Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair(s)

Michael Bertoch


Michael Bertoch


Keith T. Checketts


Marvin G. Fifield


Elwin C. Nielsen


Ronald S. Peterson


Inquiries have been made by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education and the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to determine how colleges and universities could meet the financial crisis now being faced. One of the recommendations made by both agencies as a result of their investigations was that curriculum planners at these institutions provide students with opportunities to have off-campus experiences, preferably in their chosen career areas, before they are graduated to determine whether they want to pursue their studies in that area or reorient themselves to other options. These planned stopouts, they suggested, would curtail drifting or hanging on as well as enable students to gain practical experiences at various stages in their training.

There is a lack of information in the literature to justify immediate response to the suggestions made by the private and public bodies mentioned. Time does not permit officials to conduct longitudinal studies based on an experimental design which would provide a basis to accept or reject these recommendations. This study represents an effort to investigate the effects of stopping out on former students. Admittedly it has limitations, particularly those inherent in ex post facto research, but does provide some results which may assist administrators and faculties as they make decisions in light of the crisis now facing them.

The results of this study indicate that students who have stopped out are more likely to change their academic major than students who have not stopped out. Also, there are indications that stopping out does not affect academic standing. However, it was found that for most students grades get higher as they progress through school whether they stop out or stay in. This finding is in agreement with findings from previous studies reported in the literature.



Included in

Psychology Commons