Date of Award

1989

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Education Specialist (EdS)

Author's Department

Educational Administration

First Advisor

Gary A. Blade

Abstract

The Illinois Board of Higher Education in 1985 instituted mandatory subject admission requirements for all state universities beginning in the year 1990. Subsequent legislative action by the Illinois General Assembly has moved these requirements back to 1993. This field experience investigated the possible impacts of these requirements on rural schools of under 500 students in east central Illinois. A cover letter explaining the purpose of the study and a two page questionnaire were mailed to twenty- one schools. Sixteen schools in the counties of Vermillion, Ford, Iroquois, Kankakee, and Will responded and were the focus of the study. Enrollment patterns in college preparatory classes and vocational classes before and after the implementation of the 1990 IBHE requirements were analyzed. The study also determined changes implemented by schools since the inception of the 1990 IBHE requirements in the areas of curriculum additions and deletions, staff additions and deletions, scheduling and graduation requirements. The study identified methods of maintaining a flexible curriculum to meet the needs of all students. Results of the study indicated that in the majority of the schools surveyed a significant amount of growth has taken place, since the enactment of the 1990 IBHE requirements, in the number of college-preparatory courses offered and in the enrollment of students in upper level mathematics and science courses. There has also been a larger number of students enrolled in social studies and foreign language classes in the schools surveyed since the enactment of the 1990 admission requirements. The study also determined that during this same period of time the majority of the schools surveyed experienced significant enrollment declines in vocational subjects, and the majority of courses dropped from curriculums of these schools have been vocational subjects. The greatest decreases in enrollments of the schools surveyed in this study have been in the vocational areas of industrial arts and home economics. Twenty-five percent of the schools surveyed have cut staff within the last three years with most of the programs eliminated being in the vocational areas. The majority of the schools surveyed have instituted some type of scheduling change since the enactment of the 1990 IBHE requirements that has allowed students to enroll in additional academic subjects during the school day. The study determined that over two-thirds of the schools surveyed have increased graduation requirements since the enactment of the 1990 IBHE requirements. Finally, the study determined that among those schools surveyed the most common method of maintaining curricular offerings is to alternate course offerings on an every-other year basis, especially in the upper level science and vocational subject areas.

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