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High school GPA, ACT composite scores, and rank in high school graduating class as predictors of academic achievement of Hispanic students at the University of Colorado at Denver

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High school GPA, ACT composite scores, and rank in high school graduating class as predictors of academic achievement of Hispanic students at the University of Colorado at Denver
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Martinez, Joseph Ned
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English
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ix, 54 leaves : ; 29 cm

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Hispanic American youth -- Education -- Case studies -- Colorado -- Denver ( lcsh )
Academic achievement -- Testing ( lcsh )
Academic achievement -- Testing ( fast )
Hispanic American youth -- Education ( fast )
Students ( fast )
Colorado -- Denver ( fast )
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Case studies. ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Case studies ( fast )

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Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 53-54).
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Arts, Department of Sociology.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Joseph Ned Martinez.

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University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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16860203 ( OCLC )
ocm16860203
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LD1190.L66 1985m . M37 ( lcc )

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Full Text
HIG^ SCHOOL GPA, ACT COMPOSITE SCORES, AND RANK IN HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATING CLASS AS PREDICTORS OF ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF HISPANIC STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT DENVER
by
Joseph Ned Martinez
A. A., University of Southern Colorado, 1983
B. S., University of Southern Colorado, 1984
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of Sociology
Copyright (c)
1985
1985 by Joseph Ned Martinez rights reserved


This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Joseph Ned Martinez has been approved for the Department of Soc iology by


Martinez, Joseph Ned (M.A., Sociology)
High School GPA, ACT Composite Scores, and Rank In High School Graduating Class as Predictors of Academic Achievement of Hispanic Students at the University of Colorado at Denver Thesis directed by Professor Richard H. Ogles
This study sought to determine If high school GPA, ACT composite scores, and rank In high school graduating class were predictive variables of the academic achievement of two Hispanic groups at the University of Colorado at Denver.
The population of the study consisted of 17 subjects.
First-semester grade point average was used as the dependent variable. Only those participants without prior college experience who had taken the ACT battery and completed at least one semester at the University of Colorado at Denver were eligible for the study.
A descriptive case study with an ex post facto design was carried out. Statistical methods in the study included the calculation of Pearson product-moment correlation, standard deviation, variance, and calculation of the mean. The findings of this study provided the basis for the following conclusions:
1. AM three Independent variables, ACT composite scores, rank in graduating class, and high school GPA, correlated highly with college GPA for Group I students.
2. For Group II students, high school GPA and rank in graduating class correlated highly with college GPA.


Iv
A very low correlation was obtained between ACT composite scores and college GPA.
3. A sizeable difference In the mean high school GPA of Groups I and II was obtained, Indicating that,
at the time of admission to the University of Colorado at Denver, the two groups constituted two distinct popuI at Ions.
4. No significant difference was found In the mean college GPA of Groups I and II after one academic
semester.


V
DEDICATION Brothers and Sisters
Don Jr., Edward, Louie, Robert and Ronnie Pat, Gloria, Corrlne, JoAnn, Julie and Donna
Mom and Dad
My ChI Idren
Joseph Jr., Rene and Edward And My Life
Conn i e


vl
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This study required the assistance and cooperation of many individuals and could not have been completed without their constant attention. While this study bears the name of but one author, It has In no way been a solo effort. I would like to formally and sincerely thank Danny E. Martinez, my former employer and friend, who not only suggested the topic of this study, but also gave me the crucial support and encouragement I needed to complete this demanding task. Without his sustained help, recommendations, and personal involvements through the development of each chapter, this study would not have been possible.
In addition, I am indebted to both Dr. Richard Ogles and Dr. Karl Flaming, who as chair and first reader, guided me with great Insight as well as patience. I also extend my appreciation to Dr. Cecil Glenn, who has graciously served on my committee.
1 offer special thanks to Mr. Mark Flower and the professional staff of the CU-Denver Office of Admissions and Records, who made it possible for me to obtain the data used In this study.
Finally, for her quiet support, which carried me through this long effort and its accompanying vicissitudes, I thank my
wIfe Conn ie.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. THE PROBLEM ...................
Introduction ................
Review of Literature ........
Statement of the Problem ...
Need for the Study ..........
Significance of the Study .. Delimitations of the Study .
II. THE HISPANIC EDUCATION PROGRAM
Recruitment .................
Diagnostic Screening ........
Orientation .................
Academic Advising ...........
Personal Counseling .........
Tutoring ....................
Advocacy ....................
III. DESIGN OF THE STUDY ...........
The Sample ..................
Method ......................
Data Collection and Analysis
I
I
4
I I
12
14
15
16
19
20
22
22
23
23
23
25
27
27
32
IV
ANALYSIS OF THE DATA
33


vl I I
V. CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH ....... 48
Findings ............................................... 49
Suggestions for Further Research ...................... 50
BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................... 53


lx
TABLES
Table
1. Classification of Entering Students ........................ 28
2. Entering Freshman of the Study ............................. 28
3. Grade Point Scoring System ................................. 28
4. High School and College GPA of Groups I and II ......... 34
5. ACT English Scores for Groups I and II ..................... 36
6. ACT Math Scores for Groups I and II ........................ 37
7. ACT Social Studies Scores for Groups I and II .............. 38
8. ACT Natural Science Scores for Groups I and II ......... 39
9. ACT Composite Scores for Groups I and II ................... 40
10. Rank in High School Graduating Class and Comparison
of High School and College GPA for Groups I and II .... 41
11. Indicators of Independent and Dependent Variables .......... 42
12. Pearson Product-Moment Correlation of High School
GPA, High School Rank, and ACT Composite Scores Correlated with College GPA .......................... 43
13. Difference of the Means of High School and College
for Groups I and II ..................................... 46


CHAPTER I
THE PROBLEM ln1r.Qflua.tiQP
This study concerns itself with the field of the sociology of education especially with the area of Inequality and race, and In particular, with the phenomenon of academic achievement of Hispanics. Other topics of discussion Include the socialization, culture, symbolic and conflict functions. People are shaped by the socialization process from the moment of birth. Socialization involves learning the wide range of values, ideas and expectations that structure a person's daily life. Education is part of this process. Education may be defined as the formal process by which society transmits values, skills, and knowledge from one person or group to another.
Education's main function is to transmit culture. Cultural goals and values differ widely both among and within societies.
For many ethnic minorities, this difference may be due partly to cultural differences, because minority children have different cultural backgrounds often in conflict with those of the dominant, white society.
Thus, an individual student's progress toward achievement of desired outcomes may be viewed as a product of prior interaction


2
with society and culture and present Interactions with the society and culture characteristic of an organized institutional system. When an individual student's acculturation to social Institutions
Is viewed In this manner, a branch of social behavioristic theory known as "symbolic Interaction theory" offers particular applicability to this study.
"Symbolic Interaction theory is concerned with the Influence of society and culture upon the Individual and, in turn, the influence of the individual upon society and culture" (Smelser, 1981:31). An Individual may be said to both Influence and be influenced by society and culture. Thus, the relationship between the individual self and society Is critical In symbolic interaction theory. Symbolic Interaction theory explains the character of interaction between the self and significant others. Individual development is influenced through a socialization process whereby individuals interpret symbols and internalize the attitudes of significant others who hold desirable references for behavior and actions. Therefore, it Is possible that individual development can be affected by external factors Inherent in the society, culture and the Institutional systems. Individual modes of action are determined by the interpretation and internalization of relevant, desirable behaviors and attitudes from significant others.
The halting contribution of U.S. education to equality and full human development appears intimately related to the nature of the economic structures into which the schools must Integrate each new generation of youth (Bow Ies-Gintes, 1976:53).


3
The economy produces people. The production of commodities may be considered of quite minor importance except as a necessary input Into people production.
The undemocratic structure of economic life in the United States may be traced directly to the moving force in the capitalist system: the quest for profits. Capitalists make profits by
eliciting a high level of output from a generally recalcitrant work force. The critical process of exacting from labor as much work as possible In return for the lowest possible wages Is marked by antagonistic conflict, in contract bargaining and equally In daily hassles over the Intensity and conditions of work (Ibid., p. 54). The totalitarian structure of the capitalist enterprise is a mechanism used by employers to control the work force In the interest of profits and stability.
Inequality can be defined as ...a condition in which people do not have equal access to social rewards.
Jimmy is a second grader. He pays attention in school, and enjoys it. School records show he is reading slightly above grade level and has a slightly better than average I.Q. Bobby is a second grader in a school across town. He a I so.. .enjoys school and his test scores are quite similar to Jimmy's. Bobby is a safe bet to enter college (more than four times as likely as Jimmy) and a good bet to complete itat least twelve times as likely as J immy.
Bobby will probably have at least four years more schooling than Jimmy. He is twenty-seven times as likely as Jimmy to land a job which by his late forties will pay him an income In the top tenth of all incomes.
Jimmy has one chance in eight of earning a medium income.
These odds are the arithmetic of inequality in America...Bobby is the son of a successful lawyer whose annual salary of $35,000 puts him well within the top 10 percent of the United States income distribution


4
In 1976. Jimmy's father, who did not complete high school, works from time to time as a messenger and a custodial assistant. His earnings, some $4,800, puts him in the bottom 10 percent (Eltzen, 1985:494).
The period from birth to adulthood Involves attending schools where performance is Judged and evaluated and where credentials for occupational placement are acquired (Turner and Musick, 1986:144). Schools thus become arenas for proving one's ability to assume certain positions; and as a result, mechanisms (such as testing, counseling, and tracking) for identifying and developing the capacity of students become elaborated.
. Li.tair.atur.e
More than two thousand years ago Plato and Aristotle insisted, as a primary principle of the art of politics, that education Is the best guarantee of the stability of society.
Plato, Indeed, went further, asserting in the Republic (as twenty-three centuries later John Dewey reaffirmed In Democracy .and.Educa-ti.on). that education is everywhere the best means of social and political reform (Llghtfoot, 1972:48). For this reason Plato insisted that Socrates was an even greater statesman that Pericles himself. It could hardly be otherwise; for the public school is a social Institution, not merely in the sense that it is maintained by the state, but In the far more pregnant sense that the intellectual and moral choices embodied in it invariably entail significant social and political consequences. In the long run the character of the state depends upon the character of its citizens, while the character of the citizen depends upon the


5
nature of education.
In recent years there have been a number of studies comparing the validity of academic predemlc predictors for black versus white college students (Temp, 1971; Stanley, 1971; Cleary, 1968). At present two findings seem to be fairly stable. First, there Is no evidence of any systematic underprediction of the grades of black students through the use of standardized tests. Second, the SAT, used in largely segregated institutions, has been found to be about as predictively valid for Blacks as for whites. Another finding which seems a bit less certain concerns the black-white equivalence of regression planes for GPA on predictors. Temp (1971) performed a survey of 13 institutions comparing black versus white regression of GPA on SATV, SATM,
SATV plus SATM, and the multiple regression of GPA on SATV and SATM. He found only nine of 52 instances in which the hypothesis of a single regression plane (for both black and white students) could not be rejected at the .05 level. Similar findings have been reported by others (Pfelifer and Sedlacek, 1971; Kallingal, 1971). Cleary (1968) reports black-white equality of regression slopes for all comparisons and equality of intercepts in two of three comparisons (Goldman and Richards, 1974:129).
Differential prediction for black and white students was empirically investigated at 13 institutions by comparison of regression planes (Temp, 1971:245). Particular attention was given to the possibiI Ity that prediction procedures appropriate for white (majority) students would underpredict the performance


6
of black (minority) students. The data tend to support, among others, the following generalizations: (a) a single regression plane cannot be used to predict freshman GPA for both Blacks and whites In 10 of the 13 Institutions studied; nevertheless, (b)
If prediction of GPA from SAT scores is based upon prediction equations suitable for majority students, then black students, as a group, are predicted to do about as well as (or better than) they actually do; but (c) the multiple regression (SAT-V, M) prediction for Blacks In 12 of the 13 Institutions was lower In magnitude than for whites and was not significant in 6 of the situations studied.
In a study to reexamine the value of high school grades (relative to standardized test scores) for predicting college grades of black students (Thomas and Stanley, 1969:203), data from previous studies and from a predominantly black university were analyzed. Results tend to indicate that high school grades do not consistently make the greatest contribution In predicting college grades of black students, perhaps particularly of men, whereas they do for whites. Unreliability of grade reporting, Invalidity of grades in high school, restriction in range due to selection processes, and intergroup differences in personality characteristics were advanced to explain this phenomenon. The studies which have been cited compare Blacks and whites.
Gallant (1966:6468) found a positive correlation between college freshman grade point average and combined scores on the verbal and mathematical portion of the American College Testing


7
Program. He also found a positive correlation between freshman grade point average and combined scores on the verbal and mathematical portion of the Scholastic Aptitude Test. The correlations were 0.44 and 0.34 respectively. In his study he found that the correlation between high school grade point average and college grade point average was 0.63 while the correlation between high school class rank and college grade point average was 0.56.
In a study by Gallant (1966:6468) he claimed that the total high school academic record was the most reliable Instrument for predicting academic achievement during the college freshman year. He found a positive correlation between college freshman grade point average and combined scores on the American College Testing Program. He also found a correlation between freshman grade point average and combined scores on the verbal and mathematical portion of the Scholastic Aptitude Test. The correlations were 0.44 and 0.34 respectively. Using high school percentile rank converted to Pearson I an Standard Scores, composite score of the American College Testing Program battery, size of high school graduating class, high school (metropolitan, suburban, etc.) as Independent variables, Fisher (1965:3970) concluded that the academic composite which is essentially a weighted high school grade point average was the most significant predictor of academic achievement. He also concluded that each Independent variable added significantly (a<.05) to the multiple correlation in the following order: academic composite, high school standard scores, composite score of the American College Testing Program battery,


