Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

5-2018

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

James H. Lampley

Committee Members

Bethany H. Flora, Donald W. Good, Michael Stokes

Abstract

The purpose of this comparative study was to determine the relationship of a First-Year Seminar course as well as student entry demographics to retention and graduation rates at community college in Tennessee. In the fall of 2013, the enrollment for the participating college was 3,790 with a mean composite ACT score of 18.9 and a mean GPA of 2.823. First-Year Experience programs at the community college consisted of First-Year Seminar (FYS), New Student Online Orientation (NSOO), New Student Advisement and Registration (NSAR), and mandatory academic advisement. For the purpose of this study the researcher examined only the First-Year Seminar course. The First-Year Seminar course was designed to provide students with strategies to further develop academic as well as life management skills. The course incorporated techniques to assist students in a successful beginning at the institution. Major topics focused on goal setting, institutional resources and activities, time management, basic study strategies including note-taking and test-taking, development of an academic plan, developing relationships, stress management, and career exploration. The populations studied were students who participated in a First-Year Seminar course and students who did not participate in a First-Year Seminar course. Those students who participated in the First-Year Seminar course were compared to the overall population of students prior to the implementation of mandatory participation in the first-year programs.

The research questions in this study were addressed through data analysis using chi-square two-way contingency table. Archival data were retrieved from the institutions data system, about students who participated in a First-Year Seminar course and those students who did not participate. Additional demographic information were collected on student gender, age, and financial aid status.

The findings in the study indicated there were significantly higher rates of retention for those students who participated in a First-Year Seminar course than those students who did not participate in a First-Year Seminar course. In regards to gender, age, and financial aid status overall retention rates were significantly higher for those students who participated in a First-Year Seminar course. The findings however did not indicate a significant correlation between participation in a First-Year Seminar course and graduation rates.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Education Commons

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