ERIC Number: ED371678
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
Cognitive Effects of Two-Year and Four-Year Colleges: Some New Evidence.
Pascarella, Ernest; And Others
This study investigated the relative freshman-year cognitive impacts of five two-year and six four-year colleges and universities drawn from all sections of the United States. The overall sample was 2,685 freshmen students participating in a national longitudinal study and of these the final sample contained 811 students, 280 attending five two-year colleges and 531 attending six four-year colleges. The study design was a pretest-posttest quasi-experimental one in which comparison groups were statistically equated on salient precollege and other variables. Controlling for ability, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic origins, academic motivation, age, credit hours taken, place of residence, work responsibilities, and the average abilities of the students attending each institution, there was a general parity between two-year college students and their four-year college counterparts on reading comprehension, mathematics, critical thinking and composite achievement. This general parity masked conditional effects based on gender and ethnicity. Men appeared to benefit more from the two-year college experience while women realized greater cognitive returns from four-year colleges. Non-white students benefitted more from attendance at two-year colleges while the reverse was true for their white counterparts. (Contains 37 references.) (JB)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Cognitive Development, Cognitive Measurement, Cognitive Tests, College Freshmen, Comparative Analysis, Higher Education, Intellectual Development, Minority Groups, Outcomes of Education, Racial Differences, Sex Differences, Student Development, Two Year Colleges, Whites
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, University Park, PA.; Illinois Univ., Chicago.
Note: For a related report, see ED 357 707.