Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




This study was designed to determine if training in rational emotive therapy and study skills would be more effective in improving academic competence than training in study skills.;The subject population consisted of 141 students who were on academic probation at a community college. Students were recruited to participate in a one credit, graded seminar designed to increase the possibility of succeeding in college. Forty-two students were placed in one of four seminars. In addition, twenty-one students who initially expressed an interest in the seminar but later decided not to participate comprised the control group.;Treatment groups were offered both day and evening, and consisted of one, ninety minute session per week for eight weeks. The criterion measures were grade point average, the Survey of Study Habits and Attitudes (Brown and Holtzman, 1966), and student retention.;The research hypothesis predicted that the RET study skills group would be more effective than the non-RET study skills group which in turn would be more effective than the control group on all criterion measures.;The control group had significantly higher GPA and study attitude scale scores on the SSHA at the onset of the study. Analysis of covariance procedures, using pre-test scores as covariates, were employed on post-test GPA and SSHA data to control for pre-test differences.;No significant differences existed between the treatment groups at the completion of the study. A significant difference between treatment and control groups did exist on the post-treatment teacher approval scale of the SSHA. Both treatment groups reported substantially larger increases on each SSHA scale than the control group. No differences existed among groups on retention rates, nor was time of participation a significant factor.;The data were analyzed on the basis of the amount of effort that students expended in the seminar. Final grade received in the seminar and number of seminar classes attended comprised the operational definitions of student effort. Significant differences were obtained on GPA and on each subscale of the SSHA, distinguishing students who applied themselves in the seminars from those who did not. One can conclude that a program to increase academic competence among students on academic probation can be successful, but only if the student makes a commitment to change previously ineffective study patterns.



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