Community college orientation options for adults: an assessment of perceived relevance

dc.contributor.authorDickson, Elizabeth Altlanden
dc.contributor.departmentCommunity College Educationen
dc.description.abstractThe primary purpose of this study was to assess the relevance of two forms of orientation courses for adult students (aged 25 and older) and to determine a means of predicting the relevance for future adult students. The two forms of orientation were information-giving/ skill-building courses which emphasized school related information and student related skills and personal growth courses which emphasized self-confidence and self-determination building and emotional/ psychological adjustment to the role of student. The experimental group included adults in five orientation courses. Three were information-giving/skill-building (Self-Instructional Orientation, College Survival, and Information and Planning Workshop for Interior Design Students) and two were personal growth (Women Returning to School and Second Career Adults). Students were able to select whichever orientation option they preferred. The control group included adults in four orientation courses taught at another campus of the same community college. Students in the control group did not have a choice of orientation content or structure. All students completed a questionnaire on the relevance of their orientation at the end of the course. Students in the experimental group also completed the Edwards Personal Preference Schedule (SPPS). A comparison of the mean relevance scores of the experimental and control groups indicated that those students who had an option in their orientation course found the course more relevant than those who had no option. A comparison of the retention rates (subsequent enrollment in the community college) for the high and low relevance reporters in the experimental group and within each of the two groups of the experimental group (information-giving/skill-building and personal growth) indicated that high relevance reporters did not have a higher retention rate than low relevance reporters within the subgroups or for the group as a whole. In a comparison between the subgroups, however, the personal growth subgroup had both a higher mean relevance score and a higher retention rate than the information-giving/skill-building subgroup. Using relevance as the dependent variable, regression equations for each of the subgroups were developed on the basis of selected ZPPS variables. Adult students who are high on deference and achievement and low on autonomy and succorance are more likely to find an information-giving/skill-building course relevant. Adult students who are high on deference and low on change, nurturance, order, and autonomy are more likely to find a personal growth course relevant. On the basis of the study, it was concluded that adults will be more apt to find their orientation course relevant if they have several options from which to choose, that personal growth elements should receive more emphasis in orientation courses for adult students, that the relevance of an orientation course will not affect the student's likelihood of re-enrolling, and that orientation relevance can be predicted given the appropriate EPPS scores.en
dc.description.degreeEd. D.en
dc.format.extentvii, 134 pages, 3 unnumbered leavesen
dc.publisherVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen
dc.relation.isformatofOCLC# 05576852en
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.subject.lccLD5655.V856 1979.D425en
dc.subject.lcshCollege student orientationen
dc.subject.lcshCollege students -- Attitudesen
dc.titleCommunity college orientation options for adults: an assessment of perceived relevanceen
dc.type.dcmitypeTexten College Educationen Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen D.en


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