General educational development certification: effects of G.E.D. certification on migrant recipients as compared to migrant dropouts in south Texas



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This study was concerned with comparing the economic, educational, and attitudinal status of a group of migrant school dropouts who had received the General Educational Development (G.E.D.) certificate through the University of Houston, High School Equivalency Program, with a similar group of migrant dropouts who had not received the G.E.D. The purpose of the study was to determine differences between the two groups in the following areas: 1. current employment, employment patterns, salary, income, and reliance on social assistance programs, 2. current educational enrollment, educational goals, and educational aspirations for their children, 3. attitudes toward education in general. Two questionnaires, one for each sample, were developed and mailed early in May 1974. With the exception of a few participants, the majority resided in South Texas. Graphic interpretations, percentage comparisons, and statistical analysis, using the Chi-Square technique, were used in the analysis of the data. The findings were: 1. Economic reasons forced the migrant to leave school. While dissatisfaction with school in general was a factor in dropping out of school, it did not play a significant role. 2. Both samples showed consistent employment with the G.E.D. recipient having more white collar employment, at a significant level, than did the dropout without the G.E.D. There were no significant differences in income between the two groups. The G.E.D. recipient felt that his economic future was better after the G.E.D. than before the G.E.D. The dropout without the G.E.D. also felt that his chances of being successful were good. 3. No significant differences were found in the educational status, but the G.E.D. recipient, however, had higher educational aspirations for himself and for his children than did the dropout group. Both samples indicated very low interest in a technical/vocational education. 4. Education was considered as all important in the minds of the dropout as well as in the minds of the G.E.D. recipient and it was felt by both samples that education would play a significant role in getting a good job, being successful in life, and in overall success. 5. There was general satisfaction with schools by both samples as it related to teachers, counselors, and administrators. Administrators and teachers were considered as being helpful to students; counselors were considered as being available to the student but were not consulted in problem solving. Other students were considered more helpful in this respect than were counselors.