Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An Evaluation of the Student Service Expectations of Freshmen at a Small, Midwestern Liberal Arts University
by Bladdick, Jerry Michael, Ed.D., Lindenwood University, 2012, 149; 3544019
Abstract (Summary)

Increasing freshmen student retention and ultimately increasing their graduation rates continues to be a critical matter for institutions of higher education. Therefore, colleges and universities are attempting to understand the student service expectations of freshmen students as a primary mechanism to enhance matriculation rates. University administrators must identify what students expect from their college experience if they are to positively affect institutional policy.

Previous investigations have observed the relationship between student expectations and experiences, but limited data exist on the student service expectations of college freshmen. The purpose of this mixed method study is to determine the student service expectations of freshmen. The 113 voluntary participants were first-time freshmen from a small, Midwestern liberal arts college and were enrolled in a freshman orientation course.

Data analysis from a t test revealed that no statistical differences exist among males and females and the student service expectations of campus facilities or clubs and organizations. Data analysis did reveal a statistical difference among males and females and their expressed expectations of library and information technology services. A chi-square test indicated that no statistically significant relationship exists between the gender of the student and his or her expectations of student services. Data from the t test revealed that no statistical differences exist among residential or commuter students and their student services expectations of library and information technology, campus facilities, and clubs or organizations. A chi-square test indicated that no statistically significant relationship exists between the gender of the student and his or her expectations of student services. Data analysis using a t test revealed that student athletic status does not have an effect on expressed expectations of library and information technology services or of clubs and organizations. Data analysis did reveal that athletic status does have an effect on the student expectations of campus facilities, and a chi-square test indicated that a statistically significant relationship exists between the athletic status of the student and his or her expectations of student services.

The results of this study provide a baseline for future studies. Results indicate the need for additional research that focuses on specific aspects or types of student services with a deeper participation pool. The findings expand field-specific knowledge in this subject area and can be used to improve the college student services that universities offer.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Boyle, Rick
Commitee: Guffey, Ryan, Oldani, John
School: Lindenwood University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 74/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational leadership, Higher education
Keywords: Freshmen, Liberal arts university, Student expectations, Student retention, Student services
Publication Number: 3544019
ISBN: 9781267735799
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