Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Jimmy Kijai

Second Advisor

Elsie P. Jackson

Third Advisor

Lenore Brantley


Problem. Seventh-day Adventist secondary schools recruit students through a severe entrance examination. However, after 9 months of schooling, more than 20% fail without possibility of repeating the grade or pursuing studies in less academically challenging schools. They are pushed out without means of coping with real life. This situation has multiple negative impacts on families who sell all their belongings in order to send their children to school where they can be prepared for a better life. It is for the interest of the Rwandese to learn which factors may contribute to maintaining these students in school.

Method. Data were gathered from 317 students enrolled in the first year of secondary school in three Seventh-day Adventist secondary schools during the 1992/1993 school year. These schools were Gitwe Adventist College, Rwankeri Adventist College, and Mugonero Nursing School. Students responded to a questionnaire. Additional data were collected from files at their respective schools and from the office of Education Director of Rwanda Union Mission. Analysis of data was performed using chi-square and t-test.


  1. Family-background factors considered were education of parents, father's occupation, and family size. None were found to be related to first-year secondary-school success.
  2. School characteristics such as residence patterns, school size, class size, and field of study were not related to first-year success.
  3. Among Among student characteristics, only student behavior and academic background factors such as elementary-school grades in math, French, religion, and environmental study, along with elementary-school graduating class grade point average, and entrance examination score, appeared to be related to first-year secondary-school success.

Conclusion. From this study, it was concluded that first-year secondary-school success apparently depends primarily on previous academic success.

Subject Area

High school students--Rwanda.

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