Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Science Education

First Advisor

Dr. Paul E. Holkeboer

Second Advisor

Dr. Eston J. Asher

Third Advisor

Dr. Dean W. Cooke

Fourth Advisor

Dr. William P. Viall


Chapter I

The Problem


The traditional philosophy that a college-or a university is an exclusive institution in which only highly selected individuals receive a concentrated training in the traditional liberal arts no longer exists. In America, for instance, as early as 1870, Harvard, the colonial college with a narrow curriculum, was transformed rather rapidly into a modern university with many new subjects and the elective system (Garrett, 1949). Also, since 1642, when the first entrance requirements were instituted for American higher education, a continuing debate has developed over what constitutes a sound curriculum for education. There are those who advocate the position that anyone who can profit from the college or university education is welcome. However, they express concern that an institution is obligated to guide the student in the selection of courses (Coley, 1973). This often requires that methods of measuring an individual's potential for college work be made available to the student before he or she is placed in a course or a field of study.

The measurement of a student's potential for college work can be made most easily by using the student's past academic records. In the past, such records have included the student's high school grades and/or scores on standardized aptitude and achievement tests.

However, this strategy has not totally solved the problem of prediction, for Keefer (1969) stated, "the accurate prediction of academic success remains an unsolved problem in education." He further pointed out that prediction was particularly needed for decision making regarding college entrance and retention. Keefer's statements are of added significance if a statement by O'Donnell (1969) is considered. O'Donnell estimated that as few as 40 percent of those students in the United States entering college graduate within four years and only 60 percent eventually complete degree requirements. Among the many reasons cited for this estimation was poor scholarship, i.e., lack of proper academic preparation.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Chemistry Commons