An assessment of the attitudes and opinions of administrators, content faculty, developmental faculty, and students concerning the developmental education needs of community college students Public Deposited

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  • The purpose of the study, which was conducted at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon, was threefold: 1. to assess the attitudes and opinions of administrators, content faculty, developmental faculty, and students concerning developmental education needs of community college students. 2. to develop a questionnaire which could serve as a model to be utilized by other community colleges to assess attitudes and opinions concerning developmental education needs of students. 3. to determine if differences existed between administrators, content faculty, developmental faculty, and students relative to their understandings of developmental education needs of community college students. The major hypothesis was that there would be differences between the attitudes and opinions of administrators, content faculty, developmental faculty, and students concerning the developmental education needs of community college students. The sample consisted of six hundred and seventy-seven respondents. Three hundred and ninety-eight (64%) of the questionnaires were returned for utilization in the study. The groups selected, and the percentages of questionnaires returned were as follows: administrators (75%); content faculty (47%); developmental faculty (81%); and students (70%). The instrument used in the study was a thirty-two item questionnaire which was developed by the investigator. This instrument used a five point Likert format where "one" was the highest rating and "five" was the lowest rating. The analysis of the data collected was done by utilizing a fixed model analysis of variance with unequal cell sizes. This statistical analysis which involved four levels of one factor was computed for each of the thirty-two items on the questionnaire. The Least Significant Difference Test was then done as a post hoc procedure on each item that had an F ratio which indicated a difference significant at the .05 level. Within the limitations of the study, the following major conclusions were drawn. 1. Sixty-nine percent of the thirty-two stated null hypotheses were rejected which indicates considerable difference between the attitudes and opinions of administrators, content faculty, developmental faculty, and students concerning the developmental education needs of community college students. 2. Administrators, content faculty, and developmental faculty differed significantly on only one item that dealt with developmental education skills. 3. Student responses differed significantly from those of administrators, content faculty, and developmental faculty on nineteen of the thirty-two items. 4. Administrators and content faculty agreed upon what skills should be taught but were not in agreement relative to faculty tutors, summer hours, student tutors, college credit for developmental courses, and developmental materials relevant to individual programs of study. 5. Administrators and developmental faculty did not differ significantly on any of the items on the questionnaire. 6. Significant differences were found between the attitudes and opinions of content faculty and developmental faculty on five items. The four items concerned with drop-in tutoring, summer hours, student tutors, and college credit for developmental classes suggested that content faculty had more conservative attitudes toward the operation of the developmental program than did the developmental faculty. 7. Administrators reported a significantly greater need for improvement in the skills of reading comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, basic arithmetic, and use of study time than did students. Administrators also gave significantly higher ratings than students to being open during the summer months, student tutors, and diagnostic testing. 8. Content faculty gave significantly higher ratings than students to sixteen of the thirty-two items on the questionnaire. Eleven of these items dealt with developmental skills and the remaining five were concerned with the operation of the developmental program. 9. Developmental faculty assigned higher ratings than students to the eight items concerned with the developmental skills of reading comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, grammar, basic arithmetic, the use of study time, note-taking, and listening. Drop-in tutoring, being open during the summer months, and student tutors were also rated significantly higher by developmental faculty than by students.
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