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Perceived needs of entering students at the University of Puerto Rico: An exploratory study

Myrna I Velez, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Research has indicated that the first year of college is more stressful for the college student than the three remaining years. A descriptive, exploratory study was conducted which assessed the general freshman population of a large public university in Puerto Rico, a Spanish-speaking country. Freshmen (N = 1665) completed, in the Fall of 1993, a 73-item survey which collected data on demographics, academic and financial backgrounds, employment patterns, and academic, career, and personal needs. Students were asked to rate the intensity of the needs they were experiencing as they entered the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. Results indicated that participants, as a group, rated academic-career related items stronger than personal items. In general terms, higher need levels were associated also with specific sub-populations of freshmen: females, students coming from public schools in Puerto Rico, and students enrolled in the Colleges of Business Administration, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. The findings of this study are valuable for planning college counseling services at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus and for clarifying student development theory. The identification of these needs should enable administrators, orientation planners, counselors, and policy makers of this University to design programs to better meet the academic, career, and personal needs of the freshman population as well as the individualized needs of specifically designated subgroups of incoming freshmen. The planning of such interventions must be followed by systematic evaluation of the effects of the programs that are developed.

Subject Area

Higher education|School administration|Academic guidance counseling

Recommended Citation

Velez, Myrna I, "Perceived needs of entering students at the University of Puerto Rico: An exploratory study" (1996). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9619450.