8
high school subject units, and high school size.
In the fall of 1971, Goldman and Richards did a study on the SAT prediction of grades for MexIcan-Amerlean versus Anglo-American students at the University of California, Riverside, The population of subjects for this study consisted of all freshmen who entered the University of CaI IfornIa-RiversIde. Only those who had completed the winter quarter and had completed data were used. Second quarter GPA based upon a 5-point scale was predicted from the verbal and mathematical test of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SATV and SATM). MexIcan-AmerI can students were Identified by surname. Seven Judges were employed for this purpose. Classification by five of the judges was considered necessary for an individual to be classified as MexIcan-Amerlean. Anglo-American students were randomly sampled from the registrar selecting every fifth name. There were 42 Mexican-Amerlean students and 210 Anglo-American students in this study.
The mean, standard deviations, and intercorrelations among predictor and criterion variable were presented (Goldman and Richards, 1974:130). Analysis of variance comparing ethnic groups on GPA, SATV and SATM was performed, Indicating higher Anglo scores on all measures C p <.0001) Next, the homogeneity of regression planes was a method suggested by Wilson and Carry (1969). It should be noted that the Wilson and Carry article contains some typographical errors for the equation (Ibid., p. 131). The corrected equations are presented by Geeslin (1970). The hypothesis that both groups can be described by the same regression plane


9
can be rejected (F[2,246j = 3.94; p<.05). When this Anglo-American (majority) regression was used to predict the grades of Mexlcan-American students (mean SATV = 473, SATM = 495), substantial over-prediction resulted (predicted GPA = 2.66, obtained GPA = 2.28).
For the Anglo-American sample, the multiple correlation coefficient was .44 (F[j2,207 = 26.08; p <. 0 I ). The difference between the coefficients was nonsignificant. The regression weights for the multiple correlation equations for each group were presented (Ibid., p. 131). A comparison of the beta weights for each group reveals that the weight given to SATM Is larger for the Anglo sample than for the MexIcan-Amerlean sample (+C248j = 2.40; p<.05) Since the vectors of regression weights were shown to differ in two groups, no comparison of the equality of regression intercepts was made. In the winter of 1973, Goldman and Richards replicated Study I, with a much larger sample size, as a result of a newly instituted data processing system at UCR.
In this replication ethnicity was determined by self-disclosure of students. Since falling enrollment had reduced the size of the 1972 freshman class, it was decided to use the entire student body as the subject population. Winter quarter GPAs were used for all students. The ratio of MexIcan-Amerlean to Anglo-American students was relatively constant across all four years with the number of MexIcan-Amerlean students equalling about 5$ of the number of Anglo students for three of the four classes (Ibid., p. 132) of the standardized regression was presented (Ibid., p. 133) and reveals again that the weight given to SATM Is larger


10
for the Anglo-American sample than for the MexIcan-American sample (+[[1806 = 4.44; p < .0001 ), while the weights assigned to SATV are Identical. Regression equations for males and females were virtually Identical within each ethnic group.
It Is clear that If prediction of GPA from SAT Is based upon an Anglo-American regression equation, then the GPA of MexIcan-AmerIcan students, as a group, Is somewhat overpredIcted.
It also appears that the SAT is only slightly more useful for the prediction of GPA In Anglo-American as opposed to the Mexican-Amerlcan sample. Finally, it appears that the regression equations for the two groups are not homogeneous ( I. e., a sample regression equation would not adequately describe the GPA-SAT relationships for both groups). When the standardized regression weights were compared for both groups, it appeared that they differed In the weight given to SATM but not on the weight given to SATV. At this point it is appropriate to ask, "How should these findings be Interpreted?" Goldman and Richards come to the following conclusions: (1) if the SAT is used to predict the grades of
Mexican-American students, it will overpredict grades when an Anglo-American derived regression equation is employed; (2) If separate equations are calculated for each subgroup, the SAT is almost as predictively valid for Mexican-American students as it is for Anglo-American students.
It should be noted that since high school grades were not used in the Goldman and Richards study, the Implications of the study were less Interesting than they could otherwise have been.


11
In "Guidelines for Testing Minority Group Children," by Fishman, Deutsch, Kogan, North and Whiteman (1964:129), It Is stated that:
Standardized tests currently In use present three principle difficulties when they are used with disadvantaged minority groups: they may not provide reliable dIfferentatlon In the range of the minority group's scores, their predictive validity for minority groups may be quite different from that for the standardization and validation groups, and the validity of their Inter-pretatlon Is strongly dependent upon adequate understanding of the social and cultural background of the group In question.
The focus of this study Is to determine If high school GPA, ACT composite scores, and rank in high school graduating class are predictive variables of the academic achievement of two Hispanic groups at the University of Colorado at Denver.
The research cited Indicates that high school GPA is the most predictive measure of academic achievement in colleges. However, there Is evidence to support the notion that ACT composite score and rank in graduating high school class might be useful measures as well, particularly when considered In concert with high school GPA.
^tatamani. af ,tha.f cab Lam
This study seeks to determine whether or not ACT scores, high school GPA and rank In graduating class can be used to predict the academic achievement of Hispanic students at the University of Colorado at Denver as determined by college cumulative GPA after one full academic semester of study. The study questions which guided this study are:


12
1. For Hispanic students at the University of Colorado at Denver who meet required admission standards for regular admission, do ACT scores, high school GPA, and rank In graduating class correlate positively with cumulative college GPA after one academic semester?
2. For Hispanic students admitted to the University
of Colorado at Denver through the Hispanic Education Program, do ACT scores, high school GPA, and rank In graduating class correlate with cumulative college GPA after one academic semester?
3. Will there be a difference In mean high school GPA between Hispanic students admitted to the University of Colorado at Denver under standard admission criteria and Hispanic students admitted through the Hispanic Education Program?
4. Will there be a difference In mean college GPA after one academic semester between Hispanic students admitted to the University of Colorado at Denver traditionally and Hispanic students admitted through the Hispanic Education Program?
Maad..f.Qr. t.bs..St.udy
Colleges and universities have traditionally used standardized test scores, rank in class, and high school grade point average as criteria for admissions. According to Holland and


13
Richards (1967:60), there are several purposes to be served by assessing the student's potential for success In college, and which underlie the use of such criteria. They argue that the determination of students potential for achievement could facilitate the student's choice of college or career, enhance the college's ability to educate the student, and make possible the determination of the student's potential for valuable accomplishments In life which go unrealized during college years.
However, research probing the relationship between various factors and prediction of academic success has produced disparate results and is character I zed by much diversity In the use of criteria, methodology, and populations studied. Furthermore, there are very few studies which have focused on minority populations, particularly Hispanlcs.
It Is a well-known fact that Hispanlcs continue to be grossly underrepresented In Institutions of higher learning and that their composite ACT scores and high school grades are significantly lower than those of their Anglo counterparts. Currently in the state of Colorado, there Is a move on the part of educational Institutions toward upgrading entrance standards (Denver Post, 1985:42). Given that Hispanlcs already lag behind in educational attainment and achievement on standardized measures, one adverse consequence of such a policy is that higher admission standards could reduce significantly the percentage of Hlspanics eligible for admission to four-year colleges and universities.
The number of Hispanlcs enrolled In higher education in


14
Colorado has Increased sharply since 1968, largely because students not meeting traditional admission criteria were allowed to enter Institutions under the auspices of special programs such as the Hispanic Education Program at the University of Colorado at Denver. These programs recognized the discriminatory nature of many standardized measures and the need to take other nontradl-tional, and sometimes nonacademic, factors Into consideration In assessing the Hispanic student's potential for academic achievement. However, very little research has been done on these programs to determine the predictive validity of other factors employed In the admission of Hispanic students who did not meet established admission criteria.
This study seeks to determine whether there is a correlation between ACT scores, high school grade point average for two Hispanic groups at the University of Colorado at Denver. One group, the "traditional" student, consists of those students who met regular admission criteria. The second group is comprised of those who did not enter through the "traditional" process, and were, subsequently, admitted through the Hispanic Education Program. In addition, the study will determine whether or not there Is a correlation between the factors used in the admission of the students In the latter group and their level of academic success.
Slflnlif .Study
It is anticipated that the findings of this research will


15
not only add to the grossly deficient body of knowledge concerning the prediction of academic achievement of Hlspanics, but also provide valuable data to be used by admission personnel In the development of effective criteria for the admission of Hispanic students to universities such as the University of Colorado at Denver. Without such data, admission counselors will be hard pressed In the future to make predictive Judgments In the admission process, and it will be difficult for numerous Hispanic students to gain access to four-year educational institutions in the state of Colorado.
Qfliialt.allan&..aL tire, Study
Subjects for the study were drawn from the University of Colorado at Denver. One group of subjects met required admission standards for regular admission to the University of Colorado at Denver. The other group of subjects for the study were drawn from participants in the Hispanic Education Program at the University of Colorado at Denver, who did not meet the regular, formal criteria for admissions standards to enter the University of Colorado at Denver. Only those participants without prior college experience who had taken the ACT battery and completed at least one semester at the University of Colorado at Denver were eligible for the study.


CHAPTER I I
THE HISPANIC EDUCATION PROGRAM
\j|. The Hispanic Education Program (HEP) of the University of Colorado at Denver Is a recruItment/retentlon, academic support services program designed to:
1. actively recruit Hispanic individuals demonstrating academic potential and provide them the opportunity to further their education
2. provide the comprehensive academic and personal support necessary to ensure the student's retention and graduation
3. foster in Its students a positive self-concept and pride In their ethnic heritage, which will aid them in their academic endeavors
4. guide Hispanic students Into a variety of fields
so that they may return to their respective communities as productive and active participants In the greater society.
The HEP was established In 1969, in response to the gross underrepresentatIon of Hlspanics at the University and the unique
needs of a growing Hispanic urban population. The University was quick to realize that the low level of educational attainment


17
among HIspanics could be raised only through specially designed programs staffed by Hispanic professionals who were sensitive to and knowledgeable about the problems of the Hispanic community.
Since Its Inception, the HEP has directed Its services primarily at non-traditlonal Hispanic students from economically, educationally, and socially disadvantaged backgrounds. That Is, students who would be less likely to gain admission to the University and succeed In completing a baccalaureate degree. It Is for this reason that of the 100 to 150 students served by the HEP each year, approximately 75$ are economically and/or educationally disadvantaged. The data presented below serve to depict the typical student recruited and assisted by the HEP in a given year.
- Less than 5$ of the HEP students enter CU-Denver with
an A average from high school. Twenty percent enter with a B average and 10$ with a D average, while the majority, 65$ enter with a C average.
- Seventy percent of the Program's participants are the first members of their families to have gone to college.
In many Instances, one or both parents have not completed h Igh school.
- The average ACT composite score of entering HEP students is 16.
- Only 10$ of HEP students are admlssable to professional education programs. The majority of those wishing to pursue such programs must, first, complete one academic year of course work In liberal arts and sciences to remove


18
defIciencles.
- Approximately 40$ of the students enroll for part-time study, as many must work to support themselves and their f am I I Ies.
- The average age of the Program's students Is 23.
The HEP's students are categorized In three distinct
groups, which require some description for the purposes of this study. Group A, the largest of the three. Is comprised of students recruited by the Program and who do not possess the ACT composite score, rank In class, or high school GPA required for admission according to normal standards. These students are given Individual consideration by the HEP, and are granted admission only upon the Program's recommendation. Group B consists of students who have applied for admission through normal channels, but who have been denied admission due to their inability to meet one or more of the admission criteria. These students are referred to the HEP by the Admissions Office for further screening before a final admission decision is rendered. The students in Group C, the smallest group, are those who enter the University through normal admission channels, but wish to affiliate themselves with the Program and avail themselves of the advising and other services offered. Since there are students who are relatively well prepared for college, they do not require the constant attention of the Program. In many cases, they seek moral support from and ethnic identity with the Program rather than the academic support
services.


19
This study concerns Itself primarily with HEP students In groups A and B and the service network through which the Program attempts to neutralize the academic disadvantage with which students enter the University. Because the students In these two groups receive specially designed services which constitute significant factors In the study, a detailed description of each Is provided below.
T It has long been known that traditional methods of recruitment are not effective in reaching Hispanic students with academic potential. This Is particularly true for students coming from families lacking a tradition of educational pursuit. The HEP centers Its recruitment activity around potential students most likely to be ignored or missed by the institution's recruitment efforts. In high schools, it Identifies students through special recruitment sessions sponsored by the Colorado Educational Services Development Association (CDSDA), an organization comprised of Colorado student services personnel committed to improving the educational lot of minorities In Colorado. The Program also makes selective visitations to schools to speak to non-tradItionaI Hispanic students who have not considered college or who feel they lack the credentials necessary for admission. Other HEP students are identified through outreach in community organizations, alternative education programs, community colleges, and public and private agencies.


