A study of the theories and practices utilized in residence hall student assignments
Kane, Thomas Lynn
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This study characterized and reported on current trends in assigning freshmen and new transfer students to residence halls. Additionally, the study determined which variables, if any, were utilized in the pairing of roommates within the residence halls; differences among variables utilized and priority given to each variable in the residence hall assignment process among public and private and small and large (housing less than or greater than 2,500 students in the residence halls) housing operations; and if there was any interest in changing either the variables utilized or how these variables were prioritized in the residence hall assignment process. The survey instrument is a nine-item questionnaire specifically designed for this project. Questions were designed to collect demographic information for descriptive purposes; to prioritize the order in which the fifteen variables listed are utilized within its assignment process as related to new students assigned to the residence halls; and to have the person completing the survey to re-prioritize the same fifteen variables according to his or her personal preference. A stratified random sample of one hundred housing operations was selected from the Association of College and University Housing Officers- International to receive the survey instrument. The institutions were divided into four equal subgroups to represent small-public, small-private, large-public, and large-private. This was a descriptive study of variables utilized and priority given to each variable in the assignment of new students to the residence halls. Data analysis techniques were accomplished via the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. Descriptive data were compiled on all items using the Frequency and Reports Programs. Additionally, chi square tests were performed to determine relationships between the dependent and independent variables. The study found that business operations data were the primary variables utilized in the assignment process of new students and there appears to be no interest in either using additional or re-prioritizing variables. The evidence indicated that while the educational and personal development of students is the stated number one priority of housing officials, it is not a factor utilized in the assignment of new students to the residence halls.