Date of Award

2001

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Higher Education Administration PhD

First Advisor

Lyndon G. Furst

Second Advisor

Shirley A. Freed

Third Advisor

Paul Brantley

Abstract

Problem. Questions have been raised regarding the preparation of high-school students for postsecondary studies. This study was designed to measure the effectiveness of the high-school academic program in preparing graduates for postsecondary education as perceived by alumni from four Seventh-day Adventist senior high schools in Canada.

Method. Respondents were asked to indicate their level of agreement for each of 18 statements on a Likert-type (survey) instrument, strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5), measured against a scale—I-2.5, minimally effective; 2.51-3.5, moderately effective; and 3.51-5, highly effective. Mean scores and standard deviation scores were calculated to answer the first research question. Four other research questions were answered by testing 90 hypotheses to determine their level of significance, using one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). The standard set for rejecting the null hypotheses was any level of significance less than .05. The population size was 1,020, while the sample population was 204. Of the 204 survey forms that were mailed, a total of 82 respondents (29 males and 53 females) returned usable survey forms.

Results. The respondents perceived the academic program as mostly moderately effective in preparing graduates for postsecondary studies. There was a difference in perception of library facilities based on ethnic origin (p < .008). There were differences in perception between those who did not take additional courses before attending college/university and those who took additional courses towards: library facilities (p < .005), study habits (p < .047), and academic preparation (p < .015). Differences in perception occurred between those who attended college/university immediately after high school and those who did not attend immediately, and between those who attended private postsecondary institutions and those who attended public postsecondary institutions only towards: academic preparation for postsecondary studies (p < .041) and (p < .001). Finally, those who attended public postsecondary institutions perceived that courses were too difficult (p < .011) in contrast to those who attended private postsecondary institutions.

Conclusions. There is a great deal of homogeneity in perception among students who attended four of the nine Seventh-day Adventist senior high schools in Canada regarding the effectiveness of the high-school academic program. However, gender did not affect the perception of alumni.

Subject Area

College students--Evaluation, Education, Higher--Evaluation, Education, Secondary--Evaluation.

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