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The impact of an experimental reading-study skills course on high-risk student success in a community college

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The impact of an experimental reading-study skills course on high-risk student success in a community college
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Haburton, Eleanor Calfee
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English
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xi, 134 leaves : ; 28cm.

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Academic achievement ( jstor )
College students ( jstor )
Colleges ( jstor )
Community colleges ( jstor )
Control groups ( jstor )
Self concept ( jstor )
Statistical results ( jstor )
Students ( jstor )
T tests ( jstor )
Teachers ( jstor )
Academic achievement ( lcsh )
Curriculum and Instruction thesis Ed. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Curriculum and Instruction -- UF
Reading (Higher education) ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis (Ed.D.)--University of Florida.
Bibliography:
Bibliography: leaves 124-132.
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Eleanor C. Haburton.

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THE IMPACT OF AN EXPERIMENTAL READING-STUDY SKILLS COURSE
ON HIGH-RISK STUDENT SUCCESS IN A COMMUNITY COLLEGE








By

ELEANOR C. IABURTON


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






UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1976















ACKNOWLEDGMENT S


Sincere appreciation is extended by the writer to those who have assisted in the completion of this investigation. The guidance, encouragement, support, and inspiration of Dr. Ruthellen Crews, committee chairperson, have been essential throughout the study.

Special thanks are also extended to the other members of

the supervisory committee, Dr. Arthur Lewis, Dr. Ralph Kimbrough, and Dr. John Nickens, for their assistance in offering valuable suggestions for the carrying out of the study.

Dr. Michael Nunnery deserves special recognition for his

outstanding instruction in the preparation of the study proposal.

Heartfelt gratitude is extended to all the members of the administration and faculty of the University of Florida College of Education, Graduate Studies, for their innovative actions in providing an experimental framework in which the writer and her colleagues from Central Florida were given the opportunity to participate in advanced continuing education at the university. Special gratitude is also expressed to Dr. John B. Langley, chairman of the Phi Delta Kappa committee, Mid-Florida


ii








Organized Research for Education (MORE), who in cooperation with the University of Florida initiated the experimental doctoral program for educators who live off-campus and work full time.

Appreciation is extended to Arden Goettling for her help

and suggestions and for her excellent typing of the manuscript.

The writer also acknowledges her indebtedness to the students, faculty, and staff of Valencia Community College, without whose cooperation and helpfulness the study could not have been carried out.

The author wishes to dedicate this endeavor to the students of Valencia Community College and to all her former students who have been a joy to her through all the years.


iii















TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.......................................... ii

LIST OF TABLES........................................... vi

ABSTRACT................................................ viii

CHAPTER

I INTRODUCTION..................................... 1

The Problem.................................... 1

Assumptions.................................... 7

Definition of Terms............................ 9

Procedures..................................... 12

Hypotheses..................................... 18

Organization of the Research Report ............19

II REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE.................... 20

Grade Point Average as a Criterion of
College Success................................ 22

Self-Concept as Related to Academic Success. 31 Student Attitudes and Persistence ..............36

Reading Improvement in Content Areas ...........44

Discussion of Findings........................ 52


iv








CHAPTER

III TREATMENT OF THE EXPERIMENTAL GROUP ...........

Content and Operation of Experimental Course

IV PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA .............

Tests of the Hypotheses......................

Summary of Analysis..........................

V CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS ..................


APPENDIX PA APPENDIX B APPENDIX C


APPENDIX I


Conclusions..................................

Discussion and Interpretation ...............

Implications for Future Research ............

LETTER TO INFORM PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS OF
EXPERIMENTAL READING-STUDY SKILLS COURSE ...

RAW DATA FOR EQUATING EXPERIMENTAL AND
CONTROL GROUPS ON AGE, SEX, RACE,
READING SCORE, AND COURSE LOAD ............

LETTER TO SUBJECT AREA INSTRUCTORS TO
FIND PRIORITIES OF READING SKILLS NEEDED
IN PASSING THEIR COURSES ..................

COURSE DESCRIPTION.........................


REFERENCES.............................................

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...................................


Page

54

64 72

73 97

100 101 105 i11


113



115



118

121 124 133


V














LIST OF TABLES


Table Page

1 t Test for Significance Between Group Mean Differences for GPA of Experimental and Control
Groups............................................ 74

2 t Test for Significance for GPA with Reading
Course Grade Omitted for Experimental Group .......75

3 t Test for Significance for Course Withdrawals
During Fall Semester for Experim~ental and
Control Groups.................................... 76

4 Chi Square Comparison of During-Semiester Student
Withdrawal of Experimental and Control Groups ... 77

5 Chi Square Comparison of Student Withdrawal
Between-Semesters Between Experimental and
Control Groups.................................... 78

6 t Test for Differences in Total Hours Successfully Completed Between Experimental and
Control Groups.................................... 79

7 t Test for Significance Between Experimental and
Control Groups on Course Load Undertaken During
Fall Semester, 1975............................... 80

8 t Tests for Group Mean Differences Between
Experimental and Control Groups on Subtests of
Suve of Study Habits and Attitudes ..............81

9 t Tests for Significance of Posttest Scores on
TSCS Subtests Total Positive (TP), Self Criticism
(SC), and Row 1 (Rl), Row 2 (R2), and Row 3 (R3)
for Experimental and Control Groups ...............85


vi








Table Pg


10 t Test for Significance for Subtests CA, GB,
CC, CD, and CE on TSCS for Experimental and
Control Groups.................................... 86

11 t Tests for Significance for Subtests CTV, RTV,
TV, and D. of Self-Reported Posttest Scores on
TSCS Between Experimental and Control Groups .... 87

12 t Test Comparison of GPA Between Experimental
Class A and Experimental Class B ..................90

13 t Test Comparison of GPA Between Experimental
Class A and Experimental Class B with RSSC
Grades Omitted.................................... 90

14 t Test to Compare Number of Course Withdrawals
Between Two Experimental Reading Classes ..........91

15 t Test to Compare Number of Course Hours Successfully Completed Between Experimental
Classes........................................... 92

16 t Test for Significance Between Experimental
Reading Classes on Course Loads Undertaken
in Fall Semester.................................. 92

17 t Tests for Group Mean Differences Between Two
Experimental Reading Classes on Subtests of
SSHA.............................................. 94

18 t Tests for Group Mean Differences Between
Experimental Classes on Subtests of TSCS ..........95


vii


Page








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


THE IMPACT OF AN EXPERIMENTAL READING-STUDY SKILLS COURSE
ON HIGH-RISK STUDENT SUCCESS IN A COMMUNITY COLLEGE By

Eleanor C. Haburton

June, 1976

Chairperson: Ruthellen Crews Major Department: Curriculum and Instruction


The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of a reading-study skills course on the academic success of a group of high-risk community college students. The course was taught by two reading instructors to two voluntarily enrolled classes during the fall semester, 1975, at Valencia Community College at Orlando, Florida.

The plan of the course was to maximize chances for academic success by (a) offering transfer credit, (b) focusing on "survival" skills needed in content area courses and providing for direct transferal, (c) providing for self-pacing, (d) utilizing group instruction with group interaction as a motivational factor, (e) accommodating various learning styles through multi-media presentation, (f) evaluating progress by mastery tests, and (h) attempting to enhance self-concept by


viii








student orientation of learning, by teacher attitude, and by individual conferences.

The experimental group of 36 students was compared with a control group that did not participate in reading instruction, either because the classes were closed, or because of a schedule conflict. The groups were matched on the following variables: (a) voluntary participation in a previous basic reading course, (b) age, (c) sex, (d) race, (e) pretest reading comprehension score below the 30th percentile on the Iowa Silent Reading Test, Form E, and (f) carrying a minimum class load of 9 hours.

The groups were compared on. (a) grade point average for the fall semester, (b) number of course withdrawals, (c) attrition (dropping out of school) during the fall semester and between-semesters, (d) number of course hours successfully completed, (e) self-reported posttest scores on study habits and attitudes as measured by the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes, and (f) self-reported posttest scores on self-concept as measured by the Tennessee Self Concept Scale. Also the two experimental classes were compared on the hypothesized variables to determine if the teacher variable made a difference. To test the hypotheses, t tests and chi square were performed on the data to find where differences might lie.

On the basis of statistical analyses, it was concluded ix








that the experimental group (a) received significantly higher GPAs, (b) withdrew from fewer courses, (c) successfully completed more course hours, and (d) scored significantly higher on their self-reports on six of the seven subtests of the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes. There was no significant difference between the groups on attrition during the semester, or between semesters, although there was a tendency toward a significantly higher attrition by the control group. There was no significant difference between the groups on selfreported scores on self-concept as measured by the Tennessee Self Concept Scale. There was no statistically significant difference on any of the variables between the two experimental reading classes, and thus it was concluded that the teacher variable did not bias the results.

In relationship to other research in the literature that used GPA as a criterion of college success, the present study seems to confirm the position that high-risk students who take appropriately designed reading improvement classes tend to succeed better in academic courses than do like students who do not take such courses. The limited duration of the study and the limited population preclude generalized inference beyond the local setting, however.

Implications suggest that needed reading skills can be satisfactorily mastered by most high-risk students over time


x








and that the community college is in a tenable position to develop effective long-range programs in both the reading classes and in content courses to enable such students to succeed.


xi















CHAPTER I


INTRODUCT ION


Students designated as high-risk have entered community colleges in increasing numbers under the open-door policy, a concept of universal education which admits any adult who can profit from the instruction offered. Many high-risk students do not have the background in communication skills to succeed in traditional college work. Therefore, various programs have been tried by community colleges to help these students cope with the academic requirements of their chosen transfer or career courses. Whether required or voluntary, credit or noncredit, the courses are usually designed to develop students' basic skills to a level from which they can enter regular college curriculum programs. In spite of great expenditures of effort,, major problems persist in the attempt to provide intensive, adequate, and appropriate help in reading to serve the needs of high-risk students.


The Problem

The focus of the investigation was to determine the impact


1






2


of a reading-study skills course on the college success of a group of high-risk community college students. This impact was measured by comparing the students in the experimental group who participated in a special program of reading-study skills instruction to a like group of students who did not participate in any reading-study skills program. This comparison was made in terms of the following: (a) grade point average, (b) number of hours of course work successfully completed, (c) number of course withdrawals and attrition during fall semester, (d) attrition between fall and winter semesters,

(e) self-reported self-concept, and (f) self-reported study habits and attitudes.

Delimitations and Limitations

The present study was confined to a total of 72 high-risk students who were enrolled at Valencia Community College at Orlando,, Florida, during the fall semester, 1975. There were 36 students who voluntarily enrolled in two experimental reading-study skills courses matched with 36 nonparticipating students who either wanted in the courses but did not get admitted, or who planned to take the course later.

Data regarding the dependent variables were confined to that gathered during the fall term, 1975, and the beginning of the second semester, 1976. These dependent variables included cumulative grade point averages, number of hours of






3

course work successfully completed, course withdrawals during fall semester, 1975, attrition during the fall term, 1975, and attrition at the beginning of the second semester, 1976. Also, data regarding the dependent variables of self-reported selfconcept and self-reported study habits and attitudes were confined to that gathered from the December, 1975, administration of the Tennessee Self Concept Scale (Fitts, 1965) and the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes, Form C (Brown & Holtzman, 1965).

The following are limitations of the study:

1. Since the study was limited to an experimental group, enrolled in two classes, and a control group in one community college, generalizations of results should be viewed with great caution.

2. Since the students enrolled in the experimental reading classes were voluntarily selected, there was no way to effect complete randomization between the experimental and control groups. However, the groups were similar since both had taken a prerequisite reading course; thus, it was assumed that differing attitudes toward reading remediation did not cause differing results in the two groups.

3. The possibility of a temporary gain on some or all of the dependent variables as a result of the novelty effect and of the special attention given the experimental group






4


should be given some consideration in looking at the results. Justification for the Study

There are three major justifications for the study of a reading-study skills course for high-risk students in a community college.

First, the problem of academic achievement of high-risk

students in community/junior colleges, four-year colleges, and universities is of national concern. Researchers,, such as Anderson (1971), have estimated that at least 25 percent of university freshmen are unable to read well enough to do successful college work. As curricula have expanded and become more complex, and as egalitarian policies have brought about the admittance of a more diversified range of students to the universities, the gap between the reading task and the students' preparedness has widened. In the community colleges, the reading problem is a matter of even more major concern. Moore (1970) stated that in 1965 more than 60 percent of students enrolled were in need of remedial help in reading and other communication skills.

Adequate solutions for the problem have not yet been

found. Therefore, there is a national need for studies that document programs that are promising, those that are not promising, and other kinds of data that add to the body of knowledge about the problem.






5

Second, there is a gap in the research regarding what is happening in reading programs in community colleges for highrisk students, partly because of the recency of the growth of the colleges and the influx of low-achieving students. When. the nontraditional students started entering the traditional two-year colleges in large numbers in the 1960s, attempts were made to help them by modifying regular programs. Research studies (Losak, 1,970; Moore, 1970; Roueche, 1968) have documented the fact that these efforts have not been successful. Such a conclusion is not startling since the traditional programs in two-year colleges were not essentially different from the kind of programs which the high-risk student had already failed in high school (Roueche, 1968).

In the 1970s, two-year colleges were increasingly making innovative efforts such as those that included reading as part of multidisciplinary programs. Many of these programs are just being implemented and have not been in effect long enough for evaluation of long-range outcomes.

Some investigators feel that another reason for the lack of research seems to be that community colleges are not doing such studies of their remedial programs (Kendrick & Thomas, 1970). Roueche (1968) confirmed this finding and stated the following three conclusions from his review of related research and literature:






6


(1) There is a pronounced lack of research on the effectiveness of remediation efforts in community
colleges in terms of assessing academic performance,
persistence, and attitudes of high-risk students.
(2) Even with the dearth of research the evidence
indicates that remedial courses and programs in
two-year colleges, and in all of higher education for that matter, have largely been ineffective in
remedying student deficiencies. (3) There is an
increasing number of critics of the open-door
college and its implied promise to provide successful learning experiences for all its students.
Focus of criticism seems divided between the overzealous aims of the junior college and the reluctance of the institution to evaluate its efforts. (pp. 7-8)

Therefore, as cited in the literature, since traditional methods have apparently not been, and will not be, successful in helping the diverse new students to reach their goals, research is needed to lead to more conclusive data than are now available regarding curriculum and other instructional factors which result in greater academic success for the community college students.

The third justification for the present experiment was the immediate and practical need for such a study in the particular community college where the research was carried out. The study represented an attempt to test the impact of a specially designed reading-study skills course for highrisk community college students at a crucial point in the students' program. After completing a basic reading course, and in many cases, a basic studies seminar, the student was ready to attempt regular full-time academic courses. It is






7


at this point that withdrawal, failure, and attrition most often occur. Focus of the reading course was on those "survival" skills that are essential for student success in passing academic courses. Information about skills needed in specific courses was sought from instructors who teach content-area classes as a way to give support to this student if he undergoes "transfer shock." This kind of massive support is believed to be vital to increase the student's chances of academic success while he is also involved in the long-term developmental process of improving his basic skills.

While the present study has delimitations such that any generalizations from it must be made with great caution, the type of student receiving the treatment is found throughout the United States. Therefore, any insights gained in attempting to attack a practical and immediate problem in one school setting might be of interest to others involved in the same kind of situation.


As sumpt ions

The essential assumption underlying this investigation

was that the uncontrolled variables which presumably might have a significant impact on the dependent variables under consideration in the experiment were randomly distributed between the two groups. In the paragraphs that follow, more details on this assumption are provided.






8

In this investigation, it was assumed the students in the experimental and control groups are a similar population. A pretest, the Iowa Silent Reading Test, Form E (Farr, 1973), using local norms, tested the equality of the groups on reading comprehension. As explained in the procedure section, the groups were further matched on previous participation in a prerequisite reading improvement course, Reading 090, on enrollment in a minimum of 9 hours of course work, on age, on sex, and on race. Equality of motivation was partly assured by the fact that both groups had previously taken one remedial reading course; also, the control group was made up of students who (a) could not get into the treatment courses at this time because the classes were closed, or (b) did not take the course because of schedule conflicts, but stated they intended to take the course later.

It was further assumed the students in the experimental and control groups were exposed to equivalent intervening variables in the school setting. The major difference was the independent variable, the reading treatment for the experimental group.

Among the intervening variables that may have caused

improvement in all hypothesized dependent variables outside the reading classes are such elements as the supportive relationships students may have had with the counseling department,






9

the special services staff which provides tutoring, the basic studies program chairman, the veterans' administration staff, and classroom instructors all of whom assist students with academic problems; also, the administrative staff, which actively supports the open-door policy. No control for these variables was attempted since all these factors were equally available to all students in the school environment including the experimental and control groups.


Definition of Terms

Attrition. Refers to withdrawal from college. In the study, number of withdrawals from college during the fall semester, 1975, and number of withdrawals from college at the beginning of the second semester, January, 1976, were compared between the two groups.

Content-area reading skills'. Operationally,- this term

refers to reading ability needed by students to achieve passing grades in subject area courses such as biology, political science, or humanities. In the study, instruction was given the experimental group to develop such skills. Conceptually, Singer (1970) lists as content-area reading skills such coniprehension tasks as interpretation of data, knowledge of technical vocabulary, and mental organization needed to understand materials in the various disciplines.






10

Control group. As constituted in the experimental study, this group is the 36 students (matched with the experimental group on age, sex, race, reading level, class loads, and previous participation in a reading improvement course) who enrolled in at least 9 hours of regular courses, but did not participate in the Reading-Study Skills Course (RSSC) treatment.

Course load. In this study, enrollment in a minimum of

9 hours of course work was required for the student to participate in the experimental or control group.

Course withdrawals. Refers to dropping a course at any time during the fall semester, 1975. Such action caused the student to receive a grade of "W" for the course which netted no credit and no quality points and was measured in this study

as zero ("0").

Developmental programs. In the present study the term refers to prerequisite courses which high-risk students are to complete before they enter regular academic programs. The control and experimental groups were matched on having taken the prerequisite reading course, RG 090. In the literature, this term is used interchangeably with directed, guided, compensatory, basic, remedial, advancement, and career development.

Experimental group. The 36 students enrolled in the two experimental Reading-Study Skills Courses (RSSC).

General reading skills. In the study-, students in the






11


RSSG worked individually and in groups on personally needed skills described by this term as such global reading tasks as reading for main idea, for sequence, to follow directions, and to draw conclusions (Singer, 1970).

Grade point average (GPA). The cumulative grade scores received by students in their courses are A, B, C, D, and F, and are assigned quality points per hour of 4, 3, 2, 1, and 0, respectively. A grade of "W"' (withdrawal) or "I" (incomplete) is computed as "0. Both Ws and Is are dropped from the computation of GPA. These designations are used for all grades in the study except the grades for the experimental RSSC (Reading 102) which are omitted in determining GPA as described in detail in the procedure section.

High-risk student. In the present investigation, this term was used to denote the student participants who had reading test scores on the Iowa Silent Reading Test, Form E, below the 30th percentile on comprehension on local school norms, and previous school records and standardized test scores that placed them in the bottom quartile of academic achievement. In the literature, terms used synonymously to identify the high-risk student are marginal, educationally disadvantaged, remedial, low-achieving, and nontraditional.

open-door policy. Denotes the practice of admitting to

community/junior colleges all adults who wish to enter, regardless of past academic records.






12


Reading-study skills course (RSSG). Denotes the independent variable of this study and is used throughout to designate the treatment given to the experimental group.

Student self-concept. As used in this investigation, the term refers to the scores achieved by experimental and control groups on the December, 1975, administration of the Tennessee Self Concept Scale. Conceptually, the term refers to the student's view of himself psychologically in relation to his environment.

Study habits and attitudes. Refers to the scores achieved by experimental and control groups in this study on the December, 1975, administration of the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes Form C.

Success in college. In the present experiment, the term refers to the data regarding the dependent variables--satisfactory GPA, persistence in college, successful completion of courses attempted, and adequate self-concept and study habits and attitudes.

Total course work completed. Denotes the total hours of

course work the student completed during the fall semester with a grade of D or better.


Procedures

The design is a quasi-experimental design because under

the school circumstances it was impossible to assign experimental






13

subjects randomly from a common population to the experimental and the control group since the experimental group is composed of intact classrooms. However, the experimental and control groups were similar in their recruitment. Assignment of Students to Experimental and Control Groups

In July, 1975, a list was compiled by the investigator of 232 high-risk students who met the following criteria: They had all completed a 3-hour nontransferable credit course in basic reading skills, RG 090, at some time during the previous three semesters. Their final evaluations indicated they were still deficient in reading skills to the point their success in college level courses that required reading textbooks was dubious. Their scores on the comprehension section of the Iowa Silent Reading Test, Form E, were well below the 30th percentile on local norms. Most of the scores were actually below the 10th percentile. The diagnostic estimation of the reading instructors placed their reading levels in the range of lower seventh to upper ninth grade, while the readability levels assessed by the reading instructors of content-area textbooks used at Valencia Community College are chiefly twelfth through fourteenth grades and above.

An attempt was made to reach the 232 students by personal contact, by telephone, and by letter to inform them of a new reading-study skills course (RSSC) to be offered in the fall






14

semester, 1975. The course, designated in the catalog as RG 102, carries 3 hours of transferable credit. Enrollment is voluntary and the credit transfers as an English elective.

A copy of the letter mailed to the students by the Basic Studies Department Chairman is included in Appendix A.

of the original list of 232, a total of 36 students voluntarily enrolled in two reading-study skills courses. one instructor's class (referred to as Experimental Glass A) included 15 students; the other class, designated as Experimental Glass B, had an enrollment of 21 students (see Appendix B).

A total of 49 additional students responded to the letters and messages, indicating they were unable to enter the classes because the classes were closed or stating they planned to enroll the following semester, or at a later date.

From this list of 49, a control group divided into two

sections of 15 and 21 was designated in September, 1975. Control subjects were chosen to match the experimental group most closely by age, sex, and race; also, they were carrying a course load of at least 9 hours (see Appendix B).

A check was made of the remaining list of 147 students. A search of the registration records showed that 124 of the original list of 232 did not register at the college for the fall semester, 1975. of those on campus, 6 students said they






15


preferred not to continue reading; 3 students were foreign students and not "high-risk"; there were 14 interested students who did not meet the 9-hour minimum enrollment criterion because they were taking only 3 or 6 hours. Treatment of Experimental and Control Groups

The treatment of the experimental groups was a reading-study skills course designed to augment transfer of reading skills directly to subject-area classes. General reading skills in which the students were deficient were worked on individually by the student, but the focus was on those "survival" skills that are essential for the student' s success in passing his acacemic courses.

The control group was enrolled in regular classes and received no treatment in reading. Sources and Collection of Data Relative to Dependent Variables

Data were collected in Semptember, 1975, in December, 1975, and at the beginning of the semester in January, 1976. A pretest measure, the Iowa Silent Reading Test, Form E, was given to thie experimental group in the reading classes. The same test had been given previously to all students enrolled in English Composition 151 and provided a reading test score for the control group. The reading comprehension scores, using local school norms, were used to test the equality of the experimental and control groups before treatment.





16

At the close of the semester in December, 1975,, data were collected to test the eight hypotheses of the experiment. For Hypothesis 1, the GPA for the experimental and control groups was computed from scores recorded in the office of the registrar. There was one exception, namely, the grades for the experimental group in the reading treatment classes. In order to overcome any possible effects of grading bias in the reading course, RSSC, the students' grades were not used to compute the overall GPA for the experimental group. However, the credits received by the experimental students in reading were counted in computing the number of credit hours successfully completed by each student.

Data for Hypothesis 2, number of course withdrawals during the fall semester, were obtained from an examination of students' records in the registrar' s files. The same source was used for collecting data for Hypothesis 3, attrition during the fall semester, and for Hypothesis 4, attrition for second semester, January, 1976.

Hypothesis 5, number of course hours successfully completed during the semester, was also tested from data from student records in the registration office.

Data for Hypothesis 6 were obtained from the self-reported test scores on the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes which was administered in December, 1975. The experimental group was






17

given the test in the reading classes. The control group was tested individually in the Reading Laboratory. They were not informed they were part of an experiment but were asked by the investigator to express their opinions for a paper she was writing.

Hypothesis 7, self-reported self-concept, was tested using the scores achieved by administration of the Tennessee Self Concept Scale in December, 1975, to both experimental and control groups in the same manner as described for Hypothesis

6.

Hypothesis 8 was tested by comparing the scores on all

the hypothesized measures between the two experimental classes. Treatment of Data in Relation to Hypotheses

To test Hypothesis 1, CPA means were computed and a t

test of mean differences was used to determine the statistical difference between the grade point averages of the experimental and control groups. Hypothesis 2, number of course withdrawals in fall semester, 1975, was tested in the same manner as Hypothesis 1. Hypothesis 3, attrition during the fall semester, and Hypothesis 4, attrition between semesters, were tested using chi square.

Hypothesis 5, total number of hours successfully completed; Hypothesis 6, self-reported scores on Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes; and Hypothesis 7, self-reported scores on






18

Tennessee Self Concept Scale were tested by means of t tests. Hypothesis 8, a comparison between Experimental Class A and Experimental Class B, was tested by means of t tests on all the hypothesized variables.


Hypotheses

To give direction to the experiment, the following null hypotheses were tested, and in each instance the .05 level of significance was used to reject the hypothesis:

1. There will be no statistically significant difference in

grade point average (GPA) for the fall semester, 1975,

between the experimental and control groups.

2. There will be no statistically significant difference in

the number of course withdrawals during the fall semester,

1975, between the experimental and control groups.

3. There will be no statistically significant difference in

during-semester attrition (dropping out of school before

the end of the 1975 fall semester) between the experimental

and control groups.

4. There will be no statistically significant difference in

between-semester attrition at the beginning of the second

semester, January, 1976, between the experimental and

control groups.

5. There will *be no statistically significant difference in

number of course hours successfully completed during the






19

fall semester, 1975, between the experimental and control

groups.

6. There will be no statistically significant difference in

the self-reported posttest scores between the experimental

and control groups on study habits and attitudes as measured by the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes.

7. There will be no statistically significant difference in

the self-reported posttest scores between the experimental

and control groups on self-concept as measured by the

Tennessee Self Concept Scale.

8. There will be no statistically significant difference

between Experimental Class A and Experimental Glass B on

any of the hypothesized measures.


Organization of the Research Report

The proposed research will be organized into five chapters. Chapter I will include the introduction, the statement of the problem, delimitations and limitations, definitions of terms, hypotheses, design and methodology, and treatment of data.

Chapter II will contain a review of the related literature. In Chapter III, the treatment of the experimental group will be detailed. Chapter IV will include a presentation of the data and its analysis. In Chapter V, conclusions and implications for further study will be detailed. Appendices will include material related to carrying out the study.















CHAPTER II


REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE


In carrying out the purpose of the present study, it was necessary to design a reading-study skills course that would offer learning opportunities to meet the specific needs of a group of high-risk students in a community college. The difficulty of such a task has been widely discussed in the literature,, both from the standpoint of the academic shortcomings of the student and from the viewpoint of the lack of preparedness of the community college to accommodate the influx of nontraditional students in traditional classrooms. There has been discussion of the difficulty of achieving a shift in attitude on the part of the administration and instructional staff from the ''sorting out'' process of the recent past where only the most able students were allowed to continue in college to the egalitarian attitude of maximizing the potential of all students who enter.

There are two obvious concerns associated with the highrisk student and other students in the community colleges. First, due to the students' lack of background in communication 20






21


skills, there is a nationwide recognition and acceptance of the need for reading programs as an integral part of the curriculum (Sweiger, 1972). Second, not only do community colleges acknowledge the need for such programs, but many varied measures are being attempted to serve all students enrolled. Ahrendt (1975) attested to this fact, but also found a common thread running throughout the literature as follows:

Reading improvement programs are developed from the
specific needs of the institution, the philosophy of
the administration, the training of the instructor
and his attitudes toward reading improvement, and
stop-gap measures to facilitate the influx of marginal
and high-risk students who have entered the college
due to the open-door policy. (p. 10)

In dealing with high-risk students, many programs have

been described in which students were placed in separate noncredit courses for at least a year. These separate programs were multidisciplinary in nature (Roueche, 1968), or were separate entities or were a block of communications skills courses. After the year of "remediation," the students proceeded to take regular academic credit courses in their chosen career and transfer disciplines.

A recent trend that has been described has been that of the policy of avoiding identification of such students as high-risk, but on the basis of entering test scores, of placing them in learning centers (Ahrendt, 1975; McClellan, 1972) where they study independently and proceed on their own throughout






22

the course, seeking assistance when they need help. According to most reports of all types of programs, the dropout rate of high-risk students is high, and the success rate is low (Clarke, 1975).

In general, the present study focused on a search for

research studies and other literature that (a) identified and described the characteristics and needs of high-risk students, and (b) identified and described program content and operation that were found to be helpful or promising for these students. Such supportive literature and pertinent research have been organized under the following headings: first, Grade Point Average as a Criterion of College Success; second, Self-Concept as Related to Academic Success; third, Student Attitude and Persistence; and fourth, Reading Improvement in Content Areas. A concluding statement is made about the findings from the review of the literature.


Grade Point Average as a Criterion of College Success

Since the high-risk student is in immediate need of help

to improve his reading skills in order to pass his courses which require reading as a means of obtaining information and concepts, the grade point average (GPA) is crucial as an evaluation measure of the reading program he is pursuing. In the literature, some researchers have considered GPA as essential for evaluation; others have looked to other measures.






