Half of Hampden-Sydney graduates attend graduate school within five years.
CENTRAL TO THE COLLEGE'S EDUCATIONAL GOALS is one-on-one faculty-student interaction, in the classroom, in the lab, in the field-and in any number of learning experiences on and off campus. In conducting research with faculty mentors, a student benefits from the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of the methods and challenges of sustained scholarship.
FOR FIVE YEARS, Professor Daniel G. Mossler and his researchers have been studying how well students perform in college relative to their SAT scores, high school grades, and class rank. His researchers may or may not have an advantage in the work: they are the students.
"I used to have to recruit students to do a research study, but now they are coming to me because they've seen the kind of research we're doing and they are interested in it. They start with data collection and administering tests, and they often end up as co-authors," he says. Some of Mossler's students co-authored a recent article for Psychological Reports; he and they have presented research at annual meetings of the American Psychological Society and the Eastern Psychological Society.
|Professor Daniel Mossler works with a student.|
Mossler is impressed by his students' devotion to their research. They spend many Saturdays collecting and entering data and working out problems, even putting their social lives after their studies. "Many conferences are over Spring Break or Greek Week, and the students are willing to miss out on those," he notes.
Giving Opportunities For
|Student Research Fund||$250,000|
|E-mail Lee King, Vice-President of Institutional Advancement for more information.|
Mossler's student research projects have provided many graduate-school-bound students with experience not usually found at the undergraduate level. "Taking part in an extensive research project and then presenting the findings at a professional conference are great entries on students' academic résumés," he adds.
Money for the performance-predictor studies has come from many different sources, but each year the resources are reduced, ironically because of their success: "As our work becomes better known on campus," he says, "more faculty members are trying student research projects and the money must be spread around further."
Incidentally, the research has led the students to a surprising conclusion: the SAT is not a good predictor for academic success in college; however, good grades in high school are.