Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dr. Bethany Flora

Committee Members

Dr. Susan Epps, Dr. Catherine Glascock, Dr. Don Good


The purpose of this study was to examine the association between the retention rate and 9 firstyear student programs at Liberal Arts Colleges in the Mountain South, a region in the southern Appalachian Mountains of the United States. Nine first-year programs were studied: Summer Bridge Programs, Preterm Orientation, Outdoor Adventure Orientation, Targeted Seminars, Learning Communities, Early Warning/Early Alert Systems, Service Learning, Undergraduate Research, and Assessment. The data for this study were accessed via the college database of The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES, 2013). Chi Square tests were used for analysis to identify associations between first-year student retention and the presence of each of the 9 programs. The results indicated that the presence of each of the 9 first-year programs was not significantly related to first-year student retention.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Copyright by the authors.