Date of Award

1973

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department

Education

First Advisor

William C. Theimer, Jr.

First Committee Member

Fred Muskal

Second Committee Member

Hans Wagner

Third Committee Member

Martin T. Gipson

Fourth Committee Member

Clifford J. Hand

Abstract

The Problem: Little empirical data exist on the effects of the college experience. The Introductory Year Program at the College of the Pacific is based on the assumption that student development within the freshman year is of vital importance. This study investigated the differential effectiveness of the Program in terms of individual student expectancies, characteristics, and growth in intellectual disposition.

PROCEDURES: Initial data were collected from entering freshmen as a part of the Orientation Program. Scores on the Omnibus Personality Inventory (OPI) were trichotomized into high, middle and low Intellectual Disposition Categories (IDC's). Student subculture orientations. (Academic, Vocational, Collegiate, or Non-conformist), as determined by the Trow Subculture Index were also assessed at Orientation. Posttests on the OPI and on the Trow Index as well a·s student interviews were conducted at the end of the school year.

The Fiedler Least Preferred Coworker Test (LPC) was administered to the faculty members participating in the Introductory Year Program in 1972-1973. The professors were categorized in terms of the·i r 1 leadership orientation as relationship-oriented or task-oriented as determined by their high or 1 ow scores, respectively, on the LPC Test. Student evaluations of their respective courses were collected in all freshman classes.

The data were analyzed using a Two-Hay Analysis of Variance and Chi Square technique to determine (1) if gain in student IDC level were related to teacher orientation and initial student IDC level, (2) if -class evaluation ratings were related to teacher orientation, (3) if there were changes in student subculture membership between Orientation and the end of the freshman year.

THE CONCLUSIONS: Student gain in intellectual disposition was not shown to be related to either teacher orientation or student satisfaction with c·lasses. The Introductory Year Program appears to facilitate gain in intellectual disposition for those students initially low on the IDC measure. This effect in itself is worthwhile, but may be at the expense of the students who are in need of greater challenge to gain in intellectual disposition. Additionally, since the main area in which the University was perceived by the students as unique was in the area of community (small and friendly), it would appear that a lack of intellectual motivation on the part of the students who matriculate could be one explanation for lack of significant gain in IDC level after one year of college.

Significant differences were found between identified task-oriented and the relationship-oriented teachers in class evaluation ratings. It would appear that the relationship-oriented teacher is able to provide a facilitative environment for students with a wide variance in disposition toward learning.

Movement among Vocational, Collegiate, Academic, and Nonconformist subculture orientations was shown to take place during the first year of college. It could be demonstrated however, that there was a significant shift in the percentage of students choosing the various subcultures at Orientation and in spring. Thus the Collegiate subcultures orientation remained the dominant choice of freshmen after one year at the University.

Pages

197

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