Term of Award

Spring 1999

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Administration

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Michael D. Richardson

Committee Member 1

Richard L. Oliver

Committee Member 2

Fred Page

Committee Member 3

T. C. Chan


Do students who attained a General Educational Development (GED) diploma have the essential skills they need to succeed in postsecondary schools? Are traditional high school diploma students better prepared than GED diploma students for higher educational experiences? The traditional high school graduate is considered by many to be better prepared to embark on additional higher educational improvement ventures. As more people turn to the GED program as a means to gain a high school equivalency certificate, postsecondary schools are beginning to see these graduates seek entrance into various programs. This raises the issue of whether or not the GED recipient possesses the essential skills needed to compete and succeed in programs offered by higher education institutions. Should the GED graduate be treated any differently in regards to the admission process as the high school graduate? The purpose of the dissertation was to provide answers to these questions by examining the educational performance of GED graduates and high school diploma graduates in the six technical institutes which comprise the Southeast Consortium of the Georgia Department of Technical Education. Their educational performance was measured and compared on the following variables: entrance test scores, grade point average, number of credit hours earned, program completion rate, and work ethics grade point average.

Educational performance data on GED and high school diploma students was gathered from the Licensed Practical Nursing Program and the Business/Information and Office Technology Program. All GED and high diploma students who enrolled and/or completed these two programs during the 1996, 1997, and the 1998 school years were included. From these data, mean scores were calculated on the dependent variables and a correlation matrix was constructed to determine if relationships existed. Univariate Analysis of Variance was performed and age, sex, and race were used as covariates in order to control any affects they may have had on the educational performance ofthe two groups of students. Results indicated that the only areas of educational performance which showed significant differences between GED and high school diploma students were on the reading portion of the ASSET entrance exam and the total number of credit hours earned.


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