23

Earlier evaluations of reading improvement programs before the 1950s were often made by means of pre- and posttests of reading skills; it was somewhat automatically assumed that reading improvement led to success in academic courses, since reading is a major part of the means by which information is gained in college courses (Fairbanks, 1973). Even today, standardized reading tests are perhaps used in the majority of evaluations of two-year college reading programs, if indeed, any formal evaluation is made (Curran, 1975).

During the past 25 years increasing numbers of studies have been made using CPA to judge success of college reading improvement programs in four-year colleges and universities. Robinson (1950) stated that while the goal of improving ability to read is commonly accepted as a justification for reading programs, such an assumption should be tested by assessing students'. success in academic courses.

Four major studies were examined in which the investigators reviewed research using CPA as the criterion for program success. These studies, largely of programs in four-year colleges or universities, included Entwisle (1960), Wright (1960), Bednar and Weinberg (1970), and Fairbanks (1973).

In 1960, Entwisle reviewed 22 studies of reading and

study skills programs and concluded that reading improvement generally followed for students taking such courses, although






24

the amount of improvement varied greatly. Entwisle also felt the variable of motivation was not adequately provided for in the control of groups in several of the studies.'

Wright (1960), who reviewed 31 studies published between

1930 and 1950 as preparation for doing his own study, felt that the automatic assumption that study-reading training promotes better achievement in college should be questioned and recommended that studies should focus on a number of factors that influence GPA such as characteristics of individual students and types of program content.

The Bednar and Weinberg (1970) review of 23 studies was

concerned with counseling programs for underachieving students. Several of the studies incorporated group and/or individual counseling with study and reading skills training and used academic achievement as the criterion of success. Their conclusions were that the programs combining counseling and study skills were successful, but academic study alone did not improve the GPAs of the underachieving students in a number of the studies.

Fairbanks (1973) reviewed 69 of 100 identified reading

improvement studies in which some aspect of academic achievement was the criterion for success. Fairbanks concluded such courses were generally reported as successful in improving student GPA; therefore, Fairbanks analyzed program content






25

and program operation of the experiments to find what specific factors were "most successful" in bringing about this improvement in student GPA.

In the "successful" programs, Fairbanks noted emphasis on mastery of the following comprehension skills: (a) reading for main ideas in paragraphs and longer selections; (b) differentiating between fact and opinion; and (c) recognizing and understanding inferences.

For "successful" program operation, Fairbanks listed the following guidelines: (a) students should be made aware of their specific difficulties in reading and the means by which they can correct them; (b) students should participate in all phases of their program--diagnosis, evaluation, 'and practice;

(c) reading programs should be voluntary; (d) programs should last for several months with more than 40 hours of instruction.

Fairbanks also recommended that college reading programs be evaluated cautiously in terms of academic achievement and that consideration be given to many related factors that also may affect the academic achievement and improvement of~the individual participating in the college reading program. Such related factors include the individual student's ability level, attitudes, personality, and curriculum in which he is enrolled, as well as the nature of the program itself.

Other investigators also saw a need for researchers to





26

look beyond the academic problems involved to other areas such as student attitudes toward self, and approaches used in teaching the reading improvement courses. llafner (1966) studied the effect of reading and study skills courses on the GPA of participating students and looked for factors that differentiated successful from unsuccessful experimental subjects. In his course, students made positive gains in GPA, but they were not statistically significant, although a statistically significant number of experimental students obtained a GPA above 3.00 in the quarter following the instruction. In personality traits, his study corroborated other investigators' findings of correlation between low ego strength and academic difficulty.

Maxwell (1971) pointed out that GPA should be collected since most programs aim to help students improve in their academic work, but a number of factors should be used to evaluate such programs, such as individual needs of students, and outcomes of setting specific, local objectives and of encouraging student involvement in evaluation procedures.

Burgess (1975) in a two-year follow-up study of participants in the reading-study skills center at the University of Florida found that students who worked to improve reading had significantly higher GPAs during the term of enrollment than nonparticipants. Further, this study indicated that seven terms following reading training, the GPAs of those who had






27

participated tended to be higher than GPAs of nonparticipants.

The Burgess study compared 46 freshmen who enrolled in the reading center in the fall of 1972 with the total freshman population from which they were drawn at two points in time--at the close of the fall semester and again, seven terms later at the end of the first quarter of their junior year. There was no significant difference in the initial reading ability of students who enrolled in the center and students who did not seek formal reading training.

Recent studies have questioned the authenticity of the positive results indicated in some past studies because of poor research design and control. Santeusanio (1974) stated that any conclusion suggesting a positive relationship between participation in a college reading improvement program and CPA may be unwarranted either because of lack of control for selection or because of poor research design.

Maxwell (1971), Pepper (1979), and Tillman (1972) have pointed to the difficulty in using human students in experimental designs due to ethical and political considerations, because a random design requires that an equally deficient and equally motivated group of students be deprived of the benefits of a program and serve as a control group.

Fairbanks (1975) concluded that many studies prior to

1950 were largely unsubstantiated or inadequately controlled,






28


but that since that time, research designs have improved so that studies in the early l970s have been of better research designs and have still largely concluded that improvement in GPA resulted.

In many cases, the reading programs in the universities

have reached a different population than those of the open-door community colleges, due to the selective process which has caused entering university students to start at a higher verbal level. However, many of the reported studies in four-year schools were made of underachieving students, of students on probation, or of students with other difficulties that made their academic success problematical. In this sense, similar difficulties are encountered in the reading programs to those of the community colleges.

In recent years, a number of universities have been accepting a limited number of underprepared students. In these cases, the reading centers have found the nontraditional student needs difficult to meet.

Granney and Larsen (1972) reported limited results in

compensatory education programs for specially admitted freshmen during 1968-1971. In the 5 percent student exemption to admission standards in 1968, the survival rates were poor with about three-fourths attrition by the end of the fourth term of admission. In the succeeding years, a slight improvement in






29

GPA was shown for special students in the program, but few students continued to work in the reading center after the end of the initial summer program. It was concluded that short-term reading programs were not adequate to meet the students needs, but few students elected to continue although they reported their intention to do so.

Curran (1975) polled the membership of the special interest group for two-year colleges of the International Reading Association to obtain a summary of methods of evaluation used in programs throughout the country. Curran found standardized tests to be the major form of evaluation used; student feedback was second in frequency of use. About an equal number had either no evaluation system or informal ones. From this study's findings Curran stated it would appear that the area of evaluation has not been developed or resolved for most developmental education programs. While GPA and dropout studies were mentioned, their numbers were small.

Barthiow (1975) questioned the appropriateness of the grading policy of fixed grade point average for community college students, stating that the academic standards policy is often inconsistent with the open-door admissions policy.

Would it not be sounder educational policy to use a
developmental system of GPA requirements in determining probation and dismissal? A possible model for academic probation is .80 by completion of 12 semester hours; 1.20 for completion of 24 semester






30


hours; 1.5 for completion of 36 hours; 1.90 for
48 hours; and 2.00 by completion of 60 hours. A
student who falls below these standards would automatically be placed on scholastic probation until
his next category of semester hours is reached.
Only under very unusual circumstances would a
student be allowed to remain on probation for a
third successive semester. (p. 2)

Barthlow adds, "of what value is it,, either to the student or to society, to admit a student who needs academic assistance and place him on academic probation before he has had time to become stronger academically?" (p. 2).

Roueche and Kirk (1973) studied programs for high-risk students in five selected community colleges. The programs, in operation from 1969 to 1972, were comprehensive and were a separately organized division of remedial education with all-volunteer teaching and counseling staffs. Reading improvement was included as part of the instructional service. Criterion for success was GPA and Roueche and Kirk found remedial programs helped students make higher GPAs than nonremedial programs; also, students in the remedial programs persisted in college longer than comparable students not enrolled in the programs.

A major finding of Roueche and Kirk's study was that academic performance of students in remedial programs dropped significantly after they entered regular college programs. They attributed the drop to several aspects, stating that the drop in GPA is usually considered as part of traditional "transfer






31


shock" which frequently accompanies junior college student transfer to higher institutions.

However, Roueche and Kirk (1973) stated other possible causes.

The student is returning to a different mode of
instruction from that he had in developmental
studies. He is encountering teachers whose value
systems are different. These "traditional" faculty may have little regard for students who come out of
programs where 'content has been diluted and teachers coddle the students". It may be that regular college
faculty do not yet expect such students to succeed
...traditional methods (lectures/textbook/discussion) are simply not best for all, or most,
students. Perhaps the successful developmental
student returns to a procedure that failed him in
the public school and is likely to fail him again. (p. 78)

In conclusion, they recommended that efforts should be made to alleviate the abrupt transition from developmental studies to traditional college curricula, and suggested that staff development activities should be ongoing to develop ''readiness' in other instructors who will be called upon to instruct students who have completed remedial programs.


Self-Concept as Related to Academic Success

Investigations of reading improvement programs in twoyear colleges in the 1970s reveal a striking trend toward individualization and student-orientation of instruction (Curran, 1975; Damnes, 1971; Henderson, 1976; Olsen & Swiss, 1976). This trend is also reflected in the increasing numbers of investigations of student self-concept and of methods of finding






32

individual cognitive styles to augment learning (Lang, 1972; Nunney & Hill, 1972; Sherk & Manzo, 1972; Tillman, 1976).

Studies of reading program designs for high-risk students show an increasing concern for the task of providing successful learning experiences that are aimed at helping the student build a positive self-concept. In many studies there was general agreement that nontraditional students are often characterized by feelings of powerlessness, worthlessness, alienation,, and inappropriate adaptive behaviors--unrealistic levels of aspiration, lack of problem-solving skills and experiences, hostility, aggressiveness, and even delinquency (Monroe, 1972; Moore, 1970; Roueche & Kirk, 1973).

Roueche and Kirk (1973) further stated:

The community college high-risk student is often a
hesitant, conservative low-achiever with serious
self-doubts,, lack of confidence, poor mental health,
and motivation too low to detect. He asks to be taught but does not really believe he can learn
because he has experienced a life-time of academic
failure. While he aspires to self-actualization,
he believes he will fail again. (p. 70)

Losak (1970), in a study at Miami-Dade Community College,

in which individual psychological examinations were administered to remedial students,, found a very high incidence of psychological disturbance. Clarke and Ammons (1970), in a study of freshmen at St. Petersburg Junior College in 1967, attempted to measure both cognitive and affective domains to identify






33


the academically disadvantaged. Research conclusions were that attitudes toward self and one's environment are significant factors in school success. Clarke and Ammons recommended that the school consider affective factors by shifting from subjectcentered to student-centered instruction.

Barron (1972) agreed with Clarke's study and stated:

Schools and colleges today must adjust to the students they are serving, rather than insisting that
the students adjust to the school. Schools must
be ready to teach the culturally distinct, and,
indeed, deal with their different life and linguistic
styles. (p. 24)

Lund and Ivanoff (1974) found evidence of the need for

consideration of self-concept variables in remedial programming so that programs could be designed with provisions for counseling and other aids to self-development of the student. The 1970 Bednar and Weinberg study reported on 23 studies of counseling treatment for underachieving college students and concluded that group counseling seemed more effective than individual counsel and the higher the personal factors, such as empathy and genuineness, the more effective the program.

Positive statements were made by a number of researchers regarding the ability of many high-risk students to learn and to benefit from community college programs. Moore (1970) averred:

This student can make a contribution in excess of
what he is calculated to be able to make. Already






34


he secures employment and performs the job efficiently beyond his level of ability as indicated
by tests administered by the college. (p. 20)

Vick (1972) stated, "I believe that if human beings are

taught, by and large, they learn. And if they are not taught,

they do not learn" (p. 67). Roueche and Kirk (1973) found the

high-risk student often has the following assets:

The student shows some evidence of ability to
handle academic work; he shows a willingness to accept some measure of personal responsibility
for achievement or failure; he has at least a
minimal perception of self-worth; his emotional
toughness is evidenced by perseverance in the face of frustrating circumstances, he has an
intense motivation to improve the circumstances of his life; he shows indications of leadership
potential; he shows the capacity to think and plan creatively; he shows the ability to distinguish between what is desired and what is
possible; he often has a special talent--music, art, or athletic skill; he has shown success in
some particular activity which required sustained
effort. (p. 12)

Kahn (1974) stated that high-risk students often approach

learning in ways that must be accepted and dealt with in the

reading program before successful cognitive learning can take

place. Kahn suggested behavior modification techniques to

assist students with such typical problems as passivity,

anxiety, lack of motivation, and concreteness.

Combs and Syngg (1959) were prominent in developing the

theoretical basis of the self-concept in perceptual psychology

and defined the self-concept as "that organization of perceptions about self or awareness of self which seems to the





35

individual to be who he is." Combs, Avila, and Purkey (1973). stated the self-concept is the most important single factor affecting human behavior; since the self-concept is learned, it can be taught.

Various studies have been concerned with the factor of

self-concept with program plans, content, and operation designed to make use of the humanistic factor of enhancing student selfconcept. Combs, Avila, and Purkey further stated, however, that it is difficult to change the self-concept and also difficult to assess or measure change. Many studies of selfconcept are actually studies of the self-report (Pendergrass, 1971). Stein (1966) stated that her study of the self-concept of low-achieving community college students was more successful in identifying concepts held consistently and over a period of time than it was in demonstrating effective means of changing these concepts.

Roueche (1976), writing of a three-year longitudinal study funded by the National Institute for Mental Health, has documented studies showing that some community colleges have developed environments for learning so powerful that lowachieving students stay in college, achieve passing marks in courses, and enjoy the experience. Roueche suggested that to have a humanistic environment in which the student's self-concept is nurtured,, the teacher should (a) know his students; (b)






36

demonstrate caring or expectations by attending to each student;

(c) demonstrate caring and positive expectation by "affirming students as okay people"; (d) demonstrate caring and positive expectations by giving of themselves to students; and (e) demonstrate caring and positive expectations by daily monitoring of student achievement.


Student Attitudes and Persistence

Research studies of traditional student persistence in college have been carried on for many years, and today there are increasing numbers of research efforts to assess community college student persistence. These studies supply valuable input to the planning of reading programs that have the goal of helping high-risk students.

Astin (1975) conducted a longitudinal and multi-institutional study over a four-year period (1968-1972) of a representative national sample of students from 358 two- and four-year colleges and universities. The study sought to identify practical measures to minimize students' chances of dropping out on the grounds that withdrawal entails "loss of talent, the waste of limited educational resources, and vocational and personal setbacks that result from the students' impeded career development and futile expenditure of time and effort" (p. 9).

Among the findings was the fact that GPA was more closely associated with persistence than any other single variable.







37

In fact, partically every student with an average grade of Cor lower drops out. According to the study, college grades appear to influence persistence directly, independent of initial variations in ability and family background, financial aid and work during college.

The study concludes that anything that can be done to

enhance students' academic performance will aso tend to reduce attrition rates. The data indicated that the students' chances of finishing college can be influenced by a wide range of institutional practices. Possible intervention techniques suggested are tutoring, programmed instruction, special courses for developing study skills and self-paced learning. There were 11 questionnaire items associated with study habits that contributed significantly to dropout proneness.

Also cited by Astin, one major clue to the importance of academic factors that tend to dropping out is contained in the reason students gave most frequently for leaving college -- boredom with courses. Both men and women listed this reason more often than poor grades; and it was, in fact, the single reason stated most frequently by men. Astin stated that while boredom may be a socially acceptable rationalization for leaving college it also indicates noninvolvement. This problem of noninvolvement is described often in studies of high-risk students (Moore, 1970; Roueche, 1968) and is a matter to be seriously studied






38


in community college curriculum and instructional planning.

Cohen and Brawer (1970) studied characteristics within

the student himself that differentiated dropouts from persisters. Using a population of entering junior college freshmen ranging in age from 17 to 30 years with a mean and a median of 18 years, the research examined the subjects on the dimensions of dropoutpersistence potential and their relative heterogeneity-homogeneity by means of projective instruments.

Results showed that dropouts (a) tended to be enrolled for fewer than 12 hours; (b) were employed more hours outside of school; (c) had attended more schools before the tenth grade; and (d) their mothers had less education than persisters. Withdrawal was related to financial pressure; also, lower grades caused students to leave school.

Cohen and Brawer stated:

Dropouts may be less committed than persisters, but
they may be more realistic. The higher the grades
given by an instructor, the lower the number of students who drop his courses. An implication of this
finding is that many students drop out of classes,
and indeed, drop out of school--when they realize they are in a precarious position regarding grades. (p. 32)

The factor of low GPA found by Cohen and Brawer was corroborated by the later study by Astin (1975). Cohen and Brawer suggested that the community college can be viewed as "a field of force"t and the student the 'charged particle which enters the field," and the student should be looked at upon entering






39

and exiting rather than judged solely by the goal of staying in school. These researchers concluded it may not be reasonable to expect that attrition can be substantially lowered in view of the open-door policy and the great diversity in certain dimensions of entering students.

one of the major studies of college attendance and student attitudes was that of Trent and Medsker (1967) who made a longitudinal investigation of 10,000 high school graduates during their first four years after graduation (1959-1963). Among the dimensions studied were factors associated with withdrawal from college.

Trent and Medsker stated:

In a variety of ways the data indicate that, aside
from adequate intelligence, the factor most related
to entrance and persistence in college is motivation.
The signs are also that this motivation is formed
early in life, probably largely in response to
parental influences and early school experiences.
(p. 260)

Their findings indicated that those who persisted had

(a) more intellectual curiosity and more autonomous styles of thinking than those who spent four years working, (b) more tolerance of ambiguity, (c) less authoritarianism,and (d) greater response and receptivity to a wider environment than nonat tenders.

The study further concluded that the persisting student conformed to the adult reference group (fundamentally middle






40

class), and because the conforming tendencies were sufficiently well established relatively early in life, he was able to conform to the demands his college made on him to change in directions along which he had already been pointed.

This study tends to show why the disadvantaged student

whose family has not attended college or whose family may not have encouraged him to attend may lack the motivational factors described in the study as indicators of persistence.

Nedsker and Tillery (1971) pointed out that it is inappropriate to view all student attrition as a dropout problem because many students transfer to other colleges before completing a two-year degree; also, of even greater significance is the fact that students often remain in the community college until they have satisfied some personal or vocational need and then leave to pursue employment or other interests. "The fact they do not remain for two years is not of itself a problem especially if the community college is a flexible institution, serving many diverse individuals" (p. 140).

The problem arises, Medsker and Tillery stated:

. when the open door becomes a revolving door--when
one-third who enter are soon on the way out- -dismissed for low academic achievement in programs they could not
handle; it is likely that many of these students find no hospitable place, either in the high status transfer program or the highly selective technical and semiprofessional curriculum. (p. 140)

Attesting to the importance of college persistence are Levin






41


(1971) who pointed to the fact that college persistence is related to higher earnings and greater economic opportunity; Prediger (1965) who stated that persistence is a criterion of success more appropriate than GPA alone because ultimately the student's success is judged in terms of the educational programs he completed; and Lavin (1965) who contended that persistence may in the long run be a better predictor of student success than GPA.

Roueche (1968) stated that while persistence and GPA are ways to judge a program's effectiveness, there is also a need to ascertain the attitudes of high-risk students as an indication of program worth. Roueche stated that there is some evidence that permanence of learning is greatly affected by the attitude the student develops, and concluded that success will be small if students develop an intense dislike for the program. Therefore, to foster positive attitudes toward learning is imperative in a reading program for these students.

Roueche stated students in remedial programs persisted in college longer than comparative students who were not in the programs.

Clarke (1975) reported that the community college has had some success in reaching the high-risk student as seen by increasing enrollment by these students and thie increasing number of graduates. Clarke said that in spite of some success,






42


large numbers are not making it, and the attrition rate of those who do is decreasing only slightly.

on a more hopeful note Harclerood (1971) found:

. disadvantaged students can clearly survive in
college in far greater numbers than has generally
been considered possible in the past. Experience at
a wide variety of institutions provides enough methods
and results to encourage every institution to ...
establish programs for students with limited backgrounds.
(p. 148)

Examples of successful programs cited by L-arclerood include an Educational Opportunity Program at California State College involving 3,150 students from minority and poverty groups who were admitted despite low grades. After two years, 60.1 percent had persisted and over one-half of those who dropped were in good academic standing and could return.

A group of 21 black students were admitted to Stanford

University in the fall of 1965; by August, 1970, a total of 19 had graduated. A Project Success Program at Northeastern Illinois State College in 1968 admitted a pilot group of 30 normally unadmissable students; after three years 60 percent of the original group were making progress toward degrees.

Gold (1974) reported a six-semester persistence study

(1979-1973) of students recommended for developmental studies at Los Angeles Community College (LACC). These students

entered with a reading level at eighth grade or below and thus their expected probability of success was low. Gold's study






43

concluded that many of these students are indeed assisted by the remedial programs and are able to attain success in college. Over 75 percent of the 533 recommended to enroll in developmental communications completed some work at LACC, with nearly 66 percent completing a full year, almost 50 percent completing three semesters, and 33 percent completing four semesters. These persistence rates are below those of a random sample of all fall 1967 day entrants, but they indicate that a large percentage are able to pursue college work successfully. A total of 9 percent had received an AA degree at the end of the threeyear period, compared with 16 percent of the control group. Also, the overall CPA of the high-risk students was just slightly below that of the regular student sample (2.03 versus 2.12).

Yuthas (1971), in a study of students participating in a college reading improvement program, found that experimental students persisted in college significantly longer than students who did not enroll.

In looking for factors that predict persistence and academic achievement, Drumnmond, Mclntire) and Smith (1975) investigated the attitudes twoard work values among community college students. The study investigated the contribution of extrinsic and intrinsic work values, previous reading achievement and scholastic aptitude in predicting reading achievement among a group of community college students. It was felt that information






44

about students' work values was relevant to program planning for these students as they often tend to be more oriented toward vocational courses than academic p rograms.


Reading Improvement in Content Areas

The plight of the high-risk student who enters the community college is that he is immediately called upon to perform the reading skills which he has not yet acquired. He is usually under a time pressure because of his outside job demands and because of his financial situation which does not permit him to take noncredit courses or to spend extra years making up deficiencies. Under these conditions, it is no wonder he views learning from a pragmatic and economic base (Beitler & Martin, 1972; Kahn, 1974).

In the effort to find ways to help the high-risk student and other students as well to succeed in academic study, a number of researchers have investigated the teaching of reading and study skills directly with subject or content area material, or in a multidisciplinary situation with content area instructors, or they have attempted to persuade the content instructor to give attention to reading skills within his own discipline.

Much of the research in reading in the content areas has been done on the secondary school level. A great deal of emphasis of such studies has been on strategies to help the







45

subject matter teacher assume a position of responsibility for teaching the pupil to read his textbooks (Herber, 1970; Robinson, 1975; Thomas & Robinson, 1972).

Beitler and Martin (1972) successfully worked with vocationally and technically oriented students at New York Community College in a learning center aimed toward mastery of the content materials of career programs. These students, many of whom had failed in traditional remedial situations, responded positively when helped with course aids such as transparencies illustrating important concepts, overlays illustrating step-bystep completion of course requirements, and video slides and accompanying tapes of teachers' lectures. The inherent motivation of the student's interest in reading in his chosen field could be sustained because he could see value in learning that prepared him for future placement and occupational advancement.

Van de Warker (1973), in replicating a vocational high school reading experiment, determined the reading tasks, the textbook reading levels, and the student reading levels, in three community college career programs. Working with students and instructors, Van de Warker was able to effect modification of both course content and instructional policies to aid students in meeting their reading needs in the courses.

Soll (1972) scheduled reading classes for high-risk students in coordination with specific required freshmen year






46

courses in order to allow the student to experience the realistic demands of an academic course while learning specific study skills and ensuring that the skills were transferred to actual practice. Study skills were taught by using subject assignments, rather than taught in isolation in traditional programs using commercial materials or mechanized labs.

Schewe (1971) stated that the vocationally oriented reader does not actively apply classroom learning to his world of work: transfer must be taught. This student has an all-consuming interest in the job which he expects to get--the reading program must be adjusted "like a suit of clothes--for an individual fit," and this can best be done in the content area of his chosen vocation.

Tomlinson (1975) developed an adjunct reading and study skills course organized around the lectures and text of an introductory biology course to help college students gain skills in special techniques of reading and studying science material. The course was found to be effective as students in the experimental class received significantly higher scores on midterm exams than an equally motivated control group which had been prevented from taking the adjunct study skills course due to lack of space in the experimental class. Apparently such study skills may be more readily internalized by students when thoroughly practiced as part of an integrated adjunct class than when taught in isolation.






47

Watson (1962), adapted developmental reading techniques to the area of legal reading and taught skills to law students directly with their courses. Evaluation, made by the students taking the course, found skimming to be the most valuable technique; methods of organizing notes to be second most helpful; also, planned review was rated as important. The SQ3R technique was reported as "useful" but was actually not much used.

In an interdisciplinary program, Chalghian (1969) found many benefits for the marginal student. Tests, readings, written work, and projects could be shared by more than one class; an integrated sequential development could be planned. Luckenbill (1972) reported data from an interdisciplinary program for high-risk students showed significantly higher graduation records for the participating students than for the control group.

An interdisciplinary block including reading, English,

and speech for high-risk students, reported by Walker (1974), placed emphasis on transferring-improved reading and study skills behaviors to academic assignments by direct use of tapes of classroom lectures and previous tests from psychology, biology, and political science classes. A four-year follow-up of the 180 entering students (1969-1970) showed that 80 percent had achieved a GPA of 2.00 or better; also, in June, 1973, 94 were graduated from the university.






48

A number of investigators and reviewers of research stressed the importance either of working directly with content area materials or of taking action to insure transfer of reading skills to subject disciplines. Ahrendt (1975) stated:

Many students drop out of the reading improvement program because they cannot see any relationship
between what they do in the reading center and
what they do in the classroom. When a student is
fighting for success and survival in the classroom, he needs assurance that his reading program relates to his success in that classroom. Mere exposure to
skills in the reading center does not guarantee
transfer of skills to the everyday reading tasks of the student. Transfer must be taught . without
cooperation between the content-area teacher and
the reading staff, the reading program . operates
in isolation. (p. 57)

Twining (1972) suggested that community college reading

instructors need to expand educational objectives by introducing reading to the content area teacher as a viable way for the instructor to increase the academic success of students in his discipline. Twining enumerated methods by which the reading teac-her may "create an environment" to assist the content area instructor to assume responsibility for helping the student read and study his textbook.

Kolzow (1972) carried this concept further, stating that the reading teacher must ''get his foot in the classroom door." Kolzow made a survey of views of the faculty at Harper-Rainey College on reading skills needed by their students, followed by development and distribution of a handbook containing






49


readability formulas and how to apply them, dloze procedure information in order to assess student ability in relation to the text presently being used, specific information about the complexity of the reading task and subject areas, and specific examples of suggestions faculty could employ in their courses.

Laffey (1968) recommended closer cooperation between the reading instructor and content teacher so that more meaningful assignments would be made by both for the disadvantaged student. "In academic course content, lack of structure and direction hampered students' ability to succeed," stated Laffey (1968, p. 148), who further recommended that instructors prepare course outlines with built-in structure and study questions.

Swalm and Cox (1912) stated that many programs had not

been successful for high-risk students at four-year colleges; in the isolated courses, skills were not transferred to academic disciplines; on the other hand, attempts to duplicate content area course requirements within the reading improvement courses were impractical for two reasons (a) each reading improvement section included students taking a variety of college courses, and (b) using content area course material did not guarantee that the student would be any more interested in learning than when using traditional materials. Swalm and Cox concluded that it was better to use innovative "high interest" materials and recommended that skills be taught first with content with







50

which students could identify and then applied later to more difficult material including textbooks.

Schleich and Rauch (1968) designed a combined historyreading course to improve reading-study skills of college freshmen as they learned the content of the history of western civilization; the reading class used instruction and practice with assigned history selections as well as multi-level materials and others designed to teach the skills. Aspects of the history course considered were: organization of lectures, notetaking, reading and listening comprehension skills, and report writing.I

There have been numerous research attempts to determine

the factors involved in content area reading skills as compared to general reading skills. Robinson and Hall (1941) found that reading scores in different content areas at the college level, such as art, fiction, geology, and history were not highly correlated even when the selections were written under one editorship. Russell and Fea (1963) studied comprehension according to subject matter fields and found some overlapping but these investigators found low correlation between reading abilities in different areas.

Singer (1970) stated that general reading ability draws upon factors in the cognitive, linguistic, perceptual, and affective domains. Singer further stated:






51


Reading in the content areas draws to some degree upon more specific factors, particularly when the
comprehension tasks involved interpretation of data, knowledge of technical vocabulary, various patterns
of mental organization in printed materials, use
of devices and symbols, and specialized information,
purposes, motives and attitudes. (p. 305)

Peters, Peters, and Kaufman (1975) investigated the relationship between general and specific tests of reading at the secondary level, using STEP tests and four area tests on mathematics, social studies, English, and science to determine whether performance on one content area test is more predictable of reading achievement than performance on others.

These researchers found that results on one test, such as critical reading in history, did not generalize to other areas such as mathematics. The argument that there is a high degree of correlation between reading skills in general and specific reading skills was not supported in this study.

