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On the other hand, 13 institutions report that personnel service is definitely incorporated in the administrative policy and 7 others indicate that they hope to establish such work in the near future. Several of the institutions where personnel service is decentralized assert that from the standpoint of the whole institution they consider decentralized service more effective than when it is confined to a central office.
All of the institutions reporting definite personnel work finance it through general administrative funds, although two supplement this by gifts from industrial associations. In the institutions where the work is decentralized and at the same time effective, there are many persons in different positions in the college engaged in it. Those most frequently mentioned are the deans of the various schools, the deans of men and women, a group of faculty advisers especially designated, a faculty committee on personnel, the registrar, and members of the departments of psychology, education, and engineering. Where the persons designated are members of the faculty, an explanatory note in many cases indicates that they have been chosen because of their interest in it, and their fitness for rendering this service to their students
The functions covered by personnel work fall roughly into the following classifications: Selection of students, classification of students, guidance of students, maintenance of case histories and records, research studies, and placement service for students.
In 30 of the land-grant institutions part of the personnel work consists in giving various tests and measurements to individual students, either upon entrance or shortly thereafter. These cover standard tests of mental ability, of vocational aptitudes, and of subject matter in the fields of English, foreign languages, history, mathematics, and science. These tests are used largely for the purpose of sectioning classes, although they are also available to the proper officers for student advising; in some few cases they supplement other tools of admission, but in no case are they the sole criterion of entrance. In many cases they are useful in checking student records, particularly those of failing students. Comparatively few of the schools are making wide use of them in experimental work; in fact only six report definite studies that have come out of their collection of this mass of information.
Apparently the personality factor has received comparatively little attention in this mass of measurement. Only 10 of the landgrant institutions make records of personality measurements obtained from sources of such varying reliability as former teachers, frien«ls, business references, employers, ministers, deans, other students, and the student himself. Two institutions report that they give a per
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sonality test to all students. Some of the institutions also report that they make an attempt to rate students on extracurricular activities, as indicated by the deans of the colleges, the dean of men and the dean of women, directors of athletics, dramatics, music, forensics, and various clubs, and the supervisor of teacher training. These extracurricular ratings apparently are used almost entirely in giving information to prospective employers concerning the student's leadership
The first basis of guidance is, of course, the collection of information about the individual. Who in the land-grant colleges decides what information shall be gathered? This is indeed an all-inclusive list, ranging from the president of the institution through the deans, heads of departments, personnel committees, faculty members, registrar, and the pyschology and education departments. These officials not only decide what information shall be gathered, but also what means shall be used to obtain the information desired. They also decide the form in which the information shall be recorded and who shall be its custodian. In 31 of the land-grant colleges all freshmen are given psychological tests during their first month in the insti. tution; in five institutions such tests are not given.
Where they are given they are administered under the department of psychology in 14 schools, under the department of education in 11, under the personnel committee in 3, under special officers in 2, and under the dean of men in 1. In only 10 of the institutions are the subjects advised of their psychological rating and in only 5 are they retested while in college, though a number of institutions indicate that occasionally in special cases they retest individuals.
Those apparently who use the material gathered in psychological tests most frequently are the deans of the colleges, the deans of men and the deans of women, the faculty and administrative officers actually concerned with the individual student, prospective employers, and industrial representatives. The direct connection between personnel work and placement is indicated by the inclusion of the two last-mentioned groups.
While the questionnaire sent to the land-grant institutions attempted to draw a line of distinction between vocational and educational counseling, the replies from the institutions indicated that it is impossible in practice at the present stage of development to separate these two types of service. With the exception of the five institutions having a personnel officer, the work coincides or overlaps so consistently, it is clear that in the minds of the people actually doing it there is no distinction between the two types of advisement. Several of the institutions mentioned supplementary officers who served at least part of the student body. The University of Minnesota is a case in point; in connection with the office of the dean of women there is a part-time vocational counselor whose services are available to all women students of the university. Sixteen institutions report that from 1 per cent to 75 per cent of their faculties are assigned to counselor work.
It is obvious that if a good job is to be done in advising a student educationally in the selection of his studies and in the choice of his major, the person who does that advising must also have some knowledge of the vocational bent of that particular student, the lines of work that will be open to him after he graduates, his special aptitudes for certain types of work, and the requirement that these types of work set up. The qualifications of the vocational adviser as concurred in by the institutions reporting were: (1) A pretty broad knowledge of physchology including some familiarity with mental hygiene problems that need to be referred to specialists; (2) a good background of sociology; (3) a wide range of occupational and vocational information, including such technical matters as the requirements for admission to certain professional schools; (4) knowledge of and sympathy with the student's point of view so that the counselor may win his confidence in their contact.
