Older and younger students, full-time and part-time : a comparison of their perceptions of the campus environment at Oregon College of Education Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/2514np153

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  • 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 were drawn: 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 campus environment.
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