20
P Uflnasi. I c ..SclmaIm
The students In groups A and B are those traditionally classified as high risk students, who do not meet standard criteria for admission to the University. By long-standing agreement between the HEP and the CU-Denver Office of Admissions, these students are admitted to the University upon the recommendation of the Program. The HEP makes Its recommendation only after making a thorough assessment of the student's potential for success In college based upon his/her performance on one or more of the following: writing sample; battery of diagnostic tests (Stanford Test of Academic Skills (TASK)); personal Interview. The Program utilizes these criteria In addition to those used by CU-Denver In admitting a student. In essence, it looks at all criteria, University and Program, combined.
ACT scores of HEP students are given serious consideration only when they match scores obtained on the TASK. The scores on the TASK (a test which assesses the students skills In reading, grammar, and math) are considered by the HEP to more aptly reflect the student's true level of skill In the basic academic areas.
The scoring process of the TASK Involved minority populations from varying backgrounds, thereby eliminating much of the cultural bias embedded in the ACT. The TASK Is an Instrument upon which the HEP relies not only for recommending admission, but also for advising Its students. The scores on the TASK'S three sections provide a guide for placement of students In English and math courses, areas that are basic to the beginning student's


21
curr icuIum.
The writing sample, required of HEP students demonstrating deficiencies In writing, Is an Informal Instrument by which the Program measures the students' ability to communicate their Ideas In a coherent and acceptable stylistic manner. Students demonstrating severe deficiencies In areas measured by the TASK, are referred to a community college; however, those showing promise on the TASK, but deficiencies on the writing sample, may be recommended for admission on the condition that they enroll In basic writing classes offered through the University's Academic Center for Enrichment or Metropolitan State College for college credit.
All students wishing to be considered for admission through the HEP are required to have a personal interview with either the Director of the Program or its Counselor. During the structured session, the interviewer assesses the students' motivation, educational and career interests, and his/her self-perceived academic strengths and weaknesses. When the student has completed the interview, the Program Director reviews the students' total record, including: ACT and TASK scores; high school GPA and transcript; writing sample; and interview profile sheet. A student is recommended for admission if he/she shows promise of success in college by obtaining the following minimums:
Measure Mi.nl.mmn Scale
HS GPA 1.5 0-4.0
ACT 10 1-36
TASK 5 1-9
Writing Sample 15 1-20


22
Students are generally recommended for admission with one or more of the following conditions: basic course work In math, reading, and/or composition; tutoring In specific content area; regular counseI Ing/adv I sIng.
Oriental Lon
For many educationally disadvantaged Hispanic students, their first experiences with the environment of academia can be traumatic and frustrating. The Program attempts to facilitate the students' entry Into the University by providing them with a pre-regIstratIon orientation. At this orientation, the student Is Introduced to the structure of the Institution, general educational requIrements, and procedures and policies governing various academically related processes. The student is also walked through the entire registration process, in order to make the student's formal initiation into the college system a positive and encouraging one.
Ar^dsmir Advising
A requirement for all students admitted to the University through the HEP Is that they consult with a member of the HEP staff prior to enrolling for courses. The advisor utilizes the various diagnostic data available on each student In developing a course schedule appropriate to the student's levels of skill, degree requirements, and the student's interests.
Throughout the academic year, students consult an HEP


23
advisor regarding dropping and adding of courses, degree and career planning and preparation for graduate study.
Par-son a 1. Counsel lag
Students experiencing problems of a personal nature frequently seek advice or assistance from an HEP advisor. Students with serious problems are referred to the Counseling Office for proper assistance.
Tutor Inc
The HEP has no tutorial services available through its office. Students experiencing difficulties In their classes, or those for whom tutoring has been made a condition of admission are referred by the HEP to the Academic Center for Enrichment for assistance. The Program also refers to the Center students demonstrating a need for various workshops that are offered at the Center in study skills, use of the library, test taking skills, etc.
Advocacy
The majority of students serviced by the Program are older, working adults who must contend with numerous responsibilities and financial burdens. Frequently, the events and hardships In their personal lives interfere with their academic endeavors.
When the need arises, the HEP serves as a mediator between the troubled student and other parties within the Institution. The


24
Program Director or Counselor frequently speak with professors on the student's behalf to resolve academically related problems and assist the student In preparing for appeals procedures relating to academic or financial aid matters. Through Its advocacy, the Program attempts to prevent personal situations beyond the students' control from hindering their academic progress.


CHAPTER I I I
DESIGN OF THE STUDY
In his discussion of types of research designs, MouIy (1963:231) contrasted surveys, experimental and case studies: surveys differ from experimental studies In purpose. Surveys are oriented toward the determination of the status of a given phenomenon rather than toward the Isolation of causative factors. Survey studies differ from case studies in that surveys are generally based on large cross-sectional samples, while case studies are oriented to the more intensive and longitudinal study of a smaller sample and, like experimentation, attempt to isolate antecedents or causes of the phenomenon under Investigation.
Further differentiation between analytic, descriptive, and correlational designs Is made by McMillan and Schumacher (1984:35). Analytic research Involves a synthesis of Information, arguments, or events to derive relationships and consequences that may not be empirical in nature. Descriptive research simply describes an existing phenomenon by quantitatively (using numbers) or qualitatively character IzIng an Individual or group. It assesses the nature of existing conditions. The purpose of most descriptive research Is limited to characterizing something as It Is, though some descriptive research suggests tentative causal


26
relationships. CorreI at Iona I research Is technically a form of descriptive research, but because of Its heavy use In education It Is summarized as a distinct type of research. CorrelatlonaI research Is concerned with assessing relationships between two or more phenomena (Ibid., p. 26). In the three types of experimental research that have been Introduced by McMillan and Schumacher, the experimenter has control over conditions and events that will occur In the future, and there is some type of manipulation of a treatment that is given to the subjects. However, the design of the study can be further refined. Ex post facto research is used to study groups that are similar and have had the same experience except for one condition. The effect of the differing condition on some other variable can then be assessed. Thus, there are treatment and control groups, but the effect has already occurred as the researcher begins the study. Because there is no active manipulation of conditions nor is there random assignment of subjects to groups, causative conclusions that can be drawn from this type of research are tentative at best (Ibid., p. 27).
In reviewing several textbooks on research designs, the writer concluded that descriptive research as It applies to the present study, was best described by Moore (1983:163). Specifically,
If the researcher has no manipulative control over the independent variable, that Is, the variable has already occurred, it is then a measurement type of operational definition, and It falls under the category of descriptive research.
Therefore, utilizing the above definitions, the writer


27
undertook a case study with an ex post facto design which was descriptive in nature.
The subjects of this study consisted of Hispanic students at the University of Colorado at Denver who were admitted to the University in the Fall of 1983. A computer printout of all applying Hispanic students admitted was obtained from the Office of Admissions and Records. A summary of participants by code is found in Table 1. Participants records In the Office of Admissions and Records were then obtained to determine which participants were admitted to the University as freshman, submitted the American College Testing Scores (ACT), high school grade point average (GPA) and rank In graduating class. A list of the participants meeting the above criteria was then checked against a computer printout at the Office of Admissions and Records. All of this Information Is utilized by admission personnel at the University to aid in the prediction of academic achievement of prospective freshman students.
A total of 17 students comprised the sample used In this study. Therefore, the present study is concerned with this universe of students, i.e., all entering freshman Hispanic students. A summary of groups is found in Table 2.
Method
The Independent variables for this study included the


29
following measures: high school grade point average, rank In graduating class, and the American College Testing Program. Generally, high school grade point average seems to be the best and most reliable predictor of academic achievement (Gallant, 1966:6468). Gallant found that the correlation between high school grade point average and college grade point average was 0.63, while the correlation between high school class rank and college grade point average was 0.56. He concluded that the total high school academic record was the most reliable Instrument for predicting academic achievement during college freshman year.
Fisher (1965:3970) used high school percentile rank converted to Pearsonian Standard Scores, composite score of the American College Testing Program (ACT), size of high school graduating class, high school subjects taken and grades received (called the academic composite) as Independent variables. He concluded that the academic composite, which is essentially a weighted high school grade point average, rank in graduating class and the American College Testing Program was the most significant predictor of college academic achievement.
The ACT test battery yields the following subtest scores: English, mathematics, social studies, and natural science. The American College Testing Program has described the four subjects as:
...developed to measure as directly as possible the abilities the student has that can be applied In his college
course work.


30
...the tests are designed to measure the student's ability to perform the kinds of Intellectual tasks typically performed by college students. Most of the test I terns are concerned with what the student can do with what he has learned; they are not concerned primarily with specific and detailed subject matter (Using ACT on the Campus, 1970:2).
The English usage test Is a 75 Item, 40 minute test that is designed to measure the student's understanding and use of basic concepts in writing such as organization, style, punctuation, and capitalization. The test format is four written passages with certain portions underlined and numbered. Four alternatives are given for each underlined portion and the student must decide which alternative is most correct (Ibid., p. 2).
The mathematics usage is a 40 item, 50 minute examination designed to measure the student's mathematical reasoning ability. The test Includes a sampling of mathematical techniques covered In high school courses and emphasizes the solution of practical quantitative problems. Items are of two general types: verbal problems which present quantitative problems In practical solutions; and formal exercises in arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. Five alternatives are given for each question and the student must decide which alternative is correct (Ibid., p. 2).
The social studies reading test Is a 52 item, 35 minute test designed to measure the evaluative reasoning and problem solving skills required In the social studies. I terns are of two


31
general types: those based on four reading passages and those based on general background or Information obtained In high school social studies courses. All I terns based on the reading passages require the student to draw Inferences and conclusions, to apply the thoughts of the passages to new situations, to make deductions from experimental or graphic data, and to recognize a writer's bias, style, and mode of reasoning (Ibid., p. 2).
The natural sciences reading test Is a 52 Item, 35 minute test designed to measure the critical reasoning and problem-solving skills required in the natural sciences. I terns are of two general types: those based on four reading passages and those based on Information about science. All Items are multiple-choice with four alternatives. Reading passage items require the student to interpret and evaluate scientific materials, to understand the purpose of experiments, logical relations between experimental hypotheses, and generalizations that can be drawn from the experiments. The Informational Items require the student to apply knowledge from high school science courses to familiar, new, and analogous problems (Ibid., pp. 2-3).
In addition, a composite score, which Is the arithmetic average of the four subtests. Is reported as a fifth score. Each raw score of the ACT battery is converted to a common scale ranging from I (low) to 36 (high). The approximate median score of the national sample of fIrst-semester high school seniors Is I6, while 20 is the approximate median score of first-semester college bound seniors taking the ACT battery. A complete rational for this


32
scale system may be found In the ACT Technical Report, 1965 Edition, pp. I 1-15.
The Dependent Variable for this study Included the following measures: first semester college grade point average. Grades In the undergraduate schools and colleges at the University of Colorado at Denver and their credit-point values are In Table 3.
Pala. CQ M eet ton .and Analysis
The data in this study was obtained from the Office of Admissions and Records. The data Included ACT composite scores, and first semester freshman grade point average. The participants personal files were then obtained from the Office of Admissions and Records. High school grade point average, rank in graduating class, and ACT scores of the four required subjects, English, mathematics, social studies, and natural sciences were recorded. Further analysis of the data will be discussed in the next
chapter.


CHAPTER IV
ANALYSIS OF THE DATA
This study sought to determine whether or not the ACT composite scores, high school GPA, and rank In graduating class can be used to predict the academic achievement of two groups of Hispanic students at the University of Colorado at Denver, as determined by college cumulative GPA after one full academic semester of study. The research questions are summarized below:
Research question I: For Hispanic students at the University of Colorado at Denver who meet required admission criteria, do ACT composite scores, high school GPA, and rank in graduating class correlate positively with cumulative college GPA after one academic semester?
Research question 2: For Hispanic students admitted to the University of Colorado at Denver through the Hispanic Education Program, do ACT composite scores, high school GPA, and rank In graduating class correlate positively with cumulative college GPA after one academic semester?
First the means for high school and college GPA were calculated for both Groups I and II. The means for both groups are shown in Table 4.
Second the mean of all ACT subtest scores was calculated


34
TABLE 4
HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE GPA OF GROUPS I AND II
HLah..Schoai GPA Gfllilrfrae
Group 1
01 3.250 3.167
02 3.403 3.1 18
03 3.200 3.400
04 3.970 3.556
05 3.776 3.389
06 2.650 .692
07 3.035 .000
N=7 x = 3.326 x = 2.475 N=7
Group 11
01 2.310 2.438
02 2.302 2.600
03 1 .960 1 .769
04 3.338 2.417
05 2.265 1 .000
06 3.000 2.500
07 2.860 2.833
08 2.933 2.000
09 2.020 w
10 3.020 2.462
N= 10 x = 2.701 ~x = 2.224 N=9


35
for both groups. A summary of the means of ACT scores is shown In Tables 5-8. In addition, a composite score, which Is the arithmetic average of the four subtests, Is reported as a fifth score, which appears In Table 9. Each raw score of the ACT battery Is converted to a common scale ranging from I (low) to 36 (high).
The approximate median scores of the national sample of first-semester college bound seniors and first-semester high school seniors taking the ACT battery are reported to be 20 and 16, respectively (ACT on Campus, 1970:2). For the purpose of this study only the composite score was used. It Is Important to note that the mean ACT composite score of Groups I and II In thIs study Is consistent with the national mean of fIrst-semester high school seniors which is 16, while 20 Is the approximate median score of first-semester college bound seniors taking the ACT battery (Ibid., p. 2). Further, the mean ACT composite score of Group II subjects is equivalent to that of past and present participants In the Hispanic Education Program at the University of Colorado at Denver (the Hispanic Education Program, 1985:19). Finally, the mean for percentile rank In graduating class was calculated. A comparison of the mean of both groups Is shown in Table 10. A list of the independent variables and dependent variable used in this study appears In Tab Ie II.
A Pearson product-moment correlation program was executed Incorporating three independent variables and one dependent varlab Ie.
Table 12 indicates that all three independent variables


36
TABLE 5
ACT ENGLISH SCORES FOR GROUPS I AND II
ACT Eng I Ish
Group 1 01 23
02 19
03 20
04 22
05 23
06 20
07 17
x = 20.57
Group 11
01 15
02 15
03 18
04 21
05 12
06 09
07 15
08 17
09 17
10 13
x = 15.20


