The effects of the Scholars Summer Residential Program as a stimulus for encouraging Indiana minority students to pursue higher education
Pre-college programs designed to increase the intentions of minority students to attend college have become commonplace on many college campuses. Evaluation of such programs has focused on measuring the effectiveness of the delivery of services provided to students. At other times, evaluation of program effectiveness focused on measuring increases in individual skill development. Both of these components of evaluation are acceptable means of determining program effectiveness but have limitations because they may not address students intentions to attend college.This study as evaluation research was designed to investigate whether student participation in the Summer Scholars Residential Program resulted in changes in the intentions of the students toward participation in higher education. The population of the study was 184 minority junior high and senior high school students in Indiana who attended a week long Summer Scholars Residential Program 1992.Several methodologies were used to gather evidence regarding students' experiences in the program. One hundred and eighty four pre- and 164 post-questionnaire instruments were completed by students during four separate weeks of participation in the Scholars Program. A select number of 10 students maintained journals of their experiences. Finally, 21 students responded to interviews after one year to gather evidence on the long term effects from participation in the Scholars Program and to obtain more specific feedback from students.Comparisons were made between student responses on the pre-questionnaire and the post-questionnaire as one method of determining possible changes in students' intentions to pursue higher education before and after participating in the Scholars Program. Other comparisons were made of students intentions to enroll in specific courses in high school including pre-college courses. The evidence gathered showed that participation in the Scholars Summer Program did reinforce and increase students' intentions to attend college. In addition, the follow-up phone interviews showed that students changed their courses in high school from general to college preparatory.