This study determined which of three types of educational barriers (institutional, situational, or dispositional) represented the major problem preventing adult students from completing their general educational development (GED) studies at Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) in Pennsylvania. A Likert-type survey instrument was used to collect data for the survey, which was then sent out to 400 randomly selected former students who had been enrolled in the GED program from the fall of 1998 through the summer of 1999 from a population of about 1,200. Of the 400 surveys, 168 were returned, for a response rate of 42%. Of these, 124 (31%) were selected for usability. Findings include: (1) 60% of respondents were African American, 20% were Latino, 19% white, and 2% Native American; (2) 52% of respondents were single with children; (3) 52% were unemployed, 38% had completed grade levels between 6th and 9th grade, and 48% had enrolled in the GED course at CCP 2 or 3 times; and (4) of the study participants, 80% never completed their GED programs. Results showed most situational barriers had slightly higher means: race was not a factor in dropout rates, gender was a major factor in dropout rates, marital status was not a major factor, and dropout rates were higher among those who were employed during the program. The paper recommends that CCP organize a distance learning program for those with home responsibilities that present obstacles and offer programs at the workplace for those with work-related obstacles. Appended are: Survey Questionnaire; and Sample of a Reminder Letter. (Contains 16 tables and 38 references.) (Author/NB)
Ed.D. Dissertation, Temple University.
Community College of Philadelphia PA; General Educational Development Tests
1 - Available on microfiche
Adult Basic Education; Adult Education; High School Equivalency Programs; Two Year Colleges