Student Success

– Drs Dorothy Hai, Susan Willey, Lori Johnson, University of Winsconsin – La Crosse 1987

On the success of students getting good marks during the year (GPA), three hypotheses were advanced:

  • Adaptive business students would do better than the more innovative
  • Innovative liberal arts students would do better than the more adaptive
  • Accounting students (in business) would do better than the more innovative

The sample consisted of 205 undergraduates in this university.

The first two hypotheses were rejected (non significant results)
The last was partially accepted, as the total KAI score was (just) not significantly related but the E score correlation was significant at -.34.

Editorial comment:
This was an early exploratory study and of simple design. Business and arts degrees have wide scope, with various elements being likely to appeal to different styles. The well informed (well advised) students are likely to have some prior indication about which parts of the course are going to style-fit and which not. If they want the particular degree, they will be prepared for the coping behaviour required in the expected places. Unless the studies probe more deeply, these subtleties will be missed.

For the accounting students, the course may appear, before entry, to be more homogeneous in terms of style. Although the later work of Gul, in Australia, suggests that there is always a sizeable sub-group who want the qualification even if much of the course is going to require coping behaviour. (In Gul’s study, the accounting element, which was the focus of the study, was a part of a wider course, a B.Sc. Econ.). Not surprisingly, this study found (as did Gul) that the bulk of the students were adaptive-inclined. They complained, however, to some to the elements of the course, viz: General Subjects and Extra Subjects, which they felt inappropriate to the course. Clearly, they were not expecting this coping behaviour.