Name: [Name of the Student]
Cogan, M. F. (2010). Exploring Academic Outcomes of Homeschooled Students. Journal of College Admission, 208, 18-25.
- What is the title of the article? Briefly describe (100 words or less) the nature or purpose of the research.
Title: Exploring Academic outcomes of Homeschooled students
The purpose this research is to carry out a comparative analysis of students attending homeschools prior to their enrolment at focus institutions, with their non-homeschooled peers based on academic outcomes to determine the similarities and differences between these two groups. The study also investigates to determine the impact of homeschooling on the academic achievement of homeschooled children in focused graduate degrees. In addition, the study also examines the fall-to-fall retention and graduation rates of homeschooled children in comparison to traditionally educated students (Page No. 21)
- Is it a quantitative, qualitative, or mix method research (site page and evidence).
The study is quantitative in nature as evidenced below:
- This research relies on quantitative data (number of students enrolled, number of students homeschooled, number of students graduated, 1st years GPAs, 4th year GPS, Cumulative Grade Point Averages (CGPAs), retention rates etc. Therefore it is a quantitative research (Page No. 21)
- Data in this research is analyzed using statistical tests. For example Chi-Square, ANNOVA, Multiple Regression Analysis, Binary Logistic Regression Analysis were applied to analyze the data, present findings, and establish conclusions (Page 23)
- Findings and conclusions are based on statistics of data as show in Table 2 and Table 3 (Page No. 25)
- What are the variables (independent, dependent)? Were there other secondary independent or dependent variables or confounding variables? (site page or evidence)
Independent Variables (Page 22-23):
- Students receiving Pell Grant (representing students’ socio-economic condition)
- Students’ Racial Background
- Religious nature of focus institution (Roman Catholic/Others)
- Residence (On-campus/off-campus)
- Percentage of adjunct taught credits a freshman is exposed to during first years
- J-term course enrolled (Time-intensive course enrolled during first fall and coming spring semester by the student under study)
- Type of school attended prior to enrolling in the focus institution
- The highest score on ACT exam submitted by the students during admission process
- College Level credits earned and transferred to focus institution
- Schedule completion status during the first fall semester
- Part-time/full-time status of students
Dependent Variables (Page 21):
- 1st year GPA of students
- 4th year GPA of students
- Students’ fall-to-fall retention
- Students’ 4-year graduation completion
- Briefly describe the research method or research design. (include sample selections, demographic, instrument, procedure; site page or evidence)
This research used data from census file of a medium sized private university located in a metropolitan area in the upper Midwest of USA. Data was extracted in the form three major datasets. The first dataset considered all freshman students (7,776) entering the institution in each fall semester from 2004 till 2009 to describe students’ characteristics by high school type. This data included 76 students with a homeschooling background. The second dataset considered the first dataset excluding the 2009 class as they had not completed a full year at the institution. This dataset comprising 5,505 students (including 70 homeschool students) was used to analyze 1st semester GPA and fall-to-fall retention outcomes. The third dataset comprised 2,488 students joining the institution as freshman in fall 2004 and 2005 to analyze it for 4 years cumulative GPA and 4-years graduation completion outcomes. Missing data left 2,070 students’ data to be analyzed for these outcomes including 27 homeschool students (Page No. 21)
The study used bivariate ANOVA and Chi-Square tests to identify one-to-one relationship between high school type and academic outcomes of the students. The study also employed multivariable regression analysis on GPAs and binary logistic regression analysis to analyze fall-to-fall retention and 4 years graduation rates (Page No. 23).
- Were there hypothesis (es) stated or research questions? (site page or evidence)
Although the research questions and hypothesis were not explicitly stated, however, the purpose of the research presents the research questions as below (Page 21):
- What is the impact of attending homeschool on students’ academic achievement in the first semester at a focus institution?
- What is the impact of homeschooling on students’ academic achievement on the 4 years degree in terms of cumulative GPA?
- What is the impact of homeschooling on students’ fall-to-fall retention at a focus institution?
- What is the impact of homeschooling on students’ graduation rate at focus institution?
- What was the level of confidence for the hypothesis (es) testing? (site evidence).
The confidence level has not been explicitly mentioned and this question therefore is not applicable to the selected article.
- What were the results of the study? (site evidence)
The study found that homeschool students possess higher ACT scores, GPAs and graduate rates compared to traditionally-educated students. Homeschool children outperform traditionally-educated students in terms of first-year and fourth-year GPAs while controlling for demographics, pre-college, engagement, and first-term academic factors. However, binary logistic regression analysis reveal that there is no significant difference in fall-to-fall retention rates and four-year graduation rates among the two types of students (Page 23, 24).
- What recommendations did the researcher offer?
In addition to calling for further research into the outcomes data of homeschooled students on larger datasets considering a variety of institutions together, the researchers recommend the college admission counselors to consider homeschool children as high-achievers and prepared for college studies (Page No. 24).
- What limitations did the researcher state?
The researchers stated that this research analyzed data for a single private institution and the results of this analysis cannot be generalized. Therefore they suggested state wide and even inter-state (larger datasets) samples to be analyzed for all these factors before generalizing any results (Page No. 21)