Tomorrow's higher education student development process model: a study of levels of agreement and implementation among chief student personnel administrators in public, small and rural community colleges
The purpose of this study was to determine levels of agreement and implementation of the American College Personnel Association’s Tomorrow’s Higher Education (T.H.E.) student development model among chief student personnel administrators employed in public, small, and rural community colleges in the continental United .States.
Based on the T.H.E. Model, an inventory, the Student Development Process Inventory (SDPI)-Community College Form, was developed to answer four major research questions. The Inventory was administered through a survey of 204 chief student personnel administrators employed in public, small, and rural community colleges. One hundred and forty-seven usable responses (72%) were analyzed.
The Inventory was constructed in four parts. The first three parts were designed to answer the first three research questions. Parts II and lll included corresponding items. To answer the fourth research question, relationships between responses to Parts II and III were analyzed. The four research questions were:
To what extent do practitioners agree with the basic constructs and underlying assumptions of the T.H. E. Model?
To what extent do practitioners agree with the process steps of the T.H.E. Model?
To what extent is there evidence that the process steps of the T.H.E. Model are being implemented currently on college campuses?
What relationships exist between practitioners' agreement wi.th the process steps of the T.H.E. Model and the presence of evidence that the process steps of the T. H. E. Model are being implemented on college campuses?
The fourth part of the SDPI was designed to secure information about the characteristics of the population which were treated as independent variables.
Population characteristics which were controlled as independent variables were: total years of experience of the chief student personnel administrator, discipline of educational training of the chief student personnel administrator, professional instructional responsibilities of the chief student personnel administrator, and the ratio of student personnel staff to student headcount enrollment. Other population characteristics were reported but were not controlled in the analysis.
From an analysis of the responses to the items in Part I, the population appeared to agree with most of the basic constructs and underlying assumptions of the T.H.E. Model (some to a greater degree than others). With the exception of professional instructional responsibilities, the independent variables did not have an association with the observed levels of agreement.
From an analysis of Part II of the SDPI it appeared that the population agreed with the process steps of the T.H.E. Model; however, agreement was observed at varying levels. Again, with the exception of professional instructional responsibilities, agreement with the process steps was not related to the independent variables.
An analysis of Part III of the Inventory supported the conclusion that the population seemed to implement the process steps of the T.H.E. Model; however, the level of implementation of each process step varied. Professional instructional responsibilities was the only independent variable which was associated with certain aspects ·Of implementation.
An analysis of the relationships between reported agreement with the Model and implementation of the Model revealed highly significant differences between levels of agreement and implementation among all process steps. The population implemented the Model to a lesser degree than their reported levels of agreement. This difference was not attributable to the independent variables.