Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



The writer in this problem is deeply concerned with those high school students who are preparing themselves for the future and are going to college. Naturally colleges as well as students and their parents are interested in factors which make for success in college. Several of these are well known, such as, general mental ability, keen interest in college work, good study habits, regular attention to college tasks and definite vocational choice. The last of these mentioned, definite vocational choice has been subjected to less research than any of the others. This study has as its objective to determine if the more capable students, in terms of better scholastic ability, had made their vocational choices as they began their college work and to determine the degree to which those students who made definite vocational choices or expressed very definitely their vocational preferences, achieved better or less well than those who had not made such choices, early in college work. The general impression students and college faculties have is that the student who has committed himself to a vocational choice will consequently work harder at it and achieve better than the student who has not yet made his occupational choice. It is felt that the student without a vocational choice misses an important motivation and tends to flounder around in his work, achieving less well than the other one. But these are general impressions. The purpose of this study is to gather and statistically treat the pertinent data which may give a definite positive or negative answer to this general impression. The writer has no knowledge that such a problem concerning vocational choices and vocational preferences and their relationship to academic achievement, has been undertaken in South Dakota. There have been studies, a thesis by William Hass, on comparing educational proficiency of one-room-school graduates and town-elementary-school graduates found in the freshman and sophomore classes of six eastern South Dakota high schools. A research was completed by John Woodruff on scholastic records and personality and character traits of public-school trained versus parochial-school-trained students, in the Aberdeen, South Dakota school systems. These studies are not so similar to this one of content as they are similar to it in statistical technique. Guy Karnes completed a research dealing with vocational choices of high school graduates and the relation of their choices to their ACE Test scores. However, Karnes used different statistical methods to analyze his problem. This study seeks to show the difference between those students who had made their vocational choices while taking their ACE Tests in their senior year in high school and those students that tend to neglect their vocational choices while taking their ACE Tests and select various vocational preferences to vocations or do not specify any preferences, while enrolling as freshman at South Dakota State College at Brookings, South Dakota.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

South Dakota State University -- Students
South Dakota State University -- Freshmen
College freshmen -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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