An increasing number of students of color are attending college (Kena et al., 2016). Yet, many of these students experience attrition at higher levels than their White counterparts (Shapiro et al., 2017). Carnevale, Smith, and Strohl (2013) estimate that 65% of the projected 55 million job openings will require postsecondary credentials. If educational attainment gaps continue to persist by race, the impact on students, families, and institutions may be significant (O’Keeffe, 2013; Rose, 2013).
Retention efforts often focus on a student’s first-year, when attrition rates are highest (DeAngelo, 2014). Though many summer transition programs for students of color currently exist, there is minimal literature describing program structure or the relationship between participants and student success measures. Guided by four research questions, the purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to investigate the relationship of student participation in a five-day transition program for underrepresented students at a PWI with GPA and retention, and to profile the descriptive characteristics of common transition programs across PWIs.
Phase I of this study investigated the relationship between participation in a five-day transition program with GPA scores, and first-to-second year persistence rates at a private, medium-sized, predominately White institution in the Northeast. Student archival data were analyzed for inferential statistics derived from first-time, full-time Black, Latinx, Asian American or Pacific Islander, Native American, or Multiracial student data (N=563), enrolled between 2014 and 2017 who participated in the program (n=163) and a matched sample who did not (n=400). Phase II profiled representative transition programs across universities of a similar Carnegie classification (N=156).
Results indicated that program participants (n=163) showed higher GPA scores and persistence rates when compared with non-participants (n=400), yet neither were statistically significant. Non-first-generation status and female sex as a pair were significantly related to persistence rates. No differences were found among persistence rates by race/ethnicity. Transition programs (n=22) were found to have similarities across program structure with data-informed components.
The results of this study may help inform PWI college administrators and faculty appropriately design the structure and components of transition programs designed to assist the transition of students of color.
|Advisor:||Billups, Felice D|
|Commitee:||Warner, Jack, Gable, Robert K|
|School:||Johnson & Wales University|
|School Location:||United States -- Rhode Island|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/9(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Multicultural Education, Higher education|
|Keywords:||College transition, First-year programs, Minority student retention, Multicultural transition program, Pre-orientation, Students of color|
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