First Advisor

Leonard F. Robertson

Term of Graduation

Spring 1971

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Teaching (M.S.T.)


Business Administration




Business education



Physical Description

1 online resource (4, v, 59 pages)


Since some educators believe the underachiever and the low-ability student are frequently placed in business education classes for the purpose of finding him an easy way through school, this study attempts to determine just where the business education student actually ranks in achievement and ability as compared to students in other academic areas.

The students used in this study come from the graduating classes of 1969 and 1970 of Beaverton and Sunset High Schools in Beaverton, Oregon. A business education student has been defined as one who has successfully completed at least two of the following courses: Shorthand II; Office Techniques or Vocational Office Block; Bookkeeping; and Business Law.

A survey instrument was used to separate the business education from the non-business education students. The survey instrument records the scores of DAT (Differential Aptitude Tests) and the GPAs (grade point averages) of all students included in this study.

Mean scores were computed reflecting the DAT scores and GPAs of both groups. These mean scores reflecting the difference between the business education and non-business education students were tested to determine the level of significance.

Students included in this survey numbered 1705: 199 classified as business education students and 1506 classified as non-business education students.

The study revealed a sharp decline in the number of students enrolled in business education in 1970, as compared to 1969.

The mean DAT score for the business education student was 56.35 as compared to 62.60 for the non-business education student. The difference of 6.25 was tested and had a critical ratio of 3.11, which is significant at the .01 level.

The mean GPA for business education students was 2.56 as compared to 2.68 for the non-business education students. This difference of .12 was tested and had a critical ratio of .86, which is not significant.

The reasons for the decline in the number of students enrolled In business may be: (1) the addition of new courses to the school curriculum; (2) fewer students are taking business education classes as defined by this study; and (3) business education is not as appealing as it once was because of changing business patterns.

The fact that business education students are of a lower ability might be because; (1) business education classes appeal to the lower ability student; or (2) that counselors do, in fact, use business education as a dumping ground.

Since this study revealed that the GPA of business education students nearly equals that of other students, the possibility exists that: (1) business education is more Interesting than some other subjects; (2) the content of business education classes is less challenging; (3) less student performance is required in business education; or (4) business education attracts the overachiever.

The main purposes of this study were to: (1) provide more effective guidance and placement of students in business education; (2) provide informative data upon which to base future curriculum planning; and (3) verify or disprove the prevailing assumption that business education students are of a lower caliber. Since this study has revealed that the number of students enrolled in business education has declined and that business education students are in reality of lower ability, the results have been given to the counseling and business education departments at the schools involved. It is hoped that the results will help educators make a realistic assessment of the condition that does exists, so students can be placed and schooled in their areas of interest.

Further studies are needed to: (1) determine whether or not the decline of students enrolling in business education will continue; (2) determine if the low-ability students are being channeled into new courses added to the school curriculum; and (3) reveal how business education students are performing in specific academic areas.

Such studies might be of additional value to counselors through a more effective channeling of students into appropriate interest areas and careers.


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