the University of Florida to reconsider their present equal access admissions policies and consider ways to become more cost effective.
The effectiveness of the Special Services Program in terms of retaining and facilitating the graduation of Black students is a focus of this study and is of significance in
these times of limited funding for education. McGrath (1982) has reported that few detailed studies exist about the actual cost of Special Programs in higher education and their effectiveness. This situation is true at the University of Florida, which has had a Special Services Program for over 10 years, but for which no longitudinal evaluation has been conducted.
In order to provide adequate support systems for Black
students, staff involved in the Special Services Program should have more specific information about the factors that
influence successful completion of academic programs by Black students. The absence of evaluative data regarding this program makes it almost impossible to determine if the University of Florida has been meeting the needs and solving the problems of its Black students.
Evaluative data obtained through this study should enable other institutions of higher education to evaluate the current support systems on their campuses that operate in conjunction with Special Services Programs. These data
could be used to modify or delete services that are not effective. Evaluative data from local and national studies could be the basis for making program changes or designing
and implementing present and future supportive services programs.
A data base upon which to build a more responsive Special Services Program will help to insure the best possible development of Black students, who represent important human resources for Florida and the nation. Studies such as this one can be used to develop a delivery
system or model that will improve the quality of the services and activities rendered to present and future Special Services students at institutions of higher education. The development and design of such a model have general applicability both statewide and nationally because of the similarity of Special Services Programs in scope and objectives.
There have been only two national studies conducted to evaluate Special Services Programs and their effectiveness or impact. One study was conducted by Educational Testing
Service and Research Triangle in 1971 and the other study was conducted by System Development Corporation in 1979 (Coulson, Bradford, and Kaye 1981). The investigators of the 1971 study of Special Services Programs did not find any
clear and consistent evidence that the program related to the success of the students involved (Davis, Burkheimer, and Borders-Patterson 1975). The investigators of the second study in 1979 found some evidence of beneficial program impact on the students (Coulson, Bradford, and Kaye 1981).
To what extent do such programs af fect the academic
success of students? What is the cost effectiveness of such programs? What benefits do students derive from such programs? Are such programs still needed at the University of Florida? Questions such as these require answers based on carefully evaluated data. The support for Special Services Programs is uncertain in many of the institutions in which they exist. All too often universities and colleges make
little effort to accommodate these programs within their operating procedures. The status of these programs also is
uncertain because the nation seems to be turning away from expanding educational opportunities to all parts of its population (Gordon 1977).
Longitudinal studies of counseling programs rarely
appear in the literature. This situation seems tc be due to
the difficulties in planning and carrying out long-term studies. The rarity of research papers on longitudinal evaluation studies at American Personnel and Guidance Association (APGA) conventions suggests that most counselors are not conducting such evaluation studies. At the 1982 APGA convention in Detroit, there were five and seven individuals, respectively, in attendance at the sessions dealing with longitudinal studies and evaluations (Barclay 1962).
Rothney (1982) reports that the titles of research conducted by most counselors do not include words such as
evaluation, longitudinal evaluation, accountability, assessment, effect or effectiveness and results. He found that
less than two percent of the listed programs at the 1982 APGA Convention included such words in the titles of their presentations.
Research studies identified exclusively as studies of Special Services Programs are rarely found in the literature. Using as a guide the key word "Special" in a search of the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) for research studies of federally funded Special Services Programs, this researcher found a total of 13 studies with the word "Special" in their titles from the period 1971 to 1981. Only three out of 13 could be identified as research studies of federally funded Special Services Programs.
The scarcity of national and local studies of Special Services Programs indicates a definite need for this study. Such a study could benefit the University of Florida greatly
as a basis for making decisions about supportive services for specially admitted students.
Definition of Terms
Compensatory _Program--A program designed to make up for the debilitating consequences of discrimination and poverty (Frost and Rowland 1971).
Developmental Program--A program designed to achieve skills
or attitudes and is not necessarily a prerequisite for another program (Cross 1976).
Expanded Educational Opportunities Prog~rams (EEOP)--A state
funded program designed to assist Black students at the University of Florida.
Regular Admit Student--A Student who has met the admission standards for enrolling at the University of Florida. Remedial Program--A program designed to correct educational deficiencies before a student may enter a course or program (Cross 1976).
Special Admit Student--A student who does not meet the admission standards for enrolling at the University of Florida.
Special Services Program--A federally funded program designed to provide academic supportive services to low-income
students and increase their retention and graduation rates in postsecondary institutions (Federal Register, Vol. 41, No. 95, Fri., May 14, 1976).
Special Academic Services and Activities--Those services and
activities provided to Special Services students such as instruction in reading, writing, study skills, mathematics and other subjects; personal counseling; academic advice and
assistance in course selection; tutorial services; and activities designed to acquaint students with career options available to them (Federal Register, Vol. 47, No. 42, Wed., March 3, 1982).
organization of the Stud
Chapter II of this study contains a review of pertinent literature. The research method, research questions, subjects, population, instrument, data collection, and data analysis are described in Chapter III. The findings resulting from the analysis and evaluation of the data are presented in Chapter IV. A brief summary of the study, discussion of the findings, conclusions, implications and recommendations for further research are presented in Chapter V.
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Philosophical assumptions underlying Special Services Programs and theories that are related to the education of
Blacks and other minorities are first discussed in this chapter. Research studies pertaining to Black students, along with implications of these studies, follow. Finally, there is an overview of the Special Services Program at the
University of Floridal together with the program's peer counseling component.
Research studies identified exclusively as studies of the Special Services Programs in the State of Florida are few. Those which have been made are difficult to identi.-Ly since investigators often do not narre the specific programs
but use such terms as compensatory programs, educational opportunities programs, or special educational program. For example, one study which was conducted by a director of a
Special Services Program was described as a disadvantaged student program.
The various labels used to refer to Special Services Programs pose a problem for persons seeking to find research
reports on such programs. As explained by Sowell 1972), any attempt to produce quality education for Blacks must begin
by f finding out what has been done and with what results. According to Sowell, therein lies another problem for Special Services researchers. On most campuses this question of what has een done for Blacks has scarcely been asked, much less answered (Sowell 1972). Despite these problems, it is still important to consider the studies which have been made so far and their results.
Philosophical Assumptions and Theories
The drive for civil rights in the 19601s, President Johnson's War on Poverty, and the Higher Education Act of 1965 were major factors responsible for an emphasis on equal
access for minorities to educational opportunities and Special Services Programs (Cross 1976 and Franklin 1980). The main philosophical assumption of these programs was that Black students with educational deficiencies can profit fran special assistance through traditional educational mechanisms such as counseling, tutoring, and remedial instruction,
rendered in a facilitative manner (Davis, Burkheimer, and Borders-Patterson 1975). Franklin (1980) also reports that programmatic initiatives for equal access to education provides the best hope for breaking the cycle of poverty and isolation for the nation's minorities.
One of the motivating factors in the initiation of
these and similar programs resulted from the involvement of
the relationships between college students and faculty in the civil rights movements. Students and faculty who participated in these movements in the South were amazed by the plight of the poor and underprivileged and urged their institutions to offer their educational expertise to aid these groups with special needs (Abert 197/9).
In the literature, conflicting views may be found on the benefit of special educational programs for Black students. Similarly, conflicting views have been offered to explain why minority groups have difficulty with traditional
educational programs. At least two groups have debated these issues.
In one camp of the controversy is Shuey (1958), who argued that Blacks do not possess as much capacity for learning as do Whites. Shuey, a psychologist, espoused genetics as the basis for learning difficulties of Blacks and not their impoverished environment. In the same camp a
decade later, Jensen (1969) argued that federally funded compensatory education efforts were unsuccessful because they were aimed at changing what cannot be changed appreciably. Jensen also felt that the reported deficiencies of
disadvantaged students were due to genetic factors rather than environmental factors.
