|Abstract or Summary
- Older and part-time students are enrolling in institutions of
higher education in increasing numbers, yet little research has
been conducted to see if these students perceive the campus
environment differently from younger, full-time students.
The purpose of this study was to compare the perceptions of
the college environment of four selected groups of students at
Oregon College of Education: older, full-time students (N=50);
younger, full-time students (N=50); older, part-time students
(N=44); and younger, part-time students (N=36).
The objectives were to compare the perceptions of the college
environment between older and younger students, full-time and
part-time students, and the interactions of age and type of
enrollment. The participants in the study completed the College and
University Environment Scales (CUES), second edition, which
measures a student's perception of the campus environment. An
additional Biography Sheet was completed to verify sample selection
criteria extracted from the OCE master registration list and
to provide descriptive data about the sample.
A two-way analysis of variance statistical procedure was
used to test the null hypotheses that no significant differences
existed among the groups selected. Differences were assessed
at the 0.05 level of significance.
From the findings of this study, the following conclusions
I. Older students perceive the campus environment as more
scholarly, polite, considerate and conventional than do
younger students. Older students feel less community and
friendliness than do younger students.
2. Full-time and part-time students did not differ in their perceptions
of the OCE campus environment.
3. Considering the interaction of age and type of enrollment
(full-time or part-time) younger, full-time students perceive
the OCE campus to be friendlier and more of a community
than the other groups studied. Younger, part-time
students felt less campus morale than the other groups. On the basis of the findings of the study the following
recommendations are suggested:
1. It is recommended that this study be replicated on a number
of campuses which would employ the CUES II in a manner
similar to this study. Replication would determine whether
the findings of this study can be generalized or if they are
the result of unique circumstances. Such studies should
include, if possible, a larger number of subjects for more
reliable statistical comparisons.
2. Since there has been little research related to the perceptions
that older and part-time students have of college
environment, more studies are needed at Oregon College of
Education to provide knowledge about the causes of differences
from traditionally full-time, younger students.
3. It is recommended that full-time and part-time students have
their perceptions of the OCE college environment reexamined
since the results of this study contradict previous studies
cited in the Review of Literature, Chapter II.
4. Research is necessary to develop a methodology for assessing
the needs of older and part-time students.
5. Further research is recommended using the demographic
characteristics compiled from the Biography Sheets of the
participants of this study. A study should be made of the relationship of student characteristics such as place of
residence, academic major, and whether one is employed or
not to see if such factors influence student perceptions of the