An evaluation of a university minority student retention program
Harris, Shanette Marie
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The present study evaluated the effectiveness of a program instituted at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VPI&SU) in 1984 to help Black students adjust academically to the university. This project focused on five categories of criteria according to which strengths and weaknesses of this program were evaluated. These included: (1) Effort, (2) Performance, (3) Adequacy of Performance, (4) Efficiency, and (5) Process. The five evaluative questions were assessed by conducting three within university comparisons and one between university comparison. The measures included retention rates, graduation rates, quality credit averages. program costs, and responses to the Student Satisfaction Questionnaire (SSQ), Perceived Changes Checklist (PCC), Program Effectiveness Questionnaire (PEQ), and the University Alienation Scale (Burbach, 1973). The results indicated that V-TASP provided services to Black freshmen and sophomore students. The within university comparisons suggested that the services provided to black students decreased alienation, meaninglessness, and powerlessness of participants as compared to nonparticipants. Qualitative measures suggested that the three components of V-TASP differentially affected program participants reported alienation, meaninglessness, and powerlessness. The students were also satisfied with the services received. The findings of the university comparisons across time were unclear, although the program may have had a positive impact upon students' grades and the percentage returning for the sophomore year. The results of the between university comparisons suggested that VTASP was more effective in graduating participants, moderately effective in terms of costs per student, and less effective for year to year retention than the two comparison programs. The overall pattern of results are discussed in terms of future evaluative studies. contextual variables, and limitations of the study.
- Doctoral Dissertations