Date of Award:

1998

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Kenneth W. Merrell

Abstract

The Students' Realizing Educational Potential Program (REP) was implemented in the 1993-94 academic year to reduce dropout rates for ethnic minority students at Utah State University . This program is currently funded by a 5-year grant, pending renewal upon demonstration of its effectiveness. A formative evaluation was conducted to determine whether the REP program has accomplished its goals thus far, using 157 minority students. Two levels of analysis were conducted. In the first level, admission index scores, college grade point averages, and the average number of quarters enrolled were compared among three REP and non-REP cohorts . The REP program did not satisfactorily retain its students in its first cohort, but in subsequent cohorts REP student retention rates surpassed those of non-REP peers. It was also discovered that Utah State University is exhibiting student population trends that run opposite to national and statewide trends by decreasing in minorities and increasing in Caucasian students, especially since 1994. In the second level, responses to a questionnaire were qualitatively compared between REP and non-REP students. The REP group had more students from outside of Cache Valley, more students declaring majors and with junior student ranking, higher financial needs, more extracurricular involvement, and more problems integrating into the local community than the non-REP group. In general, the REP program has assisted students in addressing social and academic needs, and has significantly impacted retention rates in its last 2 years. Recommendations for future program development and evaluations were given.

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Included in

Psychology Commons

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