An evaluation of a type of special counseling at the undergraduate level as related to academic success



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



At many colleges, the freshmen who arrive in the fall receive little aid from faculty advisers. The student is in need of discovering the proper approach and the appropriate method of selecting courses as well as the proper amount of course hours requirements and prerequisites established by the specific university. The new student needs to be involved in an advisement system which cares about him as an individual. Faculty members are in an excellent position to carry out such advisement. It is obvious that such successful programs depend upon several factors. Various sets of criteria may produce various results, oftentimes even conflicting ones. The study and experiment reported here pertain to the overall academic success of students after a brief counseling session with specially trained faculty members. The question asked is: Will those students who have been advised by the special counselors reflect seme of the effects of this program? In the fall of 1966, a random sample of incoming freshmen students were involved with this study. There were 351 freshmen in the control and experimental groups - 169 in the control group and 182 in the experimental group. Within the control group, 76 were males and 93 were females, while within the experimental group, 78 were males and 104 were females. The two groups were statistically comparable in regard to age, high school grade point average, class quarter rank, senior class percentile rank, and the math and verbal scores on the scholastic aptitude test. The control group went through the usual registration and advising routine. The experimental group was given special advising and counseling by faculty members who had undergone a period of instruction and indoctrination. These advisers tried to communicate their genuine concern for the students' wellbeing within the university system. The variables used at the end of three semesters to discover whether some effect was attained are: grade point averages, grade points comparison, course hours completed, course hours dropped, proportion of dropouts, proportion of probation, proportion on the dean's list, change of major, and high vs. low achievers. To ascertain whether the observed differences between the experimental and control groups were statistically significant, t tests and chi square tests were applied to the data. On the basis of the statistical analysis there is no evidence to refute the null hypothesis that under the special advisement system set forth in this study, there are no statistically significant differences between the experimental and control students. The brief advisement session with the special faculty members does not seem to be a long enough period to have significant effects. However, there are strong trends and tendencies apparent to suggest that there was sore effect upon the experimental group due to the special advisers. The students of the experimental group always produced higher grade point averages, higher grade points, less dropouts after the first semester, less probationary students, and more high achievers.



Counseling in higher education, Academic achievement