Only 14 of the institutions seemed optimistic as to the motivation of the student's work in relation to his future vocational choice. They reported that all their students planned their courses purposefully and correctly under guidance. Twenty institutions reported negatively on this point; yet 25 reported that such choice was necessary
in determining the selection of courses, and only one indicated that this selection could be postponed beyond the close of the sophomore year. A large number required it at registration; 10 indicated that it must be made by the end of the freshman year; 11 by the end of the sophomore year. Thirty-three institutions inform all of their students concerning graduate schools and opportunities for further study, and 34 inform them about graduate scholarships available.
The vocational guidance work begins very early in most of the institutions. Seventeen indicate that they start in the freshman year, and only four delay it until the senior year. In 24 the students seek this information voluntarily. Otherwise the means of getting the information before the students seems to be largely by lectures, by mimeographed or printed analyses of vocational opportunities, by college classes in occupations, by summer try-out courses, and by vocational libraries. A number of the institutions state that the work in vocational and educational guidance is coordinated with the reg. ular classroom work, and a few imply that a connection is made between vocational guidance and the extracurricular activities of the students. While a discussion of the placement service, because of its close connection with both educational and vocational guidance, might well be inserted here, it seems better to treat that at a later time, since it is directly concerned with the life of the student after he leaves the institution.
The land-grant institutions do very little upon problems of guidance. The colleges have for years been obtaining and filing away vast numbers of records, a source for limitless research, that, rightly used, might throw much light on many of their unsolved problems. Yet only six of the land-grant institutions report research studies based on this material which have given reliable correlation figures with student records. The majority of the institutions have not even used these records to find the replies to the questions on causes of elimination of college students. While a statistical study would probably show that the usual guesses concerning causes for elimination are not far wrong, they remain after all, mere guesses.
It is clear that the importance of personnel work for the sake of the individual student's success, both in college and in his after life, is just beginning to be realized. Although some guidance work has been going on for 21 years in the elementary and high schools of the country, the colleges have apparently just awakened to its bearings upon their objectives. The necessity for more conscious work along this line is evident from the haphazard answers to many of the questions asked in connection with this section of the survey. The trend, however, would seem to be away from centralization of the work rather than toward it. On the whole this is probably advisable, for with the growth of the institutions it is out of the question for any one man or group of men to render so many-sided a service to the individual members of a student body. It is probably wise, therefore, that the work should be studied from the functional viewpoint and distributed among those members of the administrative and teaching staff who can best perform it. If it seems that special officers should be adıled to the already existing staff, their relationships to that staff and their special contributions should be studied in the light of the needs of the individual institution. Personnel work has so direct a bearing on the life of the individual student and promises so much in making more effective the work of the whole institution that too much cannot be said for the policy of making every individual who comes in contact with the students aware of his share in helping them to find themselves; in other words, each individual of the staff should be consciously a worker in the personnel department.
Chapter IV.—Housing and Feeding of Students
The physical conditions under which students live while they are at college or university are fully as important as the intellectual stimuli to which they are exposed. The influence of surroundings may be unconscious but it is none the less all pervasive. The colleges have an opportunity of unfathomed richness here, not only in providing comfortable and hygienic living conditions in which their students can do their best work during their four college years, but also in giving them the kind of surroundings and atmosphere that will help to build character and to cultivate appreciations of fine human relationships.
The day is long past when any college can assume that its students all come from a background of cultured homes. One may question whether that day ever existed for the land-grant institutions. Today, certainly, it is truer of these institutions than ever before that their students are drawn from homes that represent every grade of social background, from the mining community of the North, where the first-generation immigrant still lives with his family of 8 or 10 children in the crudest of 1-room cottages, or the correspondingly humble home of the southern mountaineer or the western rancher, to the most elaborate mansion of our cities with its retinue of servants and its elaboration of living. The only common denominator for homes of such diverse standards may well be that the students who come from them are actuated by the same desire for an education. The common experiences of living which students from all these types of homes may share in their four college years should be the greatest influence toward the ideal of democracy, and the college or university can not refuse to accept responsibility. Its students are going to live more hours outside the classrooms and the laboratories than within them. The hours outside are fully as potent for the student's future character and contribution to society as are the hours which the institution controls through its courses of study. When the land-grant institutions are compared with the privately endowed colleges and universities of the United States the meager provision which they have made for the living conditions of their students is most striking. Although the majority of the land-grant institutions draw their main support from State appropriations, and State legis