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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Untangling the Factors that Affect Student Retention: A Quantitative Study of the Relationships among First-Year Seminar Program Characteristics and Instructor Type (Full-Time and Part-Time)
by Shafer, Christina Marie, Ed.D., Portland State University, 2020, 221; 27741466
Abstract (Summary)

Each fall first-year college students have met and overcome many challenges and

transitions. However, one-third of first-year students who enter college in the U.S. do not

return for their second-year. Making the first-year a critical juncture for students,

administrators, and institutions. First-Year Seminars were created to help assist students

with their transition to college and have been identified as an effective initiative to aid in

first-year retention.

What role do institutions play in addressing the issue of retention? Some say that

those who teach the Seminars matter. The purpose of this study is to explore the

relationship among Seminar characteristics and instructor type. Ultimately, the goal is to

further administrators’ understanding of how Seminar characteristics and who is teaching

them are associated.

This study used the theoretical frameworks: Student Departure, Marginality and

Mattering, Student Involvement, and Engagement. In addition the Input-Environment-

Output model was included. Using the secondary data from the 2009 Survey on First-

Year Seminars which reported Seminar program characteristics by administrators, the

researcher conducted Chi-Pearson analysis to explore the relationships among Seminar

characteristics and instructor type.

There were statistically significant results that indicated that there were

relationships among some of the Seminar program characteristics and who taught the

Seminar. These results further indicated that administrators looking to enhance their

first-year retention rates need to explore specific Seminar characteristics along with

instructor type to better address challenges of first-year retention.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Reynolds, Candyce
Commitee: Job, Andy, Haley, Karen, Labissere, Yves
School: Portland State University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Oregon
Source: DAI-A 81/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership
Keywords: Decision-making, Engagement, First-year seminars, Instructor type, Retention
Publication Number: 27741466
ISBN: 9798607300722
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