Predictors of success in a selected community college freshman English writing program

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1979

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The purpose of the study was to gather information about variables which might contribute to freshman English course placement procedures at Brazosport College and at other two-year colleges whose norms and English curriculum are comparable. To these ends, the research problem wast What are the relationships of ability, achievement motivation, and felt needs to course grades in a first semester freshman English writing program? The three substantive hypotheses which stemmed from the problem were: 1. There is a significant relation of the ability measures, achievement motivation, and felt needs to course grades in the basic English course, when controlling for race and sex. 2. There is a significant relation of the ability measures, achievement motivation, and felt needs to course grades in the regular English course, when controlling for race and sex. 3. Combinations of intellective and non-intellec- tive variables differentiate among those students who receive course grades of A, B, C, D, and F, W, WP, or WF in both the basic and regular English courses, when controlling for race and sex. The practicality of using the intellective (ability) variables (i.e., high school English grade average, ACT subtest scores, ACT composite scores, and the Brazosport College English diagnostic test scores) combined with non- intellective variables (i.e., achievement motivation--student estimate of first-year GPA; felt needs--student perception of the need for special assistance in writing), when controlling for race and sex, to predict course grades for a basic English course (i.e., English fundamentals) and for a regular English course (i.e., freshman composition) was researched by drawing 300 subjects (students who had taken the ACT Assessment and who had graduated from high school no earlier than 1973) from the population pool, collecting the data, and analyzing the data through correlation and regression analyses. The analyses indicated moderate correlations for the basic and regular English courses, the basic course multiple correlation being .51 (significant at the .05 level) and the regular course multiple correlation being .51 (significant at the .01 level). Moreover, while the subsequent Pearson product-moment correlation of .23 between predicted and actual basic English course grades was not significant at the .05 level, the Pearson product-moment correlation of .59 between predicted and actual regular English course grades was significant at the .001 level. [...]

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