A profile of persisters: A study of the participants in the Texas Tech transition program for conditionally-admitted students
Copeland, Judy Ann Caldwell
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For four years from 1987 to 1991, the researcher would encounter conditionally-admitted students from the Texas Tech Transition Program in the library, at the University Center, in the bookstore, or in line at the bursar's office. The students reported enjoying classes and making progress toward their chosen degrees and they asked about the status of the Transition Program as well as commenting on how it had helped them. Logan's 1989 study of the effect of the Transition Program after a year found that in comparison to a control group of conditionally-admitted students who participated in Freshman Orientation, the Transition Program made no significant difference in the first year academic performance, persistence, or social adjustment and institutional attachment of the participants. This finding, however, did not seem to be congruent with the personal reports of the participants. Dewey (1933) defined a problem as anything that "perplexes and challenges the mind so that it makes belief ..uncertain" (p. 27). Guba (1978)defined conceptual problems as ones that stem from "two juxtaposed elements that are conceptually or theoretically inconsistent" (p. 45). The apparent success of these conditionally-admitted students perplexed and challenged the concept of conditional admission, and the success of the participants seemed inconsistent with the findings of the first evaluative study of the Transition Program.