37
TABLE 6 ACT MATH SCORES FOR GROUPS 1 AND 11
ACT Math
Group 1 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 28 22 22 28 27 15 12 x = 22.00
Group 1 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 1 15 24 15 26 08 01 06 26 24 1 1
x = 15.60


38
TABLE 7
ACT SOCIAL STUD IES SCORES FOR GROUPS I AND I I
ACT Social Studies
Group I
01 25
02 12
03 20
04 28
05 28
06 25
07 21
'x = 22.71
Group 11 01 12
02 10
03 22
04 22
05 08
06 10
07 19
08 24
09 20
10 08
y = 15.50


39
TABLE 8
ACT NATURAL SCIENCE SCORES FOR GROUPS I AND I I
ACT Natural Science
Group I
01 31
02 18
03 23
04 31
05 33
06 27
07 16
x = 25.57
Group 11 01 16
02 19
03 21
04 23
05 12
06 13
07 18
08 26
09 28
10 19
"x = 19.50


40
TABLE 9
ACT COMPOSITE SCORES FOR GROUPS I AND I I
ACT Compos Ite
Group I
01 27
02 17
03 21
04 27
05 28
06 22
07 17
x = 22.71
Group 11
01 15
02 17
03 19
04 23
05 10
06 08
07 15
08 23
09 22
10 13
"x = 16.50


41
TABLE 10
RANK IN HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATING CLASS AND COMPARISON OF HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE GPA FOR GROUPS I AND I I
Rank $ H/S GPA Col 1 GPA
Group 1 01 89/450 80 3.250 3.167
02 81/588 86 3.403 3.1 18
03 2/92 78 3.200 3.400
04 1 1/90 88 3.970 3.556
05 6/450 99 3.776 3.389
06 157/500 69 2.650 .692
07 61/268 77 3.035 .000
N = 07 x = 82.43$ S = 9.61 9 _ N = 07 7 = 3.326 N = 07 x = 2.475
S^ = 79.02
Group 11
01 307/473 35 2.310 2.438
02 207/312 34 2.302 2.600
03 311/424 27 1 .960 1 .769
04 51/422 88 3.338 2.417
05 239/400 40 2.265 1 .000
06 91/322 72 3.000 2.500
07 208/437 52 2.860 2.833
08 103/346 70 2.933 2.000
09 313/372 16 2.020 w
10 87/337 74 3.020 2.462
N = 10 N = 10 N = 09
x = 50.80$ x = 2.701 x = 2.224
S = 23.96
S2 = 516.76


TABLE I I
INDICATORS OF INDEPENDENT AND DEPENDENT VARIABLES
Independent Variables for Groups I and II
1. High School ACT Composite Scores
2. High School Rank In Graduating Class
3. High School Grade Point Average (GPA)
Dependent Variable for Groups I and II
I. First Semester College Grade Point Average (GPA)


TABLE 12
PEARSON PRODUCT-MOMENT CORRELATION OF HIGH SCHOOL GPA, HIGH SCHOOL RANK, AND ACT COMPOSITE SCORES CORRELATED WITH COLLEGE GPA
Group 1 High School GPA High School Rank ACT Compos Ite r = r = r = .77 .65 .54
Group 11
High School GPA r = .47
High School Rank r = .83
ACT Composite r = .10


44
are highly correlated with college GPA for Group I. These findings coincide with those of previous studies. Table 12 also shows that for Group II, only high school GPA and ran-. In graduating class correlate highly with academic achievement as reflected by college GPA. The ACT composite of Group II seen In Table 12 do not show any significant correlation with academic achievement.
Correlations of .65 and .83 were obtain d between rank
In graduating class and college GPA for Groups * and 11, respect-
ively. These findings are In most part conslsl vfit with those
of prior studies, which have found rank In gra ating class to
be good predictors of academic achievement. M -a s Ign i f leant.
however, Is the fact that for Group II, rank Ir- graduating class
is more highly correlated with college GPA thc-i either of the
other Independent variables of high school GPA nd ACT composite
scores. These results differ from those of pr: lous studies,
in which high school GPA proved to be the best redictor of
academic achievement. This finding of the pre; ent study indicates
that the correlation between rank In graduattn. c1 ass and col 1ege
GPA may well have been underestimated previous: and that the two
variables may, in fact, be more highly correla: d than they were
found to be In prior research on Hispanic stud. its. However, the
difference in findings may very well be in the character 1 sties
of the subjects being studied. Subjects in pror studies have been traditional students like those In Group In this study, that Is, students who, for the most part, meet trad tlonal admission standards which Include graduation In the uppe 50% of the high


45
school graduating class. The subjects In Group II of this study represent non-tradItIonaI students admitted to the University of Colorado at Denver In spite of their high school class rank.
The variance and standard deviation of high school ranks for Group I Is, then, significantly smaller than that of Group II. An analysis of Table 10 quickly reveals that the high correlation value obtained for Group II Is obviously due to the heterogeneous distribution of the class rank scores of Group II subjects. Unlike the rank scores of Group I subjects, those of Group I I are not closely clustered about the mean. The heterogenlty of the rank score produces a substantially larger variance for Group II, which results in a greater correlation.
Research question 3: Will there be a difference in mean high school GPA between Hispanic students admitted to the University of Colorado at Denver under standard admission criteria and through the Hispanic Education Program? Table 13 clearly shows a difference In mean high school GPA between Groups I and II.
Research question 4: Will there be a difference in mean college GPA after one academic semester between Hispanic students admitted to the University of Colorado at Denver traditionally and Hispanic students admitted through the Hispanic Education Program? Table 13 clearly shows no real difference In college GPA between the two groups after one academic semester of college. This fact is demonstrated both by the minimal difference In academic performance of the two groups as revealed by the persistence of Group II students through their first semester in


TABLE 13
DIFFERENCE OF THE MEANS OF HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE FOR GROUPS I AND I I
Gcoufl. J Grquo 11
*x = 3.326 High School GPA ~x = 2.701
Col lege GPA
-.851 -.477
Group 1 High Group II High School GPA School GPA 3.326 2-7QJ + .625
Group 1 College GPA Group II College GPA 2.475 2 ..2 24 + .251


47
college. Table 10 demonstrates some Interesting questions. Note that 06 and 07 of Group I bring down the mean for all of Group
I. What happened to 06 and 07 of Group I? What If they had been In the Hispanic Education Program? Nevertheless, students GPAs of Group II do not lower very much. In fact, 01 and 02 Improve this GPA over high school. More Important, there are no students In Group II who experience the declines as 06 and 07 of Group I. This persistence of Group II demonstrates the Hispanic Education Program really helps Hispanic students at the University of Colorado at Denver.


CHAPTER V
CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
The objective of this study was to determine If high school GPA, ACT composite scores and rank In graduating class were good predictors for academic achievement of two Hispanic groups at the University of Colorado at Denver.
First-semester grade point average was used as the dependent variable. Only those participants without prior college experience who had taken the ACT battery and completed at least one semester at the University of Colorado at Denver were eligible for the study.
A descriptive case study with an ex post facto design was carried out. Statistical methods in the study included the calculation of Pearson product-moment correlation, standard deviation, variance, and calculation of the mean.
The research questions are listed In Chapter I and again in Chapter IV. Chapter IV contains an analysis of each research question. The four research questions are reiterated below:
I. For Hispanic students at the University of Colorado at Denver who meet required admission standards for traditional admission, do high school GPA, ACT composite scores, and rank In graduating class


49
correlate positively with cumulative college GPA after one full academic semester?
2. For Hispanic students admitted to the University
of Colorado at Denver through the Hispanic Education Program, do high school GPA, ACT composite scores and rank In graduating class correlate positively with cumulative college GPA after one full academic semester?
3. Will there be a difference In mean high school GPA between Hispanic students admitted to the University of Colorado at Denver under standard admission criteria and Hispanic students admitted through the Hispanic Education Program?
4. Will there be a difference in mean college GPA after one academic semester between Hispanic students admitted to the University of Colorado at Denver traditionally and Hispanic students admitted through the Hispanic Education Program?
The researchquest ions were further tested for both groups at the University of Colorado at Denver. Pearson product-moment correlations, standard deviation, variance and calculation of the mean were used as component program analysis. The analysis revealed the following findings:
I. All three independent variables, ACT composite, high


50
school GPA, and rank In graduating class, correlated highly with college GPA for Group I students.
2. For Group II students, high school GPA and rank In graduating class correlated highly with college GPA.
A very low correlation was obtained between ACT composite score and college GPA.
3. A sizeable difference In the mean high school GPA of Groups I and II was obtained, Indicating that,
at the time of admission to the University of Colorado at Denver, the two groups constituted two distinct popuI at Ions.
4. No significant difference was found in the mean college GPA of Groups I and II after one academic semester.
The results of this study Indicate that all three independent variables are adequate predictors of academic success of traditional students, whereas high school GPA and rank In class are the best predictors for students from non-traditIona I backgrounds. The findings further reveal that non-traditionaI Hispanic students can succeed in college with the assistance of specially designed programs such as the Hispanic Education Program.
Saaasati-ana..f,ar,,.F,artier Research
The following suggestions for future research are recommended:
I. Obvious limitations of the present study are the


51
small sample size and the non-random selection of subjects. Future research Into predictive measures of academic achievement of Hispanic students should employ larger, randomly selected samples of students at four-year Institutions. Further, more valid results could possibly be obtained by comparing groups after one full academic year of study.
2. The findings of our study suggest that there may
be other significant variables affecting the achievement of non-trad11Iona I Hispanic students that were not considered in this Investigation. Future research would do well to focus on variables such as specific services offered to students by programs such as the Hispanic Education Program, SES of students, educational level of parents and siblings, and self-concept and motivation of students.
Although a high correlation was obtained between rank in class and college GPA for Group II, a detailed analysis of Table 10 reveals patterns of performance for both groups that warrant a closer look at the true relationship of the two variables. Subjects 04, 06, 08, and 10 of Group II are similar to the subjects of Group I, In that their class ranks are high and nearly equal. However, when we compare the high school GPAs of the 4 subjects in Group I to their college GPA, we find that their college GPA dropped below the level that might have been predicted by their high school GPA. A similar pattern is revealed


52
In Group II, where subjects 02, 04, and 05 (those with the highest class rank) failed to attain a college GPA equal to their high school GPA. These patterns of performance raise some Important questions regarding the predictive validity of rank in graduating class that merit further investigation.


BIBLIOGRAPHY
American College Testing Program.
1970 "Using ACT on the Campus," Iowa City: A Report Prepared for the American College Testing Program, Inc.
American College Testing Program.
1965 "ACT Technical Report," Iowa City: A Report Prepared for the American College Testing Program, Inc.
Bowles, Samuel and Herbert Gintis
1976 Schooling In Capitalist America: Educational Reform and the Contradictions in Economic Life. New York: Basic Books, Inc.
Eitzen, Stanley D.
1985 In Conflict and Order: Understanding Society. Colorado State University: Allyn and Bacon, Inc.
Fisher, James L.
1965 "Factors Affecting Academic Success," (Dissertation Abstracts, 25, 7:3970).
Fishman, J.A., M. Deutsch, L. Kogan, R. North, and M. Whiteman
1964 "Guidelines for Testing Minority Group Children," Journal of Social Issues Supplement 20:129-145.
Ga I I ant, Thomas F.
1966 "Academic Achievement of College Freshmen and Its Relation ship to Selected Aspects of the Student's Background," (Dissertation Abstracts, 26, 11:6648).
Goldman, Roy D. and Regina Richards
1974 "The SAT Prediction of Grades for Mexican-American versus Anglo-American Students at the University of California, Riverside," Journal of Educational Measurement 11:129-135.
Holland, John J. and James M. Richards
1967 "Academic and Nonacademic Accomplishments In a Representative Sample of Students Taking the American College Tests, College and University 43:60.


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Llghtfoot, Alfred
1972 Inquiries Into the Social Foundations of Education:
Schools in Their Urban Setting. Chicago: Rand McNally and Company.
McMillan, James H. and Sally Schumacher
1984 Research in Education: A Conceptual Introduction. Canada: Little, Brown and Company.
Moore, Gary W.
1983 Developing and Evaluating Educational Research. Canada: Little, Brown and Company.
Morson, Berny
1985 "Hispanic Legislators Blast College-Admission Plans,"
Rocky Mountain News:8.
Mouly, George J.
1963 The Science of Educational Research. New York: American Book Company.
Smelser, Neil J.
1981 Sociology. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Temp, G.
1971 "Validity of the SAT for Blacks and Whites In Thirteen
Integrated Institutions," Journal of Educational Measurement 8:245-25 I .
Thomas, C.L. and J.C. Stanley
1969 "The Effectiveness of High School Grades for Predicting
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Enduring Social Issues. New York: Columbia University Press.


