THE EFFECTS OF A PRECOLLEGE PROGRAM ON THE CHOICES OF HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS BY ACADEMICALLY TALENTED STUDENTS (GIFTED, SECONDARY, TRANSITION, EXCEPTIONAL).
AuthorDOUGLAS, MARGARET ATCHISON.
KeywordsCollege student development programs.
University of Arizona. Precollege Program for Gifted and Talented Students.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractWith a dwindling college-age population and a need to attract academically talented students, postsecondary institutions search for factors that influence college choice. The educational plans of two comparable groups of high ability Arizona secondary students were examined and compared using the Higher Education Orientation Inventory and personal interviews. One group of students consisted of high school juniors who participated in the University of Arizona Precollege Program for Gifted and Talented Students in the summers of 1981 and 1982. The Comparison Group students were selected from a group of the top ten percent of Arizona high school juniors from those same years. Factor analysis was utilized to answer major research questions about factors that affect a student's choice of a higher education institution. To examine the differences between the two groups, discriminant analysis was used. An open-ended question approach provided supplementary data from both groups. The majority of both groups of students favored the choice of a four-year university. It was found that students who participated in the University of Arizona Precollege Program rated that experience as more important in their institutional choice than did those students who did not attend this program. In a separate factor analysis, it was shown that the two groups appeared to differ on several choice factors. Only one pair of factors entitled "Academic Quality of the Institution" was found to be similar within the groups. Other important factors for both groups included "Social Components of the Institution", "Expenses and Financial Aid", and "Institutional Image". The largest discriminant difference between the two groups was with reference to the institution's precollege program. This supported the finding that there was a significant mean difference on which students rated the importance of a precollege program in institutional selection. The open-ended question approach indicated that important reasons for postsecondary choices were (1) location, reputation and size of the institution, (2) cost, and (3) program quality. Personal interviews emphasized the value of a precollege program in providing an introduction to college life and in building confidence about the forthcoming postsecondary experience.
Degree ProgramSpecial Education