ERIC Number: ED469493
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
The Tyranny of Small Numbers. Academic Excellence: A Study of the Role of Research in the Natural Sciences at Undergraduate Institutions. Special Report.
Doyle, Michael P.
One of the strongest arguments made to attract increased support for science for undergraduate liberal arts colleges in the mid- to late-1980s was that the proportion of students obtaining their Ph.D. degrees was larger at these institutions than at their Ph.D. granting university counterparts. This conclusion was supported by later research, but whether it remains meaningful today was one subject of research by the Research Corporation. The recent data compilation for the natural sciences at undergraduate institutions, published as "Academic Excellence: The Sourcebook," provided updated information on science degrees and the baccalaureate origins of Ph.D.s. These data make it evident that there is significant variation in the ratio of bachelor's degrees to Ph.D.s. Also noteworthy is that institutions with large enrollments and relatively large numbers of students can produce a greater number of students who obtain their Ph.D. degrees than many smaller institutions. When current findings are compared with those from the 1980s, it is evident that fully two-thirds of the institutions studied lost ground in terms of the ratio of bachelor's degrees to Ph.D.s. Some limitations of the data available are noted. (SLD)
Descriptors: Colleges, Degrees (Academic), Higher Education, Liberal Arts, Research, School Size, Sciences, Tables (Data), Undergraduate Study
For full text: http://www.rescorp.org/AE-rpt3.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Research Corp., Tucson, AZ.
Note: Derived from "Academic Excellence: The Sourcebook" published by the Research Corporation in 2001, and now out of print. Some sections of the sourcebook available at http://www.rescorp.org.