IGenerally reading skills have been taught as part of

special developmental reading classes. The general approach has been to teach the skills without regard to direct transfer to all content area materials. Developmental reading teachers have been forced to assume the role of content teachers in order to teach specific reading skills. Many times this results in teaching critical reading as it is defined in all content areas. The Peters, Peters, and Kaufman study seems to indicate such a procedure is not the be st way for teaching specific content reading skills.






52


other researchers who have compared instruction using

content area skills material with general reading skills have not reported significant differences (Colvin, 1968; Dubois, 1969). Dubois (1969) compared relative effectiveness between instruction using subject matter materials with one group and general reading skills with another group. Also, he used a third group as control with no instruction. Since both experimental groups improved significantly in reading skills over the nontreatment group, Dubois concluded that both subject-matter type materials and general reading materials can be effectively used to improve the textbook comprehension and general reading skills of college students. The use of subject-matter type materials is not essential for improving the textbook comprehension of college students, Dubois concluded.

Anderson (1971) also concluded that general reading ability and content area skills are about the same. Raygor (1970) found that the differences between comprehension skills test scores are usually not reliable, in that skills scores in comprehension are rather highly correlated.


Discussion of Findings

The research and related literature pertaining to the

high-risk student provide support for continuing experimental studies of ways to work with helping such students in the






53

community college setting. A number of specific reading and study skill factors have been identified that seem to contribute to "successful" academic achievement and college persistence, and to student self-concept.

Roueche in his research from 1968 to 1976 has chronicled the progress the schools and the students have made. In 1968, Roueche decried the lack of suitable programs for the high-risk student and the lack of research studies of the programs that were in operation. In 1973 Roueche reported evidence that, given appropriate educational conditions, high-risk students could, and did,, learn; and in 1976 Roueche was engaged in an ongoing research project in which he continued to document humanistic programs that enable high-risk, and all students for that matter to succeed in their academic courses.















CHAPTER III


TREATMENT OF THE EXPERIMENTAL GROUP


When community colleges admit all adults who wish to attend, there is an implicit assumption that appropriate programs will be provided to help these students to succeed in reaching their chosen academic and career goals. However, the community colleges may find many difficulties in trying to fulfill this often tacit obligation, partly because of the wide gap that exists between many students' reading skills and the difficulty level of academic textbooks. The students labeled high-risk may find frustration, failure, and a loss of self-concept. There may be a waste of time and money for both the students and the institutions. Therefore, there is need for a pragmatic view of the aims of the student in the light of the facilities of the college to help him meet his needs.

To carry out the purpose of the present study it was

necessary to design a reading-study skills course that might prove helpful to high-risk students in meeting their immediate goal--that of passing successfully their academic courses.

54







55

Previous to this study, the major emphasis of the reading program for high-risk students at this college was to offer a voluntary, noncredit course that was an extension of the first semester noncredit course, using a textbook with some isolated exercises on such study skills as outlining, underlining, organization of material, and others. However, there was not much apparent transfer to content courses, the textbook was tedious, and the course was not popular with students who did not care for a continuing program of nontransferable credit courses that they felt did not relate to their required courses. At the same time, they recognized and felt the need to continue improving their reading skills.

The first step in popularizing the new program was to

upgrade the course to RG 102, with 3 hours of transfer credit that a student could use as one of his electives. Credit for this step must be given to the dean of academic affairs and the curriculum and instruction committee who accepted the recommendation and added the course to the 1975 fall catalog with the description Ila reading-study skills development course using college textbooks with emphasis on comprehension in specific subject areas" (Valencia Community College Catalog, 1975, p. 179).

The new program, which elicited immediate student approval,

incorporated a combination of the following factors: (a) transfer






56

credit, (b) curriculum and instruction oriented to the reading skills needed by students in content area subjects with provision for direct application of skills to required courses,

(c) individualization to allow each student to work on his personally perceived needs and to permit self-pacing, (d) group instruction with group discussion and practice to take advantage of the motivating factor of group interaction, (e) provision for multi-media presentation of material to accommodate various learning styles, (f) use of criterion referenced tests for mastery of specific skills, (g) individual conferences to provide instructor help for the student in his content textbooks, and (h) student-orientation of all learning experiences with the goal of enhancing student self-concept and improving study skills and attitudes through student acceptance of responsibility for self-improvement.

To design the reading course, it was necessary to take

the following steps during the summer of 1975, before the start of the experiment in September:

1. Compile and analyze a list of representative selfexpressed goals and needs of high-risk students who had made such statements in previous classes. All the students eligible for the experimental group had participated in a reading improvement course at some time during one of the previous two or three semesters, so records were available in which they had






57


expressed their needs and goals. However, it was not known which of those particular students would register for the classes. Therefore, this list would need to be modified and updated later. It would serve in the meantime to keep the planning student-oriented.

2. Conduct a questionnaire and interview survey of a sample of Valencia Community College instructors who teach general education and career program classes to find their opinions of important reading and study skills they feel students need to have in order to pass their courses (see Appendix C).

3. Make a literature search among authorities in the

field of college reading skills to find what main factors such specialists consider essential for incorporating into an effective program.

4. Make a literature search to find research studies

that report content and operation of programs that were successful or promising for high-risk students in passing academic courses; also, examine pertinent opinions and theories of writers who advocate teaching content area reading skills.

5. Search the commercial reading publications to find

the reading and study skills most widely used and recommended as essential for improving reading of low-achieving students.

6. Examine research studies in which the self-concept






58

of the learner was studied in order to find ways to create a learning environment in which the student's self-concept is of paramount importance. Also, investigate the writings of the chief theorists in the field of perceptual psychology in order to understand more fully the theoretical bases underlying the self-concept.

7. Make a search of the literature for studies of student attitudes and persistence as such findings might be significant in planning a program for high-risk students that need help in sustaining motivation.

8. With the results of the first seven steps, write a

tentative course outline and prepare to test it (see Appendix D).

Each of the steps is discussed in more detail in the paragraphs that follow.

Students' Statements of Reading Goals and Needs

A random sample of 100 high-risk student folders was pulled from the recent files of the reading laboratory in June, 1975, for examination of the students' personal data statements. A listing was compiled of all the reading skills the students named as personal needs and goals for the semester in which they filled out the statements.

This information was tabulated into a master list that categorized the names of skills and rated the list according






59

to frequency. It was hoped that this would lend some feedback that could be used in setting up a core of commonly desired skills that could be included in group study as well as individual content. The list was later compared with data from content area instructors and from authorities in the field of reading who also rated the "'most needed and important reading and study skills" for college achievement.

As is often the case, these students were well aware of their reading and study difficulties (although they did not know the names by which the components of comprehension, for example, are described by reading specialists). The students had written their goals and needs in an unstructured manner- that is, they were asked simply to write down what areas they personally felt they would like to improve. Perhaps a checklist of major reading skills such as was given to the content area teachers would have elicited different responses.

Of the 100 responses, comprehension was listed by 98 students, vocabulary by 90, rate by 84, and study skills by 68. These responses included various subskills under each of the major headings.

Under comprehension, 52 students listed main ideas of paragraphs and sentences; under study skills, the following had highest frequency: test-taking, 51; reading rate, 42; remembering or retention, 40; ability to recall, 35; deciding






60


what is important, 26; taking notes from lectures, 21; not having to re-read, 12; and writing essays, 12. Vocabulary subskills included word parts, 80; new meansings, 60; and pronunciation, 27. Spelling was mentioned 23 times. Content Area Instructors' Ratings of Reading Skills

A sampling was made of Valencia Community College instructors in representative disciplines within the programs offering the associate of arts and the associate of science degrees. The instructors were given a check-list to rate the skills generally considered by reading specialists as important for academic success.

Highest priority in comprehension was given by content

area instructors to the following: (a) analyzing longer selections and chapters for central ideas and supporting parts; (b) understanding highlighting, underlining, and making summary statements to condense information. In vocabulary skills, highest importance was given to using the glossary for specialized words in their content field. In study skills, highest priority was given to (a) understanding how to survey, read, recite, and review textbook material, and to (b) listening. Reading Specialists' Rating of Important Skills

In a literature search to find various specialists who

had worked with college reading skills, one completed listing was found that was of great value to the present study.






61

Fairbanks (1973) in, her evaluation of studies of college reading improvement programs from 1955 to 1973 had composed a master list of skills considered essential in such programs and had a panel of reading experts to rate the relative importance of each skill as a component of a sound college program for lowachieving students.

The 17 experts who made the ratings included Dr. Paul

C. Berg, Professor Dorothy K. Bracken, Frank Christ, Dr. Donald Cleland, Mrs. Terry Collins, Dr. Vera Diggs, Dr. Margaret Doolittle, Mrs. Cynthia Frola, Ruth Grewe, Dr. Thomas W. Lackman, Dr. Earl McLaughlin, Dr. Walter Pauk, Dr. Alton Raygor, Dr. Bernard Schmidt, Dr. Martin Saltz, Dr. Dorothy Snozek, and Dr. Richard Willamen.

Specific skills in each major category that the panel rated "very important" and "important" included:

(1) Comprehension--determining main idea of paragraph or longer selection; analyzing paragraphs for
main idea, supporting details; setting up purposes
for reading; recognizing and understanding inferences; drawing conclusions from stated facts; differentiating fact and opinion; and reading
graphs and charts.

(2) Organization skills--outlining; sequencing; and
summarizing facts or ideas.

(3) Vocabulary and word-attack skills--utilizing
context clues for word recognition; affixes and
roots; and word attack skills.

(4) study-reading textbook approach--in literature,
mathematics, science and social science.





62


(5) Reading rate--flexibility; and acceleration.

(6) Miscellaneous study skills--preparing for
examinations. (pp. 173-175)

The following factors of program operation were considered important by the panel:

(1) Diagnostic tests should be given to determine
individual strengths and weaknesses in reading.

(2) Students should be informed of their specific
difficulties in reading, should participate in
planning their own reading improvement programs,
and should participate in evaluating progress.

(3) Time should be utilized for skills practice on
common group needs and for independent work on individual needs.

(4) Group size should be kept at 20 or less; groups should meet at least two periods a week for between
50 minutes and 2 hours for six weeks or more,, and
the programs should be voluntary. (pp. 176-178)

Additional literature that proved helpful in planning the present course was the model of reading performance objectives in reading ninth grade equivalency prepared by the Arizona State Department of Education (1972). The objectives, stated in behavioral terms, include four main categories: word knowledge, reading comprehension, utilization of reading skills, and application to the content areas. These are "survival" reading skills, considered to be aminimum requirement for high school graduation in Arizona after 1974.

Karlin (1964) devised a check-list of study skills that is also listed by Kravits (1967) who itemized procedures for essential reading skills in social studies.







63

Niles (1969) delineated six parts of the reading act that are present in some degree in the reading required in any of the content areas as follows: word recognition, association of meaning with individual printed symbols, literal comprehension, interpretation, evaluation, and assimilation. Niles further analyzed three highly important specific skills that have common elements in the study of printed materials in any content area as follows:

1. Ability to survey material, set purposes for
reading, and determine an appropriate technique for the reading of any given piece of material;
2. ability to handle graphic and illustrative materials; 3. ability to locate, comprehend, and combine
information from a variety of library sources. (p. 11) Literature Search for Steps 4, 6, and 7

Steps 4, 6, and 7, description of programs that report

improvement in student GPAs, studies of content area improvement, and studies of self-concept and student persistence are discussed in the review of the literature in Chapter II. Sources for Commercial Publications Search

Step 5, a search of commercial publications to find appropriate material to fit the requirements for the experimental group, was aided by several sources. Ferguson and Harding (1974) compiled a summary of the major study skills books that have been published during the past 75 years since Carman's first volume appeared in 1900. Bahe (1970) analyzed the subskills content






64


of 23 presently published college reading manuals. Bandt, tMeara, and Schmidt (1974) included a guide to books on college reading and study in their text. These sources provided data for identification of major sources of materials which might offer possibilities for course content.


Content and Operation of Experimental Course

Final decisions of curriculum content and program operation of the experimental course were based upon the expressed needs and concerns of the students involved and the priorities of needed skills as viewed by their content area instructors. The curriculum also incorporated recommendations made by leading writers and practitioners in the field of college reading, and as far as possible, suggestions gleaned from a study of successful practices reported in the research literature. Course Content

Reading comprehension of textbook material comprises the

major part of the content since this represents the major weakness of the students in the courses as expressed by themselves and as shown by their diagnostic tests. Students are also concerned with their slow rate of reading but improving comprehension and vocabulary weaknesses will often improve rate. For this reason, rate, as such, is not a part of the content.

Comprehension sections include (a) understanding topic and main idea of simple sentences; (b) understanding topic and






65


main idea of complex sentences, including relationships of phrases, clauses, and related ideas to the main idea; (c) understanding topics. and supporting details of paragraphs and combining these to state'the main idea; (d) understanding topics, supporting details, and main ideas of short articles, longer articles, and textbook chapters, including skill of writing a summrary statement; (e) understanding the skills of summarizing, outlining, highlighting, and underlining as techniques to condense information for studying and learning textbook materials.

Vocabulary study stresses (a) use of the process of word analysis in unlocking word meanings; (b) use of the process of analyzing contextual clues in finding word meanings; (c) understanding use of dictionary pronunciation keys.

Critical reading skills include ability (a) to identify author's tone and purpose; (b) to differentiate between fact and opinion; (c) to understand inferences; and (d) to draw logical conclusions.

General study skills include ability (a) to understand general principles of test-taking, both objective and essay tests; (b) to understand diagrams, charts, and other illustrative material in texts; and (c) to understand the organization of textbooks.

The basic resource material used by the students was the

textbook Probe and the 30 accompanying cassette tapes developed






66


by Clock, Bender, and Dennis (1975) and published by Charles

Merrill Co. This was felt by the investigator to be the best

available commercially produced material that would supply

practice exercises in the developmental patterns desired for

the purpose of the study. Also, the combination of autotutorial material with classroom instruction allowed for

flexibility for individualizing the course for the students.

In answer to a query regarding the research base that was

used in developing the material, Dr. Glock, in a letter to the

investigator, dated January 26, 1976, stated:

Unfortunately, we were unable to base our work on
any research that had been done specifically on
improving reading comprehension. We began by
studying the work of psychologists in basic measurement and learning to determine its applicability to efficient reading performance. I refer particularly to the work of Bloom with the taxonomy of the
cognitive domain, Underwood's investigations of
verbal learning in the educative process and particularly Gagne's studies in the sequencing and transfer
of learning tasks. As did Gagne in his research,
we identified what he considered to be a hierarchy of tasks leading from the comprehension of a simple
sentence on through the more complex steps to the
task of comprehending an article composed of several
paragraphs. As did Gagne, we utilized various
psychological principles like reinforcement, distribution of practice, response familiarity and so on,
but all within the context of sequencing with an
emphasis on transfer to that ultimate criterion of reading and understanding the textbook .*.1

One review of the Probe material was found in the literature (Kerstiens, 1975). He stated, "The program is obviously


lPersonal communication to the writer.







67

carefully planned and reasonably executed" (p. 262). Kerstiens was favorably impressed with the content and underlying theory of Probe, and concluded the material would be useful to students who are willing to develop the study skills necessary for successful learning associated with the classroom.

Kerstiens stated that a student working through the program would be able to effectively change his habits and derive a good deal of knowledge to serve as background for his subsequent study-reading assignments. Kerstiens also pointed out the fact that while the material is designed for self-teaching, such systems are seldom effective without inclusion of the human element. Also, the sequential arrangement of the material is suitable for developmental rather than remedial readers. This review largely corroborates the analysis of the material by the investigator.

One of the important factors in- the experimental class instruction was the step-by-step illustration (by means of transparencies and blackboard) of the process needed to handle printed information. Teaching a sequence of steps or a problemsolving approach is very important for high-risk students who usually follow a ''one-shot' system--either that they know the answer or they don't without trying to apply reason or thinking to arrive at a solution.

According to Whimbey (1974), poor comprehension and






68


reasoning ability have three principal causes:

(1) inadequate attention to the details of the problem to be solved; (2) inadequate utilization of
prior knowledge that would help in solving the problem; and (3) absence of sequential step-by-step
analysis of the relationships among the ideas
involved. (p. 50)

Bloom and Broder (1959) described the three primary features of cognitive therapy for improving academic-thinking skills of high-risk students as demonstrating to the student the mental processes of analytical thinking, requiring extensive response from the student during problem solving so that his thinking can be monitored, and providing feedback and correction of the student's thinking.

Triggs (1956) advised specific teaching of process

following diagnosis, recommending that the reading instructor teach the student the skill, help the student to apply the skill to the subject matter areas, and also assist the content instructor to help the student to use the skills. Experimental Program Operation

The experimental program was one semester in length with classes meeting either three days a week for 50 minute periods or two days a week with sessions of 1 hour and 15 minutes each for 14 weeks. In addition to the regular sessions, two individual conference periods per week were arranged with the instructor for each student as needed. In these conference






69

periods the student could work on a concept with which he was having difficulty or work out difficulties in his content area textbook in problem-solving fashion with his reading instructor.

Students were encouraged to use taped and programmed

materials in the Reading Lab at their convenience during the time the lab was open (five days a week from eight until four o'clock), or in the Learning Resources Center where duplicate materials were provided and were available for use at all times the library was open, including evening.hours. Also, students could take home tapes and scripts of much of the material.

In general, the program operation followed the guidelines developed by Fairbanks (1973) in her analysis of 69 studies of college reading-study skills programs in which GPA was utilized as a criterion of program success. Fairbanks found the following elements of program operation incorporated in studies reported as "successful": (a) course length of one semester or longer, with regular instruction of more than 40 hours, (b) voluntary participation by students, (c) students informed of difficulties in reading, and (d) student participation in evaluation.

Also, approaching significance in Fairbanks' study was

another factor incorporated in the present study, the utilization of class time for practice on individual needs.







70

The class was organized on a flexible basis during which students could participate in demonstrations of techniques or concepts by the instructor, group discussion and practice, or individual self-paced auto-tutorial program in the lab adjoining the classroom. Mastery tests were provided for each objective in the course and students could take the tests at any time they felt they had mastered the material; also, additional alternate tests were provided if more practice was needed before mastery was attained.

While much has been written recently of successful completely individualized instruction (Henderson, 1976; McClellan, 1972) where students study independently and proceed on their own throughout the course, seeking help from tutors when necessary, this procedure alone has some serious drawbacks for many high-risk students. In the present investigation, it was found that programmed material alone was inadequate in instructional depth to help this student learn to think through the steps needed to understand the concepts involved. Some support of this investigator's position was found in the literature.

Evans and Dubois (1972) stated that it is not enough to provide students with a series of exercises that require a cognitive behavior; the student must be taught the cognitive process involved in the behavior. Commercially available







71


materials can be excellent for practice, but for high-risk students who do not know the process required, they rarely provide the necessary teaching. Evans and Dubois suggested that when instructors merely assign levels of multilevel materials, select practice materials, and evaluate progress, there is danger that teaching is inadequate for high-risk students.

Kahn (1974) stated that the new stress on individualized programs may further student feelings of isolation, difference and anxiety, and also ignore an extremely important source of motivation--that of group interaction. Franklin (1974) found that the best basis of instruction is one in which there is a great deal of personal instruction and warned against using packaging and programming as the only devices for meeting the needs of students whose skills are below college level.















CHAPTER IV


PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA


The purpose of the study was to test the impact of a reading-study skills course on the academic success of a group of high-risk community college students. The course was taught by two instructors to two voluntarily enrolled classes, designated as Experimental Class A and Experimental. Class B, during the fall semester, 1975, at Valencia Community College, OrlandoFlorida. A control group, divided into two sections, Control A and Control B, who wanted to take the course but were prevented from doing so either because the classes were closed or because of a schedule conflict, was matched with the experimental classes on the following variables: age, sex, race, comprehension score below the 30th percentile on the Iowa Silent Reading Test, Form E, and on enrollment in a course load of 9 hours or more.

Data w ere collected to compare the following: (a) grade point average (GPA) for the fall semester, (b) number of withdrawals from college during the fall semester, (c) number of course withdrawals during the semester, (d) total number of 72







73

hours of course work successfully completed during the semester,

(e) number of withdrawals from college between semesters, as checked in January, 1976, (f) self-reported self-concept as measured by the Tennessee Self Concept Scale, and (g) the selfreported scores on the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes.

Statistical procedures from the Statistical Package for

the Social Sciences (SPSSH) were applied to the data collected for each hypothesis. Frequency distributions were run against each variable in the study as a preliminary examination of the results. This procedure was followed by t tests and chi square on the total experimental group (Experimental Glass A and Experimental Glass B) and the total control group (Control A and Control B) to find where differences might lie. Also, similar statistical tests were performed on the data for Experimental Class A and Experimental Class B to determine if the teacher variable might make a difference in the results of the study. The results of the study are presented in this chapter in order of the hypotheses that were posed.


Tests of the Hypotheses

Each of the hypotheses is summarized and data used to

test the hypotheses are presented with reference to appropriate table and/or figures. The confidence level of .05 was considered statistically significant.







74


Hypothesis 1. There will be no statistically significant difference in grade point average (GPA) for the
fall semester, 1975, between the experimental and
control groups.

In order to test this hypothesis, t tests for group mean differences were used to compare the final grades between the experimental and control groups. The t tests for significance between the groups, including means, standard deviation, standard error, separate t value, and degrees of freedom are presented in Table 1.


Table 1

t Test for Significance Between Group Mean Differences
for CPA of Experimental and Control Groups


Separate
t Variance
Variable N Mean SD SE Value DF

Experimental 32 2.50 0.63 0.11 37* 67 Control 28 1.89 0.64 0.12 37~ 67


Note. P >. 01


The observed t value indicated a significant difference between the group means on this variable (t = 2.66; p >.0]). On the basis of statistical analysis, the conclusion was made that the grade point average for the experimental group for the fall semester was significantly higher than that of the control group.






75

In order to overcome any possible effects of grading bias in the experimental reading courses, the CPA was also determined by eliminating the reading course grades from the total GPA scores of the experimental group. This CPA, without the reading course grade, is compared with the control group CPA in Table 2.


Table 2

t Test for Significance for CPA with Reading Course Grade
Omitted for Experimental Group



Separate
t Variance
Variable N Mean SD SE Value DF

Experimental 29 2.48 0.68 0.13 Control 28 1.89 0.64 0.12 3.37"" 54.97


Note. "p >.0l


As shown by Table 2, there was also a significant difference between the group means of the experimental and control groups on CPA with the reading course grade omitted for the experimental group (t 2.66; p >01). On the basis of statistical analysis, the conclusion was made that the grade point average, excluding the reading grade, was higher for the experimental group than that for the control group. Thus, the null hypothesis was rejected.

Hypothesis 2. There will be no statistically significant difference in the number of course withdrawals






76


during the fall semester, 1975, between the experimental and control groups.

In order to test this hypothesis, t tests for group mean differences were used to describe the variation between the number of course withdrawals by the experimental group as compared to the number of course withdrawals by the control group. The t test for significance including the group means, standard deviation, standard error, separate t value, and degrees of freedom is presented in Table 3.


Table 3

t Test for Significance for Course Withdrawals. During
Fall Semester for Experimental and Control Groups


Separate
t Variance
Variable N Mean SD SE Value DF

Experimental 36 3.56 3.63 0.61 -.4 96 Control 36 5.72 3.89 0.65 24 96


Note. p _>05


The observed t value for course withdrawals during the fall semester indicated a significant difference between the group means on this variable (t = 1.99; p >..05). On the basis of statistical analysis, the conclusion was made that the number of course withdrawals by the control group was significantly higher than that of the experimental group. The null hypothesis that there would be no statistically significant difference in







77

course withdrawals during the fall semester between the experimental group and the control group was rejected.

Hypothesis 3. There will be no statistically significant difference in during-semester attrition (dropping out of school before the end of the 1975 fall semester)
between the experimental and control groups.

In order to test this hypothesis, a chi square table was used as shown in Table 4.


Table 4

Chi Square Comparison of During-Semester Student
Withdrawal of Experimental and Control Groups


Variable Stayed Withdrew

Experimental 33 3 Control 34 2 x2= 0.0001



The observed chi square value is not significant at the .05 level; therefore, the hypothesis that there will be no statistically significant difference in during-semester attrition between the experimental and control groups was not rejected.

Hypothesis 4. There will be no statistically significant difference in between-semester attrition at the
beginning of the second semester, January, 1976,
between the experimental and control groups.

In order to test this hypothesis, the attrition data were inserted in a chi square table as denoted in Table 5.





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Table 5

Chi Square Comparison of Student Withdrawal BetweenSemesters Between Experimental and Control Groups


Variable Stayed Withdrew

Experimental 34 2 Control 28 8 X2=2.9032



The observed chi square value is not significant at the .05 level. Therefore, Hypothesis 4 was not rejected.

Hypothesis 5. There will be no statistically significant difference in the number of course hours successfully completed during the fall semester, 1975, between
the experimental and control groups.

In order to test this hypothesis, t tests for group mean differences were used to compare the total hours completed during the fall semester, 1975, between the experimental and control groups. The t tests, group means, standard deviation, standard error, separate t value, and degrees of freedom are presented in Table 6.

The observed t value indicated a significant difference

between the group means on the factor of number of total hours successfully completed (t = 1.99; p >.05). On the basis of statistical analysis, the conclusion was made that the experimental group completed a significantly higher number of hours than the control group. Therefore, the null hypothesis that





79


there would be no difference between the two groups was rejected.


Table 6

t Test for Differences in Total Hours Successfully Completed Between Experimental and Control Groups


Separate
t Variance
Variable N Mean SD SE Value DF

Experimental 36 7.89 4.37 0.73 22 99 Control 36 5.58 4.28 0.71 2.6 697


Note. 'p >.05


Since the number of course hours in which the students enrolled varied from a minimum of 9 up to 19, a t test was run on this variable to determine if the group means of the experimental and control groups showed significant differences in course loads attempted at the beginning of the experiment.

In Table 7, t test of group means, standard deviation, standard error,, separate t value, and degrees of freedom are shown.

The observed t value indicated no significant difference between the group means on this variable (t =1.99; p >.05). Therefore, the original course loads undertaken by the experimental and control groups were approximately equal and there was no bias in the conclusion regarding the rejection of Hypothesis 5 as stated above.






80


Table 7

t Test for Significance Between Experimental and
Control Groups on Course Load Undertaken
During Fall Semester, 1975


Separate
t Variance
Variable N Mean SD SE Value DF

Experimental 36 12.42 2.14 0.36 -0.17 69.47 Control 36 12.50 1.96 0.33



Hypothesis 6. There will be no statistically significant difference in the self-reported posttest scores between the experimental and control groups on study
habits and attitudes as measured by the Survey of
Study Habits and Attitudes.

In order to test this hypothesis, a t test of group mean differences was computed on all the subtests of this variable. The subtests are: Delay Avoidance (DA) and Work Methods (WM), which computed together comprise the Study Habits (SH) score total; Teacher Acceptance (TA) and Educational Acceptance (EA), which together make up the Study Attitude (SA) score; also, the combination of the Study Habits (SH) and Study Attitude

(SA) scores make up the overall profile total, the Study Organization (SO) score.

In Table 8, the group means, standard deviation, standard error, separate t value, and degrees of freedom are summarized for comparison of the seven subtests of the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes between the experimental and control groups.







Table 8


t Tests for Group Mean Differences Between Experimental and Control Groups on Subtests of Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes


Separate Variance
Variable N Mean SD SE t Value DF


DA
Experimental
Control WM
Experimental
Control SH
Experimental
Control TA
Experimental
Control

EA
Experimental
Control SA
Experimental
Control

s0
Experimental
Control


30 33


30 33


30 33


30 33


30 33


30 33


30 33


22.83 17.00


25.40 18.64


48.50 35. 70


31.40 25 .12


27.37
24.15


58.77 49.58


107, 27 85.28


9.41 6.54


8.59 7.28


16.76
12 .14


8.44 9 .11


7.54 7.58


13 .55 15 .20


26.97
24.15


1.72
1.14


1.57 1.27


3.06
2.11


1.54 1.59


1.38 1.32


2.47 2.65

4.92)
4.21


2.83 3. 35"



3.44" 2. 84*



1.69



2.54 3.40*~


51. 15 57 .13



52.45 60.98



60.49 60.98


58.52


Note. *p >.05


1-







82


The observed t value indicated significant differences on the group means of six of the seven variables, including Delay Avoidance (t = 1.68; p )>.05), Work Methods (t = 1.67; p >.05), Study Habits (t = 1.68; p ).05), Teacher Acceptance (t = 1.67; p )>.05), Study Attitudes (t = 1.67; p ).05), and Study Organization (t = 1.67; p )>.05). The observed t value on Educational Acceptance did not indicate a significant difference on this variable (t =1.67; p->.05)

On the basis of statistical analysis, the conclusion was made that the self-reported scores on Delay Avoidance, Work Methods, Study Habits, Teacher Acceptance, Study Attitudes, and. Study Organization were significantly higher for the experimental group than for the control group. Hence, the null hypothesis was rejected for all factors except Education Acceptance; the null hypothesis would not be rejected for the self-reported scores on Educational Acceptance.

Hypothesis 7 '. There will be no statistically significant difference in the self-reported posttest scores between the experimental and control groups on selfconcept as measured by the Tennessee Self Concept Scale.

In order to test this hypothesis, t tests of group mean differences were applied to the self-reported posttest scores of the experimental and control groups on the 14 subtests of the Tennessee Self Concept Scale. Tables 9, 10, and 11 summarize the t test data.







