SELF-ESTEEM OF COLLEGE FRESHMEN AND "CO-OP" EDUCATION
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The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of the T.A.R. Cooperative Education Program upon the self-esteem of urban, community college freshmen students. Specifically, the study investigated whether (1) college students who participated in an experiential-learning component would show improvement in their self-esteem, (2) the short-term and long-term gains achieved by those college students who participated in an experiential-learning component would be unaffected by the amount of previous work experience, their age and number of years since high school graduation, their sex, ethnicity and by the course of study in which they were enrolled and (3) whether the order of participation in the components has a long-term effect on self-esteem gains.;A quasi-experimental design was employed with pre, post, and post-post-testing of the research sample (Campbell and Stanley). Because of the limitations placed upon the study by the setting in which it was undertaken, the research groups were accepted intact and preassigned in accordance with course scheduling and program. The two groups were identified as Group A and Group B.;Group A and Group B did not differ in significant ways, in the aforementioned factors, but did differ in the order of their participation in the experiential-learning component.;Observations of the subjects, which consisted of three administrations of the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory for Group A and Group B and a single administration of the CUNY Placement Tests, were planned around the T.A.R. cooperative education phase sequence. The CUNY Placement Tests were administered to all incoming freshmen students in September 1980. The academic year for the college is divided into four 13-week quarters.;The conclusions drawn from this study were that college students who participated in an experiential-learning component (1) showed gains in their self-esteem scores and that (2) the short-term and long-term gains achieved by those students were not affected by number of years since high school graduation, sex, ethnicity and course of study in which they were enrolled. However, age and amount of previous work experience did have a significant effect upon gains in self-esteem.