Elkind (1969) agreed with Jensen and others, noting
further that the intellectual development of children cannot be accelerated by compensatory schooling. Evans and Dubois (1972) took the position that such students should not be in
college. They also agreed with the prior researchers and stated that underachievers are individuals with limited intellectual capacity. The arguments presented by this group of researchers place the blame for educational deficiencies
on individual capabilities and the genetically inferior ethnic group, but not on the environment. Environment Theories
However, there are other researchers who believe that the environment can produce educational deficiencies in a person. Hunt (1969) contends that the environment affects a
person's behavior and that a child who is subjected to an enriched environment with reinforcements can develop adequate intellectual skills. The overwhelming opinion of many
psychologists is that the educational differences observed between Black and White children are largely the result of
environmental factors and not genetic factors (Pettigrew 1966).
Baratz and Baratz (1970) criticize both the genetic and
environmental explanations for race difference in intelligence and academic achievement. They suggest that the main reason for the differences is the inappropriateness of most school programs for Black children.
Valentine (1972) rejects both genetic and environmental theories on intelligence and academic achievement. He argues that the genetics theory cannot be proven but that
the environmental theory, which may be sound, needs to be extended. Valentine subscribed to the theory that all individuals are uniquely creative and continually developing.
Gordon and Green (1976) state that even if genetic factors influence mental functions, schooling and other environmental factors cannot be ignored. These writers further state that no matter what factors are responsible for the development of the intellect, human development requires diversity of facilitative treatments and adequate resources.
Although the heredity versus environment controversy has not been completely resolved, most authorities agree that environment influences learning in important urays. Consequently, there has been a shift from discussions of whether or not Blacks can make it in college to how they can be helped in college (Cross 1976).
Theories of Learning
Prior to the arrival of large numbers of Black students at the University of Florida, some thought was given to the
question of how Black students could be helped with their academic courses. Administrative and counseling personnel
sensitive to the needs of Black students were hired and academic programs were implemented to help the Black students who lacked adequate skills for successful matriculation at the University of Florida.
From 1971 to the present, most Black students who were
admitted to the Special Services Program at the University of Florida were from deprived educational backgrounds. Ausubel (1964),provides some relevant evidence for counteracting the effects of cultural deprivation on the learning
patterns of Blacks. He hypothesizes that an optional learning environment could stimulate intellectual development. However, he notes that some students' learning patterns may be irreversible as a result of a consistently deprived environment during their early formative years. Ausubel (1965),further states that adequate attention to the cognitive readiness for learning and the use of appropriate instructional materials create an optional learning environment for Black students.
Bloom (1971) theorizes that more than 90 percent of the students in schools can learn what the schools have to teach
them if given the proper instruction and adequate time for studying. Bloom's theory of learning is one of learning for mastery. The basis for Bloom's theory lies in allowing students sufficient time to master a subject or a course. This
condition might mean extending the time for the course, subject, or term. Bloom's theory provides a basis for establishing programs and courses to meet the special needs
of the individual. Individual differences, even within subcultures, must be taken into consideration when learning theories are applied to any group.
Wittmer and Myrick (1974) reported on the theory and practices of facilitative teaching and recommended at least
100 facilitative procedures for enhancing students' learning. These researchers state that individuals learn best when: (1) the learning is meaningful to the learner; (2) it
is voluntary and not forced upon the learner; (3) the learning is.the result of self-initiation; (4) the learning
is self-evaluated and it is the learner who is deciding if what is being taught is of any value; and (5) the materials and techniques have an affective base.
Wittmer and Myrick (1974) also reported that teachers are key individuals in the process of facilitating learning. Teachers need to be aware of their own -feelings in order to provide the psychological openness for understanding their students. These researchers go on to say that teachers
cannot facilitate learning by prescribing similar goals for all students or adhering to inflexible classroom plans.
Klausmeier (1980) reported that learning theories, with few exceptions, ignore both individual differences and rates of learning among students. Klausmeier further stated that some learning theories have not taken into consideration the developmental differences in either the internal or external conditions of learning.
Research Concerning Special Programs
The research discussed in this section includes studies
of Special Services Programs and Compensatory Education Programs in Higher Education. The focus of these studies was on the purposes of the Special Services Programs and their effectiveness.
Special and Compensatory Programs
In a study of Special and Compensatory Education Programs in Ohio, Williams (1978) found that private and public institutions of higher education differed considerably in their concepts of providing assistance to disadvantaged students. The study involved 22 institutions: 11 were public and 11 were private. Programs directors at each of
the institutions were asked to complete an inventory that included the following subject areas: (1) Program rationale and objectives; (2) recruitment and selection of students;
(3) program implementation to include academic adjustment, special assistance with studies, financial assistance,
counseling services and physical facilities; (4) faculty; and (5) evaluation of the program. The main purpose of this study was to examine the growth and development of special
and compensatory education programs in a select group of public and private four-year institutions in Ohio during the time period of 1969-1970 to 1973-1974.
Williams found that directors from both private and public institutions felt that the most important purpose of their programs was to provide educational support for persons who were socially, economically, and academically deficient. The private institutions identified two other purposes that were important to their programs: (1) to assist culturally or ethnically different students in becoming acclimated to the college or university community; and
(2) to foster positive attitudes within disadvantaged students about education, self, and their potential for success.
Williams' study also showed that public institutions were more inclined to make changes or modifications in established procedures to facilitate the success of the students than were private institutions. For example, private institutions did not support the overall use of academic adjustment services; they did not sep the need for
special faculty or special facilities for compensatory programs. Finally, the private colleges did not support the use of an evaluation process for special or compensatory programs.
After reviewing the data from the private and public institutions, making site visits and conducting interviews, Williams recommended the following:
1. That institutions insure the continuous development
of sound and effective special or compensatory
2. That institutions serve both the disadvantaged student as well as the traditional student.
3. That institutions devise a general model for a comprehensive curriculum.
4. That credit for all remedial or compensatory education courses count toward graduation.
5. That instruction accommodate individual differences
and permit students to learn and proceed at their
6. That more effective use of instructional resources
for special programs, such as faculty, media
centers and facilities, be made.
7. That grading policies and practices be nonpunitive.
8. That only competent instructors who actively seek
to teach disadvantaged students be involved in special or compensatory programs.
9. That efforts be made to alleviate the abrupt transition from special compensatory education to regular or traditional college curricula.
Williams did not indicate how these recommendations should be undertaken.
During the 1979-1980 school year at the University of Florida, a report prepared by the Affirmative Action Officer
revealed, that the Black students' drop-out rate was twice that of White students. In the Fall of 1980, the drop-out rate for White students was 10 percent and the drop-out rate for Black students was 20.83 percent.
In a report prepared by the United States Bureau of Census in 1974 on school enrollment, it was found that Blacks and other minorities had attrition rates much higher
than White students, particularly in traditionally White institutions (Franklin 1980). The College Board, in a report on financing low-income and minority students in higher education, found that a student from the bottom income cuartile has less than one-third the chance of completing a college program than a student in the top income quartile (Franklin 1980).
In a 1978 study that was originally planned for eight predominantly White universities, located in each of the four geographical regions of the United States, the statistics on attrition of Black students was disturbing (The National Advisory Committee on Black Higher Education and Black Colleges and Universities 1980). The institutions participating in this study were identified only by geographical region and whether they were public or private to
protect their identity. As a result of a Southern public institution declining to participate in the study, only seven institutions were studied. The refusal came too late to select another Southern public institution.
The National Advisory Committee on Black Higher Education and Black Colleges and Universities which conducted this study found that, at the Midwestern private and Midwestern public institution, the Black attrition rate was about 43 percent. Considering the fact that Midwestern private institutions are very selective in their admissions policies, this failure rate for Black students is high. The
Western public institution had a reported Black freshman failure rate of 31 percent. No data were available for the Western private institution.
A 28 percent attrition rate for Black students enrolled in the Eastern public institution of this study was obtained from the Equal Opportunity Program at that institution. The
researchers reported that the university could not provide attrition data on its Black students. Students at that institution believed that the attrition rate was at least twice the reported figure. The attrition rate for Blacks at the Eastern public and private institutions was reported as negligible. At the private institution, 50 percent of the
Black student population was doing honors work, compared with 80 percent of the White population. The Southern private institution participating in this 1978 study reported a 20 percent attrition rate of Black students.
