Evaluating a state mandated basic skills program in a public university

dc.creatorSallee, Fred Merridith
dc.degree.departmentHigher Educationen_US
dc.description.abstractSince the fall of 1989, the state of Texas has mandated the Texas Academic Skills Program (TASP), a comprehensive instructional program developed to improve the success of increasing numbers of underprepared students enrolled in Texas public colleges. This dissertation presents a detailed longitudinal study designed to determine the effectivness of TASP in meeting state program goals in a major public university. Examining the records of 2,011 students who failed the TASP Test and participated in mandatory advisement and basic skills development during the four academic years between 1989-90 and the 1992-93, the research determined the extent that TASP remedial students achieved academic success and persistence at levels comparable to a control group of 12,031 students who passed the TASP Test on their first attempt. Independent variables (student characteristics at entry) included gender, ethnicity, age, college entrance test scores, high school class standing, and type of academic skill deficiency. Black and Hispanic students were found to be disproportionately represented in the remedial population. Male students presented more skills deficiencies than females. Males failed writing at twice the rate and mathematics at half the rate of female students. Underprepared students were found to be widely distributed among high school class standings and college entrance score levels, but presented significantly lower mean values for entry characteristics than non-remedial students. Academic qualifications of students in the non-remedial population increased steadily over the four years while those of the remedial population did not change. TASP Test results mdicated dramatic decline in writing skills deficiencies and corresponding increase in mathematics skill deficiencies of entering students over the period of the study. Outcome performance was measured two years after initial enrollment using grade point average, total eamed credit hours, number of academic suspensions, number of hours completed with grades of D, F, or W, and enrollment status. Academic success and persistence were found to be substantially lower by all measures for all ethnic and gender categories for the remedial students. Mean grade point averages were below 2.00 for all remedial groups and for black students among the non-remedial population. Black remedial students achieved substantially lower levels of success than their peers. Students who failed two or three sections of the TASP Test achieved significantly lower success and persistence than students failing only one part. It is recommended that basic skills testing be done before initial enrollment in order to better provide under-prepared students an opportunity to achieve academic success and persistence.
dc.publisherTexas Tech Universityen_US
dc.subjectTexas Acadamic Skills Programen_US
dc.subjectBasic educationen_US
dc.subjectRemedial teachingen_US
dc.subjectCollege studentsen_US
dc.titleEvaluating a state mandated basic skills program in a public university
thesis.degree.departmentHigher Education
thesis.degree.disciplineHigher Education
thesis.degree.grantorTexas Tech University


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