83

The Tennessee Self Concept Scale (TSCS), Counselor Form,

includes the 14 subtests that are employed to measure the selfconcept of the individual. "The individual's concept of himself has been demonstrated to be highly influential in much of his behavior and also to be directly related to his general behavior and state of mental health," according to Fitts (1965, p. 1).

The most important single score is the Total Positive Score (TP) which reflects the overall level of self-esteem. The Self Criticism Score (SC) has mildly derogatory statements that most people admit as being true for them.

The positive scores are divided into three horizontal

rows to depict internal frame of reference. These scores indicate Identity (Row 1), Self-Satisfaction (Row 2), and Behavior (Row 3) as shown in Table 9. The positive scores are further divided into five vertical Column Scores to delineate external frame of reference in the following categories: Column A (CA), Physical Self; Column B (CB), Moral-Ethical Self; Column C

(CC), Personal Self; Column D (CD), Family Self; and Column E (CE), Social Self. These positive scores are shown in Table 10.

There are also four variability scores that provide a

measure of the amount of variability, or inconsistency, from one area of self-perception to another. The scores include







84


Total V (TV), that is, the total amount of variability for the entire record, Column Total V (CTV), which measures and summarizes the variations within the columns, Row Total V (RTV), which is the sum of the variations across the rows, and finally, the Distribution Score (D), which is a summary score of the way one distributes his answers across the five available choices in responding to the items on the scale. These variability scores are shown in Table 11.

In Table 9, the total positive, self criticism, and the three row scores of the internal frame of reference are compared between the groups.

The observed t value did not indicate a significant difference between the group means on any of the five variables in Table 9 (t = 2.00; p >.05). on the basis of statistical analysis, the conclusion was made that the self-reported self-concept posttest scores on Total Positive, Self Criticism, and Row 1, Row 2, and Row 3 of the TSCS were not significantly different between the experimental and control groups. Therefore, the null hypothesis that there would be no significant difference between the groups on self-concept was not rejected for these five subtests.

In Table 10, the observed t value indicated no significant difference on the group means of the variables CA, CB, CC, and CE (t = 2.00; p >.05). However, on variable CD (Family Self)







Table 9


t Tests for Significance of Posttest Scores on TSCS Subtests
Self Criticism (SC), and Row 1 (Ri), Row (R2), and for Experimental and Control Groups


Total Positive (TP), Row (R3)


Separate Variance
Variable N Mean SD SE t Value DF

TP
Experimental 30 332.73 31.76 5.80 1.34 59.92
Control 32 343.69 32.68 5.78

SC
Experimental 30 33.77 6.35 1.16 15 81 Control 32 31.63 3.97 0.70 15 81

Ri
Experimental 30 124.27 11.29 2.06 04 87 Control 32 125.56 10.41 1.84 04 87

R2
Experimental 30 98.97 16.16 2.95 -1.64 57.86
Control 32 105.31 14.21 2.51

R3
Experimental 30 109.57 12.75 2.33 -1.00 59.84
Control 32 112.81 12.93 2.29


00







Table 10


t Test for Significance for Subtests CA, CB, CC, CD, and CE
on TSCS for Experimental and Control Groups


Separate Variance
Variable N Mean SD SE t Value DF

CA
Experimental 30 70.43 8.39 1.53 Control 32 71.22 7.91 1.40 -0.38 59.09
CB
Experimental 30 66.73 8.40 1.53-04582 Control 32 67.72 10.72 1.90-04582

cc
Experimental 30 64.57 8.30 1.51 10578 Control 32 66.75 7.30 1.29-10578
CD
Experimental 30 65.27 7.79 1.42 29 95 Control 32 70.16 7.59 1.34 -.0 95
CE
Experimental 30 65.60 8.67 1.58-095.7 Control 32 67.63 8.50 1.50-09597


Note. p ).05









Table 11


t Tests for Significance for Subtests CTV, RTV, TV, and D of Self-Reported
Posttest Scores on TSCS Between Experimental and Control Groups


Separate Variance
Variable N Mean SD SE t Value DF

CTV
Experimental 30 34.10 12.66 2.31 .4522 Control 32 28.06 9.13 1.612.45.2

RTV
Experimental 30 20.53 6.45 1.18 09 48 Control 32 19.13 5.04 0.89 09 48

TV
Experimental 30 54.00 16.44 3.00 18 02 Control 32 47.38 11.03 1.95 18 02

D
Experimental 30 118.27 26.64 4.87 03 90 Control 32 115.88 32.26 5.70 03 90


Note. *p >.05


00







88


there was a significant difference in favor of the control group which had a higher score on this variable than the experimental group. On the basis of statistical analysis, the conclusion was made that the self-reported scores on GA, GB, cc, and GE were not significantly higher for either group. Hence, the null hypothesis that there would be no difference was not rejected on these four variables. The null hypothesis was rejected on the variable GD since the group mean for the control group was significantly higher than that of the experimental group.

In Table 11, the observed t tests indicated no significant difference between the group means on the variables RTV, TV, and D (t = 2.00; p >05). On the basis of statistical analysis the conclusion was made that these variables were about the same for both experimental and control groups. Thus, the null hypothesis that there would be no significant difference on the subtests between the experimental and control groups was not rejected for these variables.

However, the observed t test on the variable CTV showed a significant difference between the experimental and control group means (t = 2.01; p >.05). Therefore, the hypothesis of no difference between the experimental and control groups was rejected for the variable GTV.

In summary, the null hypothesis that there would be no







89

statistically significant difference between the self-reported self-concept scores of the experimental and control groups was not rejected on 12 of the 14 subtests. On one of the subjects, CD, the control group achieved a significantly higher group mean than did the experimental group. Therefore, the null hypothesis was rejected on this variable. On subtest, CTV, the experimental group mean was significantly higher than that of the control group. Hence, the null hypothesis of no difference was rejected on this variable.

Hypothesis 8. There will be no statistically significant difference between Experimental Class A and
Experimental Glass B on any of the hypothesized
measures.

In order to check for the impact of teacher variable on the experimental group of 36 students, the two classes taking the reading-study skills course were taught by two instructors. Experimental Class A had 15 students and Experimental Class B had an enrollment of 21 students. Using t tests for investigating group mean differences, all the data were examiined to see if any significantly different results were obtained between the classes. These data are presented in Tables 12 through 18 with a summary of the results observed for each variable.

In Table 12, GPAs are compared. A t test of the group

mean differences between experimental and control groups showed no significant differences in GPA between the two classes (t=

2.04; p >.05).




Full Text

PAGE 1

THE IMPACT OF AN EXPERIMENTAL REAPING-STUDY SKILLS COURSE ON HIGH-RISK STUDENT SUCCESS IN A COMMUNITY COLLEGE By ELEANOR C. HABURTON A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 1976

PAGE 2

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Sincere appreciation is extended by the writer to those who have assisted in the completion of this investigation. The guidance, encouragement, support, and inspiration of Dr. Ruthellen Crews, committee chairperson, have been essential throughout the study. Special thanks are also extended to the other members of the supervisory committee, Dr. Arthur Lewis, Dr. Ralph Kimbrough, and Dr. John Nickens, for their assistance in offering valuable suggestions for the carrying out of the study. Dr. Michael Nunnery deserves special recognition for his outstanding instruction in the preparation of the study proposal. Heartfelt gratitude is extended to all the members of the administration and faculty of the University of Florida College of Education, Graduate Studies, for their innovative actions in providing an experimental framework in which the writer and her colleagues from Central Florida were given the opportunity to participate in advanced continuing education at the univer sity. Special gratitude is also expressed to Dr. John B. Langley, chairman of the Phi Delta Kappa committee, Mid-Florida ii

PAGE 3

Organized Research fo~ Education (MORE), who in cooperation with the University of Florida, initiated the experimental doctoral program for educators who live off-campus and work full time. A~~reciation is extended to Arden Goettling for her help and suggestions and for her excellent typing of the manuscript. The writer also acknowledges her indebtedness to the stu dents, faculty, and staff of Valencia Community College, without whose cooperation and helpfulness the study could not have been carried out. The author wishes to dedicate this endeavor to the stu dents of Valencia Community College and to all her former students who have been a joy to her through all the years. iii

PAGE 4

TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. . . . . . . . . . ii LIST OF TABLES ....................................... vi AB ST'RACT . . . . . . . . . . . viii CHAPTER I INTRO DUCT ION. . . . . . . . . 1 The Problem. . . . . . . . . 1 Asstlillptions. . . . . . . . . 7 Definition of Tenns........ .. . .. ..... .... 9 Procedures. . . . . . . . . 12 Hypotheses. . . . . . . . . 18 Organization of the Research Report~........ 19 II REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE.................. 20 Grade Point Average as a Criterion of College Success.. . . . . . . 22 Self-Concept as Related to Academic Success. 31 Student Attitudes and Persistence........... 36 Reading Improvement in Content Areas........ 44 Discussion of Findings...................... 52 iv

PAGE 5

CHAPTER Page III TREATMENT OF THE EXPERIMENTAL GROUP ........ 54 Content and Operation of Experimental Course 64 IV PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA....... ..... 72 Tests of the Hypotheses..................... 73 Summary of Analysis......................... 97 V CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS.................. 100 Conclusions................................. 101 Discussion and Interpretation............... 105 Implications for Future Research............ 111 APPENDIX A LETTER TO INFORM PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS OF EXPERIMENTAL READING-STUDY SKILLS COURSE ... 113 APPENDIX B RAW DATA FOR EQUATING EXPERIMENTAL AND CONTROL GROUPS ON AGE, SEX, RACE, READING SCORE, AND COURSE LOAD............ 115 APPENDIX C LETTER TO SUBJECT AREA INSTRUCTORS TO FIND PRIORITIES OF READING SKILLS NEEDED IN PASSING THEIR COURSES. ................ 118 APPENDIX D COURSE DESCRIPTION................... .... 121 REFERENCES . . . . . . . . . 124 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH................................... 133 V

PAGE 6

LIST OF TABLES Table Page 1 Test for Significance Between Group Mean Dif ferences for GPA of Experimental and Control Groups. . . . . . . . . . . 7 4 2 t Test for Significance for GPA with Reading Course Grade Omitted for Experimental Group ..... 75 3 t Test for Significance for Course Withdrawals During Fall Semester for Experimental and Control Groups... . . . . . . . 76 4 Chi Square Comparison of During-Semester Student Withdrawal of Experimental and Control Groups ... 77 5 Chi Square Comparison of Student Withdrawal Between-Semesters Between Experimental and Control Groups ...................... o... . 78 6 t Test for Differences in Total Hours Success fully Completed Between Experimental and Control Groups... . . . . . . . 79 7 Test for Significance Between Experimental and Control Groups on Course Load Undertaken During Fall Semester, 1975 o.......................... 80 8 Tests for Group Mean Differences Between Experimental and Control Groups on Subtests of Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes ............ 81 9 Tests for Significance of Posttest Scores on TSCS Subtests Total Positive (TP), Self Criticism (SC), and Row 1 (Rl), Row 2 (R2), and Row 3 (R3) for Experimental and Control Groups ............. 85 vi

PAGE 7

Table 10 Test for Significance for Subtests CA, CB, CC, CD, and CE on TSCS for Experimental and Page Control Groups. . . . . . . . . 86 11 t Tests for Significa n ce for Subtests CTV, RTV, TV, and D of Self-Reported Posttest Scores on TSCS Between Experimental and Control Groups .... 87 12 Test Comparison of GPA Between Experimental Class A and Experimental Class B ................ 90 13 Test Comparison of GPA Between Experimental Class A and Experimental Class B with RSSC Grades Omitted. . . . . . . . . 90 14 t Test to Compare Number of Course Withdrawals Between Two Experimental Reading Classes ........ 91 15 t Test to Compare Number of Course Hours Suc cessfully Completed Between Experimental Classes ......................................... 92 16 Test for Significance Between Experimental Reading Classes on Course Loads Undertaken in Fall Semester................................ 92 17 Tests for Group Mean Differences Between Two Experimental Reading Classes on Subtests of SSlIA. . . . . . . . . . . 94 18 Tests for Group Mean Differences Between Experimental Classes on Subtests of TSCS ........ 95 vii

PAGE 8

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education THE IMPACT OF AN EXPERIMENTAL READING-STUDY SKILLS COURSE ON HIGH-RISK STUDENT SUCCESS IN A COMMUNITY COLLEGE By Eleanor C. Haburton June, 1976 Chairperson: Ruthellen Crews Major Department: Curriculum and Instruction The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of a reading-study skills course on the academic success of a group of high-risk community college students. The course was taught by two reading instructors to two voluntarily enrolled classes during the fall semester, 1975, at Valencia Community Coll~ge at Orlando, Florida. The plan of the course was to maximize chances for aca demic success by (a) offering transfer credit, (b) focusing on "survival" skills needed in content area courses and providing for direct transferal, (c) providing for self-pacing, (d) utilizing group instruction with group interaction as a moti vational factor, (e) accommodating various learning styles through multi-media presentation, (f) evaluating progress by mastery tests, and (h) attempting to enhance self-concept by viii

PAGE 9

student orientation of learning, by teacher attitude, and by individual conferences. The experimental group of 36 students was compared with a control group that did not participate in reading instruc tion, either because the classes were closed, or because of a schedule conflict. The groups were matched on the following variables: (a) voluntary participation in a previous basic reading course, (b) age, (c) sex, (d) race, (e) pretest reading comprehension score below the 30th percentile on the Iowa Silent Reading Test, Form E, and (f) carrying a minimum class load of 9 hours. The groups were compared on (a) grade point average for the fall semester, (b) number of course withdrawals, (c) attri tion (dropping out of school) during the fall semester and between-semesters, (d) number of course hours successfully completed, (e) self-reported posttest scores on study habits and attitudes as measured by the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes, and (f) self-reported posttest scores on self-concept as measured by the Tennessee Self Concept Scale. Also the two experimental classes were compared on the hypothesized vari ables to determine if the teacher variable made a difference. To test the hypotheses,! tests and chi square were performed on the data to find where differences might lie. On the basis of statistical analyses, it was concluded ix

PAGE 10

that the experimental group (a) received significantly higher GPAs, (b) withdrew from fewer courses, (c) successfully com pleted more course hours, and (d) scored significantly higher on their self-reports on six of the seven subtests of the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes. There was no significant difference between the groups on attrition during the semester, or between semesters, although there was a tendency toward a significantly higher attrition by the control group. There was no significant difference between the groups on self reported scores on self-concept as measured by the Tennessee Self Concept Scale. There was no statistically significant difference on any of the variables between the two experi mental reading classes, and thus it was concluded that the teacher variable did not bias the results. In relationship to other research in the literature that used GPA as a criterion of college success, the present study seems to confirm the position that high-risk students who take appropriately designed reading improvement classes tend to succeed better in academic courses than do like students who do not take such courses. The limited duration of the study and the limited population preclude generalized inference beyond the local setting, however. Implications suggest that needed reading skills can be satisfactorily mastered by most high-risk students over time X )

PAGE 11

and that the community college is in a tenable position to develop effective long-range programs in both the reading classes and in content courses to enable such students to succeed. xi

PAGE 12

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Students designated as high-risk have entered community colleges in increasing numbers under the open-door policy, a concept of universal education which admits any adult who can profit from the instruction offered. Many high-risk students do not have the background in communication skills to succeed in traditional college work. Therefore, various programs have been tried by community colleges to help these students cope with the academic requirements of their chosen transfer or career courses. Whether required or voluntary, credit or noncredit, the courses are usually designed to develop stu dents' basic skills to a level from which they can enter regular college curriculum programs. In spite of great expend itures of effort, major problems persist in the attempt to provide intensive, adequate, and appropriate help in ~eading to serve the needs of high-risk students. The Problem The focus of the investigation was to determine the impact 1

PAGE 13

of a reading-study skills course on the college success of a group of high-risk community college students. This impact was measured by comparing the students in the experimental group who participated in a special program of reading-study skills instruction to a like group of students who did not participate in any reading-study skills program. This comparison was made in terms of the following: (a) grade point 2 average, (b) number of hours of course work successfully com pleted, (c) number of course withdrawals and attrition during fall semester, (d) attrition between fall and winter semesters, (e) self-reported self-concept, and (f) self-reported study habits and attitudes. Delimitations and Limitations The present study was confined to a total of 72 high-risk students who were enrolled at Valencia Community College at Orlando, Florida, during the fall semester, 1975. There were 36 students who voluntarily enrolled in two experimental reading-study skills courses matched with 36 nonparticipating students who either wanted in the courses but did not get admitted, or who planned to take the course later. Data regarding the dependent variables were confined to that gathered during the fall term, 1975, and the beginning of the second semester, 1976. These dependent variables included cumulative grade point averages, number of hours of

PAGE 14

3 course work successfully completed, course withdrawals during fall semester, 1975, attrition during the fall term, 1975, and attrition at the beginning of the second semester, 1976. Also, data regarding the dependent variables of self-reported self concept and self-reported study habits and attitudes were confined to that gathered from the December, 1975, administra tion of the Tennessee Self Concept Scale (Fitts, 1965) and the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes, Form C (Brown & Holtzman, 1965). The following are limitations of the study: 1. Since the study was limited to an experimental group, enrolled in two classes, and a control group in one community college, generalizations of results should be viewed with great caution. 2. Since the students enrolled in the experimental reading classes were voluntarily selected, there was no way to effect complete randomization between the experimental and control groups. However, the groups were similar since both had taken a prerequisite reading course; thus, it was assumed that differing attitudes toward reading remediation did not cause differing results in the two groups. 3. The possibility of a temporary gain on some or all of the dependent variables as a result of the novelty effect and of the special attention given the experimental group

PAGE 15

4 should be given some consideration in looking at the results. Justification for the Study There are three major justifications for the study of a reading-study skills course for high-risk students in a com munity college. First, the problem of academic achievement of high-risk students in community/junior colleges, four-year colleges, and universities is of national concern. Researchers, such as Anderson (1971), have estimated that at least 25 percent of university freshmen are unable to read well enough to do suc cessful college work. As curricula have expanded and become more complex, and as egalitarian policies have brought about the admittance of a more diversified range of students to the universities, the gap between the reading task and the stu dents' preparedness has widened. In the community colleges, the reading problem is a matter of even more major concern. Moore (1970) stated that in 1965 more than 60 percent of stu dents enrolled were in need of remedial help in reading and other communication skills. Adequate solutions for the problem have not yet been found. Therefore, there is a national need for studies that document programs that are promising, those that are not promising, and other kinds of data that add to the body of knowledge about the problem.

PAGE 16

5 Second, there is a gap in the research regarding what is happening in reading programs in community colleges for high risk students, partly because of the recency of the growth of the colleges and the influx of low-achieving students. When the nontraditional students started entering the traditional two-year colleges in large numbers in the 1960s, attempts were made to help them by modifying regular programs. Research studies (Losak, 1970; Moore, 1970; Roueche, 1968) have docu mented the fact that these efforts have not been successful. Such a conclusion is not startling since the traditional programs in two-year colleges were not essentially different from the kind of programs which the high-risk student had already failed in high school (Roueche, 1968). In the 1970s, two-year colleges were increasingly making innovative efforts such as those that included reading as part of multidisciplinary programs. Many of these programs are just being implemented afid have not been in effect long enough for evaluation of long-range outcomes. Some investigators feel that another reason for the lack of research seems to be that community colleges are not doing such studies of their remedial programs (Kendrick & Thomas, 1970). Roueche (1968) confirmed this finding and stated the following three conclusions from his review of related research and literature:

PAGE 17

(1) There is a pronounced lack of research on the effectiveness of remediation efforts in community colleges in terms of assessing academic performance, persistence, and attitudes of high-risk students. (2) Even with the dearth of research the evidence indicates that remedial courses and programs in two-year colleges, and in all of higher education for that mitter, have largely been ineffective in remedying student deficiencies. (3) There is an increasing number of critics of the open-door college and its implied promise to provide success ful learning experiences for all its students. Focus of criticism seems divided between the over zealous aims of the junior college and the reluctance of the institution to evaluate its efforts. (pp. 7-8) 6 Therefore, as cited in the literature, since traditional methods have apparently not been, and will not be, successful in helping the diverse new students to reach their goals, research is needed to lead to more conclusive data than are now available regarding curriculum and other instructional factors which result in greater academic success for the com munity college students. The third justification for the present experiment was the immediate and practical need for such a study in the particular community college where the research was carried out. The study represented an attempt to test the impact of a specially designed reading-study skills course for high risk community college students at a crucial point in the students' program. After completing a basic reading course, and in many cases, a basic studies seminar, the student was ready to attempt regular full-time academic courses. It is

PAGE 18

7 at this point that withdrawal, failure, and attrition most often occur. Focus of the reading course was on those "survival" skills that are essential for student success in passing aca demic courses. Information about skills needed in specific courses was sought from instructors who teach content-area classes as a way to give support to this student if he under goes "transfer shock." This kind of massive support is believed to be vital to increase the student's chances of academic suc cess while he is also involved in the long-term developmental process of improving his basic skills. While the present study has delimitations such that any generalizations from it must be made with great caution, the type of student receiving the treatment is found throughout the United States. Therefore, any insights gained in attempting to attack a practical and immediate problem in one school setting might be of interest to others involved in the same kind of situation. As surr pt ions The essential assumption underlying this investigation was that the uncontrolled variables which presumably might have a significant impact on the dependent variables under consid eration in the experiment were randomly distributed between the two groups. In the paragraphs that follow, more details on this assumption are provided.

PAGE 19

8 In this investigation, it was assumed the students in the experimental and control groups are a similar population. A pretest, the Iowa Silent Reading Test, Form E (Farr, 1973), using local norms, tested the equality of the groups on reading comprehension. As explained in the procedure section, the groups were further matched on previous participation in a prerequisite reading improvement course, Reading 090, on enrollment in a minimum of 9 hours of course work, on age, on sex, and on race. Equality of motivation was partly assured by the fact that both groups had previously taken one remedial reading course; also, the control group was made up of students who (a) could not get into the treatment courses at this time because the classes were closed, or (b) did not take the course because of schedule conflicts, but stated they intended to take the course later. It was further assumed the students in the experimental and control groups were exposed to equivalent intervening variables in the school setting. The major difference was the independent variable, the reading treatment for the experi mental group. Among the intervening variables that may have caused improvement in all hypothesized dependent variables outside the reading classes are such elements as the supportive rela tionships students may have had with the counseling department,

PAGE 20

9 the special services staff which provides tutoring, the basic studies program chairman, the veterans' administration staff, and classroom instructors all of whom assist students with academic problems; also, the administrative staff, which actively supports the open-door policy. No control for these variables was attempted since all these factors were equally available to all students in the school environment including the experimental and control groups. Definition of Term~ Attrition. Refers to withdrawal from college. In the study, number of withdrawals from college during the fall semester, 1975, and number of withdrawals from college at the beginning of the second semester, January, 1976, were compared between the two groups. Content-area reading skills Operationally, this term refers to reading ability needed by students to achieve passing grades in subject area courses such as biology, political science, or humanities. In the study, instruction was given the experimental group to develop such skills. Conceptually, Singer (1970) lists as content-area reading skills such com prehension tasks as interpretation of data, knowledge of technical vocabulary, and mental organization needed to under stand materials in the various disciplines.

PAGE 21

10 Control group. As constituted in the experimental study, this group is the 36 students (matched with the experimental group on age, sex, race, reading level, class loads, and previous participation in a reading improvement course) who enrolled in at least 9 hours of regular courses, but did not participate in the Reading-Study Skills Course (RSSC) treatment. Course load. In this study, enrollment in a minimum of 9 hours of course work was required for the student to par ticipate in the experimental or control group. Course withdrawals. Refers to dropping a course at any time during the fall semester, 1975. Such action caused the student to receive a grade of "W" for the course which netted no credit and no quality points and was measured in this study as zero ("O"). Developmental programs In the present study the term refers to prerequisite courses which high-risk students are to complete before they enter regular academic programs. The control and experimental groups were matched on having taken the prerequisite reading course, RG 090. In the literature, this term is used interchangeably with <:iirected, guided, com pensatory, basic, remedial, advancement, and career development. Experimental group. The 36 students enrolled in the two experimental Reading-Study Skills Courses (RSSC). General reading skills. In the study, students in the

PAGE 22

11 RSSC worked individually and in groups on personally needed skills described by this term as such global reading tasks as reading for main idea, for sequence, to follow directions, and to draw conclusions (Singer, 1970). Grade point average (GPA). The cumulative grade scores received by students in their courses are A, B, C, D, and F, and are assigned quality points per hour of 4, 3, 2, 1, and 0, respectively. A grade of "W" (withdrawal) or "I" (incomplete) is computed as "O." Both Ws and Is are dropped from the com putation of GPA. These designations are used for all grades in the study except the grades for the experimental RSSC (Reading 102) which are omitted in determining GPA as described in detail in the procedure section. High-risk student. In the present investigation, this term was used to denote the student participants who had reading test scores on the Iowa Silent Reading Test, Form E, below the 30th percentile on comprehension on local school norms, and previous school records and standardized test scores that placed them in the bottom quartile of academic achieve ment. In the literature, terms used synonymously to identify the high-risk student are marginal, educationally disadvantaged, remedial; low-achieving, and nontraditional. Open-door policy. Denotes the practice of admitting to community/junior colleges all adults who wish to enter, regard less of past academic records.

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Reading-study skills course (RSSC). Denotes the inde pendent variable of this study and is used throughout to designate the treatment given to the experimental group. 12 Student self-concept. As used in this investigation, the term refers to the scores achieved by experimental and control groups on the December, 1975, administration of the Tennessee Self Concept Scale. Conceptually, the term refers to the student's view of himself psychologically in relation to his environment. Study habits and attitudes. Refers to the scores achieved by experimental and control groups in this study on the Decem ber, 1975, administration of the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes, Form C. Success in college. In the present experiment, the term refers to the data regarding the dependent variables--satis factory GPA, persistence in college, successful completion of courses attempted, and adequate self-concept and study habits and attitudes. Total course work completed. Denotes the total hours of course work the student completed during the fall semester with a grade of Dor better~ Procedures The design is a quasi-experimental design because under the school circumstances it was impossible to assign experimental

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13 subjects randomly from a common population to the experimental and the control group since the experimental group is composed of intact classrooms. However, the experimental and control groups were similar in their recruitment. Assi g nment of Students to Experimental and Control Groups In July, 1975, a list was compiled by the investigator of 232 high-risk students who met the following criteria: They had a ll completed a 3-hour nontransferable credit course in basi c reading skills, RG 090, at some time during the previous thre e semesters Their final evaluations indicated they were still deficient in reading skills to the point their success in college level courses that required reading textbooks was dubious. Their scores on the comprehension section of the Iowa Silent Reading Test, Form E, were well below the 30th percentile on local norms. Most of the scores were actually below the 10th percentile. The diagnostic estimation of the reading instructors placed their reading levels in the range of lo w er seventh to upper ninth grade, while the readability level s assessed by the reading instructors of content-area textbooks used at Valencia Community College are chiefly twelfth through fourteenth grades and above. A n attempt was made to reach the 232 students by personal contact, by telephone, and by letter to inform them of a new reading-study skills course (RSSC) to be offered in the fall

PAGE 25

14 semester, 1975. The course, designated in the catalog as RG 102, carries 3 hours of transferable credit. Enrollment is voluntary and the credit transfers as an English elective. A copy of the letter mailed to the students by the Basic Studies Department Chairman is included in Appendix A. Of the original list of 232, a total of 36 students vol untarily enrolled in two reading-study skills courses. One instructor's class (referred to as Experimental Class A) included 15 students; the other class, designated as Experi mental Class B, had an enrollment of 21 students (see Appendix B). A total of 49 additional students responded to the letters and messages, indicating they were unable to enter the classes because the classes were closed or stating they planned to enroll the following semester, or at a later date. From this list of 49, a control group divided into two sections of 15 and 21 was designated in September, 1975. Con trol subjects were chosen to match the experimental group most closely by age, sex, and race; also, they were carrying a course load of at least 9 hours (see Appendix B). A check was made of the remaining list of 147 students. A search of the registration records showed that 124 of the original list of 232 did not register at the college for the fall semester, 1975. Of those on campus; 6 students said they

PAGE 26

15 preferred not to continue reading; 3 students were foreign students and not "high-risk"; there were 14 interested students who did not meet the 9-hour minimum enrollment criterion because they were taking only 3 or 6 hours. Treatment of Experimental and Control Groups The treatment of the experimental groups was a reading-study skills course designed to augment transfer of reading skills directly to subject-area classes. General reading skills in which the students were deficient were worked on individually by the student, but the focus was on those "survival" skills that: are essential for the student's success in passing his aca d emic courses. The control group was enrolled in regular classes and received no treatment in reading. Sources and Collection of Data Relative to Dependent Variables Data were collected in Semptember, 1975, in December, 1975, and at the beginning of the semester in January, 1976. A pre test measure, the Iowa Silent Reading Test, Form E, was given to the experimental group in the reading classes The same test had been given previously to all students enrolled in English Composition 151 and provided a reading test score for the control group. The reading comprehension scores, using local school norms, were used to test the equality of the experi mental and control groups before treatment.

