Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




The purpose of this study was to identify factors contributing to success, nonsuccess and, withdrawal of open admissions students at Virginia State University. The primary objective was to develop a means for predicting academic outcomes at the time of matriculation for each student in the open admissions program.;The students studied were entering freshmen who were underprepared to enter college. Ex post facto data used as predictors consisted of SAT scores, high school achievement, placement tests scores, and measures on student commitment, socioeconomic status, and student expectations regarding college life.;Using a total of 32 predictors and the criterion categories of successful persisters, unsuccessful persisters, and unsuccessful withdrawals, four separate discriminant analyses were performed on two freshmen groups. The objectives of these analyses were to determine the extent and manner in which the criterion categories could be differentiated by the predictors and to identify dimensions associated with the differentiated outcomes. Another purpose was to provide a means for properly classifying individual students in future freshman classes given the data required for the predictors.;The hypotheses tested emphasized the primacy of academic variables, and differences between males and females in both performance and persistence outcomes. The theoretical framework for the study consisted of Atkinson's model regarding performance and Tinto's theory of dropouts.;The results revealed a lack of uniformity among the groups analyzed and little evidence of discrimination. The primary predictor, anticipation of needing extra time to complete degree requirements, was nonacademic, but it was only a limited indication of the student's expected degree of academic integration at college. The secondary predictor, reading ability, was only supportive in predictions. The results regarding prediction of performance did not conform to the majority of the findings in the literature nor to Atkinson's model. The results on dropout, including actual outcomes, appear to be consistent with outcomes that could be expected from Tinto's theory.;It was concluded that accurate predictions on open admissions outcomes for individual students could not be made at the time of matriculation. However, predictions of group outcomes could be made on the basis of actual outcomes determined in the study.



© The Author