Date of Award

Spring 1999

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Petra Snowden

Committee Member

Alfred P. Rovai

Committee Member

Robert J. Grymes

Committee Member

Jane M. Hager

Committee Member

Donna B. Evans


The purpose of this study was to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of an urban community college Single Parent and Displaced Homemaker program composed primarily of minority women, many of whom were receiving public assistance. The critical dimension of mattering (Schlossberg et al., 1989) formed the conceptual framework for the evaluation.

Program effectiveness, impacts, efficiency and participant needs were assessed. The primary methodology was survey research. A descriptive and a causal comparative study were conducted to determine if there were significant differences in the number of semesters completed and the number of credits taken by program participants when compared to students on a waiting list for the program.

No evidence of bias was found in the client population when compared to the target population. The needs most frequently rated very important by the participants were: supplemental funding, student tracking, federal financial aid, and personal counseling. Participants rated an increase in income, improved self-esteem and self-confidence, and obtaining a job related to their curriculum as the most important impacts needed from the program.

College personnel and program participants who rated the program's services rated all aspects of the program as very good. When responses of the college personnel and the participants were compared, it was found that the college personnel rated the program's benefits and impacts significantly higher than participants.

Participants' retention in college and credits taken were significantly higher than those of students on the waiting list for the program. Some participants indicated that they were able to leave the welfare system as a result of involvement in the program. Improvement in self-esteem and self-confidence and knowledge of women's issues were rated among the highest impacts of the program. Results of a correlation study comparing client needs and program impacts demonstrated that the program significantly reduced clients' needs. Findings of the evaluation demonstrated that the program is efficient and is operating as intended.

Recommendations for program improvement, national, state. and local policy implications, and suggestions for future research are included in the study.


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).