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Hesser A; Cregler, L L; Lewis, L
Academic Medicine: February 1998
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PURPOSE: To identify cognitive and noncognitive variables as predictors of the admission into medical school of African American college students who have participated in summer academic enrichment programs (SAEPs). METHOD: The study sample comprised 309 African American college students who participated in SAEPs at the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine from 1980 to 1989 and whose educational and occupational statuses were determined by follow-up tracking. A three-step logistic regression was used to analyze the data (with alpha = .05); the criterion variable was admission to medical school. The 17 predictor variables studied were one of two types, cognitive and noncognitive. The cognitive variables were (1) Scholastic Aptitude Test mathematics (SAT-M) score, (2) SAT verbal score, (3) college grade-point average (GPA), (4) college science GPA, (5) SAEP GPA, and (6) SAEP basic science GPA (BSGPA). The noncognitive variables were (1) gender, (2) highest college level at the time of the last SAEP application, (3) type of college attended (historically African American or predominately white), (4) number of SAEPs attended, (5) career aspiration (physician or another health science option) (6) parents who were professionals, (7) parents who were health care role models, (8) evidence of leadership, (9) evidence of community service, (10) evidence of special motivation, and (11) strength of letter of recommendation in the SAEP application. For each student the rating scores for the last four noncognitive variables were determined by averaging the ratings of two judges who reviewed relevant information in each student's file. RESULTS: In step 1, which explained 20% of the admission decision variance, SAT-M score, SAEP BSGPA, and college GPA were the three significant cognitive predictors identified. In step 2, which explained 31% of the variance, the three cognitive predictors identified in step 1 were joined by three noncognitive predictors: career aspiration, type of college, and number of SAEPs attended. In step 3, which explained 29% of the variance, two cognitive variables (SAT-M score and SAEP BSGPA) and two noncognitive variables (career aspiration and strength of recommendation letter) were identified. CONCLUSION: The results support the concept of using both cognitive and noncognitive variables when selecting African American students for pre-medical school SAEPs.

Created Date: 19 March 1998; Completed Date: 19 March 1998; Revised Date: 18 December 2000

© 1998 Association of American Medical Colleges