Statistical information on the attrition and retention
of Black students enrolled in higher educational institutions must be made readily available so that educators-can identify problems and seek strategies for retention of Black students. The researchers of this study found that the existence of special programs on the campuses of the White institutions seemed to have little impact on Black retention at the seven universities. It was reported that attrition was a major problem at the Eastern public, Midwestern public and Western public colleges despite the special academic and financial assistance offered to the Blacks at those institutions. The Midwestern private institution, which provides
financial assistance, also had a major attrition problem with its Black students. The Southern private institution
which makes available both academic and financial assistance
was reported to have a modest Black student attrition problem. The Eastern private institution, which admits the
best of the Black students, had no attrition problem. Financial assistance and special seminars were provided by the Eastern private institution for its Black students.
The researchers reported that many of the university policy makers who participated in this study seemed to believe that raising admission standards and favoring Black
students from private schools are the best ways to reduce the higher attrition rates.
The data obtained from this study showed that attrition statistics for Black students varied significantly among the seven universities. However the researchers reported that
the underlying causes of Black attrition appeared to be found in the poor quality of life on campus for the Black students. For example, Black students perceived themselves
as being in a hostile environment. The data also showed that the universities offered too few support systems to help Black students cope with racial, cultural and academic problems. There was a scarcity of Black role models, inadequate financial aid and an almost total absence of trained Black counselors on all of the campuses investigated.
The researchers of this study concluded that university policies and programs need substantial changes if Black
students are to gain increased access to predominantly White
institutions and enjoy opportunities for academic success. These researchers recommended that special financial aid and academic assistance programs should be expanded along with efforts to provide orientation and counseling facilities and inore Black role models for students. The researchers of this Committee on Black Higher Education concluded that only when these changes are made will there be a realistic prospect of increased admission, retention and graduation frcm college for America's Black youth.
Central (1970), in a study of Black students at predominantly White colleges, compared the background characteristics, activities, goals, and perceptions of Black students with those of their White counterparts. A questionnaire on student and college characteristics was administered to 249
Black students at 83 predominantly white institutions. A comparison group of 249 White students was selected from the same 83 institutions. The White students were matched with the Black students on the basis of sex and major field of study.
The results revealed that there were large differences in the socioeconomic backgrounds of the Black and White students. The White students were found to be heavily involved in organized campus-based activities while the Black students selected activities aimed at improving society in
general and those aimed at improving the status of Blacks in particular. Central (1970) also found that more Black students than White students planned to attend graduate or professional school.
Boyd (1977), in a study to refute the myth that Black students are only able to attend highly selective colleges because of special admission policies, found that Black students not only are successful at these schools, but have a strong interest in graduate education.
Turner (1980) has reported that the greatest factor affecting retention of Black students is the degree of institutional commitment to retention efforts. Previous
studies and reports (Williams, 1969; Etzioni, 1971; and Davis, 1974) have stated that institutional commitment was a
necessary component for Special Services and similar programs to be effective in their operations and in the retention of students.
West (1975) studied the retention of minority students
in a program for the disadvantaged at Central Florida Community College and found that there was a 38 percent retention and graduation rate for Black students at that community college. West reported that the study was conducted over a three-year period and that the students were taught by an open-ended, nonpunitive, humanistic, instructional technique. The program also provided individualized
counseling and tutoring, as well as group tutoring. The documented educational outcomes, as reported by West, a Special Services Director, are rarely found in the literature.
Since 1971, the first year of the Special Services
Programs, only two national studies designed to evaluate the
effectiveness of Special Services Programs have been contracted for and financed by the United States Office. of Education. The first national study of Special Services Programs was conducted jointly by the Educational Testing Services and the Research Triangle under a contract from the office of Education. Davis, Burkheimer and BordersPatterson (1975) reported that 190 programs were studied to determine their effectiveness as reflected by the progress, satisfaction, goals, and perceptions of the programs' participants.
The findings of the first national study of Special
Services Programs failed to show either negative or positive
,effects of Special Services Programs for disadvantaged students. Davis, Burkheimer, and Borders-Patterson (1975) explained that their findings were inconclusive because individual programs differed in a variety of ways. Differences in ethnic groups, variations within the groups, prevailing climates of morale at institutions, programs
offered, standards, retention and attrition rates were some of the areas in which the programs were unique. The fact that these programs were in existence for a short period of time might have contributed to the inconclusive findings of
the researchers. These programs were studied in 1971, the second year of operation for most of them. A study of other
well established special educational opportunity programs might have yielded more definite findings.
Even with the inconclusiveness of this study, the
researchers did make some recommendations for future action. The first recommendation, directed to institutions of higher education, was to establish effective programs. The second
recommend at ion, directed to the federal government, was to improve guidelines for the awarding of Special Services grants, and the management and monitoring of these programs. The third recommendation was directed to all concerned, to conduct more research to determine the effects of Special Services Programs.
Vernetson (1981), a University of Florida researcher who developed guidelines for disadvantaged programs, also suggests that more research is needed to investigate the effects of programs for disadvantaged college students.
The second national study of Special Services Programs was conducted by the System Development Corporation, under a
contract with the U. S. Department of Education, during the
1979-80 academic school year.
Coulson, Bradford and Kaye (1980) reported some of the
most notable findings:
1. There is some evidence of beneficial program impact
on participating students. This evidence is manifested in the form of increased retention rates and
the students' successful academic progress.
2. Students receiving a full range of program services, such as counseling, academic advisement and
special courses, are more likely to persist through their freshman year than are students receiving few
or no services from the Special Services Program.
3. Students receiving more counseling, academic advisement, and other support services are likely to
attempt and to complete more course units.
4. Students receiving a full range of academic support
services have lower grade point averages than students receiving fewer services. This situation
might be due to a selection effect rather than a
negative effect of services. For example, projects
tend to concentrate academic support services on
students with poorer entry skills and more obvious
5. In institutions where personnel expressed greater
acceptance and regard for the students, it was more
likely that students would attempt and complete
more courses, The researchers were not sure whether the institutional personnel were an effect or
a cause of the increased number of courses
attempted and completed by the Special Services
6. Students receiving more financial aid were more
likely to persist through their freshman year, and
tended to attempt and complete more course units.
They also obtained higher grades. (Pp. 8-18 to
This study focused on a nationally representative
sample of 58 Special Services Projects at colleges and universities within the contiguous 48 states. Vocational and technical schools with Special Services Programs or Projects designed exclusively for the physically handicapped were excluded from the study. Two hundred students from each of the 58 projects comprised the sample, yielding a total of 11,600 student participants.
Two sets of student outcome measures were examined to
determine the effects of student participation on Special Services. One set was taken from transcripts, including the
students' persistence (whether the students were still enrolled at the end of the 1979-80 school years); the students' intensity of effort (how many courses the students attempted); the students' progress (how many courses the students completed); and the students' performance (grade point average).
The second set of outcome measures was taken from student surveys, which included measures of changes in the students' educational aspirations and expectations, changes in the students' job expectations, changes in the students'
self-perceived skill levels and changes in the students' self-perceived education-related problems.
The outcome measures in the second set did not reveal any consistent or interpretive relationships with participation data or program characteristics, so only transcriptderived outcome measures were presented. The relationship among persistence, intensity, progress and the various supportive services provided to students was positive. No particular service was observed as being more significant than another in contributing to this positive relationship. An analysis of the data showed that students receiving the
full range of services had predictable odds of persisting
2.26 times more than students who received no services.
The grade point averages of the students participating and receiving full services were lower than the averages of students who received fewer services. The researchers indicated that this was not a negative finding, but it might suggest that the students receiving full services might have had a greater need for those services.
Research of the programs and strategies that facilitate the success of Black students in higher educational institutions continues today just as it did in the sixties and seventies. Verification of the effectiveness of Special Services Programs may not rest with a single study but with a combination of studies. National studies, such as those presented here, in conjunction with local studies, might
provide more evidence and clues for implementation of effective programs and strategies for facilitating the successful learning of Black students.
