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Student, Enrollment, Characteristics, 1996, comparitive, 101, university, study, impact, access, program, entered


This study was conducted to determine what, if any, impact the course University 101 may have had on the students who took it. In this study, for each year that University.101 was offered two matched and proportionally sampled groups were created from Registrar files: students who took University 101 and students who did not. Only students with native admit status were included; in other words, only students who had entered Western as first-time, in-coming freshmen. In each year sampled, there was no statistical difference. By age, gender, or ethnicity. As much as possible, descriptive variables such as high school grade point average (gpa) and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores also were balanced equally. Variables were, of course, limited to those found in a student's electronic file. Outcome variables were limited to fall-to-fall persistence; grade point average earned at Western; whether or not students passed the objective and essay section of the Junior Writing Exam (JWE); and, for the class of 1990, graduation rates. Students who had participated in the Access Program were also removed from the study, even though all of them had 101. The Office of Institutional Assessment and Testing released a report in 1993 that fully exaniined the impact of the Access Program on its participants That report found that participation in the Access Program had a positive effect in terms of Western gpa and persistence. Students who participated in the Access Program received better Western gpa's and were more likely to persist fall-to-fall than students who were eligible to participate in the Access Program but did not participate. Because all Access students were required to take University 101, but also participated in other Access Program activities (study groups, etc.), it was determined that the University 101 study would be better balanced without the Access students. Because Access students participated in a variety of extra programs aimed at increasing their chances of academic success, it would be extremely difficult to determine if it was University 101 or a combination of programs having an effect--if, indeed, any effect were discerned. By studying students who took university 101 but no other special programs, any differences in their academic performances might then be attributed to their participation in University 101--keeping in mind, of course, that college students are affected by a wide variety of influences (living conditions, ease of adjustment to college life, etc.), any one of which might have as much or more influence than taking University 101.




Digital object produced by Office of Survey Research, Western Washington University, and made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

College attendance--Washington (State); College dropouts--Washington (State); College students--Washington (State); Academic achievement--Washington (State)






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