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An exploration of current specific morals, values and beliefs of parents, students and faculty at a church-related college

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  • The purpose of this study was to ascertain to what degree, if any, there was a difference of opinion among students, parents and faculty in regard to student behavior as that behavior pertained to general conduct, drug use, mischief, sex offenses, drinking, cheating and theft. The research study was conducted at Pacific Union College which is a private, coeducational, liberal arts college affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The college is located in a rural setting in the unincorporated community of Angwin in northern California. Out of a population of 1,950 enrolled students 1,597 met the criteria for this study. All foreign students and students whose parents reside overseas were excluded. Using the random number sampling technique, 400 students were selected. One parent of each student and the entire faculty were also included. Student respondents numbered 355 for a 88.7% participation. Parent returns numbered 300 or 75% of the selected group while faculty participation was 128 or 94.8%. The instrument (Opinion Scale on Student Behavior) used in the collection of data was first developed by Dr. Thomas Schneck (1959) and was revised by consulting with a panel of professionally recognized educators at Oregon State University. Questions dealing with behavioral standards of concern to a church related college were included as well as a demographic information section. A seven-point rating scale was developed to allow personal evaluation of the seriousness of each statement. Each choice increased in severity and ranged from generally acceptable to intolerable, vicious, demands punishment. All data was collected during the spring term of the 1970-71 school year and was analyzed on the Oregon State University CDC 3300 Computer using the analysis of variance and t test statistical models. The 15 null hypotheses about student behavior and demographic information were tested at the .05 and .01 levels of significance. The findings revealed that there were significant differences of opinion about student behavior among students, parents and faculty in regard to the seven areas of student conduct. The differences were in the direction of greater liberalism on the part of the students. Understandably the faculty group was the most conservative in opinions about cheating while parents were the most conservative in the six other categories of student behavior. No significant differences were found among students when those differences were determined by class standing, grade point average or marital status; however, differences were found among students when differences were determined by academic major. Students with majors in Behavioral Science, Business Administration and History were the most liberal. Other variables revealed significant differences among the three groups compared with students being the most liberal, faculty next and parents last. Faculty and parents were closer in opinions about student conduct than were faculty and students.
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