Ford Foundation Stud
Boyd (1974) conducted a national study to answer questions on such topics as the recruitment and admission of Black students, relationships between Black and White students and the responsiveness of institutions to the needs of Blacks. This nationwide survey involving 785 Black students and 94 faculty and administrators was conducted at 40 institutions during the 1972-73 school year. It showed that, while institutions provided for lower entrance requirements
and lower performance standards for Black students, few offered programs that could help Black students adjust socially and academically to the institution.
As a result of this national survey of Black students
enrolled in predominantly White institutions, Boyd (1974) reported that Black students considered some of the academic
policies for facilitating access of Blacks to institutions of higher education to have serious negative effects.
Boyd (1974) found that significant but insufficient progress had been made toward equal opportunities in the institutions studied. Although there were colleges where race relations were extremely strained, Boyd (1974) found that segregation did not persist as an official sanction of
the institution. He found that students and staff reflected
the social conditions in the country and divided along racial lines because they were more comfortable with this division. However, Boyd (1974) did report that many of the predominantly White institutions were unprepared and in many
cases unwilling to meet the needs of their Black students. Boyd's data indicated that some colleges had not made it clear that they were willing to work to overcome gaps in their preparation for helping Blacks.
Boyd reported that Black students were still able to obtain their education and degree even though experiencing discrimination, being stereotyped as special admit students, being advised by institutional officials not to try certain academic disciplines and sometimes being neglected by faculty and staff. He stated that most of the Black students wanted to go on to graduate school even though it was likely that they would have the same kind of obstacle course to run there.
Most of the students who participated in Boyd's (1974) study were within the accepted admissions criteria for the
colleges where they were enrolled. The overall pattern of success was attributed to being qualified and the fact that must of the Black students took education seriously enough
to overcome the barriers to their educational pursuits. Boyd's (1974) data dismissed the demeaning and damaging
rhetoric that Black students are getting a free ride through college. His data about loans and jobs showed that, if Black students were getting a free ride, it was provided by their own families.
Information from this study concerning students' satisfaction with their overall college experiences suggests that colleges should emphasize matching the preparation, ability, interests, and style of each prospective Black student with
the academic reputation, requirements and style of the college.
Boyd's presentation of his data was simple and direct.
He avoided using complex statistical techniques, which he feels tend to be understood only by those with statistical backgrounds. However, he did present much of the raw data in the appendix of his study for those who wanted to draw their own conclusions. Analysis of these data reveals some insights and recommendations for use as reference points ir removing barriers which Black students face in predominantly White institutions. The recommendations offered by Boyd are as follows:
1. Colleges should attempt to be more responsive to
the needs of Blacks.
2. Financial aid should be maintained at current
levels or increased.
3. Continued financial aid should be assured.
4. The emphasis on loans in the aid packages should be decreased for those whose family income is less
5. The number of Black students in predominantly White institutions should continue to increase.
6. The number of Black staff members in predominantly White institutions should increase dramatically.
7. Colleges should guard against increased bcstility toward Blacks as their numbers increase.
8. Colleges should recruit Black students of diverse backgrounds and interests rather than concentrating their attention on those with multiple educational deficiencies.
9. Colleges should include the study of Blacks in their curricula, either through specific courses
on the topic or through revision of existing
10. Colleges should provide academic support to Black
students who need it.
11. Colleges should be sure that any special help is
designed to help Black students meet existing
standards rather than to foster tolerance for a
kind of second-class academic citizenship.
12. Colleges should encourage Black students to pursue
a variety of majors.
13. Colleges should provide realistic advice about a
broad range of career options and the educational
experiences which lead to them.
14. Colleges should involve Whites as well as Blacks
in advising and counseling Black students.
15. Colleges should maintain channels of communication
with mcre than a few spokesmen among their Black
16. Colleges should plan ahead in dealing with Blacks
rather than drift from crisis to crisis.
17. Youna Blacks should shop around carefully before
enrolling in a college.
18. Black students should struggle primarily for
changes which will be most meaningful to their educational experience, even if colleges resist these changes strongly while making other less
important changes. (Pp. 67-73)
Boyd was careful to point out that not all of the above recommendations apply to all colleges or provide "how to do it" instructions. Effective implementation of changes on any campus must be based on information about that campus and its students and comparative information about groups of similar colleges and students.
Special Programs at the University of Florida
It was not until the late sixties that Blacks began to enroll at the University of Florida in large numbers. In the summer of 1970, an experimental program designed to provide supportive services such as tutoring, counseling, academic advisement and social programs was implemented to determine if the program would contribute to the academic and personal success of the students.
Apparently, the experiment was a success. Cranny and
Larsen (1972) reported that out of the 191 Black students admitted during the summer of 1970, all but 13 were still enrolled in 1971 and that seven of the dropouts had transferred to other colleges. Van Gelder (1973) also reported on this group of students and found that 62 percent of them
were progressing satisfactorily after three terms at the University of Florida.
This experimental program, that was state funded and called the "Critical Freshman Year Program," had its name changed to the "Expanded Educational Opportunities Program"
during the 1970-71 school year. In July 1971, the
University of Florida,, with a $50,000 grant from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) established the present Special Services Program for low-income students from all ethnic groups.
The Expanded Educational Opportunities Program was phased out in 1973, leaving the Special Services Program with the responsibility for serving the academic and social
needs of the Black and White students assigned to the Program.
Over the past ten years (1971-1981), the Special
Services Program has gone through four changes in organizational structure and has changed leadership four times. With the change in leadership came the change in leadership style that occurred four times during the period 1971-1974. Since 1971, the Special Services Program has operated as a consolidated unit with the Upward Bound Program, a preparatory program for high school youth. The staffs from these two distinct federal programs were consolidated, but the goals, funds and supplies remained separated. The overall
objective of the Special Services Program during this 10year span has been to provide the students with supportive
services to facilitate their retention and subsequent graduation from this institution.
The Special Services project at the University of
Florida has been providing services consistent with the
goals and objectives of the U. S. Department of Education.
Specifically, the services and activities provided are
1. Selecting eligible participants from a pool consisting of students admitted to the University
under the Board of Regents 10 percent special admission policy, who have participated in other federal programs, such as Upward Bound or Talent
Search or who may lack adequate secondary school
2. Providing a needs assessment of each selected participant to determine the academic or other educational deficiencies which need particular attention
to enable the participant to graduate from the
3. Providing personal, career and academic guidance
and counseling in those areas affecting student
4. Arranging for remedial and other services such as
special classes, tutoring and educational and cultural activities which enable the participant to
complete with sufficient academic and personal
skills at the University, yet without creating a
long-range.dependency on the project;
5. Developing and encouraging the use of special curricular and instructional methods which enable participants to complete required course work in a
reasonable period of time;
6. Documenting participant performance and progress
while enrolled in the project; and
7. Acting as a referral agent for the participants, to
enable them to deal correctly and efficiently with
situations involving financial aid, housing, academic matters, and educational and career planning. Peer Counseling
A review of the objectives of the Special Services
Program at the University of Florida shows that the program is heavily oriented toward providing counseling services. This situation may result from the fact that the University
does not provide a structured and coordinated approach to teaching remedial courses. However, remedial education is becoming a topic of major concern as more and more students are leaving high school without adequate reading, writing,
and mathematics skills requisite for successful academic survival in college.
Through the use of peer counselors, the program has provided substantial counseling and referral services for its students. These students have been an essential component of the Special Services counseling program since its beginning. These peer counselors have been predominantly undergraduate students who have had no formal training prior to being hired. The professional staff provides formal and ongoing training for them. Weekly meetings in the form of staff development sessions are conducted by the counseling coordinator or the director for peer counselor training.
The following topics are covered in training and development sessions: 1) counseling theories; 2) communication skills and training; 3) human relations training; 4) values clarification; 5) problem-solving and feedback exchange; and 6) writing skills for the maintenance of weekly counseling logs.
