A STUDY OF STUDENTS TAKING DIFFERENT FRESHMAN ENGLISH COURSES AT VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY TO DETERMINE IF ONE COURSE OR SERIES OF COURSES IS BETTER THAN ANOTHER (HIGH RISK, DISADVANTAGED, SPECIAL PROGRAMS; PENNSYLVANIA)

EDWARD LEON COLLYMORE, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

Villanova University, like many institutions of higher education concerned about the inability of incoming freshmen to write standard English prose, instituted two new English courses. These courses were designed to meet the needs of two types of students: "high-risk" students admitted through a special program and regularly admitted students with low verbal SAT scores.^ Seventy students participated in the study. Initially, twenty-one "high-risk" students were rostered in sections of the English course designed as English 1000X and twenty-five students were randomly selected from the English 1000 sections. These students formed the basis of comparison of four groups taking four different series of English courses. These groups would ultimately be compared to twenty-four students rostered in English 1005.^ Pre- and post-test scores from a segment of forms X5 and Y5 of the Iowa Tests of Educational Development (ITED) and English course grades of the students were used to study the impact of the courses on the students. The analysis of covariance (with option 9) was used to analyze the data. The four groups were the independent variables. The dependent variables were the post-test scores (Form X5), administered at the end of the first semester, post-test scores (Form Y5), administered at the end of the second semester, and first and second semester English grades.^ Overall, the groups were unequal when tested in the beginning. At the end of the first semester, those undergoing the "treatment" made some gains but of no statistical significance. The same held true for the groups during the second semester. From the first pre-test to the final post-test, group 2, the group "treated" both semesters, did however experience the greatest improvement in scores. All English grades showed a decrease from the first semester to the second. However, group 2 experienced the least drop in scores of all the groups.^ Based on the data, eleven conclusions were reached, which led to six recommendations; one of which recommends that "high-risk" students continue to be required to take the English 1000X and 1005X ("treated") sequence. ^

Subject Area

Education, Language and Literature

Recommended Citation

EDWARD LEON COLLYMORE, "A STUDY OF STUDENTS TAKING DIFFERENT FRESHMAN ENGLISH COURSES AT VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY TO DETERMINE IF ONE COURSE OR SERIES OF COURSES IS BETTER THAN ANOTHER (HIGH RISK, DISADVANTAGED, SPECIAL PROGRAMS; PENNSYLVANIA)" (January 1, 1984). Dissertations available from ProQuest. Paper AAI8416364.
http://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI8416364

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