Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Larry Ebbers

Second Advisor

Beverly Kruempel


The purpose of this study was to examine student perception of the importance of attaining skills and to measure college satisfaction as students were about to graduate or leave their current public college. The study utilized American College Testing's (ACT) World-of-Work Map and College Outcomes Survey instrument;Participants in this study, 4,421 college students at 36 public 2- and 4-year institutions in 13 Midwestern states, rated the perceived importance of attaining 26 skills, expressed their level of satisfaction with 39 aspects of college life and identified their occupational choice. In addition, descriptive information was gathered including lifetime educational aspirations, education attainment of parents and the perceived amount the college educational experiences contributed to their growth and preparation;A factor analysis of the items related with aspects of perceived college satisfaction identified academic, individual student services, student support services, student life services, career services and student activities satisfaction. Additionally, a factor analysis of the importance to attain certain skills was performed and identified five skill areas: social, analytical, technical, basic and career related outcomes skills;GLM were performed by job clusters and gender and by grade point average and lifetime educational aspiration. T-tests of independent means identified differences in perceived importance to attain skills by gender and job clusters across factors. Similar tests were performed to identify mean differences with grade point average and lifetime educational aspirations. Lifetime educational aspiration was a significant independent variable in students rating the importance to attain career related outcomes skills and career services satisfaction. Significant differences were noted in all six factor areas with significant interactions occurring in technical skills and career services satisfaction by job cluster and gender;The perceived college contribution to student growth and preparation was examined by institution type. T-tests of independent means were conducted for the analysis. Areas included intellectual growth, personal growth, social growth, preparation for further study and preparation for a career. Significant differences between public 2- and 4-year institutions occurred in personal growth, preparation for further study and preparation for a career.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Luanne M. Ahrens



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

126 pages