Full Text

PAGE 1

SCHOOL GPA, ACT COMPOSITE SCORES, AND RANK IN HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATING CLASS AS PREDICTORS OF ACADO'II C ACH I OF H I SPAN I C STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT DENVER by Joseph Ned Martinez A 0 Ao, University of Southern Colorado 1983 80S 0 University of Southern Colorado, 1984 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the G raduate School of the Univ ersity of Colorado in partial ful fl I of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of Sociol ogy 1 985 Copyr I ght (CJ 1985 by Joseph Ned Mart inez AI I rights reserved

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This thesis for the Maste r of Arts degree by Joseph Ned Martinez has been approved for the Department of Sociology by Date

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Martinez Joseph Ned (M.A., Sociology) High School GPA, ACT Composite Scores, and Rank In High School Graduating Class as Predictors of Academic Achievement of Hispanic Students at the University of Col orado at Denver Thesis directed by Professor Richard H Ogles This study sought to determine If hi gh school GPA, ACT composite scores, and rank In high school graduating class were predictive va riables o f the academic achievement of two Hispanic groups at the University of Colo rado at Denver The population of the study consisted of 17 subjects. First-semester grade po int average was us e d as the dependent variable. Only those participants without prior col lege experience who had taken t he ACT battery end compl e t ed at least one semester at the UnIve rsity of Colorado at Denver w ere el igible for the study. A descriptive case study with an ex post facto design was carried out. Statistical methods in the study included the calculation of Pearson p roduct-mo ment corr e lation, standar d deviation, variance, and calculation of the mean The findings o f this study p rovided the basis for the fol l owing conclusions: I. AI I three independent variables, ACT composite scores, rank in g raduating class, and high school GPA, correlated highly with col lege GPA for Group I students. 2 For Group I I students, high school GPA and rank in graduating class correlated highly with col l ege GPA.

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A very low correlatIon was obtaIned between ACT compos I te scores and co I lege GPA. 3. A sIzeable dIfference In the mean high school GPA of Groups I and I I was obta I ned, I nd i cat I ng that, Iv at the time of admission to the University of Colorado at Denver, the two groups constItuted two distinct populations. 4. No sIgnificant dIfference was found In the mean col lege GPA of Groups I and I I after one academIc semester.

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DEDICATION Brothers and Sisters Don Jr., Edward, Louie, Robert and Ronnie Pat, Gloria, Corrine, JoAnn, Julie and Donna Mom and Dad Ch I I dren Joseph Jr., Rene and Edward And My Life Connie v

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This study required the assistance and cooperation of many Individuals and could not have been completed without their constant attention. Whl Ie this study bears the name of but one author, It has In no way been a solo effort. would I Ike to vi formally and sincerely thank Danny E. Martinez, my former employer and friend, who not only sug gested the topic of this study, but also gave me the crucial support and encouragement I needed to complete this demanding task. Without his sustained help, recommendations, and pe rsonal Involvements through the development of each chapter, this study would not have been possible. In addition, I am indebted to both Dr. Richard Ogles and Dr. Karl Flaming, who as chair and first reader, guided me with great Insight as wei I as patience. I also extend my appreciation to Dr. Cecl I Glenn, who has graciously served on my committee. I offer special thanks to Mr. Mark Flower and the professional staff of the CU-Denver Office of AdmissIons and Records who made it possible for me to obtaIn the data used In this study. Finally, for her quiet support, which carried me through this lon g effort and Its accompanyIng vicissitudes, I thank my wIfe Connie.

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CHAPTER I I I I I I IV. TABLE OF CONTENTS THE PROBLEM ........................................ Introduction ....................................... Review of Literature Statement of the Problem ........................... Need for the Study ................................ Sig nificance of the Study .......................... Del Imitations of the Study ........... ............. THE HISPANIC EDUCATION PROGRAM ....................... Recruitment ........................................ 4 I I 12 14 15 16 19 D ia gnostic Screening 20 Orientation ........................................ 22 Academic Advising .. 22 Personal Counseling ........ 23 Tutoring ........ .............. ........... .......... 23 Advocacy ..... 23 DESIGN OF THE STUDY .................................. The Sample ......................................... Method ............................................. 25 27 27 Data Coll ec t ion and Analysis . 32 ANALYSIS OF THE DATA ................................. 33

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v. CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH Findings ........................................... Suggestions for Further Research ................... vIII 48 49 50 B IBL IOGRAPHY 53

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I x TABLES Table I. Classification of Entering Students 28 2 Entering F r eshman of the Study........................ 28 3 Gra de Point Scoring Sys tem 28 4. High School and College GPA of Groups I and II 34 5 ACT Engl Ish S cores fo r Groups I and I I 36 6 A C T Math Scores fo r Groups I and I I ................. 37 7 ACT S ocial Stud ies Scores for Groups I and I I . 38 8 ACT Natural S c ien c e Scores for Groups I and I I 39 9 ACT Composite Scores for Groups I and I I . ............ 40 10. R ank in High School Graduating C lass and Comparison o f H igh S c hoo I a n d Col lege GPA fo r G r oups I a n d II 41 I I. Indi cato r s of Independe n t a n d Depe ndent Variab les 42 1 2 Pea r son Pr oduct-toment Corre lation of High School GPA, High Schoo l Rank, and ACT Composite Scores Corre l a ted with College GPA 43 13. Diff e r e n c e of the Means o f H igh S chool and Col l ege for Groups I and I I ...... 46

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CHAPTER I THE PROBLEM Introdyctjoo This study concerns itself with the field of t h e sociology of education especially with the area of Ine qual ity and race, and In particular, wIth the phenomenon o f academic ach Iev ement of Hispanics. Other topIcs of dIscussion Inc lud e the socIalizatIon, t culture, symbolIc and confl let functions. People are shaped b y the socialIzation process from the moment of birth. Social ization invo lves learning the wide range of values, Ideas and expectations that structure a person's dal l y I ife. Education Is part of thIs process. Education may be defined as the formal process by whIch s ocIety transmits values, ski I Is, and knowledge from one person or roup to another. EducatIon's main function is to transmIt culture. Cultural goals and values differ widely both among and within societIes. For many ethnic mino ritIes, this difference may be d ue partly to cultural dIfferences, because minority chi Idren hav e different cultural backgrounds often In confl ict with those of the domInan t whIte society. Thus a n IndI vIdu a l student' s progress toward achievement of desIred outcomes may be viewed as a product of prior jnteractloo

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with society and culture and present Interactions with the society and culture characteristic of an organized Institutional system. When an Individua l student's acculturation to social Institutions Is viewed In this manner, a branch of social behavioristic theory known as "symbolic Interaction theory" offers particular appl 1cabl I Ity to this study. 2 "Symbolic Interaction theory Is concerned with the Influence of society and culture upon the Individual and, in turn, the influence of the Individual upon society and culture" (Smelser, 1981 :31). An Individual may be said to both Influence and be Influenced by society and culture. Thus, the r elationship between the individ ual self and society Is critical In symbolic Interaction theory. Symbolic Interaction theory explains the character of Interaction between the self and significant others. Individual development is through a social izatlon process whereby individuals Interpret symbols and internal ize the attitudes of signIficant others who hold desirable references for behavior and actions. Therefore, It Is possible that Individual development can be affected by external factors Inherent in the society, culture and the Institutional systems. Individual modes of action are determined by the Interpretation and internalization of relevant, desirable behaviors and attitudes from significant others. The halting contribution of U.S. education to equality and ful I human development appears Intimately related to the nature of the economic structures Into whic h the schools must Integrate each new generation of youth (Bowles-Gintes, 1976:53).

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3 The economy p\oduces people. The production of commodItIes may be consIdered of quIte mInor Importance except as a necessary Input Into people production. The undemocratic structure of economIc life In the United States may be traced directly to the moving force In the capitalist system: the quest for profIts. Capitalists make profits by eliciting a high level of output from a generally recalcitrant work force. The critical process of exacting from labor as much work as possible In return for the lowest possible wages Is marked by antagonistic conflIct, In contract bargaining and equally In dai Iy hassles over the Intensity and condltloRs of work (Ibid., p. 54). The totalitarian structure of the capital ist enterprise Is a mechanism used by employers to control the work force In the interest of profits and stabl I Ity. Inequality can be defined as a condition In which people do not have equal access to social rewards Jimmy is a second grader. He pays attention in school, and enjoys It. School records show he Is reading slightly above grade level and has a sl ightly better than average I.Q. Bobby Is a second grader in a school across town. He also enjoys school and his test scores are quite simi lar to Jimmy's. Gobby Is a safe bet to enter col lege (more than four times as likely as Jimmy) and a good bet to complete it--at least twelve times as likely as Jimmy. Bobby wi I I probably have at least four years more school I ng than Jimmy. H e I s twenty-seven times as I I ke I y as Jimmy to land a job which by his late forties wi I I pay him 13n income In the top tenth of all Incomes. Jimmy has one chance In eight of earnin g a medium income. These odds are the arithmetic of Ineq u al ity In America Bobby Is t he son of a successful lawyer whose annual salary of $35,000 puts him wei I within the top 10 percent of the United States Income distribution

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In 1976. Jimmy's father, who did not complete high school, works from time to,tlme as a messenger and a custodial assistant. His earnings, some $4,800, puts him In the bottom 10 percent (Eitzen, 1985:494). The period from birth to adulthood Involves attending 4 schools where performance Is Judged and evaluated and where creden-tlals for occupational placement are acquired (Turner and Musick, 1986: 144). Schools thus become arenas for proving one's abl I Ity to assume certain positions; and as a result, mechanisms (such as testing, counseling, and tracking) for Identifying and devel-oping the capacity of students become elaborated. Re:.s I iW sot Lj tilrature More than two thousand years ago Plato and Aristotle Insisted, as a primary principle of the art of politics, that education Is the best guarantee of the stabl I ity of society. Plato, Indeed, went further, asserting In the Republic (as twenty-three centuries later John Dewey reaffirmed In Qem9CCacy tlQn), that education is everywhere the best means of social and political reform (Li ghtfoot, 1972:48). For this reason Plato Insisted that Socrates was an even greater statesman that Pericles himself. It could hardly be otherwise; for the public school is a social Institution, not merely In the sense that It Is maln-talned by the state, but In the far more pregnant sense that the Intellectual and moral choices embodied in it invariably entai I significant social and political consequences. In the long run the character of the state depends upon the character of its citizens, whi Ie t h e character of the citizen depends upon the

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nature of education. In recent years there have been a number of studies comparing the validity of academic predemlc predictors for black versus white col lege students (Temp, 1971; Stanley, 1971; Cleary, 1968). At present two findings seem to be fairly stable. First, there Is no evidence of any systematic underpredlctlon of the grades of black students through the use of standardized tests. Second, the SAT, used In largely segregated Institutions, has been found to be about as predictively valid for Blacks as for w hites. Another finding which seems a bi t less certain concerns the black-white equivalence of regression planes for GPA on predictors. Temp (1971) pe r formed a survey of 13 institutions comparin g black versus white regression of GPA on SATV, SATM, SATV plus SATM, and the multiple regression of GPA on SATV and SATM. He found only nine of 52 instances In which the hypothesis of a single regression plane (for both b lack and white students) c o uld not be rejected at the .05 level. Simi lar findings have been reported by others (Pfel ifer and Sedlacek, 1971; Kal I Ingal, 1971). Cleary (1968) reports bl ack-white equal ity of regression slopes for al I comparisons and eq ual ity of Intercepts in two of three comparisons (Goldman and Richards, 1974: 129). Differential prediction for black and white students was empirically investigated at 13 Institutions by comparison of regression planes (Temp, 1971:245). Particular attention was given to the. posslbl I Ity that prediction procedures appropriate for white (majority) students would underpredict the performance 5

PAGE 15

of black (minority) students. The data tend to support, among others, the following generalizations: (a) a single regression plane cannot be used to predIct freshman GPA for both Blacks and whites In 10 of the 13 InstitutIons studied; nevertheless, (b) If predIction of GPA from SAT scores Is based upon prediction equations suitable for majority students, then black students, as a group, are predIcted to do about as wei I as (or better than) they actually do; but (c) the multiple regressIon (SAT-V, M) predIction for Blacks In 12 of the 13 InstItutions was lower In magnitude than for whItes and was not signIficant In 6 of the situations studied. In a s tudy to reexamine the value of high school grades (relative to standardized test scores) for predicting col lege grades of black students (Thomas an, d Stan ley, 1969: 203), data from previous studIes and from a predominantly black universIty were analyzed. Results tend to IndIcate that high school grades do not consistently make the greatest contribution In predicting col lege grades of black students, perhaps particularly of men, whereas they do for wh I tes. Unre I i ab I I i ty of grade report I ng, Invalidity of grades In high school, restriction In range due to selection processes, and intergroup differences in personality characterIstIcs were advanced to explaIn this phenomenon. The studies which have been cited compare Blacks and whites. Gallant (1966:6468) found a positive correlation between col lege freshma n grade point average and combined scores on the verbal and mathematical portIon of the American Col lege Testing 6

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Program. He also found a positive correlation between freshman grade point average and combined scores on the verbal and mathematical portion of the Scholastic Aptitude Test. The correlations were 0.44 and 0.34 respectively. In his study h e found that the correlation between high school grade point average and col lege grade point average was 0.63 whl Ie the correlation between high school class and col lege grade point average was 0.56. In a study by Gallant (1966:6468) he claimed that the total high school academic r ecord was the most rei lable Instrument for predicting acad emic achievem ent during the col lege freshman year. He found a positive correlation b etween col lege freshman grade point averag e and comb ined scores on the American Col lege Testing Program. H e also found a correlation b etween freshman grade point averag e and combined scores on the verbal and mathematical portion o f the Scholastic Aptitude Test. The correlations were 0 .44 and 0.3 4 respectively. Using high sch ool percentile rank converted to Pearsonlan Standard Scores, composite score of the American Col lege Testing Program battery size of high school graduating class, high sch ool (metropol itan, suburban, etc.) as Independent variables, Fisher (1965:3970) concluded that the academic composite which is essentially a weighted high school grade point average was the most significant predictor of academic achievement. He also concluded that each Inde pendent variable added significantly (a<.05) to the multiple correlation In the fol lowin g or.der: academic composite, high school standard scores, composite score of the American Col lege Testing Program battery, 7