Peer counselors function as extensions of the Special Services counseling component. They provide the full-time staff feedback from the students who are located all over the campus and the Gainesville community. Peer counselors are required to make weekly contact with their assigned case load of students and to report their findings to the fulltime staf f counselor. with peer counselors seeking out their clients to ascertain their needs, the full-time counselor can determine priorities for intervening in situations too complex for peer counselors.
Research by Zunker and Brown (1966) found that peer counselors can be as effective as professional counselors. Carkhuff (1969) and Durlak (1970) have demonstrated in their
research that peer counselors can successfully function as providers of counseling services. Sussman (1977) found in his research of peer counselors that they are effective at improving grades of students.
As effective and successful providers of counseling services, peer counselors might be an intervening variable
that is contributing to the success of Blaclk students in higher educational institutions. The lack of information about the effectiveness of peer counselors with the Black
student population suggests the need for research in this area.
The Civil Rights movement of the 1960's called attention to the need for improvement of educational opportunities for Blacks and other minorities. Several questions have been raised about how such improvements are to be accomplished. The value of Special Services Programs, the
key mechanism for improving the quality of education for Blacks, has been questioned by some educators. In terms olf the academic potential of Black students, there is a theory that heredity determines intelligence, a theory which leads to the conclusion that Special Services Programs do not have a useful purpose. In contrast to this view, there is a
theory that attributes intelligence primarily to environmental influences. This latter view has been used repeatedly to support the implementation of Special Services Programs in higher education.
The controversy over heredity versus environment as a significant factor which contributes to the intelligence and academic achievement of Black students has been shifted in
recent years from whether or not they can make it to how can they be helped (Cross 1976). How an individual can be helped is dependent upon how that individual learns. Application of the learning theories presented in this chapter might facilitate Black students in their learning and also
help to improve their academic performance, retention and graduation rates. As reported by most researchers, indiv *dual differences and developmental differences must be taken into account in assisting with the learning process of Black students.
Research concerning special programs has provided some useful guidelines for program administrators. For example, Williams' (1978) recommendations have value as both general institutional guidelines and more specific academic program guidelines. West's (1975) report on retention rates of Special Services students is also useful to administrators, but more for documenting problems*than for resolving them. Some directions for program changes are found in the national studies which have been conducted to evaluate the Special Services Programs.
Both the national and local evaluation studies reviewed
in this chapter gave some general recommendations for improving Special Services Programs, such as
1. Institutions should insure the continuous development of sound and effective special or compensatory
2. Institutions should accommodate individual differences and permit students to learn and proceed at
their own pace.
3. Institutions should conduct more research to determine the effects of the programs.
The national study by Coulson, Bradford, and Kaye (1980) reported specific examples of increased retention rates and successful academic progress as evidence of beneficial program impact on Special Services students. This impact on students participating in the Special Services Program was attributed to supportive services, such as academic advisement, tutoring and counseling.
At the University of Florida, the Special Services Program emphasizes a peer counseling component which has provided substantial counseling and referral services for its students. Researchers, such as Zunker and Brown (1966),
Carkhuff (1969), and Durlak (1979), have found that peer counselors are effective and successful providers of counseling services.
The literature suggests that there is a relationship between the effectiveness of the Special Services Program and the support rendered to it by the host institution. Even though controversy exists about the benefits of these programs and their affect on Black students, it does appear
that the programs are helping the students experience academic success. However, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of Special Services Programs.
The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the Special Services Program at the University of Florida in the retention and graduation of its participants. The flexibility of this study's research design provided the researcher with an economical and efficient method of collecting and analyzing the data for this study.
Chapter III includes a discussion of the research design, the research questions, the characteristics of the population studied, the method used to select the subjects, the
instrument used in this study, the pilot testing of the instrument and the determination of the reliability and validity of the instrument. Finally, this chapter contains the procedures used in collecting and analyzing the data of this study.
The correlational research design, a category of
descriptive research, was utilized for this study. Using the correlational design, the researcher examined the following five dependent variables:
1. Program participation (academic services and activities in which the students participated;
2. Performance (grade point average);
3. Persistence (retention rates);
4. Progress (graduation rates); and
5. Prominence (economic status of participants).
Van Dalen (1973), in explaining the characteristics of correlational research, states that, because of the complexity and nature of social phenomena, an educator cannot always select, control, and manipulate the factors as in an experimental research design. Therefore, Van Dalen suggests
the utilization of the correlational research design when variables do not lend themselves to the experimental method and controlled manipulation.
In studies of causation, many researchers prefer to use the experimental research design to select and control the factors necessary to study cause-effect relations. However,
researchers cannot manipulate socioeconomic status, home environments or personalities, all of which would influence the subjects of a study. Utilization of the experimental research design in these instances would be impractical (Van Dalen 1973). Best (1970) also expressed similar views regarding correlational research.
The six research questions for this study were
1. How effective are the academic services and activities of the Special Services Program as perceived
by Black students at the University of Florida?
2. What are the grade point averages of Black students
in the Special Services Program at the University
3. What are the retention rates of the Black students
in the Special Services Program at the University
4. What are the graduation rates of the Black students
in the Special Services Progran at the University
5. What influence does the peer counselor component
have on the academic performance of Black students in the Special Services Program at the University
6. What is the economic status of Black students who
participated in the Special Services Program at the
University of Florida?
The population for this study was comprised of individuals from a variety of backgrounds, ulith the majority coming from deprived economic and educational backgrounds. Some of the individuals comprising the population of interest are from 1 imited-Engl ish- speaking families, such as Vietnamese, Chinese, Haitians and Latin Americans. However,
these individuals were not included in the study; only Blacks were studied. The ethnic breakdown of the population is 90 percent Black, with a 10 percent representation from other ethnic groups. Females outnumber the males in the population by a ratio of three females for each male. The
average age of the population is 18 years at the time of initial enrollment and 23 years at time of graduation.
All members of the population were admitted to the University of Florida under special admission guidelines because they did not meet the standards for regular admission. They were all first-time-in-college students who were
required to enter the University of Florida during the summer session and to participate in the Special Services Program. All members of the population were admitted into
the University of Florida with at least a "C" average in core high school courses.
Selection of Subjects
Subjects for the sample were chosen from among approximately 750 students who were enrolled in the University of Florida's Special Services Program during the years 1974-75, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1977-78, and 1978-79. The names and addresses of the subjects were obtained from the files in the
Special Services Office. Using the stratified random sampling technique in conjunction with a table of random numbers, the researcher selected two groups of students (150 students and 60 students, respectively), totalling 210 subjects for the sample.
The stratified random selection process was used to
select the 60 students who represented each of the five-year periods of this study. Thirty graduates and 30 nongraduates, totalling 60 subjects, were administered the evaluation instrument and had their transcripts analyzed. The other group of 150 subjects only had their transcripts analyzed.
The instrument used in this study was designed and developed by the researcher after reviewing several of the instruments used by Special Services directors to evaluate their programs. The instruments used by Boyd (1974), Davis,
Burkheimer and Borders-Patterson (1975), and Coulson, Bradford, and Kaye (1981) were influential in helping the
researcher to design and develop the instrument for this study.
A panel of experts, consisting of Special Services directors from Central Florida Community College, Edward
waters College, Florida A & M University, Florida State University, Hillsborough Community College, and Jacksonville
University, was initially consulted for advice on the construction of this instrument (Appendix A). Since all Special Services Programs are operating under the same set of federal guidelines and are attempting to accomplish the same goals, the help of these experts was invaluable in constructing this instrument.
The items in the instrument were formulated based on those conditions, services and activities which, if optimally rendered, would produce successful experiences 1cr the students of Special Services Programs. The specific conditions, services and activities to be evaluated were obtained
from the federal guidelines --for operating the Special Services Programs and from the stated objectives of each program.
The instrument, called the Questionnaire Evaluating Special Services Programs (QESSP), consists of a cover page
with administrative directions and 41 items. The 41 items in the questionnaire were designed to
1. Solicit demographic information (Ttems 1-9);
2. Solicit responses about satisfactions or dissatisfactions with the Special Services Program (Items
3. Solicit the respondent's evaluation of the following services or activities: Orientation, peer
counseling, professional counseling, academic advisement, instruction, special classes, tutoring, special activities, referrals and the staff characteristics (Items 20-41).
