Title

High school sophomores' perceptions of the role of extra-curricular activities as preparation for college admission

Date of Award

2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

W. Lee Pierce

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research

Abstract

While there is significant interest and emphasis on student participation in extra-curricular activities, limited research on such participation and the benefits it may possess toward preparing students for college admissions exists. A survey of 312 high school sophomores in a rural, southeastern Louisiana school district was conducted. Data were collected through the survey on the students' participation in extra-curricular activities and their perceived value of such participation toward gaining admission to a postsecondary institution. The purpose of the study was to analyze the relationship between participation in extra-curricular activity and the perceived value of such participation toward gaining admission to college as reported by the students. Additionally, the relationship was further analyzed when controlled for gender, academic performance (GPA), and religious participation. The research found a statistically significant relationship between participation in extra-curricular activities and the perceived value of such participation toward gaining admissions to a postsecondary institution. The research also found the relationship to be statistically significant when controlled for gender, grades, and religious participation. From this study, the researcher concluded that the relationship between participation in extra-curricular activities and the value held of such participation toward obtaining admission to college was evident but did not exhibit a strong relationship. Additionally, when controlled for religious participation, gender, and GPA, there was no effect on the correlation of the two variables. Students valued, however, participation in extra-curricular activities as a component for obtaining admission to a postsecondary institution. Students in this survey agreed that such participation did prepare them for the college admissions process. Particularly, students who participated in extra-curricular activities held a higher value of their participation toward college admission than students who did not participate in extra-curricular activities. Students surveyed did recognize their respective schools' efforts in preparing them for college overall, but indicated their high school rarely acknowledged the relationship between extra-curricular activities and the admissions process into a postsecondary institution. While this particular study produced many more questions than it did answers, the information gained can play a critical role in making decisions regarding extra-curricular activities. School and district administrators should utilize the information in this study for any future decisions made regarding extracurricular activities.