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hIgh school subject units, and high school size. In the fal I of 1971, Goldman and Richards did a study on the SAT prediction of grades for r-1exlcan-Amerlcan versus Anglo American students at the UnIversity of CalIfornia, Riverside. The population of subjects for this study consisted of al I freshmen who entered the UniversIty of California-Riverside. Only those who had completed the winter quarter and had completed data were used. Second quarter GPA based upon a 5-polnt scale was predicted from the verbal and mathematical test of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SATY and SATM). Mexican-American students were Identified 8 by surname. Seven Judges were employed for thIs purpose. ClassificatIon by five of the judges was consIdered necessary for an Individual to be classIfied as Anglo-American students were randomly sampled from the registrar selecting every fIfth name. There were 42 i can-Amer I can students and 210 Ang I 0AmerIcan students In thIs study. The mean, standard devIatIons, and intercorrelatlons among predictor and criterion variable were presented (Goldman and Richards, 1974: 130). Analysis of varIance comparing ethnic groups on GPA, SATY and SATM was performed, IndicatIng higher Anglo scores on al I measures (p<.OOOI). Next, the homogeneIty of regression planes was a method suggested by Wi Ison and Carry (1969). It should be noted that the Wilson and Carry article contains some typographIcal errors for t h e equation (Ibid., p. 131). The corrected equations are presented by Geesl In (1970). The hypothesis that both groups cao be described by the same regression plane

PAGE 18

9 can be rejected (F[2,246J = 3.94; p<.05). When this Anglo-American (maJority) regression was used to predict the grades of Mexlcan American students (mean SATV = 473, SATM = 495), substantial overprediction resulted (predicted GPA = 2.66, obtained GPA = 2.28). For the Anglo-American sample, the multiple correlation coefficient was .44 (F[2,207 = 26.08; p<.OI). The difference between the coefficients was nonsignificant. The regression weights for the multiple correlation equations for each group were presented (Ibid., p. 131). A comparison of the beta weights for each group reveals that the weight given to SATM Is larger for t he Anglo sample than for the Mexican-American sample (+[248J = 2.40; p<.05) Since the vectors of regression weights were shown to differ In two groups, no comparison of the equality of regression Intercepts was made. In the winter of 1973, Goldman and Richards r eplicated Study I, with a much larger sample size, as a result of a newly Instituted data processing system at UCR. In this replication ethnlclty was determined by self-disclosure of students. Since fal ling enrollment had reduced the size of the 1972 freshman class, It was decided to use the entire student body as the subject population. Winter quarter GPAs were used for al I students. The ratio of Mexican-American to Anglo-American students was relatively constant across al I four years with the number of Mexican-American students equal I ing about 5% of the number of Anglo students for three of the four classes (Ibid., p. 132) of the standardized regression was presented (Ibid., p. 133) and reveals again that the weight given to SATM Is larger

PAGE 19

10 for the Anglo-American sample than for the Mexican-American sample (+[1806 = 4.44; p<.OOOI), whl Ie the weights assigned to SATV are Identical. Regression equations for males and females were virtually Identical within each ethnic group. It Is clear that If prediction of GPA from SAT Is based upon an Anglo-AmerIcan regression equatIon, then the GPA of students, as a group, Is somewhat overpredlcted. It also appears that the SAT Is only slIghtly more useful for the predIction of GPA In Anglo-AmerIcan as opposed to the Mexlcan AmerIcan sample. Finally, it appears that the regression equations for the two groups are not homogeneous (i .e., a sample regressIon equation would not adequately descrIbe the GPA-SAT relationshIps for both groups). When the standardIzed regression weights were compared for both groups, it appeared that they dIffered In the weIght given to SATM but not on the weight given to SATV. At th I s po I nt I tis appropr I ate to ask, "How shou I d th'ese fInd I ngs be Interpreted?" Goldman and Richards come to the fol lowing conclusions: (I) If the SAT Is used to predIct the grades of Mexican-AmerIcan students, It wi I I overpredlct grades when an Anglo-American derived regression equation Is employed; (2) If separate equatIons are calculated for each subgroup, the SAT Is almost as predictively valId for Mexican-American students as It Is for Anglo-AmerIcan students. It should be noted that since high school grades were not used In the ,Goldman and Richards study, the Implications of the study were less Interesting than they could otherwise have been

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In "Guidelines for Testing Minority Group Chi Idren," by Fishman, Deutsch, Kogan, North and Whiteman (1964: 129), It Is stated that: Standardized tests currently In use present three principle difficulties when they are used with disadvantaged minority groups: they may not provide rei lable dlfferentatlon In the range of the minority group's scores, their predictive validity for minority groups may be quite different from that for the standardization and validation groups, and the validity of their Interpretation Is strongly dependent upon adequate understanding of t h e social and cultural background of the group In question. The focus of thIs study Is to determine If high school GPA, ACT composite scores, and rank I n high school graduating class are predictive variables of the academic achievement of two His panic grou p s at the University of Colorado at Denver. The research cited IndIcates t hat high school GPA I s the most predictive measure of acad emic achieveme n t In col leges. 11 However, there Is evidence to support the notion that ACT composite score and rank In graduating high school class might be useful measures as wei I, particularly when considered In concert with high sch ool GPA. Statement at the, Prahlew T his study seeks to determine whether o r not ACT scores, high school GPA a n d rank i n graduating class can be used to predict the academic achievement of Hispanic students at the University of Colorado at Denver as determined by col lege cumulative GPA after one ful I academic semester of study. The study questions which guided this study are:

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I. For Hispanic students at the University of Colorado at Denver who meet required admission standards for regular admission, do ACT scores, high school GPA, and rank In graduating class correlate positively with cumulative col lege GPA after one academic semester? 2. For Hispanic students admitted to the University of Colorado at Denver through the Hispanic Education Program, do ACT scores, high school GPA, and rank 12 In graduating class correlate with cumulative col lege GPA after one academic semester? 3. WI I I there be a difference In mean high school GPA between Hispanic students admitted to the University of Colorado at Denver under standard admission criteria and Hispanic students admitted through the Hispanic Education Prog ram? 4. Wi I I there be a difference in mean col lege GPA after one academic semester between Hispa nic students admitted to the University of Colorado at Denver traditionally and Hispanic students admitted through the Hispanic Education Program? Need toe the Study Col leges and universities have traditIonally used standardized test scores, rank in class, and high school grade point average as criteria for admissions. According to Hoi land and

PAGE 22

13 (1967:60), there are several purposes to be served by assessing the student's potential for success In col lege, and which underl Ie the use of such criteria. They argue that the determination of students potential for achievement could facl I 1tate the student's choice of col lege or career, enhance the col lege's abl I Ity to educate the student, and make possible the determination of the student's potential for valuable accompl Ish-ments In I ife which go unrealized during col lege years. However, research probing t he relationship between variou s factors and prediction of academic success has prod uced disparate results and Is characterized by much diversity In the use of criteria, methodology, and populations studied. Furthermore, there are very few studies which h av e focused on minority popula-tlons, particularly Hispanics. It Is a wei I-known fact that Hispanics continue to be grossly underrepresented In Institutions of higher learning and that their composite ACT scores and high school grades are significantly lower than those of their Anglo counterparts. Currently In the state of Colorado, there Is a move on the part of educational Institutions toward upgrading entrance standards (Denver Post, 1985:42). Given that Hispanics already lag behind In educational attainment and achievement on standardized measures, one adverse consequence of such a pol Icy is that higher admission standards could reduce significantly the percentage of Hispanics eligible for admission to four-year col leges and universities. The number .of Hispanics enrol led In higher education In

PAGE 23

14 Colorado has Increased sharply since 1968, because students not meeting traditional admission criteria were al lowed to enter Institutions under the of special programs such as the Hispanic Education Program at the University of Colorado at Denver. These programs recognized the discriminatory nature of many standardized measures and the need to take other nontraditional, and sometimes nonacademic, factors Into consideration In assessing the Hispanic student's potential for academic achievement. However, very little research has been done on these programs to determine the predictive validity of other factors employed In the admission of Hispanic students who did not meet established admission criteria. This study seeks to determine whether there Is a correlation between ACT scores, high school grade point average for two Hispanic groups at the UnIversity of Colorado at Denver. One group, the "traditional" student, consIsts of those students who met regular admission criteria. The second group is comprised of those who did not enter through the "traditional" process, and were, subsequently, admitted through the HispanIc Education Program. In addition, the study wi II determine whether or not there Is a correlatIon between the factors used In the admIssIon of the students In the latter group and their level of academIc success. S,I@UiCMC6 .at. Stw:lV It Is that the findings of this research wi I I

PAGE 24

15 not only add to the grossly deficient body of knowledge concerning the prediction of academic achievement of Hispanics, but also provide valuable data to be used by admission personnel In the development of effective criteria for the admission of Hispanic students to universities such BS the University of Colorado at Denver. Without such data, admission counselors wll I be hard pressed In the future to make predictive Judgments In the admission process, and It wi I I be diffIcult for numerous HIspanIc students to gaIn access to four-year educatIonal InstItutIons In the state of Colorado. QellmltatIOOiof,the.Stud Subjects for the study were drawn from the University of Colorado at Denver. One group of subjects met requIred admissIon standards for regular admIssIon to the UnIversIty of Colorado at Denver. The other group of subjects for the study were drawn from partIcipants in the HispanIc EducatIon Program at the UnIversity of Colorado at Denver, who did not meet the regular, formal criteria for admIssions standards to enter the University of Colorado at Denver. Only those participants without prior col lege experience who had taken the ACT battery and completed at least one semester at the University of Colorado at Denver were eligible for the study.

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CHAPTER I I THE HISPANIC EDUCATION PROGRAM The Hispanic Education Program (HEP) of the University of Colorado at Denver Is a recruitment/retention, support services program designed to: I. actively recruit Hispanic individuals demonstrating academic potential and provide them the opportunity to further their education 2. provide the comprehensive academic and personal sup port necessary to ensure the student's retention and graduation 3. foster in Its students a positive self-concept and pride In their ethnic heritage, which wi I I aid them In their academic endeav ors 4. guide Hispanic students Into a variety of fields so that they may return to their respective commun-Itles as productive and active participants In the greater society. HEP was established In 1969, in response to the gross underrepresentatlon of Hispanics at the University and the unique needs of a growing Hispanic urban population. The University was quick to realize that the low level of educational attainment

PAGE 26

among Hispanics could be raised only through specially desig ned programs staffed by Hispanic professionals who were sensitive 17 to and knowledgeable about the problems of the Hispanic community. Since Its Inception, the HEP has directed Its services primarily at non-traditional Hispanic students from economically, educationally, and socially disadvantaged backgrounds. That Is, students who would be less likely to gain admission to the University and succeed In completing a baccalaureate degree. It Is for this reason that of the 100 to 150 students served by t h e HEP each year, approximately 75% are economically and/or edu c a tionally disadvantaged. T h e data presented below serve to depict the typical student recruited and assisted by the HEP In a g i ven year. Less t han 5 % of the HEP students enter C U-Oenver with an A averag e from hig h school. Twenty percent enter with a B averag e and 10% with a 0 average, whl I e the maJority, 65% enter with a C average. Seventy percent of the Program's participants are the first members of their faml lies to have gone to col lege. In m any Instances, one or both parents h ove not c ompleted h igh s c hoo I -The average ACT composite score of entering HEP students Is 16. Only 10% o f HEP students are admissable to professional education programs. The majority of those wishing to pursue s u ch programs must, first, complete one academic year of course work In liberal arts and sciences to remove

PAGE 27

deficiencies. Approximately 40% of the students enrol I for part-time study, many must work to support themselves and their fam I I I es. The average age of the Program's students Is 23. 18 The HEP's students are categorized In three distinct groups, which require some description for the purposes of this study. Group A, the largest of the three, Is comprised of students recruited by the Program and who do not possess the ACT composite score, rank In class, or high school GPA required for admission according to normal standards. These students are given Individual consideration by the HEP, and are granted admission only upon the Program's recommendation. Group 8 consists of students who have appl led for admission through normal channels, but who have been denied admission due to their inabl I Ity to meet one or more of the admission criteria. These students are referred to the HEP by the Admissions Office for further screening before a final admission decision is rendered. The students in Group C, the smal lest group, are those who enter the University through normal admission channels, but wish to affl I late themselves with the Program and aval I themselves of the advising and other services offered. Since there are students who are relatively wei I prepared for col lege, they do not require the constant attention of the Program. In many cases, they seek moral support from and ethnic Identity with the Program rather than the academic support services.

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19 This study concerns Itself primarily with HEP students In groups A and B and the service network through which the attempts to neutralize the academic disadvantage with which students enter the University. Because the students In these two groups receive specially designed services which constitute significant factors In the study, a detal led description of each Is provided below. Recruitment } It has long been known that traditional methods of recruitment are not effective In reaching Hispanic students with academic potential. This Is particularly true for students coming from fami lies lacking a tradition of educational pursuit. The HEP centers Its recruitment activity around potential students most likely to be ignored or missed by the Institution's recruitment efforts. In high schools, It Identifies students through special recruitment sessions sponsored by the Colorado Educational Services Development Association (CDSDA), an organization comprised of Colorado student services personnel committed to improving the educational lot of minorities In Colorado. The Program also makes selective visitations to schools to speak to non-traditional Hispanic students who have not considered col lege or who feel they lack the credentials necessary for admission. Other HEP students are Identified through outreach In community organizations, alter.natlve education programs, community col leges, public and private agencIes.

