1997 OPEN FORUM Abstracts
CORRELATING VARIOUS ADMISSION VARIABLES WITH ACADEMIC SUCCESS IN A RESPIRATORY CARE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM.
Jeff Standridge, MEd, RRT, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas.
INTRODUCTION: The literature provides a wealth of information for predicting the success of students entering college from high school. However, predicting a student's success in a Respiratory Care Educational program can be quite difficult. Methods: In an effort to establish a valid admission system for Respiratory Care Program applicants, an analysis of a number of independent variables was conducted. As program success is the ultimate goal of admission selection, these independent variables were correlated with Professional Respiratory Care Program Grade Point Average (PrGPA). A convenience sample of respiratory care students (n = 49) was selected from three different program years. The HOAE was administered immediately upon admission to the Respiratory Care Program, before any professional education commenced. The results of the HOAE and several other admission variables were then correlated with ending PrGPA, using the Pearson Product Moment correlation procedure. The admission variables studied were, Interview Score (I.S.), Personal References Score (R.S.), Cumulative Pre-requisite Grade Point Average (CGPA), and all five tests of the HOAE instrument: Academic Aptitude (A.A.), Spelling (Sp.), Reading Comprehension (R.C.), Information in the Natural Sciences (N.S.), and Vocational Adjustment Index (V.A.I.). Results: The results of the analysis conflicted with previous theory, making the need for this particular study evident. Using a Pearson coefficient of 0.40 as a threshold (Popham & Sirotnik, 1992), no significant relationships were found between PrGPA and the Interview Score or Reference Rating Score. However, significant correlations were noted between PrGPA and CGPA (r = 0.42, p < 0.05). In addition statistically significant relationships were found between PrGPA and the Academic Aptitude Score (r = 0.40, p < 0.05), Information in the Natural Sciences Score (r = 0.40, p < 0.05), and Reading Comprehension Score (r = 0.31, p < 0.05). While statistically significant beyond the 0.05 alpha level, the relationship between PrGPA and Reading Comprehension was considered to be quite weak. CONCLUSION: In order to strengthen admission decisions for respiratory care program applicants, the use of multiple measures is advantageous. The use of previously valid criteria does not guarantee current or continuous validity. This makes frequent assessment of admission criteria a necessity. While generalization of this particular study beyond the scope of our program is limited, further research into predicting academic and professional success is warranted.