Based on the recommendations of the panel. of experts, the evaluation instrument was developed and tested. A pilot
study of the instrument was conducted at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro by the Director of Special Services at that institution. The instrument was administered to 71 Special Services students and the Director reported that all items on the instrument were answered by the students. The findings from this pilot study indicated that the items were clearly understood, relevant to Special Services Programs, and easy to answer. The overall reaction
to the instrument, as reported by the Director at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, was favorable.
After the pilot study was completed, the researcher
made several modifications of the instrument after consultation with three of the original panel experts and the director who conducted the pilot study. These modifications included rewording portions of the administrative instructions, specifying the special courses and grouping related items.
The test-retest procedure was used to determine the reliability of this instrument. During the first administration of the instrument, the researcher administered the instrument to 20 Special Services students at the University
of Florida who were enrolled during the 1982 summer term. After a two-week interval, it was administered again to the
same group of students but only 15 out of the original 20 were available for the second administration of the instrument.
The researcher compared each item response recorded by the 15 subjects on the second administration of the instrument with each item response that they recorded during the
first administration of the instrument. The researcher compared each item to determine a percent of agreement between the first administration and the second administration of the instrument.
The reliability was determined by dividing the items agreed upon by the total number of agreements and disagreements. Using this common method for computing reliability
(Huck, Cormier and Bounds, 1974, p. 335), the researcher found the instrument to have a reliability of .87.
The content validity of the Questionnaire Evaluating Special Services Programs (QESSP) was determined by a second panel of experts from the following institutions:
1. Abraham Baldwin Agri- Georgia
2. Alcorn State University Mississippi
3. Bayamon Central University Puerto Rico
4. Greenville Technical South Carolina
5. Howard University Washington, D.C.
6. Kent State University Ohio
7. Miami University Ohio
8. State University of New York
New York at Buffalo
9. University of Florida Florida
10. University of North North Carolina
11. University of Tennessee Tennessee
These experts were provided with a copy of the initial instrument and were asked to assess its capability for evaluating a Special Services Program. Specifically, they were asked to check each item to determine if it would produce
responses that could be used to evaluate any Special Services Program. This panel of experts, consisting of 11 Special Services directors and four immediate supervisors of the directors, had two days to review the instrument and Present written or verbal comments to the researcher.
The content validity of the instrument was determined, with 100 percent of the experts in agreement that the instrument was capable of effectively evaluating a Special Services Program. However, two of the 15 experts suggested
that the location of counseling items and other related items be grouped in closer proximity to each other. One of the experts also suggested that the items related to stigmatization be reworded to insure clarity and understanding. The changes recommended by these three experts were incorporated into the instrument.
Having randomly selected the names of the subjects for
this study from the files located in the Special Services office, the researcher contacted the Alumni Atfairs Office to ascertain and update the addresses of some of the subjects. The researcher also contacted currently enrolled students, faculty and any other persons who could provide the researcher with a current and accurate address for the
subjects. After obtaining the correct addresses, the researcher prepared a letter requesting the participation of the randomly selected subjects in the study (Appendix B). These letters were either hand-delivered by the researcher or mailed. The letter also included an informed consent form (Appendix B) and the evaluation instrument (Appendix C)
A follow-up letter was mailed if the consent form and
evaluation instrument were not received within two weeks from the mail-out date (Appendix D) However, the researcher found that it was more convenient and faster to follow-up by telephone. The primary subjects were given two weeks from the mail-out date to return the consent form and
the instrument. After that period of time passed, the researcher selected an alternate subject.
After obtaining the consent forms, the researcher re-quested copies of the subject's transcripts from the University of Florida Registrar's Office and began collecting data from their transcripts. The researcher reviewed each subject's transcript for each term that the subject was
enrolled until graduation, suspension or voluntary withdrawal from the University of Florida.
Specifically, the subjects' transcripts were visually and manually checked to determine if they remained enrolled until graduation, the number of years required to graduate
from the University of Florida, the number of courses attempted, the number of courses completed and the grade point average at graduation. For the nongraduates, the researcher also collected data on the number of courses attempted and completed and the grade point averages at the time of withdrawal from this institution or as of August 9, 1983.
In summary, the data gathered from the transcripts were
used to determine the subjects' retention and graduation rates and grade point averages. The evaluation instrument was used to collect data on the academic services and activities utilized by the Special Services students. The instrument was also used to determine the economic status of
the subjects after participating in the Special Services Program.
The analysis of all data for this study was performed manually by the researcher except for the data used to determine the economic impact of this program on its participants. The researcher analyzed the data so as to answer research questions 2, 3, 4, 5, 1, and 6, in that order, respectively.
By manually analyzing the subjects' transcripts, the researcher was able to observe trends and patterns more
readily while recording the grade point average of each subject and mean grade point averages of all the subjects.
The data were analyzed to determine what the grade point averages were individually and collectively for each term over a six-to-eight-year period (Research Question #2).
In the process of analyzing the data to answer research question #2, the researcher also ascertained the enrollment status of each subject for each term of their enrollment to determine the collective retention rates (Research Question #3).
The transcripts were also analyzed to determine the number of terms that were required for the subjects to graduate from the University of Florida (Research Question #4).
Data from items 17-19, 21 and 26 of the instrument were analyzed for information about the influence of peer counselors on the academic performances of the subjects. The relationship between peer counselor effectiveness as perceived by the subjects and the amount of contact with the peer counselors was also investigated (Research Question #5).
Data from the evaluation instrument, specifically Items 20-41, were checked closely for subjects' responses regarding academic services and activities that they perceived as most effective (Research Question #1).
Data provided by Items 8 and 9 of the evaluation instrument yielded information regarding the economic value of the Special Services Program to the subjects. These data were analyzed by a computer program called the Program Impact Assessment System, developed by Dr. John Nickens and
prepared by the Office of Instructional Research at the University of Florida. The computer program determined the economic value of the Special Services Program for each subject by adjusting the subject's yearly earnings to produce a
present value of earnings. In determining the economic value of the Special Services students, the computer program
considered the factors of inflation, age, and earnings (Research Question #6).
Data from Items 1-7 and 10-16 of the evaluation instrument were analyzed to provide a profile of the subjects and to identify any patterns and factors which might suggest the effectiveness of the Special Services Program.
The information obtained was recorded and summarized to provide answers to the appropriate research questions. Measures of central tendency and variability, simple correlations and relationships and graphic representations of data were used to report the results.
This study was designed to determine the effectiveness of the Special Services Program at the University of Florida
in the retention and graduation of its participants. The population for this study consisted of those students who participated in the Special Services Program during the 1974-1978 school years. A total of 150 randomly selected
student transcripts was used to answer the research questions pertaining to grade point averages, graduation and retention rates. Sixty students were randomly selected and administered the Questionnaire Evaluating Special Services Programs (QESSP) to answer the research questions pertaining to the effectiveness of the program, peer counseling influence and economic status of former participants. This chapter reports the researcher's findings, which includes information regarding each of the six research questions.
Research Question #1
How effective are the academic services and activities of the Special Services Program as perceived
by Black students at the University of Florida?
In order to answer the f irst research question, the
researcher analyzed Items 1-7 and 10-16 of the Questionnaire Evaluating Special Services Programs (QESSP) that solicited responses from 60 randomly selected students who initially enrolled during the summer terms between 1974 and 1978. The
sample of 60 students contained 30 graduates of the University of Florida and 30 nongraduates.
The analysis of the items on the QESSP and the findings of the researcher are presented in the same numerical order as they appear on the QESSP. The responses of the
graduates and nongraduates are presented, illustrated and discussed separately, beginning with the graduates.
An Analysis of Responses of Randomly Selected Special Services Graduates to Items 1-7 and 10-16 on the QESSP
The first item on the QESSP inquired about the sex and marital status of the Special Services graduates. The data
show that 9 of the 30 graduates (30 percent) are married; the remaining 21 (70 percent) are single.
