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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Predicting Four-Year Graduation: A Sequential Modeling Approach
by Sims, Michael S., M.S., California State University, Long Beach, 2018, 83; 10841337
Abstract (Summary)

As a result of the California State Universities having four-year graduation rates among freshman students below 20% over the last few years, the Graduation Initiative 2025 has been deployed. This initiative aims to increase the graduation rates to 40%, while eliminating opportunity and achievement gaps. A signicant impact of this is looking at the success of rst-time-freshmen (FTF) and the prediction of whether or not they will graduate in a timely fashion. To this end, a natural classication problem is identied: amongst the FTF cohort who will graduate in four years or less(class instance = 1), or more than four years (class instance = 0) including students who did not graduate. In this paper, using Area Under the Curve (AUC) as our models performance metric, we construct classication models that quickly identify students at risk of not graduating in a timely fashion. Furthermore, we will construct models cumulatively—term by term—where each successive model includes student data from matriculation to the end of a given term. Using this approach allows a University to nd an optimal time to deploy possible intervention programs. It should be noted that optimal in this paper means, having a model with high AUC as early into the students academic career as possible. This way, an at-risk student is identied early, and the value of the University intervening is optimized. In this paper we will compare a variety of classication algorithms such as Logistic Regression, Random Forest, and XGBoost to see which model yields the highest AUC. Also we provide insight on interpretation specically identifying the eect each covariate has on the response. This approach will be unique because not only will it be a means for identifying the problem, but also serve as part of the solution.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Suaray, Kagba
Commitee: Albawaneh, Mahmoud, Korosteleva, Olga
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Mathematics and Statistics
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 58/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Statistics
Publication Number: 10841337
ISBN: 978-0-438-63375-9
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