PAGE 29

20 Q logpos,t J c Scr.e,en J no The students In groups A and B are those traditionally classified 8S high risk students, who do not meet standard criteria for admission to the UnIversIty. By long-standing agreement between the HEP and the CU-Denver OffIce of AdmIssIons, these students are admItted to the UnIversity upon the recommendatIon of the Program. The HEP makes Its recommendation only after making a thorough assessment of the student's potentIal for success In col lege based upon hIs/her performance on one or more of the fol lowIng: wrItIng sample; battery of diagnostIc tests (Stanford Test of Academic Skills
PAGE 30

21 curriculum. The writing sample, required of HEP students deficiencies In writing, Is an Informal Instrument by which the Program measures the students' abl I Ity to communicate their Ideas In a coherent and acceptable stylistic manner. Students demon-stratlng severe deficiencies In areas measured by the TASK, are referred to a community col lege; however, those showing promise on the TASK, but deficiencies on the writing sample, may be recom-mended for admission on the condition that they enrol I In basic writing classes offered through the University's Academic Center for Enrichment or Metropol itan State Col lege for col lege credit. AI I students wishing to be considered for admission through the HEP are required to have a personal interview with either the Director of the Program or its Counselor. During the struc-tured session, the interviewer assesses the students' motivation, educational and career interests, and his/her self-perceived academic strengths and weaknesses. Ivhen the student has completed the interview, the Program Director reviews t he students' total record, including : ACT and TASK scores; high schooi GPA and transcript; writing sample; and interview profi i e sheet. A student is recommended for admission if he/she shows promise of success in col lege by obtaining the fol lowin g minimums: Measure Ml olmum HS GPA i .5 0-4.0 ACT. 10 1-36 TASK 5 i-9 Writing Sample 15 1-20

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Students are generally recommended for admIssIon wIth one or more of the fol lowIng condItIons: basIc course work In math, readIng, and/or composItIon; tutorIng In specIfIc content area; regular counsel lng/advIsIng. Orlentatloo For many educatIonally dIsadvantaged HIspanIc students, their fIrst experIences wIth the environment of academIa can be traumatIc and frustrating. The Program attempts to facl I Itate the students' entry Into the University by providing them with 22 a pre-registration orientation. At this orientation, the student Is Introduced to the structure of the Institution, general educa tIonal requirements, and procedures and policIes governing various academically related processes. The student Is also walked through the entire registration process, In order to make the student's formal InItiatIon Into the college system a positIve and encour agIng one. Academ/.c AdY 1 sI,AQ A requirement for al I students admitted to the University through the HEP Is that they consult with a member of the HEP staff prior to enrol ling for courses. The advisor uti I Izes the various diagnostic data available on each student In developing a course schedule appropriate to the student's levels of ski I I, degree requirements, and the student's Interests. Throughout the academic year, students consult an HEP

PAGE 32

23 advisor regarding dropping and adding of courses, degree and career planning and preparation for graduate study. P,ec's'ooa I Counse I Lng Students experiencing problems of a personal nature frequently seek advice or assistance from an HEP advisor. Students with serious problems are referred to the Counseling Office for proper assistance. LutaclQQ The HEP has no tutorial services available through Its office. Students experiencing difficulties In their classes, or those for whom tutoring has been made a condition of admission are referred by the HEP to t h e AcademIc Center for Enrichment for assistance. The Program also refers to the Center students demonstrating a need for various workshops that are offered at the Center in study ski I Is, use of the library, test taking ski I Is, etc. Ad y,acacJ' The majority of students serviced by the Program are older, working adults who must contend with numerous responsibll itles and financial burdens. Frequently, the events and hardshIps In the I r persona I I I ves Inter fere with the I r academ I c endeavors. When the need arises, the HEP serves as a mediator between the troubled student and other parties wIthIn the InstItutIon. The

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24 Program Director or Counselor frequently speak with professors on the student's behalf to resolve academically related problems and assist the student In preparing for appeals procedures relating to academic or financial aid matters. Through Its advocacy, the Program attempts to prevent personal situations beyond the students' control from hindering their academic progress.

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CHAPTER I I I DESIGN OF THE STUDY In his discussion of types of research designs, Mouly (1963:231) contrasted surveys, experimental and case studies: surveys differ from experimental studies In purpose. Surveys are oriented toward the determination of the status of a given phenomenon rather than toward the Isolation of causative factors. Survey studies differ from case studies In that surveys are generally based on large cross-sectional samples, whl Ie case studies are oriented to the more Intensive and longitudinal study of a smaller sample and, I Ike experimentation, attempt to Isolate antecedents or causes of the phenomenon under Investigation. Further differentiation between analytic, descriptive, and correlational designs Is made by McMl1 Ian and Schumacher (1984:35). Analytic research Involves a synthesis of Information, arguments, or events to derive relationships and consequences that may not be empirical In nature. Descriptive research s imply describes an existing phenomenon by quantitatively (using numbers) or qualitatively characterizing an Individual or group. It assesses the nature of existing conditions. The purpose of most descriptive research Is limited to characterizing something as It Is, though some descriptive research suggests tentative causal

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relationships. Correlational research Is technically a form of descriptive research, but because of Its heavy use In education It Is summarized as a distinct type of research. Correlational research Is concerned with assessing relationships between two 26 or more phenomena (Ibid., p. 26). In the three types of experimental research that have been Introduced by McM I I Ian and Schumacher, the experimenter has control over conditions and events that wll I occur In the future, and there Is some type of manipulation of a treatment that Is given to the subjects. However, the design of the study can be further refined. Ex post facto research Is used to study groups tha t are simi l a r and have had the same experience ex c ep t for one c o n d ition. The effect of the differing condition on some other variable can then be assessed. Thus, there are treatment and control groups, but the effect has already occurred as the r esearcher begins the study. Because there is no active manipulat ion of conditions nor Is there random assignment of sub jects to groups, causative conclusions that can be drawn from this type of research are tentative at best (Ibid., p. 27). In reviewing several textbooks on research designs, the writer concluded that descriptive research as it appl ies to the present study, was best described b y rv100re (1983:163). Specifically, if the researcher has no manipulative control over the Independent variable, that Is, the variable has already occurred, it Is then a measurement type of operational definition, and It fal Is under the category of descriptive research. Ther efore uti I izlng t he above definitions, the writer

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undertook a case study with an ex post facto design which was descriptive In nature. Tbe The subjects of this study consisted of Hispanic students at the University of Colorado at Denver who were admitted to the University in the Fa!! of 1983. A computer printout of al I applying Hispanic students admitted was obtained from the Office of Admissions and Records. A summary of participants by code 27 Is found in Table i. Participants records In the Office of Admissions and Records were then obtained to determine which participants were admitted to the University as freshman, submItted the American Col lege TestIng Scores (ACT), high school grade point average (GPA) and rank in graduating class. A I ist of the participants meeting the above criteria was then checked agaInst a computer printout at the Office of Admissions and Records. AI I of this Information Is uti I lzed by admIssion personnel at the University to aId In the predIctIon of academic achievement of prospective freshman students. A total of 17 students comprised the sample used In this study. Therefore, the present study is concerned wIth this unIverse of students, i.e., al I entering freshman Hispanic students. A summary of groups is found In Table 2. Method The Independent variables for this study Included the

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fol lowing measures: high school grade point average, rank In graduating class, and the American Col lege Testing Program. Generally, high school grade point average seems to be the best 29 and most rei lable predictor of academic achievement (Gallant, 1966:6468). Gallant found that the correlation between high school grade point average and col lege grade point average was 0.63, whl Ie the correlation between high school class rank and col lege grade point average was 0.56. He concluded that the total high school academic record was the most rei lable Instrument for predicting academic achievement during col lege freshman year. Fisher (1965:3970) used high school percent I Ie rank converted to Pearsonlan Standard Scores, composite score of the American Col lege TestIng Program (ACT), size of hIgh school graduating class, high school subjects taken and grades received (cal led the academic composite) as Independent variables. He concluded that the academic composite, which Is essentially a weighted high school grade poInt average, rank In graduating class and the American Col lege Testing Program was the most significant predictor of col lege academic achievement. The ACT test battery yields the fol lowing subtest scores: Engl Ish, mathematics, social studies, and natural science. The American Col lege Testing Program has described the four subjects as: developed to measure as directly as possible the abl 1the student has that can be appl led In his col lege course work

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30 the tests are desIgned to measure the student's abl I Ity to perform the kInds of Intellectual tasks typIcally performed by col lege students. Most of the test Items are concerned wIth what the student can do wIth what he has learned; they are not concerned prImarIly wIth specIfIc and detal led subject matter (UsIng ACT on the Campus, 1970:2). The Engl Ish usage test Is a 75 Item, 40 mInute test that is designed to measure the student's understandIng and use of basic concepts in wrIting such as organIzation, style, punctuation, and capitalization. The test format I s four written passages with certain portions underl ined and numbered. Four alternatives are given for each underlined portIon and the student must decIde which alternatIve Is most correct (Ibid., p. 2). The mathematics usage Is a 40 Item, 50 minute examInatIon designed to measure the student's mathematical reasonIng abi I Ity. The test Includes a sampling of mathematical techniques covered In high school courses and emphasizes the solution of practIcal quantitative problems. Items are of two general types: verbal problems which present quantitative problems In practical solu tIons; and formal exercises In arIthmetic, algebra, and geometry. Five alternatives are given for each question and the student must decide which alternative Is correct (Ibid., p. 2). The social studIes reading test Is a 52 item, 35 minute test designed to measure the evaluative reasoning and problem solving skI I Is required In the social studies. Items are of two

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31 general types: those based on four passages and those based on general background or Information obtained In high school social studies courses. AI I Items based on the reading passages require the student to draw Inferences and conclusions, to apply the thoughts of the passages to new situations, to make deductions from experimental or graphic data, and to recognize a writer's bias, style, and mode of reasoning (Ibid., p. 2). The natural sciences reading test Is a 52 Item, 35 mInute test designed to measure the critical reasoning and problem-solving ski I Is required In the natural sciences. Items are of two general types: those based on four reading passages and those based on Information about scIence. AI I Items are multiple-choIce with four alternatives. ReadIng passage Items require the student to Interpret and evaluate scientific materIals, to understand the pur pose of e xperiments, logIcal relations between experimental hypotheses, and generalizations that can be drawn from the experiments. The Informational Items require the student to apply knowledge from high school science courses to fami liar, new, and problems (Ibid., pp. 2-3). In addition, a composite score, whIch Is the arithmetic average of the four subtests, Is reported as a fifth score. Each raw score of the ACT battery is converted to a common scale ranging from I (low) to 36 (high). The approximate median score of the national sample of first-semester high school seniors Is 16, whl Ie 20 is the approxImate median score of first-semester col lege bound senIors taking the ACT battery. A complete rational for this

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scale system may be found In the ACT Technical Report, 1965 Ed I t I on p p I 1-I 5 32 The Dependent Variable for this study Included the fol low Ing measures: first semester col lege grade point average. Grades In the undergraduate schools and col leges at the University of Colorado at Denver and their credit-point values are In Table 3. Data, Co 1.1 act I ao and Ana 1.1', 5 Is The data In this study was obtaine d from the Office of AdmissIons and Records. The data Included ACT composIte scores, and first semester freshman grad e poInt average. The partIcIpants' personal files were then obtaIne d from the OffI c e of AdmissIons and Records. High school grade point average, rank In graduating class, and ACT scores of the fo u r required subjects, Engl Ish, mathematIcs, social studIes, and natural sciences were recorded. Further analysis of the data wI I I be d iscussed in the next chapter.

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CHAPTER IV ANALYSIS OF THE DATA This study sought to determine whether or not the ACT composite scores, high school GPA, and rank In graduating class can be used to predict the academic achievement of two groups of Hispanic students at the University of Colorado at Denver, as determined by col lege cumulative GPA after one ful I academic semester of study. The research questions are summarized below: Research question I: For Hispanic students at the University of Colorado at Denver who meet required admission criteria, do ACT composite scores, high school GPA, and rank in graduating class correlate positively with cumulative col lege GPA after one academic semester? Research question 2: For Hispanic students admitted to the University of Colorado at Denver through the Hispanic Education Program, do ACT composite scores, high school GPA, and rank In graduating class correlate positIvely with cumulative col lege GPA after one academic semester? First the means for high school and col lege GPA were calculated for both Groups I and I I. The means for both groups are shown In Table 4. Second the mean of al I ACT subtest scores was calculated

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Group 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 N=7 Group II 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 N=IO TABLE 4 HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE GPA OF GROUPS I AND I I GEa HI ah, ,Sc.hoo.J Cc!.lKW 3.250 3 .167 3.403 3. I 18 3.200 3.400 3.970 3.556 3.776 3.38 9 2.650 .692 3.035 .000 x = 3.326 x = 2.475 2.310 2 438 2.302 2.600 1.960 1.769 3.338 2.417 2.265 1.000 3.000 2 500 2.860 2 833 2.933 2 000 2.020 w 3.020 2.462 x = 2 .701 x= 2.224 34 N=7 N=9

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35 A summary of the means of ACT scores Is shown for both groups. In Tables 5-8. In addition, a composite score, which Is the arlth-metlc average of the four subtests, Is reported as a fifth score, which appears In Table 9. Each raw score of the ACT battery Is converted to a common scale ranging from I (low) to 36 (high). The approximate median scores of the national sample of flrstsemester col lege bound seniors and first-semester high school seniors taking the ACT battery are reported to be 20 and 16, respectively (ACT on Campus, 1970:2). For the purpose of this study only the composite score was used. It Is Important to note that the mean ACT composite score of Groups I and I I In this study Is consistent with the national mean of first-semester high school seniors which is 16, whl Ie 20 Is the approximate median score of first-semester col lege bound seniors .taklng the ACT battery (Ibid., p. 2). Further, the mean ACT composite score of Group I I subjects Is equivalent to that of past and present participants In the Hispanic Education Program at the University of Colorado at Denver (the Hispanic Education Program, 1985: 19). Finally, the mean for percentl Ie rank In graduating class was calculated. A comparison of the mean of both groups Is shown In Table 10. A list of the Independent variables and dependent variable used in this study appears In Table I I. A Pearson product-moment correlation program was executed Incorporating three Independent variables and one dependent variable. Table 12 indicates that al I three independent variables