Item 2 asked the students to describe themselves. The researcher found that all of the students in this study were
Black, of United States origin. Blacks of Hispanic and Caribbean origins have participated in the Special Services Program, but none were included in the random selection.
In Item 3, the students were asked to indicate the
highest degree that they now hold. The researcher confirmed that 30 students had received bachelor's degrees; 2 students had completed requirements for the master's degree; 1 student was graduated from law school; and 1 student is in the last year of medical school, expecting to graduate in June of 1984.
Information concerning institutions that the students had attended was solicited by Item 4. The researcher found that the students listed seven institutions that they had
attended or planned to attend after graduating from the University of Florida. The other institutions are as follows: Florida International University; Howard University;
Jacksonville University; University of Arizona; University of Central Florida; University of North Florida; and the University of Oklahoma. These students indicated that they had not received a degree from the above institutions.
Item 5 asked the students if they were currently enrolled in any of the institutions listed in Itent 4 and, if not, whether they planned to re-enroll. Seven students indicated that they are currently enrolled, with five of the seven being enrolled at the University of Florida. Five students who are not enrolled plan to re-enroll at the University of Florida, but ten others plan to re-enroll at
other institutions. Additionally, seven students indicated they do not plan to re-enroll at any institution.
Item 6 solicited data concerning the year in which the student enrolled at the University of Florida. All 30 students entered the University of Florida between the years 1974 and 1978. Item 7 asked if they were former Upward Bound or Talent Search participants. The respondents indicated that eight of them were former Upward Bound students and two were former Talent Search students. The federally funded Upward Bound and Talent Search Projects provided the
University of Florida's Special Services Program with 30 percent of its students during the years between 1974 and 1978.
The Higher Education Act of 1965 created the Upward Bound and Talent Search Programs, which had as their purposes the development of academic skills, motivation for academic success and the identification of low-income youth with academic potential. The Talent Search Program identifies low-income youth who have academic potential and encourages them to complete their secondary education and to subsequently enroll in postsecondary institutions. The
Upward Bound Program is a pre-college preparatory activity that develops academic skills and motivation for success in
students attending secondary school and eventually in a postsecondary institution.
The University of Florida has an Upward Bound Program but not a Talent Search Program. The Upward Bound Program is to provide an opportunity for potentially capable lowincome students in Alachua County from academically and/or
environmentally deprived backgrounds to develop motivational, personal and academic competencies necessary to pursue and succeed in higher education.
When asked in Item 10 to rate their academic preparation before coming to the University of Florida, 3 students (10 percent) rated their preparation as being excellent; 19
students (63.3 percent) rated their preparation as being good; and 8 students (26.7 percent) rated their academic preparation as being fair.
When asked in Item 11 to rate their academic preparation at the University of Florida, 20 students (66.7 percent) rated their preparation as good; 7 (23.3 percent) rated their preparation as being excellent; and 3 (10 percent rated their preparation as being fair.
The three most important reasons that the respondents listed in Item 12 for deciding to enroll at the University
of Florida were (1) the academic reputation of the University, (2) it was close to home, and (3) the financial aid awarded. These three reasons are listed in the order of most number one responses. The Special Services Program ranked fourth.
In the analysis of Item 13, which gathered data concerning feelings, the researcher found that 43.3 percent of
the graduates associated positive feelings with their participation in the Special Services Program. A majority of the
graduates (53.3 percent) associated both positive and negative feelings with their participation in the Special
Services Program. One graduate did not respond to the
The following comments were made by the graduates in
describing their feelings associated with their participation in the Special Services Program:
1. Even though I was benefited from the counseling and educational assistance of the Special Services staff, I've had to deal with feeling like an admission exception.
2. Almost even-handed ambivalence, beina
Black in an astronomical white climate,
feelings were somewhat negative. I was in
the "Special Services" Program very much
my first two quarters, and afterwards rapidly moved from the "S.S." courses
(curriculum). Due to adversive and hostile categorizing as a 2nd-rate (class)
student, pride and self-esteem, morale was
3. Positive in the sense it gave me a chance
to go to the school of my choice. A bit
negative sometimes when people told you it
wouldn't be the same when you enter the
mainstream of regular classes.
4. Staff was interested in the student learning and obtaining their degree.
5. Positive--Due to the support and encouragement being given. Negative--Reinforced the idea of not being able to
succeed in the highly competitive environment under normal conditions (not
being able to retake tests).
6. Very helpful in adjusting.
7. Many of the White instructors exhibited racist attitudes to the students. The inferiority complex given students by those professors help cause the withdrawal of many of these students.
8. Negative derived from the stigma placed on SIS students. Positive from the dedication from the faculty and staff.
9. Positive in the sense that Blacks were able to see more Blacks. Negative in the sense that the program supposedly catered to less intelligent persons. The program
had a spill-over effect on me. That is, from my doing well in the program, this gave me confidence that I could do well in professional school. The program is
definitely needed, at least for a year or
so for the incoming student.
10. Positive being admitted to the University;
given an opportunity. Negative image of
not being smart enough to get in under
11. Definitely positive; only negative feelings associated with the Program were frw, outsiders who didn't know what the Program
was all about.
12. There were some people whose influence and
concern brought about good results and yet some people's attitude toward me was cold
and insensitive. Some made me feel dumb and incompetent. The ones that did more
to help me were the instructors and tutors at the Special Services Building (Learning
Center). They deserve gold ribbons.
13. Several educational experiences were positive because of the Special Services
14. 1 felt like I was considered as a person
who could not compete with the majority.
15. Program provided excellent assistance in
16. 1 noticed positive feelings from many of
my peers concerning the program. Only
once did I experience any negative feelings--from my 1st quarter English
17. Academic and personal advising were readily available. The program was extremely
informative of the academic and business
systems of the University of Florida.
18. Cared about. Concerned with you as a person and achieving the best possible goals.
19. Positive--you got to know people. Negative--professors stereotyped classes.
20. Positive in that the Program really does
a lot for incoming freshmen. Negative in
the sense that the program can become a
crutch at times. Academics must be
stressed more. Make it clear that having
a good time is part of college but academics are #1.
21. Positive--gave me an opportunity to obtain my education. Negative--some teachers treated me as if I were dumb. They also talked to me as if they were apologizing that I was Black.
22. I think the benefits of the program were
positive, but being at an all White university and being in an all Black class
initially did not mix with me.
23. 1 think the academic preparation received
through Upward Bound greatly enhanced my
24. 1 was civen motivation through the members of Special Services.
25. The feelings were positive because the
Special Services Program enables me to
gradually be broken into the academic
system at the University of Florida.
In summary, the graduates appear to have been appreciative of the Special Services Program, but not the University as a whole. They expressed some negative effects of being Black in a White environment. Half of the graduates said that they experienced negative feelings as a result of nonsupportive or noncaring attitudes of professors. Five graduates explicitly said that the professors exhibited
racist attitudes, they stereotyped the class, treated the students as if they were dumb and incompetent, and made them feel inferior. Many of the graduates said that they had experienced positive feelings as a result of the actions taken by the Special Services staff to assist them.
Should the Special Services Program be continued was the question asked in Item 14 on the QESSP. Twenty-eight (93.3 percent) of the graduates said that the program should be continued; two graduates (6.7 percent) were not sure. An
analysis of Item 15, which asked the students to describe their experiences from participation in the Special Services Program, revealed that the students experienced more positive than negative feelings toward themselves and their education. The students overwhelmingly felt that the
Special Services Program increased their motivation to study and made them more determined to graduate.
The following comments generally reveal positive experiences:
1. Made me more cognizant of the need of
Blacks to be better prepared for college
2. Allowed me to enter college even though I
didn't achieve the required score on the
SAT for college entrance.
3. Gave me the start I needed to realize I
could later make it without the Program.
4. 1 was/am very grateful to the Special
Services administrative staff because it
was this staff which gave me the opportunity to "prove" myself at a major university--after bombing out on the SAT (not
in the right frame of mind the day I took it). The Special Services staff saw the
potential in me. I wanted to prove to
them and myself that I could survive at
the University of Florida.
