Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Impact of a Success Class on Retention for Students With Academic Liabilities: A Quantitative Ex Past Facto Study
by Wright, Linda Chapple, Ed.D., Northcentral University, 2020, 147; 27744472
Abstract (Summary)

Community Colleges play a key role in the landscape of American higher education. However, the problem is that community college completion rates are low because they retain too few of their students. Community colleges are open-door institutions that enroll close to half of all incoming college students. They also enroll the highest number of students who are academically liable in one or more areas making them unprepared for college-level work and at a higher risk of withdrawing before they earn a degree or a credential.

The purpose of this quantitative ex post facto quasi-experimental study was to determine if there were significant differences in retention rates for students by academic liability category and over time,after the completion of a student success class. The study was conducted on first-time-in-college students enrolled on a single-campus of a multi-campus district in Texas. Students studied were those who had an academic liabiity in mathematics only and those who presented with an academic liability in reading and writing.

The study was based on the theory in higher education that institutional action and intervention can have a positive impact on student outcomes. It examined the impact of a single intervention, the completion of a student success class, on fall-to-fall retention rates for students with academic liabilities on a single campus and at several intervals over time. Two research questions were posed and a Two-Way ANOVA and a Three-Way ANOVA tests were utilized to determine if after successfully completing a student success class there were significant differences in retention rates by student liability category and when compared over a three-year time period.

Three significant findings emerged from the ANOVA tests. First, there were no significant differences in retention rates for first-time-in-college students after the successful completion of the student success by academic liability category. There were also no significant differences by students by liability category after successfully completing the success class over time when compared at a three-year interval. However, there were significant differences in retention rates for students in each liability category after successfully completing the student success class when compared with those who did not. Academically liable students who completed the success course had higher retention rates in both liability categories.

This study supports the theory that institutional action such as this targeted intervention can positively student outcomes, such as retention. The recommendations are to continue targeted interventions, such as the mandatory student success class, to improve outcomes for academically liable students at the community college. Other targeted interventions touted as Best Practices for academically liable students, such as intentional advising or supplemental instruction, could also be studied in similar settings.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: George, Robert
Commitee: Bulik, Bob, Watkins, Julia
School: Northcentral University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 81/9(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education Policy, Community college education
Keywords: Class, Community college, Student, Success
Publication Number: 27744472
ISBN: 9781658489485
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