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16 At the close of the semester in December, 1975, data were collected to test the eight hypotheses of the experiment. For Hypothesis 1, the GPA for the experimental and control groups was computed from scores recorded in the office of the registrar. There was one exception, namely, the grades for the experimental group in the reading treatment classes. In order to overcome any possible effects of grading bias in the reading course, RSSC, the students' grades were not used to compute the overall GPA for the experimental group. However, the credits received by the experimental students in reading were counted in com puting the number of credit hours successfully completed by each student. Data for Hypothesis 2, number of course withdrawals during the fall semester, were obtained from an examination of stu dents' records in the registrar's files. The same source was used for collecting data for Hypothesis 3, attrition during the fall semester, and for Hypothesis 4, attrition for second semester, January, 1976. Hypothesis 5, number of course hours successfully completed during the semester, was also tested from data from student records in the registration office. Data for Hypothesis 6 were obtained from the self-reported test scores on the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes which was administered in December, 1975. The experimental group was

PAGE 28

17 given the test in the reading classes. The control group was tested individually in the Reading Laboratory. They were not informed they were part of an experiment but ~ere asked by the investigator to express their opinions for a paper she was writing. Hypothesis 7, self-reported self-concept, was tested using the scores achieved by administration of the Tennessee Self Concept Scale in December, 1975, to both experimental and control groups in the same manner as described for Hypothesis 6. Hypothesis 8 was tested by comparing the scores on all the hypothesized measures between the two experimental classes. Treatment of Data in Relation to Hypotheses To test Hypothesis 1, GPA means were computed and at test of mean differences was used to determine the statistical difference between the grade point averages of the experimental and control groups. Hypothesis 2, number of course withdrawals in fall semester, 1975, was tested in the same manner as Hypothesis 1. Hypothesis 3, attrition during the fall semester, and Hypothesis 4, attrition between semesters, were tested using chi square. Hypothesis 5, total number of hours successfully completed; Hypothesis 6, self-reported scores on Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes; and Hypothesis 7, self-reported scores on

PAGE 29

18 Tennessee Self Concept Scale,were tested by means of! tests. Hypothesis 8, a comparison between Experimental Class A and Experimental Class B, was tested by means of! tests on all the hypothesized variables. Hypotheses To give direction to the experiment, the following null hypotheses were tested, and in each instance the .OS level of significance was used to reject the hypothesis: 1. There will be no statistically significant difference in grade point average (GPA) for the fall semester, 1975, between the experimental and control groups. 2. There will be no statistically significant difference in the number of course withdrawals during the fall semester, 1975, between the experimental and control groups. 3. There will be no statistically significant difference in during-semester attrition (dropping out of school before the end of the 1975 fall semester) between the experimental and control groups. 4. There will be no statistically significant difference in between-semester attrition at the beginning of the second semester, January, 1976, between the experimental and control groups. 5. There will be no statistically significant difference in number of course hours successfully completed during the

PAGE 30

19 fall semester, 1975, between the experimental and control groups. 6. There will be no statistically significant difference in the self-reported posttest scores between the experimental and control groups on study habits and attitudes as meas ured by the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes. 7. There will be no statistically significant difference in the self-reported posttest scores between the experimental and control groups on self-concept as measured by the Tennessee Self Concept Scale. 8. There will be no statistically significant difference between Experimental Class A and Experimental Class Bon any of the hypothesized measures. Organization of the Research Report The proposed research will be organized into five chapters. Chapter I will include the introduction, the statement of the problem, delimitations and limitations, definitions of terms, hypotheses, design and methodology, and treatment of data. Chapter II will contain a review of the related literature. In Chapter III, the treatment of the experimental group will be detailed. Chapter IV will include a presentation of the data and its analysis. In Chapter V, conclusions and implica tions for further study will be detailed. Appendices will include material related to carrying out the study.

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CHAPTER II REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE In carrying out the purpose of the present study, it was necessary to design a reading-study skills course that would offer learning opportunities to meet the specific needs of a group of high-risk students in a community college. The dif ficulty of such a task has been widely discussed in the litera ture, both from the standpoint of the academic shortcomings of the student and from the viewpoint of the lack of preparedness of the community college to accommodate the influx of non traditional students in traditional classrooms. There has been discussion of the difficulty of achieving a shift in attitude on the part of the administration and instructional staff from the "sorting out" process of the recent past where only the most able students were allowed to continue in college to the egalitarian attitude of maximizing the potential of all stu dents who enter. There are two obvious concerns associated with the high risk student and other students in the community colleges. First, due to the students' lack of background in communication 20

PAGE 32

21 skills, there is a nationwide recognition and acceptance of the need for reading programs as an integral part of the cur riculum (Sweiger, 1972). Second, not only do community colleges acknowledge the need for such programs, but many varied measures are being attempted to serve all students enrolled. Ahrendt (1975) attested to this fact, but also found a common thread running throughout the literature as follows: Reading improvement programs are developed from the specific needs of the institution, the philosophy of the administration, the training of the instructor and his attitudes toward reading improvement, and stop-gap measures to facilitate the influx of marginal and high-risk students who have entered the college due to the open-door policy. (p. 10) In dealing with high-risk students, many programs have been described in which students were placed in separate non credit courses for at least a year. These separate programs were multidisciplinary in nature (Roueche, 1968), or were separate entities, or were a block of communications skills courses. After the year of "remediation," the students pro ceeded to take regular academic credit courses in their chosen career and transfer disciplines. A recent trend that has been described has been that of the policy of avoiding identification of such students as high-risk, but on the basis of entering test scores, of placing them in learning centers (Ahrendt, 1975; McClellan, 1972) where they study independently and proceed on their own throughout

PAGE 33

22 the course, seeking assistance when they need help. According to most reports of all types of programs, the dropout rate of high-risk students is high, and the success rate is low (Clarke, 1975). In general, the present study focused on a search for research studies and other literature that (a) identified and described the characteristics and needs of high-risk students~ and (b) identifie~ and described program content and operation that were found to be helpful or promising for these students. Such supportive literature and pertinent research have been organized under the following headings: first, Grade Point Average as a Criterion of College Success; second, Self-Concept as Related to Academic Success; third, Student Attitude and Persistence; and fourth, Reading Improvement in Content Areas. A concluding statement is made about the findings from the review of the literature. Grade Point Average as a Criterion of College Success Since the high-risk student is in immediate need of help to improve his reading skills in order to pass his courses which require reading as a means of obtaining information and concepts, the grade point average (GPA) is crucial as an evaluation meas ure of the reading program he is pursuing. In the literature, some researchers have considered GPA as essential for evaluation; others have looked to other measures.

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\ 23 Earlier evaluations of reading improvement programs before the 1950s were often made by means of preand posttests of reading skills; it was somewhat automatically assumed that reading improvement led to success in academic courses, since reading is a major part of the means by which information is gained in college courses (Fairbanks, 1973). Even today, standardized reading tests are perhaps used in the majority of evaluations of two-year college reading programs, if indeed, any formal evaluation is made (Curran, 1975). During the past 25 years increasing numbers of studies have been made using GPA to judge success of college reading improvement programs in four-year colleges and universities. Robinson (1950) stated that while the goal of improving ability to read is commonly accepted as a justification for reading programs, such an assumption should be tested by assessing students' success in academic courses. Four major studies were examined in which the investi gators reviewed research using GPA as the criterion for program success. These studies, largely of programs in four-year colleges or universities, included Entwisle (1960), Wright (1960), Bednar and Weinberg (1970), and Fairbanks (1973). In 1960, Entwisle reviewed 22 studies of reading and study skills programs and concluded that reading improvement generally followed for students taking such courses, although

PAGE 35

24 the amount of improvement varied greatly. Entwisle also felt the variable of motivation was not adequately provided for in th~ control of groups in several of the studies. Wright (1960), who reviewed 31 studies published between 1930 and 1950 as preparation for doing his own study, felt that the automatic assumption that study-reading training promotes better achievement in college should be questioned and recom mended that studies should focus on a number of factors that influence GPA such as characteristics of individual students and types of program content. The Bednar and Weinberg (1970) review of 23 studies was concerned with counseling programs for underachieving students. Several of the studies incorporated group and/or individual counseling with study and reading skills training and used academic achievement as the criterion of success. Their con clusions were that the programs combining counseling and study skills were successful, but academic study alone did not improve the GPAs of the underachieving students in a number of the studies. Fairbanks (1973) reviewed 69 of 100 identified reading improvement studies in which some aspect of academic achieve ment was the criterion for success. Fairbanks concluded such courses were generally reported as successful iri improving student GPA; therefore, Fairbanks analyzed progr~m content

PAGE 36

25 and program operation of the experiments to find what specific factors were "most successful" in bringing about this improve ment in student GPA. In the "successful" programs, Fairbanks noted emphasis on mastery of the following comprehension skills: (a) reading for main ideas in paragraphs artd longer selections; (b) differen tiating between fact and opinion; and (c) recognizing and understanding inferences. For "successful" program operation, Fairbanks listed the following guidelines: (a) students should be made aware of their specific difficulties in reading and the means by which they can correct them; (b) students should participate in all phases of their program--diagnosis, evaluation, ~nd practice; (c) reading programs should be voluntary; (d) programs should last for several months with more than 40 hours of instruction. Fairbanks also recommended that college reading programs be ~valuated cautiously in terms of academic achievement and that consideration be given to many related factors that also may affect the academic achievement and improvement of 1 the individual participating in the college reading program. Such related factors include the individual student's ability level, attitudes, personality, and curriculum in which he is enrolled, as well as the nature of the program itself. Other investigators also saw a need for researchers to

PAGE 37

26 look beyond the academic problems involved to other areas such as student attitudes toward self, and approaches used in teaching the reading improvement courses. Hafner (1966) studied the effect of reading and study skills courses on the GPA of participating students and looked for factors that differen tiated successful from unsuccessful experimental subjects. In his course, students made positive gains in GPA, but they were not statistically significant, although a statistically signifi cant number of experimental students obtained a GPA above 3.00 in the quarter following the instruction. In personality traits, his study corroborated other investigators' findings of correlation between low ego strength and academic difficulty. Maxwell (1971) pointed out that GPA should be collected since most programs aim to help students improve in their academic work, but a number of factors should be used to evaluate such programs, such as individual needs of students, and outcomes of setting specific, local objectives and of encouraging student involvement in evaluation procedures. Burgess (1975) in a two-year follow-up study of partici pants in the reading-study skills center at the University of Florida found that students who worked to improve reading had significantly higher GPAs during the term of enrollment than nonparticipants. Further, this study indicated that seven terms following reading training, the GPAs of those who had

PAGE 38

27 participated tended to be hi g her than GPAs of nonparticipants. The Burgess study compared 46 freshmen who enrolled in the reading center in the fall of 1972 with the total fresh man population from which they were drawn at two points in time--at the close of the fall semester and again, seven terms later at the end of the first quarter of their junior year. There was no significant difference in the initial reading ability of students who enrolled in the center and students who did not seek formal reading training. Recent studies have questioned the authenticity of the positive results indicated in some past studies because of poor research design and control. Santeusanio (1974) stated that any conclusion suggesting a positive relationship between participation in a college reading improvement program and GPA may be unwarranted either because of lack of control for selection or because of poor research design. Maxwell (1971), Pepper (1970), and Tillman (1972) have pointed to the difficulty in using human students in experi mental designs due to ethical and political considerations, because a random design requires that an equally deficient and equally motivated group of students be deprived of the benefits of a program and serve as a control group. Fairbanks (1975) concluded that many studies prior to 1950 were largely unsubstantiated or inadequately controlled,

PAGE 39

28 but that since that time, research designs have improved so that studies in the early 1970s have been of better research designs and have still largely concluded that improvement in GPA resulted. In many cases, the reading programs in the universities have reached a different population than those of the open-door community colleges, due to the selective process which has caused entering university students to start at a higher verbal level. However, many of the reported studies in four-year schools were made of underachieving students, of students on probation, or of students with other difficulties that made their academic success problematical. In this sense, similar difficulties are encountered in the reading programs to those of the community colleges. In recent years, a numher of universities have been accepting a limited number of underprepared students. In these cases, the reading centers have found the nontraditional student needs difficult to meet. Cranney and Larsen (1972) reported limited results in compensatory education programs for specially admitted fresh men during 1968-1971. In the 5 percent student exemption to admission standards in 1968, the survival rates were poor with about three-fourths attrition by the end of the fourth term of admission. In the succeeding years, a slight improvement in

PAGE 40

29 GPA was shown for special students in the program, but few stu dents continued to work in the reading center aft& the end of the initial summer program. It was concluded that short-term reading programs were not adequate to meet the students' needs, but few students elected to continue although they reported their intention to do so. Curran (1975) polled the membership of the special interest group for two-year colleges of the International Reading Associ ation to obtain a summary of methods of evaluation used in programs throughout the country. Curran found standardized tests to be the major form of evaluation used; student feedback was second in frequency of use. About an equal number had either no evaluation system or informal ones. From this study's findings Curran stated it would appear that the area of evalu ation has not been developed or resolved for most developmental education programs. While GPA and dropout studies were mentioned, their numbers were small. Barthlow (1975) questioned the appropriateness of the grading policy of fixed grade point average for community college students, stating that the academic standards policy is often inconsistent with the open-door admissions policy. Would it not be sounder educatio~al policy to use a developmental system of GPA requirements in deter mining probation and dism~ssal? A possible model for academic probation is .80 by completion of 12 semester hours; 1.20 for completion of 24 semester

PAGE 41

hours; 1.5 for completion of 36 hours; 1.90 for 48 hours; and 2.00 by completion of 60 hours. A student who falls below these standards would auto matically be placed on scholastic probation until his next category of semester hours is reached. Only under very unusual circumstances would a student be allowed to remain on probation for a third successive semester. (p. 2) 30 Barthlow adds, "Of what value is it, either to the stu dent or to society, to admit a student who needs academic assistance and place him on academic probation before he has had time to become stronger academically?'' (p. 2). Roueche and Kirk (1973) studied programs for high-risk stu dents in five selected community colleges. The programs, in operation from 1969 to 1972, were comprehensive and were a sepa rately organized division of remedial education with all-volunteer teaching and counseling staffs. Reading improvement was included as part of the instructional service. Criterion for success was GPA and Roueche and Kirk found remedial programs helped students make higher GPAs than nonremedial programs; also, students in the remedial programs persisted in college longer than comparable students not enrolled in the programs. A major finding of Roueche and Kirk's study was that aca demic performance of students in remedial programs dropped sig nificantly after they entered regular college programs. They attributed the drop to several aspects, stating that the drop in GPA is usually considered as part of traditional "transfer

PAGE 42

shock" which frequently accompanies junior college student transfer to higher institutions. However, Roueche and Kirk (1973) stated other possible causes: The student is returning to a different mode of instruction from that he had in developmental studies. He is encountering teachers whose value systems are different. These "traditional" faculty may have little regard for students who come out of programs where "content has been diluted and teachers coddle the students". It may be that regular college faculty do not yet expect such students to succeed ... traditional methods (lectures/textbook/dis cussion) are simply not best for all, or most, students. Perhaps the successful developmental student returns to a procedure that failed him in 31 the public school and is likely to fail him again. (p. 78) In conclusion, they recommended that efforts should be made to alleviate the abrupt transition from developmental studies to traditional college curricula, and suggested that staff development activities should be ongoing to develop "readiness" in other instructors who will be called upon to instruct students who have completed remedial programs. Self-Concept as Related to Academic Success Investigations of reading improvement programs in twoyear colleges in the 1970s reveal a striking trend toward individualization and student-orientation of instruction (Curran, 1975; Darnes, 1971; Henderson, 1976; Olsen & Swiss, 1976). This trend is also reflected in the increasing numbers of investi gations of student self-concept and of methods of finding

PAGE 43

32 individual cognitive styles to augment learning (Lang, 1972; Nunney & Hill, 1972; Sherk & Manzo, 1972; Tillman, 1976). Studies of reading program designs for high-risk students show an increasing concern for the task of providing success ful learning experiences that are aimed at helpin g the student build a positive self-concept. In many studies there was general agreement th~t nontraditional students are often characterized by feelings of powerlessness, worthlessness, alienation, and inappropriate adaptive behaviors--unrealistic levels of aspiration, lack of problem-solving skills and ~xperiences, hostility, aggressiveness, and even delinquency (Monroe, 1972; Moore, 1970; Roueche & Kirk, 1973). Roueche and Kirk (1973) further stated : The community college high-risk student is often a hesitant, conservative low-achiever with serious self-doubts, lack of confidence, poor mental health, and motivation too low to detect. He asks to be taught but does not r~ally believe he can learn because he has exp~rienced a life~time of academic failure. While he aspires to self-actualization, he believes he will fail again. (p. 70) Losak (1970), in a study at Miami-Dade Community College, in which individual psychological examinations were administered to remedial students, found a very high incidence of psy~ho logical disturbance. Clarke and Ammons (1970), in a study of freshmen at St. Petersburg Junior College in 1967, attempted to measure both cognitive and affective domains to identify

PAGE 44

33 the academically disadvantaged. Research conclusions were that attitudes toward self and one's environment are significant factors in school success. Clarke and Ammons recommended that the school consider affective factors by shifting from subject centered to student-centered instruction. Barron (1972) agreed with Clarke's study and stated: Schools and colleges today must adjust to the stu dents they are serving, rather than insisting that the students adjust to the school. Schools must be ready to teach the culturally distinct, and, indeed, deal with their different life and linguistic styles. (p. 24) Lund and Ivanoff (1974) found evidence of the need for consideration of self-concept variables in remedial programming so that programs could be designed with provisions for coun seling and other aids to self-development of the student. The 1970 Bednar and Weinberg study reported on 23 studies of coun seling treatment for underachieving college students and concluded that group counseling seemed more effective than individual counsel and the higher the personal factors, such as empathy and genuineness, the more effective the program. Positive statements were made by a number of researchers regarding the ability of many high-risk students to learn and to benefit from community college programs. Moore (1970) averred: This student can make a contribution in excess of what he is calculated to be able to make. Already

PAGE 45

he secures employment and performs the ciently beyond his level of ability as by tests administered by the college. job effi indicated (p. 20) 34 Vick (1972) stated, "I believe that if human beings are taught, by and large, they learn. And if they are not taught, they do not learn" (p. 67). Roueche and Kirk (1973) found the high-risk student often has the following assets: The student shows some evidence of ability to handle academic work; he shows a willingness to accept some measure of personal responsibility for achievement or failure; he has at least a minimal perception of self-worth; his emotional toughness is evidenced by perseverance in the face of frustrating circumstances, he has an intense motivation to improve the circumstances of his life; he shows indications of leadership potential; he shows the capacity to think and plan creatively; he shows the ability to dis tinguish between what is desired and what is possible; he often has a special talent--music, art, or athletic skill; he has shown success in some particular activity which required sustained effort. (p. 12) Kahn (1974) stated that high-risk students often approach learning in ways that must be accepted and dealt with in the reading program before successful cognitive learning can take place. Kahn suggested behavior modification techniques to assist students with such typical problems as passivity, anxiety, lack of motivation, and concreteness. Combs and Syngg (1959) were prominent in developing the theoretical basis of the self-concept in perceptual psychology and defined the self-concept as "that organization of percep tions about self or awareness of self which seems to the

PAGE 46

35 individual to be who he is." Combs, Avila, and Purkey (1973) stated the self-concept is the most important single factor affecting human behavior; since the self-concept is learned, it can be taught. Various studies have been concerned with the factor of self-concept with program plans, content, and operation designed to make use of the humanistic factor of enhancing student self concept. Combs, Avila, and Purkey further stated, however, that it is difficult to change the self-concept and also dif ficult to assess or measure change. Many studies of self concept are actually studies of the self-report (Pendergrass, 1971). Stein (1966) stated that her study of the self-concept of low-achieving community college students was more successful in identifying concepts held consistently and over a period of time than it was in demonstrating effective means of changing these concepts. Roueche (1976), writing of a three-year longitudinal study funded by the National Institute for Mental Health, has docu mented studies showing that some community colleges have developed environments for learning so powerful that low achieving students stay in college, achieve passing marks in cour~es, and enjoy the experience. Roueche suggested that to have a humanistic environment in which the student's self-concept is nurtured, the teacher should (a) know his students; (b)

PAGE 47

36 demonstrate caring or expectations by attending to each student; (c) demonstrate caring and positive expectation by "affirming students as okay people"; (d) demonstrate caring and positive expectations by giving of themselves to students; and (e) demonstrate caring and positive expectations by daily monitoring of student achievement. Student Attitudes and Persistence Research studies of traditional student persistence in college have been carried on for many years, and today there are increasing numbers of research efforts to assess community college student persistence. These studies supply valuable input to the planning of reading programs that have the goal of helping high-risk students. Astin (1975) conducted a longitudinal and multi-institutional study over a four-year period (1968-1972) of a representative national sample of students from 358 twoand four-year colleges and universities. The study sought to identify practical measures to minimize students' chances of dropping out on the grounds that withdrawal entails "loss of talent, the waste of limited educational resources, and vocational and personal set backs that result from the students' impeded career development and futile expenditure of time and effort" (p. 9). Among the findings was the fact that GPA was more closely associated with persistence than any other single variable.

PAGE 48

37 In fact, partically every student with an average grade of Cor lower drops out. According to the study, college grades appear to influence persistence directly, independent of initial variations in ability and family background, financial aid and work during college. The study concludes that anything that can be done to enhance students' academic performance will aso tend to reduce attrition rates. The data indicated that the students' chances of finishing college can be influenced by a wide range of institutional practices. Possible intervention techniques suggested are tutoring, programmed instruction, special courses for developing study skills and self-paced learning. There were 11 questionnaire items associated with study habits that contributed significantly to dropout proneness: Also cited by Astin, one major clue to the importance of academic factors that tend to dropping out is contained in the reason students gave most frequently for leaving college --boredom with courses. Both men and women listed this reason more often than poor grades; and it was, in fact, the single reason stated most frequently by men. Astin stated that while boredom may be a socially acceptable rationalization for leaving college it also indicates noninvolvement. This problem of noninvolve ment is described often in studies of high-risk students (Moore, 1970; Roueche, 1968) and is a matter to be seriously studied

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38 in community college curriculum and instructional planning. Cohen and Brawer (1970) studied characteristics within the student himself that differentiated dropouts from persisters. Using a population of entering junior college freshmen ranging in age from 17 to 30 years with a mean and a median of 18 years, the research examined the subjects on the dimensions of dropout persistence potential and their relative heterogeneity-homogeneity by means of projective instruments. Results showed that dropouts (a) tended to be enrolled for fewer than 12 hours; (b) were employed more hours outside of school; (c) had attended more schools before the tenth grade; and (d) their mothers had less education than persisters. With drawal was related to financial pressure; also, lower grades caused students to leave school. Cohen and Brawer stated: Dropouts may be less committed than persisters, but they may be more realistic. The higher the grades given by an instructor, the lower the number of stu dents who drop his courses. An implication of this finding is that many students drop out of classes, and indeed, drop out of school--when they realize they are in a precarious position regarding grades. (p. 32) The factor of low GPA found by Cohen and Brawer was corrobo rated by the later study by Astin (1975). Cohen and Brawer suggested that the community college can be viewed as "a field of force" and the student the "charged particle which enters the field," and the student should be looked at upon entering

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39 and exiting rather than judged solely by the goal of staying in school. These researchers concluded it may not be reasonable to expect that attrition can be substantially lowered in view of the open-door policy and the great diversity in certain dimensions of entering students. One of the major studies of college attendance and student attitudes was that of Trent and Medsker (1967) who made a longitudinal investigation of 10,000 high school graduates during their first four years after graduation (1959-1963) Among the dimensions studied were factors associated with with drawal from college. Trent and Medsker stated: In a variety of ways the data indicate that, aside from a de quate intelligence, the factor most related to entrance and persistence in colle g e is motivation. The signs are also that this motivation is formed early in life, probably largely in response to parental influences and early school e x periences. (p. 260) Their findings indicated that those who persisted had (a) more intellectual curiosity and more autonomous styles of thinking than those who spent four years working, (b) more tolerance of ambiguity, (c) less authoritarianism,and (d) greater response and receptivity to a wider environment than nonattenders. The study further concluded that the persisting student conformed to the adult reference group (fundamentally middle

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40 class), and because the conforming tendencies were sufficiently well established relatively early in life, he was able to con form to the demands his college made on him to change in directions along which he had already been pointed. This study tends to show why the disadvantaged student whose family has not attended college or whose family may not have encouraged him to attend may lack the motivational factors described in the study as indicators of persistence. Medsker and Tillery (1971) pointed out that it is inappro priate to view all student attrition as a dropout problem because many students transfer to other colleges before completing a two-year degree; also, of even greater significance is the fact that students often remain in the community college until they have satisfied some personal or vocational need and then leave to pursue employment or other interests. "The fact they do not remain for two years is not of itself a problem especially if the community college is a flexible institution, serving many diverse individuals" (p. 140). The problem arises, Medsker and Tillery stated: when the open door becomes a revolving door--when one-third who enter are soon on the way out--dismissed for low academic achievement in programs they could not handle; it is likely that many of these students find no hospitable place, either in the high status trans fer program or the highly &elective technical and semi professional curriculum. (p. 140) Attesting to the importance of college persistence are Levin

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41 (1971) who pointed to the fact that college persistence is related to higher earnings and greater economic opportunity; Prediger (1965) who stated that persistence is a criterion of success more appropriate than GPA alone because ultimately the student's success is judged in terms of the educational pro grams he completed; and Lavin (1965) who contended that persistence may in the long run be a better predictor of stu dent success than GPA. Roueche (1968) stated that while persistence and GPA are ways to judge a program's effectiveness, there is also a need to ascertain the attitudes of high-risk students as an indica tion of program worth. Roueche stated that there is some evidence that permanence of learning is greatly affected by the attitude the student develops, and concluded that success will be small if students develop an intense dislike for the program. Therefore,to foster positive attitudes toward learning is imperative in a reading program for these students. Roueche stated students in remedial programs persisted in college longer than comparative students who were not in the programs. Clarke (1975) reported that the community college has had some success in reaching the high-risk student as seen by increasing enr0llment by these students and the increasing number of graduates. Clarke said that in spite of some success,

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large numbers are not making it, and the attrition rate of those who do is decreasing only slightly 1 On a more hopeful note Harclerood (1971) found: ... disadvantaged students can clearly survive in college in far greater numbers than has generally been considered possible in the past. Experience at 42 a wide variety of institutions provides enough methods and results to encourage every institution to ... establish programs for students with limited backgrounds. (p. 148) Examples of successful programs cited by Harclerood include an Educational Opportunity Program at California State College involving 3,150 students from minority and poverty groups who were admitted despite low grades. After two years, 60.1 per cent had persisted and over one-half of those who dropped were in good academic standing and could return. A group of 21 black students were admitted to Stanford University in the fall of 1965; by August, 1970, a total of 19 had graduated. A Project Success Program at Northeastern Illinois State College in 1968 admitted a pilot group of 30 normally unadmissable students; after three years 60 percent of the original group were making progress toward degrees. Gold (1974) reported a six-semester persistence study (1970-1973) of students recommended for developmental studies at Los Angeles Community College (LACC). These students entered with a reading level at eighth grade or below and thus their expected probability of success was low. Gold's study

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43 concluded that many of these students are indeed assisied by the remedial programs and are able to attain success in college. Over 75 percent of the 533 recommended to enroll in develop mental communications completed some work at LACC, with nearly 66 percent completing a full year, almost 50 percent completing three semesters, and 33 percent completing four semesters. These persistence rates are below those of a random sample of all fall 1967 day entrants, but they indicate that a large per centage are able to pursue college work successfully. A total of 9 percent had received an AA degree at the end of the three year period, compared with 16 percent of the control group. Also, the overall GPA of the high-risk students was just slightly below that of the regular student sample (2.03 versus 2.12). Yuthas (1971), in a study of students participating in a college reading improvement program, found that experimental students persisted in college significantly longer than stu dents who did not enroll. In looking for factors that predict persistence and aca demic achievement, Drummond, McIntire, and Smith (1975) investi gated the attitudes twoard work values among community college students. The study investigated the contribution of extrinsic and intrinsic work values, previous reading achievement and scholastic aptitude in predicting reading achievement among a group of community college students. It was felt that information

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44 about students' work values was relevant to prog~am planning for these students as they often tend t o be more oriented toward vocat.ional c ourses than academic programs. Reading Improvement in Content Areas The plight of the high-risk student who enters the commu nity college is that he is immediately called upon to perform the reading skills which he has not yet acquired. He is usually under a time pressure because of his outside job demands and because of his financial situation which does not permit him to take noncredit courses or to spend extra years making up deficiencies. Under these conditions, it is no wonder he views learning from a pragmatic and economic base (Beitler & Martin, 1972; Kahn, 1974). In the effort to find ways to help the high-risk student and other students as well to succeed in academic study, a number of researchers have investigated the teaching of reading and study skills directly with subject or content area material, or in a multidisciplinary situation with content area instruc tors, or they have attempted to persuade the content instructor to give attention to reading skills within his own discipline. Much of the research in reading in the content areas has been done on the secondary school level. A great deal of emphasis of such studies has been on strategies to help the

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45 subject matter teacher assume a position of responsibility for teaching the pupil to read his textbooks (Herber, 1970; Robinson, 1975; Thomas & Robinson, 1972). Beitler and Martin (1972) successfully worked with voca tionally and technically oriented students at New York Community College in a learning center aimed toward mastery of the content materials of career programs. These students, many of whom had failed in traditional remedial situations, responded positively when helped with course aids such as transparencies illustrating important concepts, overlays illustrating step-by step completion of course requirements, and video slides and accompanying tapes of teachers' lectures. The inherent motiva tion of the student's interest in reading in his chosen field could be sustained because he could see value in learning that prepared him for future placement and occupational advancement. Van de Warker (1973), in replicating a vocational high school reading experiment, determined the reading tasks, the textbook reading levels, and the student reading levels, in three community college career programs. Working with students and instructors, Van de Warker was able to effect modification of both course content and instructional policies to aid stu dents in meeting their reading needs in the courses. Soll (1972) scheduled reading classes for high-risk stu dents in coordination with specific required freshmen year

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46 courses in order to allow the student to experience the realistic demands of an academic course while learning specific study skills and ensuring that the skills were transferred to actual practice. Study skills were taught by using subject assignments, rather than taught in isolation in traditional programs using commercial materials or mechanized labs. Schewe (1971) stated that the vocationally oriented reader does not actively apply classroom learning to his world of work: transfer must be taught. This student has an all-consuming interest in the job which he expects to get--the reading program must be adjusted "like a suit of clothes--for an individual fit," and this can best be done in the content area of his chosen vocati on. Tomlinson (1975) developed an adjunct reading and study skills course organized around the lectures and text of an introductory biology course to help college students gain skills in special techniques of reading and studying science material. The course was found to be effective as students in the experi mental class received significantly higher scores on midterm exams than an equally motivated control group which had been prevented from taking the adjunct study skills course due to lack of space in the experimental class. Apparently such study skills may be more readily internalized by students when thor oughly practiced as part of an integrated adjunct class than when taught in isolation.

