Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Don Good

Committee Members

Bethany Flora, Brian Noland, Jasmine Renner


Student retention rates and graduation rates currently play a major role in measuring the success of institutions of higher education. To contribute to the likelihood of this success many institutions offer programs designed to increase the academic performance of their students especially those classified as incoming freshmen. Others are more focused and target those who are from underrepresented populations. Nonetheless not many programs have been designed to aid those students in the subsequent years that follow freshman year.

The purpose of this research project was to determine if there are significant differences in the success of those students who participate in a multi-year program as opposed to those who participate in a program specifically designed for incoming freshmen. Additionally these 2 groups were compared with students who did not participate in either program.

The participants in this study were classified within 3 groups: Quest for Success, Student Support Services, and nonprogram participants. Archival data were used to examine grade point averages, retention rates, and graduation rates. A random sample of 125 students from each of the 3 groups (375 total) was examined for the purposes of comparing mean grade point averages. For the purposes of comparing retention rates and graduation rates, however, the population was examined due to the manner in which data were provided. Additionally the use of the population provided more precise retention rates and graduation rates in this study.

Findings of the study are congruent with the literature in terms of the role that outreach programs play in the success of underrepresented students. These results revealed that students in the multi-year program, Student Support Services, had significantly higher grade point averages, retention rates, and graduation rates when compared to Quest for Success (a 1-year incoming freshman program). Student Support Services also had significantly higher grade point averages and retention rates than nonprogram participants from underrepresented student populations. Furthermore there were no significant differences found in comparisons between Quest for Success and nonprogram participants.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Education Commons