The Validation of a Biographical Inventory as a Predictor of College Success

The Validation of a Biographical Inventory as a Predictor of College Success

The Validation of a Biographical Inventory as a Predictor of College Success

The Validation of a Biographical Inventory as a Predictor of College Success

Excerpt

It is recognized that criteria of college success may --and probably do--vary for different types of colleges. For the purposes of the present study, therefore, the criterion was formulated with reference to the particular college environment in which the study was to be conducted. Fordham College is a liberal arts men's college forming part of a university operated in New York City by the Jesuit Order of the Roman Catholic Church. At the time of the study, the total enrollment of the college consisted of approximately 1,500 students, of whom about one-fourth were living in campus dormitories. Such a college environment is probably typical of a certain number of other College Board colleges. But no attempt was made to formulate a criterion applicable to all colleges.

Basically, the present criterion may be defined as the extent to which the student fulfills the recognized objectives of the particular college and displays the traits the college has undertaken to foster and develop. As a starting point, a formal statement of these objectives was obtained from five administrators, namely, the president, academic vice president, and vice president in charge of student affairs of the university, and the dean and assistant dean of the college. After several revisions, the formulation reproduced in Appendix A was approved by these officials. According to this statement, the top-level administrators of this institution recognize four principal objectives: intellectual development, formation of character, training for leadership, and promotion of personality growth. These objectives provided a general framework for the guidance of the committee which selected and classified the students into criterion groups.

Identification of criterion groups

From each of the two classes constituting the initial and cross-validation samples, three groups of 50 students each were chosen to fit the following criterion specifications. The distinguishing features of these three criterion groups are also summarized in Table 1.

"Positive" group . This group comprises students who have given repeated evidence of actively advancing the objectives of the college, rather than just passively "adjusting" to the college environment. These are the leaders and outstanding achievers in the broadest sense. They must also show no concrete evidence of personality maladjustment and must not have been on academic probation at any time during the criterion period, in other words, from freshman to junior years. A student who is an academic failure or only marginally satisfactory in his academic work cannot realistically be considered an outstanding specimen of the type of person the college wants, despite other good qualities that he may possess. Finally, each student in this group had to be unanimously characterized by three judges as "the type of person this college wants to develop. . . ."

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.