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47 Watson (1962) adapted developmental reading techniques to the area of legal reading and taught skills to law students directly with their courses. Evaluation, made by the students taking the course, found skimming to be the most valuable technique; methods of organizing notes to be second most help ful; also, planned review was rated as important. The SQ3R technique was reported as "useful" but was actually not much used. In an interdisciplinary program, Chalghian (1969) found many benefits for the marginal student. Tests, readings, written work, and projects could be shared by more than one class; an integrated sequential development could be planned. Luckenbill (1972) reported data from an interdisciplinary program for high-risk students showed significantly higher graduation records for the participating students than for the control group. An interdisciplinary block including reading, English, and speech for high-risk students, reported by Walker (1974), placed emphasis on transferring improved reading and study skills behaviors to academic assignments by direct use of tapes of classroom lectures and previous tests from psychology, biology, and political science classes. A four-year follow-up of the 180 entering students (1969-1970) showed that 80 percent had achieved a GPA of 2.00 or better; also, in June, 1973, 94 were graduated from the university.

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48 A number of investigators and reviewers of research stressed the importance either of working directly with content area materials or of taking action to insure transfer of reading skills to subject disciplines. Ahrendt (1975) stated: Many students drop out of the reading improvement program because they cannot see any relationship between what they do in the reading center and what they do in the classroom. When a student is fighting for success and survival in the classroom, he needs assurance that his reading program relates to his success in that classroom. Mere exposure to skills in the reading center does not guarantee transfer of skills to the everyday reading tasks of the student. Transfer must be taught ... without cooperation between the content-area teacher and the reading staff, the reading program .. ; operates in isolation. (p. 5 7) Twining (1972) suggested that community college reading instructors need to expand educational objectives by introducing reading to the content area teacher as a viable way for the instructor to increase the academic success of students in his discipline. Twining enumerated methods by which the reading teacher may "create an environment" to assist the content area instructor to assume responsibility for helping the student read and study his textbook. Kolzow (1972) carried this concept further, stating that the reading teacher must "get his foot in the classroom door." Kolzow made a survey of views of the faculty at Harper-Rainey College 6n reading skills needed by their students, followed by development and distribution of a handbook containing

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49 readability formulas and how to apply them, cloze procedure information in order to assess student ability in relation to the text presently being used, specific information about the complexity of the reading task and subject areas, and specific examples of suggestions faculty could employ in their courses. Laffey (1968) recommended closer cooperation between the reading instructor and content teacher so that more meaningful assignments would be made by both for the disadvantaged stu dent. "In academic course content, lack of structure and direction hampered students' ability to succeed," stated Laffey (1968, p. 148), who further recommended that instructors prepare course outlines with built-in structure and study questions. Swalm and Cox (1972) stated that many programs had not been successful for high-risk students at four.:.year colleges; in the isolated courses, skills were not transferred to academic disciplines; on the other hand, attempts to duplicate content area course requirements within the reading improvement courses were impractical for two reasons (a) each reading improvement section included students taking a variety of college courses, and (b) using content area course material did not guarantee that the student would be any more interested in learning than when using traditional materials. Swalm and Cox concluded that it was better to use innovative "high interest" materials and recommended that skills be taught first with content with

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50 which students could identify and then applied later to more difficult material including textbooks. Schleich and Rauch (1968) designed a combined history reading course to improve reading-study skills of college fresh men as they learned the content of the history of western civilization; the reading class used instruction and practice with assigned history selections as well as multi-level mate rials and others designed to teach the skills. Aspects of the history course considered were: organization of lectures, note taking, reading and listening comprehension skills, and report writing. There have been numerous research attempts to determine the factors i nvolved in content area reading skills as compared to general reading skills. Robinson and Hall (1941) found that reading scores in different content areas at the college level, such as art, fiction, geology, and history were not highly correlated even when the selections were written under one editorship. Russell and Fea (1963) studied comprehension according to subject matter fields and found some overlapping but these investigators found low correlation between reading abilities in different areas. Singer (1970) stated that general reading ability draws upon factors in the cognitive, linguistic, perceptual, and affective domains. Singer further stated:

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Reading in the content areas draws to some degree upon more specific factors, particularly when the comprehension tasks involved interpretation of data, knowledge of technical vocabulary, various patterns of mental organization in printed materials, use of devices and symbols, and specialized information, purposes, motives and attitudes. (p 305) 51 Peters, Peters, and Kaufman (1975) investigated the rela tionship between general and specific tests of reading at the secondary level, using STEP tests and four area tests on mathematics, social studies, English, and science to determine whether performance on one content area test is more predict able of reading achievement than performance on others. These researchers found that results on one test, such as critical reading in history, did not generalize to other areas such as mathematics. The argument that there is a high degree of correlation between reading skills in general and specific reading skills was not supported in this study. Generally reading skills have been taught as part of special developmental reading classes. The general approach has been to teach the skills without regard to direct transfer to all content area materials. Developmental reading teachers have been forced to assume the role of content teachers in order to teach specific reading skills. Many times this results in teaching critical reading as it is defined in all content areas. The Peters, Peters, and Kaufman study seems to indicate such a procedure is not the best way for teaching specific content reading skills.

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52 Other researchers who have compared instruction using content area skills material with general reading skills have not reported significant differences (Colvin, 1968; Dubois, 1969). Dubois (1969) compared relative effectiveness between instruction using subject matter materials with one group and general reading skills with another group. Also, he used a third group as control with no instruction. Since both experimental groups improved significantly in reading skills over the nontreatment group, Dubois concluded that both subject-matter type materials and general reading materials can be effectively used to improve the textbook comprehension and general reading skills of college students. The use of subject-matter type materials is not essential for improving the textbook comprehension of college students, Dubois concluded. Anderson (1971) also concluded that general reading ability and content area skills are about the same. Raygor (1970) found that the differences between comprehension skills test scores are usually not reliable, in that skills scores in comprehension are rather highly correlated. Discussion of Findings The research and related literature pertaining to the high-risk student provide support for continuing experimental studies of ways to work with helping such students in the

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53 community college setting. A number of specific reading and study skill factors have been identified that seem to contri bute to "successful" academic achievement and college persistence, and to student self-concept. Roueche in his research from 1968 to 1976 has chronicled the progress the schools and the students have made. In 1968, Roueche decried the lack of suitable programs for the high-risk student and the lack of research studies of the programs that were in operation. In 1973 Roueche reported evidence that, given appropriate educational conditions, high-risk students could, and did, learn; and in 1976 Roueche was engaged in an ongoing research project in which he continued to document humanistic programs that enable high-risk, and all students for that matter, to succeed in their academic cour,ses.

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CHAPTER III TREATMENT OF THE EXPERIMENTAL GROUP When community colleges admit all adults who wish to attend, there is an implicit assumption that appropriate programs will be provided to help these students to succeed in reaching their chosen academic and career goals. However, the community colleges may find many difficulties in trying to fulfill this often tacit obligation, partly because of the wide gap that exists between many students' reading skills and the difficulty level of academic textbooks. The students labeled high-risk may find frustration, failure, and a loss of self-concept. There may be a waste of time and money for b oth the students and the institutions. Therefore, there is need for a pragmatic view of the aims of the student in the light of the facilities of the college to help him meet his needs. To carry out the purpose of the present study it was necessary to design a reading-study skills course that might prove helpful to high-risk students in meeting their immedi ate goal--that of passing successfully their academic courses. 54

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55 Previous to this study, the major emphasis of th~ reading program for high-risk students at this college was to offer a voluntary, noncredit course that was an extension of the first semester noncredit course, using a textbook with some isolated exercises on such study skills as outlining, underlining, organization of material, and others. However, there was not much apparent transfer to content courses, the textbook was tedious, and the course was not popular with students who did not care for a continuing program of nontransferable credit courses that they felt did not relate to their required courses. At the same tim~, they recognized and felt the need to con tinue improving their reading skills. The first step in popularizing the new program was to upgrade the course to RG 102, with 3 hours of transfer credit that a student could use as one of his electives. Credit for this step must be given to the dean of academic affairs and the curriculum and instruction committee who accepted the recommendation and added the course to the 1975 fall catalog with the description ''a reading-study skills development course using college textbooks with emphasis on comprehension in specific subject areas" (Valencia Community College Catalog, 1975, p. 179). The new program, which elicited immediate student approval, incorporated a combination of the following factors: (a) transfer

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56 credit, (b) curriculum and instruction oriented to the reading skills needed by students in content area subjects with pro vision for direct application of skills to required courses, (c) individualization to allow each student to work on his personally perceived needs and to permit self-pacing, (d) group instruction with group discussion and practice to take advantage of the motivating factor of group interaction, (e) provision for multi-media presentation of material to accommodate various learning styles, (f) use of criterion referenced tests for mastery of specific skills, (g) individual conferences to pro vide instructor help for the student in his content textbooks, and (h) student-orientation of all learning experiences with the goal of enhancing student self-concept and improving study skills and attitudes through student acceptance of responsibility for self-improvement. To design the reading course, it was necessary to take the following steps during the summer of 1975, before the start of the experiment in September: 1. Compile and analyze a list of representative self expressed goals and needs of high-risk students who had made such statements in previous classes. All the students eligible for the experimental group had participated in a reading improve ment course at some time during one of the previous two or three semesters, so records were available in which they had

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57 expressed their needs and goals. However, it was not known which of those particular students would register for the classes. Therefore, this list would need to be modified and updated later. It would serve in the meantime to keep the planning student-oriented. 2. Conduct a questionnaire and interview survey of a sample of Valencia Community College instructors who teach general education and career program classes to find their opinions of important reading and study skills they feel stu dents need to have in order to pass their courses (see Appendix C). 3. Make a literature search among authorities in the field of college reading skills to find what main factors such specialists consider essential for incorporating into an effec tive program. 4. Make a literature search to find research studies that report content and operation of programs that were success ful or promising for high-risk students in passing academic courses; also, examine pertinent opinions and theories of writers who advocate teaching content area reading skills. 5. Search the commercial reading publications to find the reading and study skills most widely used and recommended as essential for improving reading of low-achieving students. 6. Examine research studies in which the self-concept

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58 of the learner was studied in order to find ways to create a learning environment in which the student's self-concept is of paramount importance. Also, investigate the writings of the chief theorists in the field of perceptual psychology in order to understand more fully the theoretical bases underlying the self-concept. 7. Make a search of the literature for studies of student attitudes and persistence as such findings might be significant in planning a program for high-risk students that need help in sustaining motivation. 8. With the results of the first seven steps, write a tentative course outline and prepare to test it (see Appendix D). Each of the steps is discussed in more detail in the para graphs that follow. Students' Statements of Reading Goals and Needs A random sample of 100 high-risk student folders was pulled from the recent files of the reading laboratory in June, 1975, for examination of the students' personal data statements. A listing was compiled of all the reading skills the students named as personal needs and goals for the semester in which they filled out the statements. This information was tabulated into a master list that categorized the names of skills and rated the list according

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59 to frequency. It was hoped that this would lend some feedback that could be used in setting up a core of commonly desired skills that could be included in group study as well as indi vidual content. The list was later compared with data from content area instructors and from authorities in the field of reading who also rated the ''most needed and important reading and study skills" for college achievement. As is often the case, these students were well aware of their reading and study difficulties (although they did not know the names by which the components of comprehension, for example, are described by reading specialists). The students had written their goals and needs in an unstructured mannerthat is, they were asked simply to write down what areas they personally felt they would like to improve. Perhaps a check lis t of major reading skills such as was given to the content area teachers would have elicited different responses. Of the 100 responses, comprehension was listed by 98 stu dents, vocabulary by 90, rate by 84, and study skills by 68. These responses included various subskills under each of the major headings. Under comprehension, 52 students listed main ideas of paragraphs and sentences; under study skills, the following had highest frequency: test-taking, 51; reading rate, 42; remembering or retention, 40; ability to recall, 35; deciding

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what is important, 26; taking notes from lectures, 21; not having to re-read, 12; and writing essays, 12. Vocabulary subskills included word parts, 80; new meansings, 60; and pronunciation, 27. Spelling was mentioned 23 times. Content Area Instructors' Ratings of Reading Skills 60 A sampling was made of Valencia Community College instruc tors in representative disciplines within the programs offering the associate of arts and the associate of science degrees. The instructors were given a check-list to rate the skills generally considered by reading specialists as important for academic success. Highest priority in comprehension was given by content area instructors to the following: (a) analy z ing longer selections and chapters for central ideas and supporting parts; (b) understanding highlighting, underlining, and making summary statements to condense information. In vocabulary skills, highest importance was given to using the glossary for spe cialized words in their content field. In study skills, highest priority was given to (a) understanding how to survey, read, recite, and review textbook material, and to (b) listening. Reading Specialists' Rating of Important Skills In a literature search to find various specialists who had worked with college reading skills, one completed listing was found that was of great value to the present study.

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61 Fairbanks (1973) in her evaluation of st~dies of college reading improvement programs from 1955 to 1973 had composed a master list of skills considered essential in such programs and had a panel of reading experts to rate the relative importance of each skill as a component of a sound college program for low achieving students. The 17 experts who made the ratings included Dr. Paul C Berg, Professor Dorothy K. Bracken, Frank Christ, Dr. Donald Cleland, Mrs. Terry Collins, Dr. Vera Diggs, Dr. Margaret Doolittle, Mrs. Cynthia Frola, Ruth Grewe, Dr. Thomas W. Lackman, Dr. Earl McLaughlin, Dr. Walter Pauk, Dr. Alton Raygor, Dr. Bernard Schmidt, Dr. Martin Saltz, Dr. Dorothy Snozek, and Dr. Richard Willamen. Specific skills in each major category that the panel rated "very important" and "important" included: (1) Comprehension--determiriing main idea of para graph or longer selection; analyzing paragraphs for main idea, supporting details; setting up purposes for reading; recognizing and understanding infer ences; drawing conclusions from stated facts; differentiating fact and opinion; and reading graphs and charts. (2) Organization skills--outlining; sequencing; and swnmarizing facts or ideas. (3) Vocabulary and word-attack skills--utilizing context clues for word recognition; affixes and roots; and word attack skills. (4) study-reading textbook approach--in literature, mathematics, science and social science.

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(5) Reading rate--flexibility; and acceleration. (6) Miscellaneous study skills--preparing for examinations. (pp. 173-175) 62 The following factors of program operation were considered important by the panel: (1) Diagnostic tests should be given to determine individual strengths and weaknesses in reading. (2) Students should be informed of their specific difficulties in reading, should participate in planning their own reading improvement programs, and should participate in evaluating progress. (3) Time should be utilized for skills practice on common group needs and for independent work on indi vidual needs. (4) Group size should be kept at 20 or less; groups should meet at least two periods a week for between 50 minutes and 2 hours for six weeks or more, and the programs should be voluntary. (pp. 176-178) Additional literature that proved helpful in planning the present course was the model of reading performance objectives in reading ninth grade equivalency prepared by the Arizona State Department of Education (1972). The objectives, stated in behavioral terms, include four main categories: word knowl edge, reading comprehension, utilization of reading skills, and application to the content areas. These are "survival" reading skills, considered to be a minimum requirement for high school graduation in Arizona after 1974. Karlin (1964) devised a check-list of study skills that is also listed by Kravits (1967) who itemized procedures for essential reading skills in social studies.

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63 Niles (1969) delineated six parts of the reading act that are present in some degree in the reading required in any of the content areas as follows: word recognition, association of meaning with individual printed symbols, literal comprehen sion, interpretation, evaluation, and assimilation. Niles further analyzed three highly important specific skills that have common elements in the study of printed materials in any content area as follows: 1. Ability to survey material, set purposes for reading, and determine an appropriate technique for the reading of any given piece of material; 2. ability to handle graphic and illustrative mate rials; 3. ability to locate, comprehend, and combine information from a variety of library sources. (p. 11) Literature Search for Steps 4, 6, and 7 Steps 4, 6, and 7, description of programs that repdrt im p rovement in student GPAs, studies of content area improvement, and studies of self-concept and student persistence are discussed in the review of the literature in Chapter II. Sources for Commercial Publications Search Step 5, a search of commercial publications to find appro pr i ate material to fit the requirements for the experimental group, was aided by several sources. Ferguson and Harding (1974) compiled a summary of the major study skills books that have been published during the past 75 years since Carman's first volume appeared in 1900. Bahe (1970) analyzed the subskills content

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64 of 23 presently published college reading manuals. Bandt, Meara, and Schmidt (1974) included a guide to books on college reading and study in their text. These sources provided data for identification of major sources of materials which might offer possibilities for course content. Content and Operation of Experimental Course Final decisions of curriculum content and program operation of the experimental course were based upon the expressed needs and concerns of the students involved and the priorities of needed skills as viewed by their content area instructors. The curriculum also incorporated recommendations made by leading writers and practitioners in the field of college reading, and as far as possible, suggestions gleaned from a study of success ful practices reported in the research literature. Course Content Reading comprehension of textbook material comprises the major part of the content since this represents the major weak ness of the students in the courses as expressed by themselves and as shown by their diagnostic tests. Students are also con cerned with their slow rate of reading but improving comprehen sion and vocabulary weaknesses will often improve rate. For this reason, rate, as such, is not a part of the content. Comprehension sections include (a) understanding topic and main idea of simple sentences; (b) understanding topic and

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65 main idea of complex sentences, including relationships of phrases, clauses, and related ideas to t : he main idea; (c) under standing topics and supporting details of paragraphs and com bining these to state the main idea; (d) understanding topics, supporting details, and main ideas of short articles, longer articles, and textbook chapters, including skill of writing a summary statement; (e) understanding the skills of summarizing, outlining, highlighting, and underlining as techniques to con dense information for studying and learning textbook materials. Vocabulary study stresses (a) use of the process of word analysis in unlocking word meanings; (b) use of the process of analyzing contextual clues in finding word meanings; (c) under standing use of dictionary pronunciation keys. Critical reading skills include ability (a) to identify author's tone and purpose; (b) to differentiate between fact and opinion; ( c) to understand inferences; and ( d) to draw logical conclusions. General study skills include ability (a) to understand general principles of test-taking, both objective and essay tests; (b) to understand diagrams, charts, and other illustra tive material in texts; and (c) to understand the organization of textbooks. The basic resource material used by the students was the textbook Probe and the 30 accompanying cassette tapes developed

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66 by Glock, Bender, and Dennis (1975) and published by Charles Merrill Co. This was felt by the investigator to be the best available commercially produced material that would supply practice exercises in the developmental patterns desired for the purpoae of the study. Also, the combination of auto tutorial material with classroom instruction allowed for flexibility for individualizing the course for the students. In answer to a query regarding the research base that was used in developing the material, Dr Glock, in a letter to the investigator, dated January 26, 1976, stated: Unfortunately, we were unable to base our work on any research that had been done specifically on improving reading compreherision. We began by studying the work of psychologists in basic meas urement and learning to determine its applicability to efficient reading performance. I refer particu larly to the work of Bloom with the taxortomy of the cognitive domain, Underwood's investigations of verbal learning in the educative process and particu larly Gagne's studies in the sequencing and transfer of learning tasks. As did Gagne in his research, we identified what he consideied to be a hierarchy of tasks leading from the comprehension of a simple sentence on through the more complex steps to the task of comprehending an article composed of several paragraphs. As did Gagne, we utilized various psychological principles like reinforcement, distri bution of practice, response familiarity and so on, but all within the context of sequertcing with an emphasis on transfer to that ultimate criterion of reading and underst~nding the textbook ... 1 Onereviewof the Probe material was found in the literature (Kerstiens, 1975) He stated, "The program is obviously lpersonal communication to the writer.

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67 carefully planned and reasonably executed'' (p. 262). Kerstiens was favorably impressed with the content and underlying theory of Probe, and concluded the material would be useful to stu dents who are willing to develop the study skills necessary for successful learning associited with the classroom. Kerstiens stated that a student working through the pro gram would be able to effectively change his habits and derive a good deal of knowledge to serve as background for his subse quent study-reading assignments. Kerstiens also pointed out the fact that while the material is designed for self-teaching, such systems are seldom effective without inclusion of the human element. Also, the sequential arrangement of the material is suitable for developmental rather than remedial readers. This review largely corroborates the analysis of the material by the investigator. One of the important factors in the experimental class instruction was the step-by-step illustration (by means of transparencies and blackboard) of the process needed to handle printed information. Teaching a sequence of steps or a problem solving approach is very important for high-risk students who usually follow a "one-shot" system--either that they know the answer or they don't without trying to apply reason or thinking to arrive at a solution. According to Whimbey (1974), poor comprehension and

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reasoning ability have three principal causes: (1) inadequate attention to the details of the prob lem to be solved; (2) inadequate utilization of prior knowledge that would help in solving the prob lem; and (3) absence of sequential step-by-step analysis of the relationships among the ideas involved. (p. 50) 68 Bloom and Broder (1950) described the three primary fea tures of cognitive therapy for improving academic-thinking skills of high-risk students as demonstrating to the student the mental processes of analytical thinking, requiring exten sive response from the student during problem solving so that his thinking can be monitored, and providing feedback and correction of the student's thinking. Triggs (1956) advised specific teaching of process fo l lowing diagnosis, recommending that the reading instructor teach the student the skill, help the student to apply the skill to the subject matter areas, and also assist the con tent instructor to help the student to use the skills. Experimental Program Operation The experimental program was one semester in length with classes meeting either three days a week for 50 minute periods or two days a week with sessions of 1 hour and 15 minutes each for 14 weeks. In addition to the regular sessions, two indi vidual conference periods per week were arranged with the instructor for each student as needed. In these conference

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69 periods the student could work on a concept with which he was having difficulty or work out difficulties in his content area textbook in problem-solving fashion with his reading instructor. Students were encouraged to use taped and programmed materials in the Reading Lab at their convenience during the time the lab was open (five days a week from eight until four o'clock), or in the Learning Resources Center where duplicate materials were provided and were available for use at all times the library was open, including evening hours. Also, students could take home tapes and scripts of much of the material. In general, the program operation followed the guide lines developed by Fairbanks (1973) in her analysis of 69 studies of college reading-study skills programs in which GPA was utilized as a criterion of program success. Fairbanks found the following elements of program operation incorporated in studies reported as "successful": (a) course length of one semester or longer, with regular instruction of more than 40 hours, (b) voluntary participation by students, (c) students informed of difficulties in reading, and (d) student partici pation in evaluation. Also, approaching significance in Fairbanks' study was another factor incorporated in the present study, the utiliza tion of class time for practice on individual needs.

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70 The class was organized on a flexible basis during which students could participate in demonstrations of techniques or concepts by the instructor, group discussion and practice, or individual self-paced auto-tutorial program in the lab adjoining the classroom. Mastery tests were provided for each objecti~e in the course and students could take the tests at any time they felt they had mastered the material; also, additional alternate tests were provided if more practice was needed before mastery was attained. While much has been written recently of successful com pletely individualized instruction (Henderson, 1976; McClellan, 1972) where students study independently and proceed on their own throughout the course, seeking help from tutors when neces sary, this procedure alone has some serious drawbacks for many high-risk students. In the present investigation, it was found that programmed material alone was inadequate in instructional depth to help this student learn to think through the steps needed to understand the concepts involved. Some sup p ort of this investigator's position was found in the literature. Evans and Dubois (1972) stated that it is not enough to provide students with a series of exercises that require a cognitive behavior; the student must be taught the cognitive process involved in the behavior. Commercially available

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71 materials can be excellent for practice, but for high-risk students who do not know the process required, they rarely provide the necessary teaching. Evans and Dubois suggested that when instructors merely assign levels of multilevel materials, select practice materials, and evaluate progress, there is danger that teaching is inadequate for high-risk students. Kahn (1974) stated that the new stress on individualized programs may further student feelings of isolation, differ ence and anxiety, and also ignore an extremely important source of motivation--that of group interaction. Franklin (1974) found that the best basis of instruction is one in which there is a great deal of personal instruction and warned against using packaging and programming as the only devices for meeting the needs of students whose skills are below college level.

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CHAPTER IV PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA The purpose of the study was to test the impact of a reading-study skills course on the academic success of a group of high-risk community college students. The course was taught by two instructors to two voluntarily enrolled classes, designated as Experimental Class A and Experimental Class B, during the fall semester, 1975, at Valencia Community College, Orlando,Florida. A control group, divided into two sections, Control A and Control B, who wanted to take the course but were prevented from doing so either because the classes were closed or because of a schedule conflict, was matched with the experimental classes on the following vari ables: age, sex, race, comprehension score below the 30th percentile on the Iowa Silent Reading Test, Form E, and on enrollment in a course load of 9 hours or more. Data were collected to compare the following: (a) grade point average (GPA) for the fall semester, (b) number of with drawals from college during the fall semester, (c) number of course withdrawals during the semester, (d) total number of 72

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73 hours of course work successfully completed during the semester, (e) number of withdrawals from college between semesters, as checked in January, 1976, (f) self-reported self-concept as measured by the Tennessee Self Concept Scale, and (g) the self reported scores on the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes. Statistical procedures from the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSSH) were applied to the data collected for each hypothesis. Frequency distributions were run against each variable in the study as a preliminary examination of the results. This procedure was followed by! tests and chi square on the total experimental group (Experimental Class A and Experimental Class B) and the total control group (Control A and Control B) to find where differences might lie. Also, similar statistical tests were performed on the data for Experimental Class A and Experimental Class B to determine if the teacher variable might make a difference in the results of the study. The results of the study are presented in this chapter in order of the hypotheses that were posed. Tests of the Hypotheses Each of the hypotheses is summarized and data used to test the hypotheses are presented with reference to appropri ate table and/or figures. The confidence level of .OS was considered statistically significant.

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Hypothesis 1. There will be no statistically signifi cant differince in grade point average (GPA) for the fall semester, 1975, between the experimental and control groups. 74 In order to test this hypothesis, .!:_ tests for group mean differences were used to compare the final grades between the experimental and control groups. The t tests for significance between the groups, including means, standard deviation, standard error, separate t value, and degrees of freedom are presented in Table 1. Table 1 t Test for Significance Between Group Mean Differences for GPA of Experimental and Control Groups separate t Variance Variable N Mean SD SE Value DF Experimental 32 2.50 b.63 0~11 3.7l;'d, Co n trol 28 1.89 0.64 0.12 56.78 Note. k-k p) .01 The observed.!:_ value indicated a significant difference between the group means on this variable(.!:_= 2.66; p ).01). On the basis of statistical analysis, the conclusion was made tha t the grade point average for the experimental group for the fall semester was significantly hi g her than that of the control group.

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75 In order to overcome any possible effects of grading bias in the experimental reading courses, the GPA was also deter mined by eliminating the reading course grades from the total GPA scores of the experimental group. This GPA, without the reading course grade, is compared with the control group GPA in Table 2. Table 2 t Test for Significance for GPA with Reading Course Grade Omitted for Experimental Group Separate t Variance Variable N Mean SD SE Value DF Experimental 29 2.48 0.68 0.13 .. .... ,_. Control 28 1.89 0.64 0.12 3.37"" 54.97 Note. ... ,( .. ,,.. "p )01 As shown by Table 2, there was also a significant dif ference between the group means of the experimental and control groups on GPA with the reading course grade omitted for the experimental group (~ 2. 66; p > 01). On the basis of statis tical analysis, the conclusion was made that the grade point average, excluding the reading grade, was higher for the experi mental group than that for the control group. Thus, the null hypothesis was rejected. Hypothesis 2. There will be no statistically signifi cant difference in the number of course withdrawals

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during the fall semester, 1975, between the experi mental and control groups. 76 In order to test this hypothesis,! tests for group mean differences were used to describe the variation between the number of course withdrawals by the experimental group as compared to the number of course withdrawals by the control group. The t test for significance including the group means, standard deviation, standard error, separate! value, and degrees of freedom is presented in Table 3. Table 3 t Test for Significance for Course Withdrawals During Fall Semester for Experimental and Control Groups Separate t Variance Variable N Mean SD SE Value DF Experimental 36 3.56 3. 63 0.61 -2. 44k 69.67 Control 36 5.72 3.89 0.65 Note. _>05 p The observed! value for course withdrawals during the fall semester indicated a significant difference between the group means on this variable (! = 1.99; p ~05). On the basis of statistical analysis, the conclusion was made that the number of course withdrawals by the control group was significantly higher than that of the experimental group. The null hypothesis that there would be no statistically significant difference in

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77 course withdrawals during the fall semester b~iween the experi mental group and the control group was rejected. Hypothesis 3. There will be no statistically signifi cant difference in during-semester attrition (dropping out of school before the end of the 1975 fall semester) between the experimental and control groups. In order to test this hypothesis, a chi square table was used as shown in Table 4. Table 4 Chi Square Comparison of During-Semester Student Withdrawal of Experimental and Control Groups V a riable Experimental Control Stayed 33 34 Withdrew 3 2 x 2 = 0.0001 The observed chi square value is not significant at the .05 level; therefore, the hypothesis that there will be no statistically significant difference in during-semester attri tion between the experimental and control groups was not rejected. Hypothesis 4. There will be no statistically signifi cant difference in between-semester attrition at the beginning of the second semester, January, 1976, between the experimental and control groups. In order to test this hypothesis, the attrition data were inserted in a chi square table as denoted in Table 5.

