First Advisor

Robert Everhart

Term of Graduation

Spring 2008

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Postsecondary Education






College choice, Universities and colleges -- Admission, PASS Project (Oregon University System)



Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 175 pages)


We live in a society driven by a knowledge-based economy where the need for a college degree is at its highest historical level. To meet these needs, it is critical that educational systems increase students' preparation for higher education, universities receive appropriate and adequate indicators of student preparedness, and students select the college that fits their needs and ambitions and support them in their persistence towards a college degree.

The admission standards of an institution guide this process but are only one part of what is required for a student to successfully transition from high school to college to the workforce. An aspiration to attend college must be followed by years of persistence working towards the goal of a college degree. Researchers have traditionally examined the process using two theoretical models: college choice and student persistence. However, Oregon University System's (OUS) Proficiency-Admission Standards System (PASS) can be conceptualized within the integrated theoretical framework of Stage and Hossler's (2000) Student-centered Theory of Persistence (SCTP), which includes components from both these fields.

This study compared the persistence-related outcomes for 166 first-time freshman who had PASS data in spring 2001 to a matched-pair sample of 166 first-time freshman who did not have PASS data. The study used secondary data sources and an ex-post facto experimental design to determine the value-added of PASS in relation to postsecondary education outcomes (e.g., freshman grade point average, enrollment persistence) within OUS.

Data analysis related to the a priori questions did not identify statistically significant differences on the persistence-related outcomes between the two groups. However, post hoc exploratory analysis found that students with PASS proficiency data were three times more likely to be enrolled each term of their freshman year than students in the comparison group. Additionally, students with PASS proficiency data showed a stronger relationship between their high school grade point average and likelihood to graduate from OUS in four years.


In Copyright. URI:

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Persistent Identifier