Term Paper: Graduating High School Student

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Research Methodology. Research, albeit clinical, philosophical, historical, experimental or participatory, has its own unique design and purpose. Wherein experimental research attempts to control variables to determine effects, descriptive research assesses existing differences between variables. Wherein philosophical research is designed to reason the interrelatedness of timeless concepts, historical research is conducted to determine trends in events or ideas that have developed or taken place in the past and may pr may not have an impact on the future. The current study proposes a historical and descriptive design wherein past information relating to the efficacy of single sex high school educational with respect to college success will be examined and compared against coeducational education individuals. The data collected and examined will be both historical and numerical in nature and a testable hypothesis and statistical data analysis tools will be stated and given the appropriate support. Further, as the proposed research is historical and descriptive by design supportive information for the research question will be provided form literature deemed proprietary.

Literature reviews, or historical studies, permit the researcher to use the work and efforts of previous researchers in answering the currently proposed question. Possible obstacles to literature reviews include the possibility that much has not been done on the narrowly defined topic needed. In the case of this study however it is believed that the information contained in already published literature will be enough to draw educated conclusions and answer the questions and test the hypothesis in this study. This proposed study would use 10 published articles to determine how same sex high schools impact students when it comes to entering coeducational colleges.

Main Effects Hypothesis. The proposed study will attempt to test the null hypothesis that states no statistically significant differences at the alpha level of. <.05 exists between students from single sex high school educational systems and coeducational systems with respect to college success. For the proposed study college success will be limited to freshman year college grade points over four quarters of study wherein at least 12 credit hours were attempted. The secondary null hypothesis will be stated with reference to no statistically significant differences existing between male and female success rates of college freshman with respect to single sex high school educational and coeducational backgrounds. If data is available nested variables will be examined with respect to socioeconomic class, parent marital status, and high school graduating size.

Assessment Instrument. A questionnaire will be developed to garner the necessary information needed. Responses will be quantified and subjected to an orthogonal analysis of variances seeking effects and differences between and among the sample populations.

Statistical Analysis Tool. In order to examine the data obtained by the questionnaire an orthogonal analysis of variance will be employed to seek differences and effects between and amongst the independent variables upon and between the dependent variables.


Many studies have been conducted with respect to same sex educational activities such as sports, knowledge attainment, social interaction, peer pressure, leadership qualities, and role identification. The findings among those studies provide a strong foundation for the need to study the impact of a same sex high school has on the student later in life - especially college life. Prior to an examination of whether or not students entering college from same sex high schools are better prepared or lesser prepared to be successful in college it is important to first examine the general expectant qualities colleges and universities look for in entering students. Several adjustments are required when a person leaves high school and enters college. Leaving a comfortable home environment and being thrust into one that is study intensive, time constraining, decision making impacted, and heavily procedure restricted requires a great deal of adjustment on the part of the new entering student. Therefore, any discrepancy between college expectations and high school instruction must be addressed and done so cooperatively (Schmeiser, 2003). In the main colleges and universities expect entering freshman to be well prepared to manage a demanding workload, develop life long learning strategies, take ownership of their learning, adjust to the college environment, explore various academic choices, and independently navigate through the various services offered by the higher learning institution. The remainder of this literature review will concentrate on whether or not a single sex high school education does, indeed, prepare and strengthen the academic, psychological and sociological skill set needed by students to fulfill and maintain the aforementioned requirements. At the same time colleges and universities have an obligation to entering students by way of being knowledgeable from where the students came, the adjustments new students must make, as well as their learning style and intellectual capabilities (Erickson & Strommer, 1991). Only when knowledge about entering freshman students is share will the student be better prepared to complete the requisite college curriculum needed for matriculation.

The literature is not replete with studies on male and female single gender education as being a better road to college success than coeducational venues. However, studies by Spielhofer, O'Donnell. Schager & Schager, (2002) and Flanagan (2001) adamantly support the notion of single sex high school education on the basis of educational advancement; i.e., separation of the sexes in high school supports greater learning and knowledge attainment, therefore a better preparatory mechanism for college success. At the same time writers such as Strauss (2004) maintain that creating a single sex educational system is elitist and caters predominately to girls and questions the omission of emphasis on male participation. Whether or not one is for or against singles sex high schools or single sex classes within high schools needs extensive investigative research.

Studies that have been conducted have generally focused on the degree to which single sex education prevents or retards the developmental process with respect to adaptation to coeducational situations, albeit, academic, sport, or social related. Once such study by Stephens and Bredemeir (1996) involved a thorough analysis of female and male participants in sports activities and concluded that single sex activities prevented normal growth and development needed for adapting to coeducational activities. This alone would have a significant effect on individuals entering college who are expected not only to be tolerant of cultural diversity but gender tolerant as well. The greater the extent to which gender involvement has not been practiced the less likelihood that learning will be maximized and attained visa via the college experience. In addition a study commissioned and prepared by the National association of Girl's Schools (1999) revealed that an all girls' school academically prepared the students better for college but also personal and social needs were better fulfilled and that academic grades were higher than their female counterparts in coed schools. In addition a study commissioned and prepared by the National Association of Girl's Schools (1999) revealed that an all girls' school academically prepared the students better for college but also personal and social needs were better fulfilled and that academic grades were higher than their female counterparts in coed schools. In fact as far back as 1982 a study conducted by Trisket, Trisket, Castro and Schafner (1982) reported positive effects of single sex (girls) education particularly for non-affluent females, at risk students, African-Americans and Hispanics with respect to task accomplishment, skill attainment, and personal growth. This is significantly important when considering the low rate of college admissions for the aforementioned groups. Lee and Marks (1990) used the same logic in the thesis of their research regarding single sex education and supported the notion that single sex educated girls performed better in college scholastics then did their coeducational female counterparts. At the same time LaPore and Warren (1996) reported that single-sex education (i.e., for girls) was not that advantageous with respect to achievement scores. This is an interesting fact with respect to college admission being highly dependent upon a student's achievement test rating.

Recognizing the need for further data additional studies are needed with respect to the relevance and importance of single sex education. The problem placed before an educator is not a simple one, rather one built upon complexity. Answers must be garnered as to academic relevance, personal and educational success, and life long learning fulfillment. This is the primary reason behind the current investigation.


Clinton, Sen. Hillary (June 7, 2001) Congressional Record, S5943.

Erickson, Bette LaSere and Weltner, Diane Strommer's (1991) Teaching College Freshmen. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 3-23.

Flanagan, Gregory (2001). "Sex gender education." Liberation Journal August.

Lee, Valerie E. And Helen M. Marks, (1990). "Sustained effects of the single-sex secondary school experience on attitudes, behaviors, and values in college." Journal of Educational Psychology. Vol. 82, No. 3.

Ohlson, E.L. (1998). Best-Practice Statistical Procedures. Chicago: ACTs Testing Lab.

Sax, Leonard (2002). "The odd couple." The Women's Quarterly, Summer.

Schmeiser, Cynthia (2003) "Content validity evidence in support of ACT's Educational achievement tests." ACT National Curriculum Survey 2002-2003. ACTS Testing.

Spielhofer, T., O'Donnell, L., Benton, T., Schagen, S. And Schagen,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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