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Group 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 Group I I 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 TABLE 5 A C T ENGLISH SCORES F O R GROUPS I AND I I ACT Eng II sh 23 19 20 22 23 20 17 x = 20.57 15 15 18 21 12 09 15 17 17 13 x = 15.20 36

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Group 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 Group II 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 TABLE 6 ACT MATH SCORES FOR GROUPS I AND I I ACT Math 28 22 22 28 27 15 12 x = 15 24 15 26 08 01 06 26 24 II x = 37 22.00 15.60

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Group 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 Group II 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 TABLE 7 ACT SOCIAL STUOIES SCORES FOR GROUPS I AND II ACT Social Studies 25 12 20 28 28 25 21 'X = 22.71 12 10 22 22 08 10 19 24 20 08 x = 15.50 38

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Group 01 02 03 04 05 0 6 07 Group 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 TABLE 8 ACT NATURAL SCIENCE SCORES FOR GROUPS I AND II ACT Natural Science 31 18 23 31 33 27 16 x = 16 19 21 23 12 13 18 26 28 19 x = 39 25.57 19.50

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Group 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 Group II 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 TABLE 9 ACT COMPOSITE SCORES FOR GROUPS I AND I I ACT Composite 27 17 21 27 28 22 17 x = 22.71 15 17 19 23 10 08 15 23 22 13 x = 16.50 40

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TABLE 10 RANK IN HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATING CLASS AND COMPARISON OF HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE GPA FOR GROUPS I AND II Rank H/S GPA Coil GPA Group 0 1 89/450 80 3 .250 3.167 02 81/588 86 3.403 3.1 18 03 2/92 78 3.200 3.400 04 11/90 88 3.970 3.556 05 6/450 99 3.776 3.389 06 157/500 69 2.650 .692 07 61/268 77 3.035 .000 N = 07 N = 07 N = 07 x = 82.43% x = 3.326 x = 2.475 S = 9.61 S2 = 79.02 Group II 01 307/473 35 2 .310 2.438 02 207/312 34 2.302 2.600 03 311/424 27 1.960 1.769 04 51/422 88 3.338 2.417 05 239/400 40 2.265 1.000 06 91/322 72 3.000 2.500 07 208/437 52 2.860 2.833 08 103/346 70 2.933 2.000 09 313/372 16 2.020 w 10 87/337 74 3.020 2.462 N = 10 N = 10 N = 09 x = 50.80% x = 2.701 x = 2.224 S = 23.96 S2 = 516.76 41

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TABLE I I INOICATORS OF INDEPENDENT AND DEPENDENT VARIABLES Independent Variables for Groups I and I I I. High School ACT Composite Scores 2. High School Rank In Graduating Class 3. High School Grade Point Average (GPA) Dependent Variable for Groups I and I I I. First Semester Col lege Grade Point Average (GPA) 42

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TABLE 12 PEARSON PRODUCT-MOMENT CORRELATION Of HIGH SCHOOL GPA, HIGH SCHOOL RANK, AND ACT I TE SCORES CORRELATED WITH COLLEGE GPA Group I High Sch ool GPA r = .77 High School Rank r = .65 ACT Composite r = .54 Group II High School GPA r = .47 High S c h ool Rank r = .83 ACT Composite r = 10 43

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44 are highly correlated with col lege GPA for I. These findings coincide with those of previous studies. 12 also shows that for Group II, on I y high schoo I GPA and In graduat I ng class correlate highly with academic achlevemen+ as reflected by col lege GPA. The ACT composite of Group I I In Table 12 do not show any significant correlation with achievement. Correlations of .65 and .83 were obtalr d between rank In graduating class and col lege GPA for Groups I and I I, respect Ively. These findings are In most part t with those of prior studies, which have found rank In gra' atlng class to be good predictors of academic achievement. M a significant, however, Is the fact that for Group II, rank 1 / graduating class Is more highly correlated with college GPA the l either of the other Independent variables of high s ch ool GPA .nd ACT composite scores. These results differ from those of p r : l ous studies, in which high school GPA proved to be the best redlctor of academ I c ach I evement. Th I s find I ng of the study I nd I cates that the corre I at Ion between rank In graduat I c I ass and co I lege GPA may well have been underestimated previous. ' and that the two variables may, In fact, be more highly correlc A than they were found to be In prior research on HIspanic StUd .1tS. However, t he difference in fIndings may very wei I be in the of the sub jects be I ng stud I ed. Sub Jects In pr r stud I es have been traditional students I Ike those In Group In this study, that Is, students who, for the most part, meet trad t lonal admission standards which Include graduation In the Upp 50% of the hIgh

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school graduating class. The subjects In Group I I of this study represent non-traditional students admitted to the University of Colorado at Denver In spite of their high school class rank. 45 The variance and standard deviation of high school ranks for Group I Is, then, significantly smaller than that of Group I I. An analysis of Table 10 quickly reveals that the high correlation value obtained for Group I I is obviously due to the heterogeneous distribution of the class rank scores of Group I I subjects. Unl ike the rank scores of Group I subjects, those of Group I I are not closely clustered about the mean. The heterogenlty qf the rank score produces a substantially larger variance for Group I I, which results In a greater correlation. Research question 3: Wi I I there be a difference In mean high school GPA between Hispanic students admitted to the University of Colorado at Denver standard admission criteria and through the HIspanic Education Program? Table 13 clearly shows a difference In mean high school GPA between Groups I and I I. Research question 4: WI I I there be a difference in mean col lege GPA after one academic semester between Hispanic students admitted to the University of Colorado at Denver traditionally and Hispanic students admitted through the Hispanic Education Program? Table 13 clearly shows no real difference In col lege GPA between the two groups after one academic semester of col lege. ThIs fact Is demonstrated both by the minimal difference In academic performance of the two groups as revealed by the perslstance of Group I I students through their first semester I n

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Gcaup J x=3.326 x ,= 2,..475 -.851 Group I Group II Group I Group TABLE 13 DIFFERENCE OF THE MEANS OF HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE FOR GROUPS I AND I I High Schoo I GPA College GPA High School GPA 3.326 HIgh Schoo l GPA z..J.a.L +.625 Coil ege GPA 2.475 CoIl ege GPA z..z.z.4. +.251 46 WiQ!lQ !J x = 2.701 477

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col lege. Table 10 demonstrates some Interesting questions. Note that 06 and 07 of Group I bring down the mean for al I of Group I. What happened to 06 and 07 of Group I? What If they had been In the Hispanic Education Program? Nevertheless, students GPAs of Group I I do not lower very much. In fact, 01 and 02 Improve this GPA over high school. More Important, there are no students In Group I I who experience the declines as 06 and 07 of Group I. This perslstance of Group I I demonstrates the Hispanic Education Program really helps Hispanic students at the University of Colorado at Denver. 47

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CHAPTER V CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH The objective of thIs study was to determine If high school GPA, ACT composIte scores and rank In graduatIng class were good predIctors for academIc achIevement of two HIspanic groups at the UnIversIty of Colorado at Denver. FIrst-semester grade poInt average was used as the dependent varIable. Only those particIpants without prIor col lege experIence who had taken the ACT battery and completed at least one semester at the UnIversIty of Colorado at Denver were elIgIble for the study. A descrIptive case study wIth an ex post facto design was carrIed out. StatIstIcal methods in the study Included the calculatIon of Pearson product-moment correlation, standard deviation, varIance, and calculation of the mean. The research questIons are lIsted In Chapter I and agaIn In Chapter IV. Chapter IV contains an analysIs of each research question. The four research questions are reiterated below: I. For Hispanic students at the UnIversity of Colorado at Denver who meet requIred admissIon standards for traditIonal admIssion, do hIgh school GPA, ACT composite scores, and rank In graduating class

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correlate posItIvely wIth cumulative col lege GPA after one ful I academic semester? 2. For Hispanic students admitted to the UniversIty of Colorado at Denver through the Hispanic Education Program, do high school GPA, ACT composIte scores and rank In graduating class correlate positIvely with cumulatIve col lege GPA after one ful I academic semester? 3. WI I I there be a dIfference In mean hIgh school GPA between HIspanic students admitted to the University of Colorado at Denve r under standard admissIon crIterIa and Hispan Ic students admitted through the H Ispanic Education Program? 4. WI I I there be a difference in mean col lege GPA after one academIc semester between Hispanic students admitted to the UnIversity of Colorado at Denve r traditionally and Hispanic students admitted through the HIspanIc EducatIon Program? fl.odlQOS 49 The research'questlons were further tested for both g roups at the University of Colorado at Denver. Pearson product-moment correlations, standard dev IatIon, varIance and calculatIon of the mean were used as component program analysIs. The analysIs revealed the fol lowIn g findings: I. AI I thr ee independent variables, ACT composIte, hIgh

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school GPA, and rank In graduating class, correlated highly with col lege GPA for Group I students. 2. For Group I I students, high school GPA and rank In graduating class correlated highly with col lege GPA. A very low correlation was obtained between ACT composite score and col lege GPA. 3. A sizeable difference In the mean high school GPA of Groups I and I I was obtained, Indicating that, 50 at the time of admission to the University of Colorado at Denver, the two groups constituted two distinct populations. 4. No significant difference was found In the mean col lege GPA of Group s I and I I after one academic semester. The results of this study Indicate that al I three independent variables are adequate predictors of academic success of traditional students, whereas high school GPA and rank In class are the best predictors for students from non-traditional backgrounds. The findings further reveal that non-trcditional Hispanic students can succeed in col lege with the assistance of specially designed programs such as the Hispanic Education Program. SUQgestlons tor Further Research The fol lowing suggestions for future research are recorrrnended : I. Obvious limitations of the present study are the

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smal I sample sIze and the non-random selectIon of subjects. Future research Into predIctIve measures 51 of academIc achievement of HIspanIc students should employ larger, randomly selected samples of students at four-year InstItutIons. Further, more valId results could possIbly be obtaIned by comparIng groups after one ful I academIc year of study. 2. The fIndIngs of our study suggest that there may be other sIgnIfIcant variables affecting the achIeve ment of non-tradItIonal HIspanic students that were not consIdered In thIs InvestIgatIon. Future research would do weI I to focus on varIables such as specIfIc servIces offered to students by programs such as the HIspanIc EducatIon Program, SES of students, educatIonal level of parents and slbffngs, and self concept and motIvatIon of students. Although a high correlatIon was obtaIned between rank In class and col lege GPA for Group I I, a detal led analysIs of Table 1 0 reveals patterns of performance for both groups that warrant a closer look at the true relatIonshIp of the two varIables. Subjects 04, 06, 08, and 10 of Group I I are simIlar to the subjects of Group I, In that their class ranks are hIgh and nearly equal. However, when we compare the hIgh school GPAs of the 4 sub jects In Group I to their col lege GPA, we fInd that their col lege GPA dropped below the level that might have been predicted by their hlgh school GPA. A simIlar pattern Is revealed

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52 In Group I I, where subjects 02,04, and 05 (those with the highest class rank) failed to attain a col lege GPA equal to their high school GPA. These patterns of performance raise some Important questions regarding the predictive validity of rank In graduating class that merit further Investigation.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY AmerIcan Col lege TestIng Program. 1970 "UsIng ACT on the Campus," Iowa City: A Report Prepared for the AmerIcan College Testing Program, Inc. American Col lege Testing Program. 1965 "ACT Technical Report," Iowa City: A Report Prepared for the American Col lege Testing Program, Inc. Bowles, Samuel and Herbert Glntis 1976 Schooling In Capital ist America: Educational Reform and the Contradictions In Economic Life. New York: Basic Books, Inc. Eitzen, Stanley D. 1985 In Confl ict and Order: Understanding Society. Colorado State University: Allyn and Bacon, Inc. Fisher, James L 1965 "Factors Affecting Academic Success,"
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Lightfoot, Alfred 1972 Inquiries Into the Social Foundations of Education: Schools In Their Urban Setting. Chicago: Rand McNally an d Company. McMI I Ian, James H and Sally Schumacher 54 1984 Research In Education: A Conceptual Introduction. Canada: Little, Brown and Company. Gary W. 1983 Developing and Evaluating Educational Research. Canada: Little, Brown and Company. Morson Berny 1985 "Hispanic Legislators Blast Col lege-Admission Plans," Rocky Mountain Ne.s:8. Mouly, George J. 1963 The Science of Educational Research. New York: American Book Company. Sme I ser, Ne I I J. 1981 Sociology. New Jersey: Prentice-Hail, Inc. Temp, G 1971 "Va I I d I ty of the SAT for Blacks and \'/h I tes In T h I rteen Integrated Institutions," Jo urn al of Educational ment 8 :24 5 -251. Thomas, C.L. and J C Stanley 1969 "The Effectiveness of High School Gredes for Predicting Col lege Grades of Negro Students: An Exploratory Study," Journal of Educational Measurement 6:203-215. Turner, Jonathan H and David Musick 1985 American Di lemmas: A Sociological Interpretation of Endur i ng Soc I a I Issues. New York: Co I umb I a Un I vers I ty Press.