Thesis Title

High School Forensics Services and Recruitment: a Study of High School Faculty Opinion

Date of Graduation

Summer 1985


Master of Arts in Communication



Committee Chair

Richard Stovall

Subject Categories



Southwest Missouri State University is one of many colleges and universities which provide diverse services to high school forensics programs and seek to recruit students to debate. Although forensics services and recruitment are expanding at the University, no research has been done to evaluate their effectiveness. This thesis attempts to evaluate Southwest Missouri State University forensics services and offers recommendations for future study. A questionnaire was generated and administered to 68 high school forensics coaches, 45 of whom returned the survey. Frequency distributions were compiled and Chi-square analysis was performed upon data to test several research hypotheses. Statistically significant relationships were found between information received about forensics services and recruitment success, and between forensics services. Schools with national Forensic League affiliation, frequent tournament activity, and a preference for coaching debate bore statistically significant relationships to other schools exhibiting the same characteristics, and to participation in forensics services. There was a relationship between recruitment contacts and recruitment success which approached statistical significance. Opinions toward University forensics services were generally positive, and indicated that the services and recruitment policies are consistent with standards found in other literature. Dissatisfaction was expressed with information received about the University's forensics program and scholarships, and there was some concern over judging at the District Festival. A demographic profile of respondents found a low level of debate experience among the coaches. Conclusions and recommendations include maintaining current pedagogical goals of University forensics services, improving information and recruitment contacts, and expanding forensics service offerings where resources permit. It is also suggested that research be periodically updated in order to record shifts in opinion.


© Terry Lee West