INTRODUCTIONAbrahamowicz (1988) studied college involvement, perceptions, and satisfaction: a study of membership in student organizations and found that getting involved in college encourages broader involvement with the institution, satisfaction with the college experience, and an overall better perception of the institution. He stated that involvement is the most important condition for improving undergraduate education. He indicated that every positive factor was likely to increase student involvement and every negative factor was likely to decrease student involvement. Other research has supported that involvement has a positive relationship with student retention, student satisfaction, and student perceptions of the college experience (Abrahamowicz, 1988). I would like to research the question of is it important to get involved in college clubs and organizations and does it reflect academic performance? I am going to define involvement as means to engage as a participant or to oblige to take part. Important will be defined as a means to be marked by or indicative of significant worth or consequence. Club is defined as an association of persons for some common object usually jointly supported and organization is defined as an administrative and functional structure such as an association or a society. Academic performance will be defined as of or relating to a characteristic of a school, especially one of higher learning. It relates to scholarly performance.Hess, Kerssen-Griep, and Trees (2003) did a study that addressed important learner identity needs and predicted studentís intrinsic learning motivations and interaction involvement in school. The research showed that students perceptions of instructional behaviors will help sustain their involvement. They also found that the more a student is engaged in classroom activities the more the student has a motivation to learn which leads to better academic performance.Hooper, Lundquist, Jackson, and Weiss (2003) did a study that examined the degree to which cognitive-motivational factors predicted academic performance in a sample of Midwestern college students. They found that lower levels of procrastination and involvement during the school year contributed to an overall lower grade point average. They also mentioned that increasing time in school activities may assist in facilitating improvements in academic performance.Another study done by Dean and Gifford (1990) examined extracurricular activity participation and achievement with ninth graders in a junior high school setting and with ninth graders in a senior high school setting. They found that the relationship of school organization, extracurricular activities, academic performance, and attitudes toward self were all highly correlated with the ninth grade students in the junior high school setting because they were involved in more extracurricular activities than the ninth graders in the senior high school setting. Even though their study was done on ninth graders, it supports my hypothesis that the more involved you are in school the better your grades are. The importance of getting involved in college clubs and organizations depends on the person you are measuring. Student service professionals consider involvement as an integral part of development. Research indicates that participation in college organizations and similar out of class student activities is related to increased skill development and other dimensions of personal growth (Abrahamowicz, 1988). With this particular study, the results in almost all instances indicate major differences between students who participate in clubs and organizations and students who do not. In addition, some research suggests that the more involved you are the better your grades are because clubs and organizations tend to be a support system for individuals. The purpose of this study is to measure whether getting involved in college clubs and organizations helps students in making good grades.
METHODI administered a Likert-type scale to Missouri Western State College students to measure the importance of getting involved and I asked what their grade point average is.I gave my scale to students who are not involved and students who are involved in clubs and organizations. A high score on this scale indicates a strong importance of getting involved. A low score on this scale indicates a weak importance of getting involved. Getting a high or a low score does not necessarily represent the studentís academic performance.
My participants were Missouri Western State College students of all majors and ethnic backgrounds. I gave my scale to about 50 students male and female. Some students were currently involved in college clubs and organizations and some were not.
A Likert-type scale was constructed to measure the importance of getting involved in college clubs and organizations. Please refer to the Appendix.
I stood outside the most popular buildings on campus and randomly gave out my scale. I also went to some club and organization meetings to give out my scale.
RESULTSI ran a Pearson Correlation was calculated examining the relationship between involvement and academic performance. A weak correlation that was not significant was found (r(46)=.067,p>.05). Involvement is not related to academic performance.An independent samples t test comparing the mean scores of males and females involvement found a significant difference between the means of the two groups (t(46)=2.73 ,p<.05). The mean score for males was significantly higher (m= 48.6,sd= 10.1) than the mean score for females (m= 41.0,sd= 8.80).An independent samples t test comparing the mean scores of males and females academic performance found a significant difference between the means of the two groups (t(46)=1.92,p<.05). The mean score for females was significantly higher (m= 2.89,sd= .510) than the mean score for males (m= 2.61,sd= .446).
DISCUSSIONThe purpose of this study was to measure whether getting involved in college clubs and organizations helps students in making good grades. Results showed that involvement has no influence on academic performance and males are more involved but have lower grade point averages compared to females who are less involved but have higher grade point averages. Overall, to me this suggests that being involved is not significant at all and you still can make good grades. My hypothesis was that students who are involved in college clubs and organizations are the students who overall will have the best academic performance. The results did not support my hypothesis and conclude that it does not matter whether you are involved or not because involvement has no influence on academic performance.This study does not relate to other literature reviewed because it shows that there is no correlation between involvement and academic performance. The limitations of this study were that I could have used a larger sample size, which would have a better representation of the Missouri Western State College student population. In addition, by asking students their grade point averages they could have been dishonest or plainly did not remember which affects the reliability and validity. Although there has been a lot of research done on different types of involvement, I feel that future research should look into how being involved and socially interacting with people overall affects an individual, such as happiness and mood. I also feel that more research should be done in the area of academic performance and gender because there was a significant difference in my study when I compared those tow scores. Even though my hypothesis was not supported, I still feel that student show are involved overall have better social skills and are happier in life.
REFERENCESAbrahamowicz, Daniel (1988). College involvement, perceptions, and satisfaction: A study of membership in student organizations. Journal of College Student Development, 29, 233-238.
Dean, M.M.& Gifford, V.D. (1990). Differences in extracurricular activity participation, achievement, and attitudes toward school between ninth grade students attending junior high school and those attending senior high school. Adolescence, 25, 799-803.
Hess, J.A., Kerssen-Griep, J.,& Trees, A.R.(2003). Sustaining the desire to learn: Dimensions of perceived instructional facework related to student involvement and motivation to learn. Western Journal of Communication,67, 67-71.
Hooper, D., Lundquist, J. J., Jackson, T. & Weiss, K.E. (2003).The impact of hope, procrastination, and social activity on academic performance in Midwestern college students. Education, 124, 310-321.
Answer each question using this scale:1=Strongly Agree; 2= Agree; 3= Undecided; 4= Disagree; 5= Strongly Disagree
Age: Sex: G.P.A.
Were you involved in any clubs or organizations in high school? 1 2 3 4 5Are you involved in any clubs or organizations in college? 1 2 3 4 5Do you feel that getting involved in clubs and organizations increase academic performance? 1 2 3 4 5Do you feel that getting involved in clubs and organizations decrease academic performance?1 2 3 4 5Does getting involved in clubs and organizations make a person more sociable?1 2 3 4 5If a person does not get involved in clubs and organizations make them less sociable? 1 2 3 4 5Do you like to be around different people?1 2 3 4 5Do you feel that getting involved takes away from your study time?1 2 3 4 5Do you feel that holding leadership positions in clubs and organizations increase your chances to getting a good job upon graduation?1 2 3 4 5Do you feel that you could be involved in too many clubs and organizations on campus?1 2 3 4 5 Do you feel compelled to serve your community?1 2 3 4 5Do you feel compelled to serve your campus?1 2 3 4 5 Do you feel that the programs that are brought to this campus by clubs and organizations are educational?1 2 3 4 5Do you feel that the programs that are brought to this campus by clubs and organizations are enjoyable?1 2 3 4 5Do you feel that being involved in clubs and organizations in high school makes you be involved in college?1 2 3 4 5Do you feel that getting involved in college is important?1 2 3 4 5Do you feel that meeting new people makes your college years more enjoyable?1 2 3 4 5