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Table 5 Chi Square Comparison of Student Withdrawal Between Semesters Between Experimental and Control Groups Variable Experimental Control Stayed 34 28 Withdrew 2 8 x 2 = 2.9032 78 The observed chi square value is not significant at the .OS level Therefore, Hypothesis 4 was not rejected. Hypothesis 5. There will be no statistically signifi cant difference in the number of course hours success fully completed during the fall semester, 1975, between the experimental and control groups. In order to test this hypothesis,! tests for group mean differences were used to compare the total hours completed during the fall semester, 1975, between the experimental and control group~. The! tests, group means, standard deviation, standard error, separate t value, and degrees of freedom are presented in Table 6. The observed t value indicated a significant difference between the group means on the factor of number of total hours successfully completed (! = 1.99; p ).05). On the basis of statistical analysis, the conclusion was made that the experi mental group completed a significantly higher number of hours than the control group. Therefore, the null hypothesis that

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there would be no difference between the two groups was rejected. Table 6 t Test for Differences in Total Hours Successfully Completed Between Experimental and Control Groups Separate 79 t Variance Variable N Mean SD SE Value DF Experimental 36 7.89 4.37 0.73 2. 26-/: 69.97 Control 36 5.58 4.28 0.71 Note. i'( ).05 p Since the number of course hours in which the students enrolled varied from a minimum of 9 up to 19, a! test was run on this variable to determine if the group means of the experimental and control groups showed significant differences in course loads attempted at the beginning of the experiment. In Table 7, test of group means, standard deviation, standard error, separate t value, and degrees of freedom are shown. The observed! value indicated no significant difference between the group means on this variable(!= 1.99; p ).05). Therefore, the original course loads undertaken by the experi mental and control groups were approximately equal and there was no bias in the conclusion regarding the rejection of Hypothesis 5 as stated above.

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Table 7 t Test for Significance Between Experimental and Control Groups on Course Load Undertaken During Fall Semester, 1975 Separate 80 t Variance Variable N Mean SD SE Value DF Experimental 36 12.42 2.14 0.36 -0.17 69.47 Control 36 12.50 1.96 0.33 Hypothesis 6. There will be no statistically signifi cant difference in the self-reported posttest scores between the experimental and control groups on study habits and attitudes as measured by the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes. In order to test this hypothesis, at test of group mean differences was computed on all the subtests of this variable. The subtests are: Delay Avoidance (DA) and Work Methods (WM), which computed together comprise the Study Habits (SH) score total; Teacher Acceptance (TA) and Educational Acceptance (EA), which together make up the Study Attitude (SA) score; also, the combination of the Study Habits (SH) and Study Attitude (SA) scores make up the overall profile total, the Study Organization (SO) score. In Table 8, the group means, standard deviation, standard error, separate! value, and degrees of freedom are summarized for comparison of the seven subtests of the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes between the experimental and control groups.

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Table 8 t Tests for Group Mean Differences Between Experimental and Control Groups on Subtests of Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes Separate Variance Variable N Mean SD SE t Value DF DA Experimental 30 22.83 9.41 1. 72 -Control 33 17.00 6.54 1.14 2.83 51.15 WM Experimental 30 25.40 8.59 1. 57 _,_ Control 33 18.64 7.28 1. 27 3.35" 57.13 SH Experimental 30 48.50 16.76 3.06 3 .44-/( 52.45 Control 33 35.70 12.14 2.11 TA Experimental 30 31.40 8.44 1. 54 2. 84 1 '( 60.98 Control 33 25 .12 9.11 1. 59 EA Experimental 30 27. 3 7 7.54 1. 38 1. 69 Control 33 24.15 7.58 1. 32 60.49 SA Experimental 30 58.77 13.55 2.47 2 54k 60.98 Control 33 49.58 15.20 2.65 so Experimental 30 107 2 7 26.97 4.92 3. 40-/( 58.52 Control 33 85.28 24.15 4.21 Note. -/(p ).05 co t-'

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The observed t value indicated significant differences on the group means of six of the seven variables, including 82 Delay Avoidance(!= 1.68; p ).05), Work Methods (! = 1.67; p ).05), Study Habits (! = 1.68; p ).05), Teacher Acceptance (! = 1.67; p ).05), Study Attitudes (~ = 1.67; p ).OS), and Study Organization(!= 1.67; p ).OS). The observed t value on Educational Acceptance did not indicate a significant difference on this variable(!= 1.67; p ).05) On the basis of statistical analysis, the conclusion was made that the self-reported scores on Delay Avoidance, Work Methods, Study Habits, Teacher Acceptance, Study Attitudes, and.Study Organization were significantly higher for the experi mental group than for the control group. Hence, the null hypothesis was rejected for all factors except Education Acceptance; the null hypothesis would not be rejected for the self-reported scores on Educational Acceptance. Hypothesis 7. There will be no statistically signifi can t difference in the self-reported posttest scores between the experimental and control groups on self concept as measured by the Tennessee Self Concept Scale. In order to test this hypothesis,! tests of group mean differences were applied to the self-reported posttest scores of the experimental and control groups on the 14 subtests of the Tennessee Self Concept Scale. Tables 9, 10, and 11 summarize the t test data.

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83 The Tennessee Self Concept Scale (TSCS), Counselor Form, includes the 14 subtests that are employed to measure the self concept of the individual. "The individual's concept of him self has been demonstrated to be highly influential in much of his behavior and also to be directly related to his general behavior and state of mental health," according to Fitts (1965, p. 1). The most important single score is the Total Positive Score ( T P) which reflects the overall level of self-esteem. The Self Criticism Score (SC) has mildly derogatory statements that most people admit as being true for them. The positive scores are divided into three horizontal rows to depict internal frame of reference. These scores indi cate Identity (Row 1), Self-Satisfaction (Row 2), and Behavior (Row 3) as shown in Table 9. The positive scores are further divided into five vertical Column Scores to delineate external frame of reference in the following categories: Column A (CA), Physical Self; Column B (CB), Moral-Ethical Self; Column C (CC), Pe r sonal Self; Column D (CD), Family Self; and Column E (CE), Social Self. These positive scores are shown in Table 10. There are also four variability scores that provide a measure of the amount of variability, or inconsistency, from one area of self-perception to another. The scores include

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84 Total V (TV), that is, the total amount of variability for the entire record, Column Total V (CTV), which measures and summarizes the variations within the columns, Row Total V (RTV), which is the sum of the variations across the rows, and finally, the Distribution Score (D), which is a summary score of the way one distributes his answers across the five available choices in responding to the items on the scale. These vari ability scores are shown in Table 11. In Table 9, the total positive, self criticism, and the three row scores of the internal frame of reference are com pared between the groups. The observed t value did not indicate a significant dif ference between the group means on any of the five variables in Table 9 (! 2.00; p ).OS). On the basis 6f statistical analysis, the conclusion was made that the self-reported self-concept posttest scores on Total Positive, Self Criticism, and Row 1, Row 2, and Row 3 of the TSCS were not significantly different between the experimental and control groups. There fore, the null hypothesis that there would be no significant difference between the groups on self-c oncept was not rejected for these five subtests. In Table 10, the observed t value indicated no significant difference on the group means of the variables CA, CB, CC, and CE (t = 2.00; p ).OS). However, on variable CD (Family Self)

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Table 9 t Tests for Significance of Posttest Scores on TSCS Subtests Total Positive (TP), Self Criticism (SC), and Row 1 (Rl), Row (R2), and Row (R3) for Experimental and Control Groups Separate Variance Variable N Mean SD SE t Value DF TP Experimental 30 332.73 31. 76 5.80 -1. 34 59.92 Control 32 343.69 32.68 5.78 SC Experimental 30 33.77 6.35 1.16 1. 58 48.13 Control 32 31.63 3.97 0.70 Rl Experimental 30 124.27 11. 29 2.06 0.47 58.74 Control 32 125.56 10.41 1. 84 R2 Experirriental 30 98.97 16.16 2.95 -1.64 57.86 Control 32 105.31 14.21 2.51 R3 Experimental 30 109.57 12.75 2.33 -1.00 59.84 Control 32 112.81 12.93 2.29

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Variable CA E x perimental Control CB Experimental Control cc Experimental Control CD Experimental Control CE Experimental Control Table 10 t Test for Significance for Subtests CA, CB, CC, CD, and CE on TSCS for Experimental and Control Groups Separate N Mean SD SE t Value 30 70.43 8.39 1. 53 -0.38 32 71.22 7. 9 1 1.40 30 66.73 8.40 1. 53 -0.40 32 67.72 10.72 1. 90 30 64.57 8.30 1.51 -1.10 32 66.75 7.30 1. 29 30 65.27 7.79 1.42 k 32 70.16 7.59 1.34 -2.50 30 65.60 8.67 1. 58 -0.93 32 67.63 8.50 1.50 Note. *p).05 Variance DF 59.09 58.21 57.85 59.50 59.57

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Table 11 Tests for Significance for Subtests CTV, RTV, TV, and D of Self-Reported Posttest Scores on TSCS Between Experimental and Control Groups Separate Variable N Mean SD SE t Value CTV Experimental 30 34.10 12.66 2.31 2.14* Control 32 28.06 9.13 1.61 RTV Experimental 30 20.53 6 45 1.18 Control 32 19.13 5.04 0.89 0.95 TV Experimental 30 54.00 16.44 3.00 Control 32 47.38 11.03 1. 95 1.85 D Experimental 30 118.27 26.64 4.87 Control 32 115.88 32.26 5.70 0.32 Note. ~(p ) 05 Variance DF 52.52 54.87 50.27 59.08 00 -..J

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88 there was a significant difference in favor of the control group which had a higher score on this variable than the experi mental group. On the basis of statistical analysis, the conclusion was made that the self-reported scores on CA, CB, CC, and CE were not significantly higher for either group. Hence, the null hypothesis that there would be no difference was not rejected on these four variables. The null hypothesis was rejected on the variable CD since the group mean for the control group was significantly higher than that of the experimental group. In Table 11, the observed! tests indicated no signifi cant difference between the group means on the variables RTV, TV, and D (! = 2.00; p ).05). On the basis of statistical analysis, the conclusion was made that these variables were about the same for both experimental and control groups. Thus, the null hypothesis that there would be no significant dif ference on the subtests between the experimental and control groups was not rejected for these variables. However, the observed t test on the variable CTV showed a significant difference between the experimental and control group means (! = 2.01; p ).05). Therefore, the hypothesis of no difference between the experimental and control groups was rejected for the variable CTV. In summary, the null hypothesis that there would be no

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89 statistically significant difference between the self-reported self-concept scores of the experimental and control groups was not rejected on 12 of the 14 subtests. On one of the subjects, CD, the control group achieved a significantly higher group mean than did the experimental group. Therefore, the null hypothesis was rejected on this variable. On subtest, CTV, the experimental group mean was significantly higher than that of the control group. Hence, the null hypothesis of no difference was rejected on this variable. Hypothesis 8. There will be no statistically signifi cant difference between Experimental Class A and Experimental Class Bon any of the hypothesized measures. In order to check for the impact of tea~her variable on the experimental group of 36 students, the two classes taking the reading-study skills course were taught by two instructors. Experimental Class A had 15 students and Experimental Class B had an enrollment of 21 students. Using t tests for investi gating group mean differences, all the data were examined to see if any significantly different results were obtained between the classes. These data are presented in Tables 12 through 18 with a summary of the results observed for each variable. In Table 12, GPAs are compared. At test of the group mean differences between experimental and control groups showed no significant differences in GPA between the two classes (! = 2.04; p ). 05).

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Table 12 t Test Comparison of GPA Between Experimental Class A and Experimental Class B Separate 90 t Variance Variable N Mean SD SE Value DF Class A 14 2.35 0.98 0.26 0.66 31.15 Class B 18 2.13 1.02 0.22 At test was also run to check for group mean differences in GPA between the two classes with the reading-study skills course grade omitted as shown in Table 13. Table 13 Test Comparison of GPA Between Experimental Class A and Experimental Class B with RSSC Grades Omitted Separate t Variance Variable N Mean SD SE Value DF Class A 11 2.63 0.91 0.27 Class B 18 2.38 0.50 0.12 0.85 13.76 There was also no significant difference between the group means of the two experimental classes on GPA with the reading course grades omitted(!= 2.15; p ).05). At test for group mean differences was performed for Hypothesis 2, number of course withdrawals during the fall

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semester between the two experimental classes. These data are depicted in Table 14. Table 14 t Test to Compare Number of Course Withdrawals Between Two Experimental Reading Classes Separate 91 t Variance Variable N Mean SD SE Value DF Class A 15 2.93 3.35 0.86 -0.89 32.55 Class B 21 4.00 3.83 0.84 The t test indicated there was no significant difference between the experimental classes in number of course with drawals during the fall semester(!= 2.03; p ) .05). For Hypothesis 3, withdrawal from college during the fall semester, there was no significant difference as shown numeri cally--one student in Class A withdraw from college and in Class B, two withdrew. A check of Hypothesis 4, amount of attrition (withdrawal from college) between semesters, also showed there was no difference between classes. In fact, the attrition was the same--one student from each experimental class. Hypothesis 5, number of course hours successfully com pleted during fall semester, was checked by! tests between the group means. These data are presented in Table 15.

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92 Table 15 t Test to Compare Number of Course Hours Successfully Completed Between Experimental Classes Separate t Variance Variable N Mean SD SE Value DF Class A 15 7.53 3.82 0.99 Class B 21 8.14 4 80 1.05 -0.42 33.54 The observed t test showed no significant difference between the group means of the two experimental reading classes on number of course hours successfully completed during the fall semester(!= 2.03; p ) .05). A further check was made to determine equality of course loads undertaken by both classes at the be g inning of the semester. These data are presented in Table 16. Table 16 t Test for Significance Between Experimental Reading Classes on Course Loads Undertaken in Fall Semester Separate t Variance Variable N Mean SD SE Value DF Class A 15 12 00 1. 96 0.51 -1. 01 32.60 Class B 21 12.71 2 ; 26 0.49

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93 The observed! value indicated no significant difference between the group means on this variable(!= 2.03; p ) .05). On the basis of this statistic, the conclusion was made that there was no significant difference between the two groups in original course loads attempted. Therefore, the conclusion that both classes successfully completed about the same number of hours was not biased by differing original course loads. To check Hypothesis 6, that there would be no significant differences between the classes on the self-reported posttest scores on study habits and attitudes as measured by the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes,! tests to determine group mean differences were performed on the seven subtests of the test measure to compare scores of the two experimental reading classes. The data are ~resented in Table 17. The observed t tests did not ~how a significant difference between the group means on any of the seven subtests on study habits and attitudes between the two experimental classes (! = 2.07; p ) .05). Therefore, the conclusion was made that the two groups did not differ significantly on these seven variables. To test Hypothesis 7, the self-reported posttest scores on self-concept as measured by the Tennessee Self Concept Scale, t tests were performed on each of the 14 subtests of the measure to determine if there were differences in group means between the two experimental classes. Table 18 depicts this data.

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Table 17 t Tests for Group Mean Differences Between Two Experimental Reading Classes on Subtests of SSHA Separate Variance Variable N Mean SD SE t Value DF DA Experimental A 12 18.07 14.91 3.85 Experirr:ental B 19 19.71 10.09 2.20 -0.37 22.94 WM Experimental A 12 19. 2 7 14.88 3.84 Experimental B 19 22 52 10.42 2.28 -0.73 23.51 SH Experimental A 12 37.33 29.04 7.50 Experimental B 19 42.62 19.83 4.33 -0 61 23.08 TA Experimental A 12 23.47 16.98 4.39 Experimental B 19 28.10 11.76 2.57 -0.91 23.32 EA Experimental A 12 20.20 15.20 3.93 Experimental B 19 24.67 9.96 2.17 -1.00 22.43 SA Experimental A 12 43.67 31.05 8.02 Experimental B 19 52.76 20.46 4.46 -0.99 22.51 so Experimental A 12 81. 00 58.24 15.04 -0.84 Experimental B 19 95.38 38.30 8.36 22.48 \D

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Table 18 t Tests for Group Mean Differences Between Experimental Classes on Subtests of TSCS Separate Variable N Mean SD SE t Value TP Experimental A 11 250.00 158.46 40.92 Experimental B 19 296.76 102.99 22.47 -1.00 SC Experimental A 11 23.47 15.27 3.94 Experimental B 19 31.48 12.34 2.69 -1. 68 Rl Experimental A 11 91.40 57.78 14.92 Experimental B 19 112.24 38.97 8.51 -1. 21 R2 Experimental A 11 75.80 49.63 12.81 Experimental B 19 87.24 32.34 7.06 -0.78 R3 Experimental A 11 82.93 52.82 13.64 Experimental B 19 97.29 34.55 7.54 -0.92 CA Experimental A 11 53.27 33.51 8.65 Experimental B 19 62.57 22.77 4.97 -0.93 Variance DF 22.30 26.12 22.89 22.34 22.40 23.01

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CB Experimental A 11 50.87 32.45 8.3 8 Experimental B 19 59.00 21. 21 4.63 -0.85 22.39 cc Experimental A 11 48.53 30.97 8.00 Experimental B 19 57.57 20.86 4.55 -0.98 22.86 CD Experimental A 11 47.73 30.79 7.95 Experimental B 19 59.14 20.79 4.54 -1. 25 22.91 CE Experimental A 11 49 60 31. 68 8.lP. Experimental B 19 58.29 21. 20 4.63 -0.92 22.76 CTV Experimental A 11 24.20 19 01 4 91 Experimental B 19 31.43 15.72 3.43 -1. 21 26.57 RTV Experimental A 11 12.87 9.47 2.45 Experimental B 19 20.14 8.94 1. 95 -2.33" 29.20 TV E x perimental A 11 35.80 25.76 6.65 Experimental B 19 51. 57 23.40 5.11 -1.88 28.44 D Experimental A 11 122.18 26.76 8. 0 7 Experimental B 19 116.00 27.04 6 20 0.61 28.00 Note. ,,. ) ,05 "p \.0

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97 The observed t statistic showed no significant difference in group means on 13 of the 14 self-concept subtests as follows: TP (! = 2.07; p ) .05); SC (f = 2.06; p ) .05); Rl (! = 2.07; p ) .05); R2 (! = 2.07; p ) .05); R3 (! = 2.07; p ) .05); CA(!= 2.07; p ).05); CB (! = 2.07; p ) .05); CC (f = 2.07; p ) .05); CD (! = 2.07; p ) .05); CE (f = 2.07; p ) .05); CTV (! = 2.05; p) .05); TV (f = 2.05; p ) .05); and D (! = 2.05; p ).OS) On the basis of statistical analysis, the conclusion was made that the two classes did not differ significantly on self reported self-concept scores. On subtest RTV (! = 2.05; p ) .05), there was a significant difference with a higher score in vari ation shown by Experimental Class B. This difference, however, may be due to chance, rather than to an actual significant difference between the two classes. Overall the data reveal no substantial difference between the groups on the self-concept variables. In summary, after computation oft tests on all the hypothe. sized variables, the conclusion was reached that the teacher variable did not make a significant impact on either of the two experimental reading class e s on any of the hypothises tested in this study. Summary of Analysis In summary, there was a statistically significant difference between the two groups of GPA for the fall semester with the

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98 experimental group achieving higher scores both with and without the reading-study skills course grades; there was a statisti cally significant difference between the groups on number of course withdrawals during the fall semester with the experi mental group withdrawing from fewer courses than the control group; there was no significant difference between the groups on during-semester attrition and on between-semester attrition. There was a significant difference between the two groups in the number of course hours successfully completed during the fall semester with the experimental group completing a significantly higher number of course hours than the control group; there was a statistically significant difference between the two groups on self-reported posttest scores on study habits and attitudes as measured by the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes with the experimental group achieving significantly higher scores on 6 of the 7 subtests of the measure; there was no significant difference between the groups on one subtest, that of Education Acceptance. There was no significant difference between the two groups on 12 of the 14 subtests of the self-reported self-concept scores as measured by the Tennessee Self Concept Scale; on one subtest, Column D, the control group scored significantly higher than the experi mental and on one subtest, Column Total Variation, the experi mental group scored significantly higher than the control group on variability.

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99 There was no statistically significant difference between Experimental Class A and Experimental Class Bon the hypothe sized variables of GPA, course withdrawal during the semester, attrition during-semester and attrition between-semesters, number of course hours successfully completed, study habits and attitudes, and self-concept. However, on one of the 14 subtests of the self-concept variable, that of RTV, Experi mental Class B showed higher variability.

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CHAPTER V CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of a reading study skills course on the academic success of a group of high-risk community college students. The course was taught by two instructors to two voluntarily enrolled classes during the fall semester, 1975, at Valencia Community College at Orlando, Florida. The experimental group was compared with a control group that did not participate in reading instruction either because the classes were closed or because of a schedule conflict. The groups were matched on the variables of age, sex, race, reading comprehension score, and on a minimum course load of 9 hours or more. The groups were compared on (a) grade point average for the fall semester, (b) number of withdrawals from college during the fall semester, (c) number of course withdrawals during the semester, (d) total number of hours of course work successfully completed during the semester, (e) number of withdrawals from college between semesters, (f) self-reported self-concept as measured by the Tennessee Self Concept Scale, 100

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101 and (g) the self-reported scbres on the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes. Conclusions As was stated in previous chapters, in order to investi gate the impact of the reading-study skills course upon the experimental group of students, related hypotheses were tested. These hypotheses are restated here with the conclusions drawn from the results of the study. Hypothesis 1. There will be no statistically signifi cant difference in grade point average (GPA) for the fall semester, 1975, between the experimental and control groups. On the basis of statistical analysis of! tests, the con clusion was made that the experimental group who took the reading-study skills course achieved significantly higher grade point averages than the control group(!= 2.00; p ) .OS). In order to overcome any possible effects of grading bias, the GPA was also determined for the experimental group with the reading course grade omitted. This GPA, without the reading course grade, was also significantly higher than that of the control group. Thus, it was concluded that the experimental group GPA, without reading course grades, was significantly higher than that of the control group(!= 2.00; p ).05). Hypothesis 2. There will be no statistically signifi cant difference in the number of course withdrawals during the fall semester, 1975, between the experi mental and control groups.

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102 On the basis of statistical analysis oft tests of group mean differences, the conclusion was made that the number of course withdrawals by the control group was significantly higher than that of the experimental groups (! = 1.99; p ) .OS). Hypothesis 3. There will be no statistically signifi cant difference in during-semester attrition (dropping out of school before the end of the 1975 fall semester) between the experimental and control groups. On the basis of statistical analysis of chi square the conclusion was made that there was no statistically signifi cant difference in attrition between the experimental and control groups during the 1975 fall semester. Hypothesis 4. There will be no statistically signifi cant difference in between-semester attrition at the beginning of the second semester, January, 1976, between the e x perimental and control groups. On the basis of statistical analysis of the chi square statistic, the conclusion was made that there was no signifi cant difference in number of course withdrawals between semesters between the experimental and control groups. The higher number of withdrawals by the control group approached significance, however. Hypothesis 5. There will be no statistically signifi cant difference in the number of course hours success fully completed during the fall semester, 1975, between the experimental and control groups. On the basis of statistical analysis oft tests for group mean differences, the conclusion was made that the experimental

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103 group completed a significantly higher number of courses than the control group that did not participate in the reading course. Since the number of course hours in which individual stu dents enrolled varied from a minimum of 9 up to 19, a! test was run on this variable to determine if the group means of the experimental and control groups showed significant dif ferences in course loads attempted at the be g inning of the experiment. On the basis of statistical analysis of the! test the conclusion was made that there was no significant difference between the group means on this variable. There fore, the original course loads undertaken by the experimental and control groups were approximately equal, and there was no bias in the conclusion that the experimental group completed a significantly higher number of courses than the control group Hypothesis 6. There will be no statistically signifi cant difference in the self-reported posttest scores between the experimental and control groups on study habits and attitudes as measured by the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes. On the basis of statistical analysis of! tests for group mean differences the conclusion was made that the experimental group's self-reports on study habits and attitudes were signifi cantly higher than those of the control group on six of the seven variables including Delay Avoidance (! = 1.68; p ) .05), Work Methods (! = 1.67; p ) .05); Study Habits (! = 1.68; p ). 05);

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104 Teacher Acceptance (! = 1.67; ~ ) .05); Study Attitudes (f 1.67; p ~ 05); and Study Organization(!= 1.67; p ) .05). From the statistical analysis of the data on Education Acceptance, the conclusion was made that on this variable the experimental and control groups showed no significant difference. Hypothesis 7. There will be no statistically signifi cant difference in the self-reported posttest scores between the experimental and control groups on self concept as measured by the Tennessee Self Concept Scale. From the statistical analysis of the data on the 14 subtests of the test measure, the conclusion was made that there was no statistical difference between the experimental and control groups on 12 of the variables. On one subtest, Family Self, the control group achieved a significantly higher score, and on one other, the Row Total Variance (RTV), the experi mental group demonstrated a higher level of variability. Hypothesis 8. There will be no statistically signifi cant difference between Experimental Class A and Experimental Class Bon any of the hypothesized measures. As a result of statistical analysis the conclusion was made that there was no significant difference between the two experimental classes taught by two instructors on GPA, on GPA with reading course grades omitted, on number of course with drawals during the fall semester, on attrition during-semester, and attrition between-semesters, on number of course hours successfully completed during the fall semester, on study

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105 habits and attitudes as measured by the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes, and on self-concept as measured by the Tennessee Self Concept Scale. On one of the 14 subtests of the TSCS, that of RTV, Experimental Class B showed a higher level of variability. In summary, the conclusion was made that the teacher variable did not bias the results between the experi mental classes. Discussion and Interpretation The statistical analyses of the majority of the hypotheses in this study indicated significance in favor of the experi mental group and this was viewed as helpful in the evaluation of the usefulness of the reading-study skills course for meeting the immediate needs of high-risk students in the com munity college setting. However, the limited duration of the study and the limited population preclude generalized inference beyond the local setting of Valencia Community College at Orlando, Florida. In relationship to other research found in the review of the literature that used GPA as a criterion of college success, the present study would seem to confirm the position that students who take reading improvement courses tend to succeed in academic courses and to exhibit persistence in college. Much of the research reported in the 1960s indicated that efforts to help high-risk students achieve in academic courses

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106 had largely proven unsticcessful; the more iecent studies in the mid-1970s ~trike a more hopeful note as ~e~eral r~iearch~rs have found exemplaiy p~actLces that ~eem to have a higher success factor The present study ~h{ch was an attempt to synthesize into one reading course as many ai possible of the research-based factors for success that have been reported to date, also tends to support the more optimistic view that many high-risk community college students can succeed and persist in academic programs of their choice. In addition to the statistical data, there were some sub jective observations that seemed to give insight regarding several aspects of the reading course. The subjective evalua tion indicates favorable attitudes regarding the reading program. For example, several students requested that the course be continued for another semester as they felt they had not been able to master all the skills they needed. In answer to this request a continuation of the course, titled Reading Seminar 290 (to give 1 hour of credit) was scheduled for the spring semester. While this action is beyond the scope of the present study, it is cited as an unobtrusive measure of student acceptance of their needs for long-range improvement of communication skills and of their maturity in taking the responsibility for continuing to improve Anonymous student evaluations of the course, a college

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107 wide practice for all courses, indicated approval of the program. However, the validity of such forms is questionable, since many students fill them out in a perfunctory manner. Subjective instructor observations of a number of these students revealed a lengthening of attention span, a greater tolerance of ambiguity, an ability to make plans for future goals, to postpone gratification, and to use a series of proc esses or problem-solving steps rather than the one-shot answers they had previously used. In accordance with the underlying theoretical bases that reading is a communications process that can be satisfactorily mastered over time by most high-risk students, the findings of the present study indicate the community college is in a tenable position to develop programs in both the reading classes and in content courses to enable such students to succeed. One hypothesis that was not rejected concerned self reported self-concept of the student as measured by the post test administration of the Tennessee Self Concept Scale. There was no significant difference between the experimental and control groups on this measure. In the preparation of the course, the self-concept of the student was considered to be of paramount importance. This was evidenced by accounting for such factors as (a) making the program voluntary for the

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108 studerit; (b) involving the student in his own diagnosis and evaluation of his program throughout the course. In addition, the instructors demonstrated caring and positive expectations by "affirming students as okay people" (Roueche, 1976) and the program was student-centered throughout. Rather than showing increasing satisfaction with self, some of the students seemed to become more self-critical, to be more aware of deficiencies and gaps in their learning and to set up more difficult goals for themselves. Perhaps this result was not a negative one, but rather indicated evidence that the students had reached a more realistic view of them selves and were able to plan positive steps for further .achievement. Combs, Avila, and Purkey (1973) stated that the self concept test is not really a test of the self-concept, but rather a self-report that the person is able to reveal about himself. Thus, the self-report is a behavior, rather than a system of beliefs. However, the self-report has value in its own right since it is observable behavior and may "provide valuable clues to the nature of the self-concept which produced it when subjected to the processes of inference'' (p. 54). They stated further that it is difficult to change the self-concept and that central aspects of self require time to change; however~ as a consequence of experience over the years,

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109 the central self may change, and therefore, the helping func tion is not wasted. In examining the self-reports in the study individually rather than as group data, there is some evidence that stu dents who were most disabled academically presented the highest total scores, unrealistically above the 90th percentile. On the other hand, one student in the experimental group, who has had a severe learning disability scored himself in the 99th percentile in self-criticism and in the 01st percentile in total self-worth. Perhaps such self-report scores are of more value as clues to individual counseling than as posttest data to evaluate self-concept growth in a short-term reading program. On the self-reported scores of the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes (SSHA), the experimental group made significantly higher scores on six of the seven variables. This may be cautiously interpreted to indicate greater knowledge about how to study and how to conform to the school situation. One difference that illustrates this point was the number of "F" grades received by the control group (7) compared to those received by experimental subjects (1). At the college where the experiment was carried out, the nonpunitive grading system allows a student to withdraw from a course as late as the day of the final examination. Therefore, a student can receive a

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110 "W" which does not lower GPA as an "F" grade does. It is not known why members of the control group continued in courses they were failing. Perhaps, due to finances, they took a chance that they might pass in ordei not to pay for the course a second time. At any rate, they seemed not able to judge their chances of success as accurately as the experimental group. Some research (Bodden, Osterhouse, & Gelso, 1972) indi cated that SSHA test chan g e scores are not correlated with GPA. In their study, the posttest scores on SSHA were higher for the group that made lower GPA. It was concluded that the best use of the test might be to help identify students who do not know what good study habits are. In the present study, the scores might be interpreted to indicate the experimental group had learned more about effective study habits and had accepted some of the conforming practices as desirable, at least so far as reporting their practice of them. It is interesting to note the experimental group scored significantly higher on teacher acceptance, but there was no significant difference between the groups on education acceptance. One striking fact was the low scores on delay avoidance and work methods which bears out reports in the literature that high-risk students lack a clear idea of what the college

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111 experience entails. These scores also indicate that part of the task in reading instruction and in content courses is to orient the student more thoroughly as to what is expected of him. Implications for Future Research The attempt to maximize the opportunities for success of high-risk students in the community college offers scope for continued research in a number of areas that appear to hold promise. Among needed studies are the following: 1. Longitudinal studies of high-risk students who are involved in long-term (two to three year)programs to improve their communications skills. Provisions for such opportunities need to be planned cooperatively by the student, the reading center, subject area instructors, and the counseling department. 2. Studies of curriculum and instructional designs that utilize content area materials and instruction in problem solving and reasoning strategies as compared with traditional reading laboratory materials. 3. Studies of curriculum and instructional designs that incorporate study skills and reading instruction that are used by content area instructors as compared with their traditional presentation of subject material. 4. Studies of multidisciplinary programs in general education that are concerned with how the student learns as

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112 well as the content of his learning Such studies should be student oriented and should incorporate communication skills with content 5. Studies of the development of curriculum and instruc tional materials that are successful for individualized study such as modules, mini-courses, auto-tutorial tapes, and video tapes, as well as successful ways to implement such programs for high-risk students. 6. Studies of the student problem of finances to find better ways to offer viable opportunities for work and study. One of the variables not considered in this study that had a great deal of effect on the progress of many of the students was the work hours in which the students engaged. Several worked 40 hours or more per week in addition to carrying a full-time class load Financial pressures were perhaps the greatest handicap many of these students faced. In some cases this was an extreme burden.

