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Abstract

This study investigated changes in selected measures of educational aspiration, preparation, and achievement of African and Caucasian American high school students for the years 1975, 1985, and 1995. A 5% sample of all ACT test takers for each of the years comprised the initial sample from which those high school students indicating a commitment for a health careers collegiate major were selected. Crosstabulation was used to present the data. In view of the large sample size statistical tests of inference were not considered necessary. In general, when comparing the three time periods, we found increased interest in health careers, higher levels of educational aspiration, greater interest in college preparatory programs, more science completed, and higher levels of achievement as measured by high school grade point average and the ACT composite score. Women showed a greater increase than men for all variables. While there were some decIines between 1975 and 1985, the 1995 period was most favorable with the exception of Caucasian male ACT scores. We recommend continued vigilance in high school programming to avoid gender and minority stereotyping, concern for the nonbaccalaureate bound student and gratefully acknowledge the accomplishments of minorities and women.

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