Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Higher Education (EdD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Michael T. Miller

Committee Member

Jennifer Miles

Second Committee Member

Cheryl Murphy

Third Committee Member

Lona Robertson


Apparel merchandising and design, aptitude, attitudes, college students, computer technology, social technology, computers


The purpose of this study was to investigate college students' technical and social technology competencies based upon their attitudes toward computers and their perception of technical computer knowledge. The participants for this investigation were college undergraduates majoring in apparel merchandising and design and other related and non-related majors at the University of Arkansas. The research model selected for use in this study was the survey design method. There were a total of 1270 students responding to the survey with 1052 usable surveys remaining after cleaning the data for missing entries. This constituted an 83% response rate. The findings included significant effects of social aptitude by age and major, and technical aptitude by major. Males had significantly higher perceptions of technical aptitude, and both social and technical attitude toward computer technology than females. Whites had significantly higher perceptions of social aptitude toward computer technology than Nonwhites. Class standing had no significant effect on college student's perceptions of either aptitude or attitude in social or technical computer technology. There were strong correlations between social aptitude and technical aptitude and social attitude and technical attitude. Colleges and universities as well as industry are taking advantage of social technology not only for recruitment but in the classroom and on the job as well. A strong relationship between social and technical aptitude and social and technical attitude would tend to indicate that students are ready for this type of interaction.