|Abstract or Summary
- Mounting inflationary economic pressures and the obvious
spiralling costs of education, at all levels, has drastically
augmented public, administrative, and government concern regarding
the effectiveness of many educational training programs. Secretarial
Science, which is designed to provide occupational-level training
represents such a program.
Therefore, this study was conducted in order to gather pertinent
information about secretarial science students who attend post-secondary
non-university institutions in Alberta.
Specifically, an attempt was made to:
1. identify student characteristics and attitudes.
2. identify differences between students attending "public
colleges" and "other institutions."
3. determine whether or not identifiable differences exist
between secretarial dropout students and secretarial
4. determine the reasons why secretarial science students
withdraw from the secretarial programs.
The sample population consisted of 308 secretarial science
students enrolled in seven institutions in Alberta--three public
colleges, a technical institute, an agricultural/vocational college,
and two vocational centers.
The data emanated from the administration of the College Auto-
Biographical Inventory, a 110-question forced-choice personal and
attitudinal inventory and from follow-up data collected on withdrawal
Statistical treatment included frequency counts, percentage
distributions, chi square analysis, and discriminant function analysis.
The results of the findings indicated that 99 percent of the
students surveyed were females with an average age of 21.84 years--
two- thirds were single. One-half of the students came from rural
areas or small towns, and four-fifths had attended a small high school.
Nine out of ten students had taken at least one "business or commercial"
course during high school. Three-quarters of the students entered
college within a year of completing high school. Two-fifths of the
students lived within 10 miles of the institution they attended.
As for attitudes, four-fifths of the students indicated that
they had family support for choosing secretarial training. At least
two-thirds of the students reported positive responses to their decision
to attend a college for their post-secondary education, to enroll
in a secretarial program, and to attend that particular institution.
A chi square analysis of the data identified 18 variables (15
personal characteristics and 3 attitudinal) which differentiated
between "public colleges" students and "other institutions" students.
An additional 18 variables (12 attitudinal and 6 personal characteristics)
were also identified which differentiated between
secretarial dropout students and secretarial persister students.
A stepwise discriminant function analysis identified 12 variables
which differentiated between dropout and persister students and
produced two Discriminant Function Coefficient equations which
accurately categorized 82 percent of the students into either the persister or dropout groups.
The major conclusions reached indicated that:
1) Alberta secretarial science students share a high
percentage of common personal characteristics and
attitudes with their peers across Canada and the
2) employment, transfer, and domestic reasons accounted for
one-half of the attrition students, although 12 distinct
attrition categories were identified.