Perceptions of student personnel functions in the public two-year college

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Virginia Tech

In 1965, a study funded by the Carnegie Corporation identified 21 functions considered to comprise a basic student personnel program at any two-year college. Many changes have occurred in the two-year college over the past 29 years. Two-year colleges experienced continuous growth and expansion during the 1970s, wrestled with budget cuts and retrenchment in the 1980s, and faced an uncertain future in the 1990s.

The purpose of this study was to conduct a survey to determine if differences existed: (a) between 1965 and 1994 in student personnel functions at large and small two-year colleges, (b) between large and small two-year colleges in student personnel functions purportedly offered in 1994, (c) between large and small two-year colleges in the scope and quality of student personnel functions provided in 1994, and (d) between large and small two-year colleges in ten selected institutional factors in 1994.

The Basic Services Questionnaire (BSQ) was developed and administered to a random national sample of 200 principal student affairs officers stratified by size of college. The survey required responses to 28 student personnel functions, perceptions of the scope and quality of these functions, and ten selected institutional factors. The Chi Square Test of Independence and the Multivariate Analysis of Variance were utilized to analyze the data.

The results of the study confirmed that the 21 basic student personnel functions identified in the 1965 Carnegie study were provided in 1994 by both large and small colleges, that seven additional functions were identified as basic student personnel functions provided by two-year colleges in 1994, and that the majority of the 238 student personnel functions provided at both large and small two-year colleges were perceived to be provided with the same scope and quality in 1994.

The results of this study could be used by principal student affairs officers as both a model for implementation and evaluation of student personnel programs at their colleges.