5. Helped me adjust to the University of
Florida at a good pace.
The students were asked to describe the effectiveness of the Special Services Program in Item 16. Their overall reaction to the Special Services Program was positive. Ten students (33.3 percent) described it as extremely effective; 7 students (23.3 percent) as very effective; and the remaining 13 (43.3 percent) as effective.
Summary of Responses by Special Services Graduates
From the analysis of Items 1-7 and 10-16, the researcher found that the Special Services graduates expressed strong positive satisfaction with the Program. One of their
three major reasons for enrolling at the University of Florida was that they were informed by friends of the help provided by the Special Services Program.
It should be noted that the students were not completely satisfied with everything associated with the
Program. The students reported both positive and negative feelings concerning their participation in the Special Services Program. However, when asked if they thought that
the Special Services Program should be continued, 93.3 percent indicated yes and 6.7 percent were not sure.
Following, in Table 1, is a summary of student responses regarding services, activities, or staff actions rendered or arranged for by the Special Services Program. The students were asked to indicate whether or not they received the service, participated in the activity or experienced the staff action by marking yes or no in the columns. If they marked yes, they were to indicate their perceptions of the effectiveness of the service, activity or staff action in helping them while at this institution. if
their response was no, no further evaluation was appropriate. Table 1 indicates the number and type of responses given by the graduates of the Special Services Program. Analysis of Graduates' Responses to Items 20-41 of the QESSP
The researcher's analysis of the participation columns, Items 20-41, of the QESSP, revealed that 57.5 percent of the graduates indicated use of the services or participation in the activities of the Special Services Program. Since it is
not mandatory that students utilize program services or activities, 42.5 percent chose not to do so.
Further analysis of the effectiveness columns, Items 20-41, shows that 42 percent evaluated the services, activities, and staff as-extremely effective; 23 percent evaluated them as very effective; 31 percent evaluated them as effective; 3 percent evaluated them as not effective; and 1 percent evaluated the services activities and staff as extremely ineffective.
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An AnalXsis of Responses of Randomly Selected Special Services Non-graduates to Item 1-7 and 10-16 on the QESSP
An analysis of Item 1 indicated that eight (26.7 percent) of these 30 students reported that they are married; 21 (70 percent) are single; and 1 (3.3 percent) is divorced.
All of the students responding to Item 2 described themselves as being Black, of United States origin.
"Indicate the highest degree you now hold," was asked in Item 3. The high school diploma is the highest degree held by 13 (43.3 percent) of these students. Fifteen (50 percent) indicated that their highest degree is the Associate of Arts. However, 2 students (6.7 percent) have obtained bachelor's degrees from Florida A & M University and Savannah State College, respectively.
The institutions listed as requested in Item 4, including the University of Florida, are
1. Bethune-Cookman College
2. Cameron University (Oklahoma)
3. Daytona Beach Community College
4. Florida A & M University
5. Hillsborough Community College
6. Santa Fe Community College
7. Savannah State College 8. University of Maryland
9. University of North Florida
10. University of South Florida
11. University of Texas at El Paso
When asked in Item 5 if they were currently enrolled,
out of the 24 respondents, 12 (50 percent) indicated that they were still enrolled at an institution other than the University of Florida. However, 12 others (50 percent) indicated that they were not enrolled. Eight of the 24 students plan to re-enroll at the University of Florida, while 6 others plan to enroll at another institution. Three students indicated that they do not plan to enroll at any institution. Seven students did not indicate their plans for enrollment. In Item 6, the students indicated the year that they enrolled at the University of Florida. All students entered the University of Florida between 1974 and 1-978.
"Are you a former Upward Bound or Talent Search student?" was the question asked in Item 7. The analysis shows that 10 former Upward Bound students and one Talent Search student were nongraduates. Specifically, 36.7 percent of the students in the study who did not graduate from the University of Florida were former Upward Bound and Talent Search students. The two students who received their bachelor's degrees from other institutions were former Upward Bound students.
Item 10 on the OESSP concerning academic preparation before coming to the University of Florida reveals that 19
(63.3 percent) of the nongraduates rated their academic preparation before coming to the University of Florida as good, while 6 students (20 percent) rated their academic preparation as fair. There were 3 students (10 percent) who
reported their academic preparation as excellent; 1 (3.3 percent) rated it as poor; and 1 (3.3 percent) did not rate it. In Item 11, when asked about their academic preparation at the University of Florida, 6.7 percent rated it as excellent; 53.3 percent rated it as good; 30 percent rated.it as fair; and 10 percent rated it as poor.
The three most important reasons indicated in Item 12
for deciding to enroll at the University of Florida were
(1) it was close to home, (2) the financial aid awarded, and
(3) the Special Services Program. The researcher arrived at
this finding by locating the three reasons with the most number one responses.
The researcher's analysis of Item 13 concerning the students' feelings regarding their association with the Special Services Program reveals that 20 of the 30 students .(70 percent) felt that there were positive feelings associated with their participation in the Special Services Program. However, 10 students (30 percent) reported both positive and negative feelings.
The following comments were made by 24 of the 30 students describing their feelings regarding participation in
the Special Services Program:
1. Very motivational and academically
2. The Program gave me the added confidence
I needed to attend the University of
3. In the beginning, there seemed to be a
lot of concern and good advice was found
easily. Later, it became harder to do
the scheduling of classes and my need
4. 1 felt as though I was wanted and needed
in this Program.
5. It was all positive, because if it were
not for the Program, I would not have
had the opportunity to attend the
6. Without the Program, I would not have
been able to attend a college of the
U of F standard.
7. Some teachers were unfair in their dealing with me.
8. My feelings are positive towards the
Special Services Program because it acquainted me with a life style that might
have passed me by. This Program also
made it easy to enter other universities.
9. All workers were very helpful, assisted
in tutoring of classes, selection of
10. It was there when I needed help.
11. 1 think that the counselors could have
been more helpful and available.
12. 1 feel like there was help if I needed
help. You get out what you put into the
Program. There is quality help available for those who want it.
13. 1 knew that all the academic help that I
needed would be given to me if I were to
run into any problems.
14. Developed confidence in my ability to
make it in college.
15. Positive--because there was someone
there to help me during the hard times.
16. Positive in that it helped me get
17. Positive--I felt that it helped me to
adjust to the college academic and social life and gave me a good foundation to begin regular college courses. Negative--I did not feel like a normal student until I began to take regular
college courses. It seemed as though we
were slow students taking remedial
courses. Some of the courses were too
easy and no challenge was given in order
for the student to develop one's mind.
One would get dependent on the chance to
retake exams, the constant babysitting
by some instructors and the thought that
you can always drop the course.
18. I felt that the Special Services Program
presented me with an opportunity to
adapt to the academic and social eXpectations of a big university setting.
19. There were positive feelings in that
there were tutors there for your use but on the other hand we were referred to as
the "other" students.
20. Warm, kind, sincere and very amicable.
21. I felt that they were concerned about me
as an individual person, and one of the
22. The classes gave me a sense of unity among
23. Positive--knowing that I could attend the
University of Florida. Negative--knowing
that the only way that I would ever get
in was through the Special Services
Program. Knowing that I was not up to
the basic standards of a college student.
24. There was some preparation and help but
not enough help when needed.
Most of the students acknowledged their appreciation for the Special Services Program. They said that the Program made it possible for them to attend the University of Florida. Three students indicated that they were not treated like the regular admission students. They felt that they were treated unfairly by some instructors, looked down upon by many of the students, or were made to feel as though they were slow students taking remedial courses.
The researcher found that 96.7 percent of the students thought that the Special Services Program should be continued. However, there was one student (3.3 percent) who was not sure about continuing the Special Services Program.
An analysis of Item 15 revealed that the Special Services Program caused the students to experience more positive than negative feelings toward themselves and their education. According to students' responses, the Special Services Program increased their motivation to study, made them more determined to graduate, made them feel better