Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


In order to address the problems of preparation that many rural Alaskans have when they first arrive at college. Sheldon Jackson College developed a program, the Early College Incentive Program (ECIP), designed to expose 8th grade rural students to the learning and living requirements of college. In June. 1988, the next phase of the preparatory process will be initiated: an advanced college preparation program for 11th graders who successfully completed the initial program. The case study method of research was employed to study preparatory and compensatory programs at other colleges and universities in order to develop a model that could be used by Sheldon Jackson College for students from Alaska rural schools and by other institutions of higher education for their preparatory programs. The aspects of these programs which were examined were (1) student data to be collected before the program begins, (2) diagnostic tests to be administered during orientation and registration, (3) courses and activities to be offered, (4) methods of course delivery, and (5) methods of course and program evaluation. In addition to data collected through a search of the literature, data about these programs were gathered in three ways: (1) letters, (2) questionnaires, and (3) telephone interviews. The data were then analyzed and evaluated by program staff and faculty. The study, which encompassed 41 programs at 33 different institutions, determined that pre-program evaluation focused on academic data. This data was used with diagnostic tests to determine course placement. Courses fell into three categories, core of required courses, elective courses, and specialized courses, and were delivered by college professors using methods common to college classes. Activities also fell into three categories: academic, recreational, and social. Evaluation was conducted for students, for courses, and for the program. Students and faculty evaluated the courses. Faculty and staff evaluated the students. All three groups evaluated the program. A number of procedures are being employed by Sheldon Jackson College as it implements its advanced program, Prelude, and are recommended to institutions seeking to establish preparatory programs of their own. First, the institution should determine what students it wishes to serve and, thereby, the data to be collected before the program begins. The amount of pre-program evaluation will depend on the nature of the program. Second, institutions planning to offer courses at both college and preparatory levels should require students to take college level entrance exams during Orientation and Registration. Third, all programs should provide instruction in three or more of the competency areas recommended by the College Board: English, mathematics, science, social science, and computers. A study skills course should also be offered. Optional courses will depend on the requirements of the institution and the needs of the student population. Fourth, courses should be delivered by college professors and should expose students to rapidly delivered lectures, note taking, quizzes, class discussions, homework, and research requirements. Fifth, activities should include a mix of academic, recreational and social activities, but should be structured sufficient time for study. so that there Finally, institutes should plan to evaluate students, courses and faculty, and the program. There should be both un-going and post-program evaluations, employing objective questionnaires as well as subjective interviews.

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