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Dear APPENDIX A LETTER TO INFORM PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS OF EXPERIMENTAL READING-STUDY SKILLS COURSE Valencia Conm1unity College P.O. Box 3029 Orlando, Florida 32802 June 27, 1975 This letter is to tell you about a new Reading-Study Skills Course, Reading 102, that will be offered for the first time in Session I, fall semester, 1975. Students who take the course will receive 3 hours of transfer credit. The course is planned to help students with compre hension and vocabulary in textbooks. Faculty who teach your regular subject matter courses and the reading staff will work together to help you gain skills that will help you to pass your courses. To give you a variety of ways to learn, the course is available on cassette tapes, on the overhead projector, in class lectures and discussion, and in small group meetings. You are being contacted because you have taken Reading 090 and have shown interest in your personal reading improve ment. To let us know how you feel about this new course, please fill out the form below and return it to me in the enclosed stamped, self-addressed envelope. 113

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If you need to talk with me about this course, please feel free to call me at 299-5000, Ext. 412. Sincerely yours, 114 Thelma J. Dudley, Chairman Basic Studies Department

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APPENDIX B RAW DATA FOR EQUATING EXPERIMENTAL AND CONTROL GROUPS ON AGE, SEX, RACE, READING SCORE, AND COURSE LOAD Comp. Iowa Course ss Age Sex Race Reading Load --------------------Experimental Class A--------------------1 20-25 F B 12 12 2 17-19 M B 14 12 3 +40 M B 12 12 4 17-19 M w 16 09 5 26-39 M B 04 12 6 17-19 F B 05 12 7 20-25 M B 07 12 8 17-19 M B 04 12 9 +40 M w 05 09 10 17-19 F B 07 16 11 17-19 F w 08 13 12 26-39 M w 37 09 13 20-25 M B 07 12 14 +40 M B 04 15 15 20-25 F B 14 13 -------------------------Control A--~-----------------------1 20-25 F B 07 12 2 17-19 M B 16 19 3 +40 M B 17 12 4 17-19 M w 12 09 5 26-39 M B 23 12 6 17-19 F B 20 12 7 20-25 M B 12 15 8 17-19 M B 07 13 9 +46 M w 14 12 10 17-19 F B 07 15 115

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116 APPENDIX B continued Comp. Iowa Course ss Age Sex Race Reading Load 11 17-19 F w 17 12 12 26-39 M w 13 12 13 20-25 M B 23 15 14 20-25 M B 07 10 15 20-25 F B 04 10 --------------------Experimental Class B---------------------1 17-19 M w 03 13 2 26-39 M w 11 13 3 20-25 M B 12 15 4 17-19 F B 04 15 5 20-25 F w 02 12 6 26-39 F B 02 12 7 17-19 M w 28 19 8 17-19 F B 12 12 9 26-39 M B 11 12 10 26-39 M w 07 12 11 26-39 M B 30 12 12 2 0 -25 M w 12 12 13 26-39 F w 0 3 09 14 17-19 M B 01 12 15 20-25 M B 0 7 09 16 17-19 M w 07 12 17 17-19 F B 03 12 18 17-19 F B 12 12 19 20-25 M B 02 12 20 26-39 F B 03 12 21 17-19 M w 05 17 -----------~-------------Control B---------------------------1 17-19 M w 16 12 2 26-39 M w 07 12 3 20-25 : M B 03 12 4 17-19 F B 00 12 5 20-25 F w 14 13 6 26-39 F B 07 13 7 17-19 M w 12 13

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117 APPENDIX B continued Co m p. Iowa Course ss Age Sex Race Reading Load 8 17-19 F B 17 12 9 26-39 M B 02 12 10 26-39 M B 04 12 11 26-39 M B 11 12 12 20-25 M w 05 13 13 26-39 F w 12 13 14 17-19 M B 02 12 15 20-25 M B 03 12 16 17-19 M w 11 13 17 17-19 F B 02 12 18 17-19 F B 07 18 19 20-25 M B 05 12 20 26-39 F B 12 12 21 17-19 M w 12 09

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APPENDIX C LETTER TO SUBJECT AREA INSTRUCTORS TO FIND PRIORITIES OF READING SKILLS NEEDED IN PASSING THEIR COURSES Dear Colleague: In planning reading-study skills courses to help students learn to perform successfully in academic courses, we are interested in your opinion of the priority of skills you feel students need in order to do well in your classes. Questionnaire The following list of skills contains many of those con sidered by most reading experts as needed by a person to read textbooks successfully. Will you please indicate the ones you feel are most important in your particular area? There is a rating of 1-4, as follows: 1--not important; 2--somewhat i m portant; 3--important; and 4--very important. I COMPREHENSION SKILLS 1. Understanding sentence meaning 2. Understanding topic of paragraph 3. Understanding details of paragraphs 4. Analyzing paragraphs for main ideas 5. Analyzing longer selections and chapters for central ideas and supporting points 6. Understanding highlighting, under lining, and making surr~ary state ments to condense information 118 1 2 3

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7. Setting up purposes for reading 8. Recognizing and understanding inferences 9. Drawing conclusions from stated or implied facts 10. Differentiating fact and opinion 11. Reading Charts and Grapsh II VOCABULARY SKILLS 1. Using context clues for word meaning 2. Using word parts for word meaning 3. Using glossary for specialized words in content field 4. Dictionary Study III STUDY-READING TEXTBOOK APPROACH 1. Understanding how to survey, read, recite and review textbook material 2. Understanding testtaking, both objective and essay tests IV READING RATE 1. Flexibility 2. Acceleration 3. Mechanics V MISCELLANEOUS 1. Listening 2 Using Library 3. Scheduling Time 1 2 3 119 4

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120 Please comment on any other specific areas in which you feel students show weakness in your courses. Interview As a part of our common effort to improve students' "survival" chances in academic and vocational courses at Valencia Community College, we are making a study of the role of the reading depart m ent in working with other departments to assist students who are deficient in communication skills. Will you respond, in confidence, to the following questions about your courses? 1. In your course, do you expect the student to read and study his textbook? 2. If so, about what percentage of his time in preparing his assignments should be spent in studying the textbook? 3. Do you test him on this reading-study, and if so, about how much of his grade is dependent upon this activity? 4. Do you expect him to do outside reading assignments that require use of the library, writin g reports, etc? 5. Do you expect him to list~n and take notes from lectures? 6. What measures do you find helpful in dealing with students who are having difficulty with your course? 7. Would you like to know the reading level of your studentsif you could find out in about 15 minutes--for example? 8. How do you see the role of the reading faculty in helping your students with reading difficulties? 9. Do you have suggestions for ways we could work together to assist the student?

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APPENDIX D COURSE DESCRIPTION Reading-Study Skills (Rg 102) Session 1, 1975 Textbook: Probe, by Glock, Bender & Dennis. Catalog Description: Prerequisite Rg 90. A reading-study skills development course with emphasis on reading for comprehension in specific subject areas. PLAN OF COURSE The goal of this course is to help individual students to be able to read an article or a textbook chapter, state its main idea and understand how its parts work together to express that main idea. Further, the goal is to help the student to be able to make a critical judgment as to whether the written material is factual rather than opinion and whether the information is trustworthy. Overall, the goal is to help the student to read and study effectively so he can succeed in college courses and in jobs he may select. After instruction and study of specific skills through his textbook, tapes, class lecture, group discussion, and individual conferences, the student will evaluate his performance by means of mastery tests. Below is a tentative date for Competency Tests: Vocabulary Sept. 26 Oct. 10 Oct. 20 Oct. 29 Units 1 & 2 Unit 3 Units 4 & 5 Units 6 & 7 121 Comprehension & Study Skills Sept. 29 Oct. 22 Oct. 31 Nov. 5 Sentence Meaning 1 & 2 Paragraphs, 3, 4, 5 Long Passages 6, 7 REVIEW 1-7

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122 Vocabulary Nov. 12 Pronunciation Nov. 19 Unit 8 Dec. 3 Units 9, 10, 11 Dec. 15-19 FINAL Comprehension & Study Skills Nov. 21 Organization, Unit 8 Dec. 5 Critical Reading 10 Dec. 10 Diagrams, Charts 11 Dec. 15-19 FINAL Attendance: See policy stated in Student Handbook Grades will be performance-based on: \ Individual work in subject area courses Competency Tests g iven throughout semester \ Final Exa m Course Objectives: This course should assist students in becoming more com petent in the followin g abilities: I. COMPREHENSION: 1. To understand the main idea and related parts of simple and complex sentences. 2. To understand the main idea and supporting details of a paragraph and their relationship to the meaning of the para g raph. 3. To understand the main ideas and supporting facts in longer selections and in textbook chapter assignments. II. VOCABULARY: 1. To use the process of word analysis in unlocking word meanings. 2. To use the process of contextual clues in finding word meanings. 3 To use dictionary pronunciation keys. III. ORGANIZATION OF FACTUAL READING MATERIAL: 1. To highlight or underline textbook material. 2. To outline assignments. 3. To write summary statements. IV. TEXTBOOK STRUCTURE: 1. To understand the organization of textbooks.

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123 IV: TEXTBOOK STRUCTURE (continued): 2. To understand techniques for studying a chapter assignment 3. To understand dia g rams and charts. V. STUDY SKILLS: 1. To plan efficient use of time. 2. To understand general principles of testtaking--both objective and essay tests. VI. CRITICAL READING: 1. To identify author's tone and purpose. 2 To differentiate between fact and opinion. 3. To understand inferences. 4. To draw logical conclusions.

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Ahrendt, K. M. Delaware: REFERENCES Community college reading programs. Newark, International Reading Association, 1975. Anderson, C. A. Problems of individualization. Twentieth Yearbook of the National Reading Conference. Milwaukee, Wis.: National Reading Conference, 1971. Arizona State Department of Education. Reading performance objectives: A model: Some priority performance objec tives in reading ninth grade eguivalency. Phoenix: Author, 1972. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 094 375; CS 001 294) Astin, A. W. Preventing students from dropping out. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1975. Bahe, V. R. A content analysis of current college reading manuals. Nineteenth Yearbook of the National Reading Conference. Milwaukee, Wis.: National Reading Con ference, Inc., 1970. Bandt, P. L., Meara, N., & Schmidt, L. D. A time to learn. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1974. Barron, J. Chicanos in the community college. Junior College Journal, 1972, 42 (9), 23-26. Barthlow, R. L. Grade point average and academic probation in the two-year college. 1975. (ERIC Document Repro duction Service No. ED 095 967; JC 740 399) Bednar, R. L., & Weinberg, S. L. Ingredients of successful treatment programs for underachievers. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 1970, 11. (1), 1-7. 124

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125 Beitler, L., & Martin, I. A learning center for career oriented students. Twenty-first Yearbook of the National Reading Conference II. Boone, N. C.: National Reading Conference, Inc., 1972. Bloom, B. S., & Broder, L. J. Problem-solving processes of students. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1950. Bodden, J. L., Osterhouse, R., & Gelso, C. J. The value of a study skills inventory for feedback and criterion pur poses in an educational skills course. Journal of Educational Research, 1972, ., 309-311. Brown, W. F., & Holtzman, W. H; attitudes manual, Form C. Corporation, 1965. Survey of study habits an~ New York: The Psychological Burgess, B. A. Differential characteristics of participants in a college reading center: A two-year follow-up study. Master's thesis, University of Florida, 1975. Chalghian, S. Success for marginal students. Junior College Journal, 1969, 40 (1), 28-30. Clarke, J. R. Commitment to the nontraditional student (Topical Paper No. 51). Los Angeles: ERIC Clearing house for Junior Colleges, University of California, 1975. Clarke, J. R., & Ammons, R. M. of disadvantaged students. 40 (5), 13-17. Identification and diagnosis Junior College Journal, 1970, Cohen, A. M., & Brawer, F. B. Student characteristics: Per sonality and dropout propensity (Monograph series No. 9. ERIC Clearinghouse for Junior Colleges). Washington, D.C.: American Association of Junior Colleges, 1970. Colvin, C. L. A reading program that failed, or did it? Journal of Reading, 1968, 11, 142-146. Combs, A., Avila, D., & Purkey, W. Helping relationships: Basic concepts for helping professions. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1973. Combs, A., & Syngg, D. Individual behavior: A personal approach to behavior. New York: Harper & Row, 1959.

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126 Cranney, A G., & Larsen, J. Compensatory programs for spe cially admitted freshmen to the University of Florida-1968 1971. Twenty-first Yearbook of the National Reading Conf e rence II. Boone, N. C.: National Reading Conference, Inc., 1972. Curran, F. Developmental education through the eyes of the special interest group for two-year colleges of the Inter nati o nal Reading Association. Forum for Reading, 1975, 2 (1), 10-15. Darnes, G. R. Exemplary practices in junior college reading instruction. Los Angeles: California University, 1971. (ERI C Document Reproduction Service No. ED 050 710) Drummond, R. J., McIntire, W. G., & Smith, R. K. Work values as predictors of reading achievement in community college stud e nts. Forum for Reading, 1975, 2 (1), 16-22. Dubois, R. L. Improvement of textbook comprehension in college reading classes. Journal of Reading, 1969, 13, 113-118; 165-166. Entwisle, D. R. Evaluation of study skills courses: A review. Journal of Educational Research, 1960, 53, 247-251. Evans, H. M ., & Dubois, E. E. Community/junior college remedial programs--reflections. Journal of Reading, 1972, 1._, 38-45. Fairbanks, M. M. An analytical study of the relationship of specified features of reported college reading improvement programs to program effect on academic achievement. (Doctoral dissertation, West Virginia University, 1972). Dissertation Abstracts International, 1973. (University Microfilms No. 73-12, 938) Fairbanks, M. M. Relationship between research control and reported results of college reading improvement programs. Twenty-fourth Yearbook of the National Reading Conference. Clems o n, S. C.: National Reading Conference, Inc., 1975. Farr, R. Iowa silent reading test, manual of directions. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1973. Ferguson, H ., & Harding, J. But do they know how to study? Fort L auderdale, Fla: Nova University, 1974. (ERIC Docum e nt Reproduction Service No. ED 094 818; JC 740 274)

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127 Fitts, W. H. Tennessee self concept scale manual, counselor form. Nashiille: Counselor Recordings and Tests, 1965. Franklin, C. The open admission freshman program and basic skills development progra~s. National Institute of Edu cati o n, Dept. of HEW, 1974 (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 090 841) Glock, M. D., Bender, D., & Dennis, A. Probe. Columbus, Ohio: Charles E. Merrill, 1975. Gold, B. K Six semester persistence study of students recom mend e d for developmental studies. Los Angeles: Los Angeles City College, 1974. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 094 830; JC 740 286) Hafner, L. Improving grade point avera g es through reading stud y skills instruction. Fifteenth Yearbook of the National Reading Conference. Milwaukee, Wis.: National Read i ng Conference, Inc., 1966. Harclerood, F. F. Disadvantaged students and survival in coll e ge. In G. K. Smith (Ed.), New teaching new learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1971 Henderson M.A. Individualized reading instruction in two year colleges. Journal of Reading, 1976, 11_, 464-471. Herber, H L. Teaching reading in content areas. Englewood Clif f s, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1970. Kahn, G. B. Expectations of open-enrollment students in the community college reading program. Twenty-third Yearbook of the National Reading Conference. Clemson, S. C.: National Reading Conference, Inc., 1974. Karlin, R Teaching reading in high school. New York: Bobbs Merr i ll, 1964. Kendrick, S. A., & Thomas, C. L. Transition from school to college. Review of Educational Research, 1970, 40, 151179. Kerstiens G. Developmental reading. Journal of Reading, 1975, 19, 2 61-262. Kolzow, L Reading in the content area in the two-year college. Journal of Reading, 1972, }&, 46-49.

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128 Kravits, A. Teaching the essential skills in social studies. Paper presented at the International Reading Association Conference, Seattle, May 4-6, 1967. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 014 378) Laffey, J. L. Effect of a short term summer reading and study skills course on college bound disadvantaged students. Seventeenth Yearbook of the National Reading Conference. Milwaukee, Wis.: National Reading Conference, Inc., 1968. Lang, C. M. A study of the effects on learning of matching cognitive styles of students in nursing education. Doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University, 1972. Lavin, D. E. The prediction of academic performance. New York: Russell Sage, 1965. Levin, H. M. School achievement and postschool success. Review of Educational Research, 197 1, 41, 1-16. Losak, J. Research and compensatory education: What are we doing? Florida Community-Junior College Inter-Institutional Research Council Publication (University of Florida, College of Education), January 1970, 3-10. Luckenbill, M The role of the reading teacher in an inter disciplinary program in the junior college. Twenty-first Yearbook of the National Reading Conference II. Boone, N. C.: National Reading Conference, Inc., 1972. Lund, P.A., & Ivanoff, J.M. Correspondence of self-concept measures with levels of reading achievement. Journal of Reading Behavior, 1974, ~' 159-165. Maxwell, M. J. Evaluating college reading and study skills pro g rams. Journal of Reading, 1971, 15, 214-221. McClellan, D. A program of individualized instruction for college freshmen. Twenty-first Yearbook of the National Reading Conference II. Boone, N. C.: National Readin g Conference, Inc., 1972. Medsker, L. L & Tillery, D. Breaking the access barriers. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1971. Monroe, C. R. Profiles of the community college. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1972

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Moore, W., Jr. Against the odds. San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 1970. 129 Niles, 0. S. Reading skills common to the content areas. In H. A. Robinson & E. L. Thomas (Eds.), Fusing reading skills and content. Newark, Delaware: International Reading Association, 1969. Nunney, D., & Hill, J. Personalized educational programs. Bloomfield Hills, Mich.: Oakland Community College Press, 1972. Olsen, T., & Swiss, T. College reading programs. Journal of Reading, 1976, ..!.2_, 523-527. Pendergrass, P. W. The relationship of perceived threat to adolescent student's feeling of adequacy in the classroom. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Florida, 1971). University Microfilms No. 72-16644 Pepper, R. S. The study skills and academic achievement of marginal admission students. Nineteenth Yearbook of the National Reading Conference. Milwaukee, Wis.: National Reading Conference, Inc., 1970. Peters, C. W., Peters, N. A., & Kaufman, B. D. A comparative analysis of reading comprehension in four content areas. Twenty-fourth Yearbook of the National Reading Conference. Clemson, S. C.: National Reading Conference, Inc., 1975. Prediger, p. J. Prediction of persistence in college. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 1965, 1d (1), 62-67. Raygor, A. L McGraw-Hill basic skills system reading test, examiner's manual. Monterey, Calif.: McGraw-Hill, 1970. Robinson, F. P., & Hall, P. Studies in higher-level reading abilities. Journal of Educational Psychology, 1941, 32, 241-252. Robinson, H. A. A note on the evaluation of college remedial reading courses. Journal of Educational Psychology, 1950, 41, 83-96. Robinson, H. A. Teaching reading and study strategies in the content areas. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1975.

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130 Roueche, J.E. Salvage, redirection or custody? Washington, D. C.: American Association of Junior Colleges, 1968. Roueche, J. E. Creating an environment for learning. Commu nity and Junior College Journal, 1976, 46 (6), 48-50. Roueche, J.E., & Kirk, R. W. Catching up: Remedial education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1973. Russell, D., & Fea," H. Research on teaching reading. In N. Gage (Ed.), Handbook of research on teaching. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1963. Santeusanio, R. P. Do college reading programs serve their purpose? Reading World, 1974, 1:1, 258-272. Schewe, D. H. The vocationally oriented reader. Madison, Wis.: Madison Area Technical College, 1971. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 057 998) Schleich, M., & Rauch, S. J. Combining a study of reading improvement with the study of history. Seventeenth Year book of the National Reading Conference. Milwaukee, Wis.: National Reading Conference, Inc., 1968. Sherk, J. K., & Manzo, A. V. Humanistic studies as a component of college and adult reading programs. Paper presented at the National Reading Conference, New Orleans, Nov. 30Dec. 2, 1972. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 083 538) Singer, H. Factors involved in general reading ability and reading in the content areas. Nineteenth Yearbook of the National Reading Conference. Milwaukee, Wis.: National Reading Conference, Inc., 1970. Soll, L. Learning by doing. Journal of Reading, 1972, 15, 496-499. Steiri, R. S. An approach to modifying college concepts and improving academic performance of a group of low-testing junior college students. (Doctoral dissertation, Uni versity of California at Los Angeles, 1966). University Microfilms No. 66-11, 959

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131 Swalm, J., & Cox, G. A content approach to reading skill deve l opment for special admit freshmen in a four-year college. Twenty-first Yearbook of the Nat ional Reading Conference II. Boone, N. C.: National Reading Con ference, Ihc., 1972~ Sweiger, J. D. Des igns and organizational structure of junior and community college reading programs across the country. Twenty-first Yearbook of the National Reading Conference II. Boone, N. C.: National Reading Conference, Inc., 1972. Thomas, E. L., & Robinson, H. A. Improving reading in every class. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1972. Tillman, C. E. Measuring outcomes in college reading programs. Twenty-first Yearbook of the National Reading Conference II. Boone, N. C.: National Reading Conference, Inc., 1972. Tillman, C. E. Personality types and reading gain for Upward Bound students. Journal of Reading, 1976, 19, 302-306. Tomlinson, B. Inegrating reading and study skills into college biology. Paper presented at the National Reading Con ference, St. Petersburg, Fla., December 4-6, 1975. Trent, J. W;, & Medsker~ L. L. Beyond high school: A study of 10,000 high school graduates. Berkeley, Calif.: Center for Research and Development in Higher Education, University of California, 1967. Triggs, F. 0. Appraisal of reading skills in relation to effectiveness of teaching and learning techniques. Fifth Yearbook of the Southwest Reading Conference for Colleges and Universities. Fort Worth, Texas: Texas Christian University Press, 1956. Twining, J.E. Content area reading skills and the community junior college. Journal of Reading, 1972, 15, 347-350. Valencia Community College catalog. Orlando, Fla.: Valencia Community College, 1975. Van de Warker, M. J. A replication in vocational reading: The project and the criteria used to determine the feasi b ility of replication. Glen Ellyn, Ill.: College of DuPage, 1973. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 076 960)

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132 Vick, M. L. Realities and fallacies of reading instruction for ethnicaily different students: Cognitive and affec tive concerns. Twenty-first Yearbook of the National Reading Conference II. Boone, N. C.: National Reading Conference, Inc., 1972. Walker, M. M. Setting realistic goals for the ethnically different reader. Twenty-third Yearbook of the National Reading Conference. Clemson, S. C.: National Reading Conference, Inc., 1974. Watson, G. L. Student attitudes concerning a law school reading-study program. Eleventh Yearbook of the National Reading Conference. Milwaukee, Wis.: National Reading Conference, Inc., 1962. Whimbey, A. Something better than Binet? Saturday Review World, 1974, l (6), 50-53. Wright, E. S. An investigation int6 the effect of reading training in academic achievement among freshmen in the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Home economics. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1960). University Microfilms No .' 61-00685 Yuthas, L. J. Student tutors in a college remedial program. Journal of Reading, 1971, 14, 231-234.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Eleanor C. Haburton received the Bachelor of Science in Education degree with majors in secondary school English and speech from Northwest Missouri State Teachers College at Maryville, Missouri, in 1940. She taught in rural and ele mentary schools in Missouri from 1934 until 1940, attendin g college chiefly during the summers. From 1940 to 1941 she taught English and speech at DeKalb High School at St. Joseph, Missouri. From 1941 to 1943 she was editor of a small town weekly newspaper at Tarkio, Missouri, and a small daily newspaper at Trenton, Missouri. During the period 1943-1944 she worked as a magazine writer and editor at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base at Dayton, Ohio. After spending some years as a housewife, she returned to teaching in 1959 at Azalea Park Elementary School in Orlando, Florida, as a second grade teacher. From 1962 to 1966, she worked as a first grade teacher at Hillcrest Elementary School. She received the Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education from Rollins College in 1965. From 1966 to 1968 she 133

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134 served as reading teacher for Hillcrest Elementary School. In 1969, she taught in a reading laboratory at Winter Park Senior High School. Since 1970 she has been a reading instruc tor at Valencia Community College, in Orlando, Florida. Membership in professional organizations include National Reading Conference, International Reading Association, Florida Community College Reading Council, Orange County Council of IRA, Florida Association of Community Colleges, and Phi Delta Kappa. She is married to Ralph Haburton, a motion picture and television engineer, now retired. They have one daughter, Cathleen, who is married to George Greeley Wells, Jr., and two granddaughters, Bethany and Meghan Wells.

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I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Education. Rt( ellen Crews, Chairperson Professor of Curriculum and Instruction I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Education. I \ ( ') ( L c : Zh ... u.-1 i d-l \.A;~ Arthur J. Levfis Professor of turriculum and Instruction I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and i~ fully ~dequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Education. f7tlf;; 17 IS zt: ~ Jt~ ~e-/L Ralph 7 B. Kimbrough / Professor of Educational Administration I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Education. J/1. Jlw~ Jhn M. Nickens Assistant Professor of Educational Administration

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I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Education. Goroil D. Lawrence Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the College of Education and to the Graduate Council, and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirem e nts for the degree of Doctor of Education. June, 1976 fj J )) 1 c / tiJi:. u Dean, Education Dean, Graduate School