Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

African American Student Success and First-Year Seminars: Examining the Impact of First-Year Seminars on African American Students at a Private University
by Feminella, Catherine , Ed.D., Widener University, 2020, 97; 28086199
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to examine the retention and academic performance of African American students who participate in a first-year seminar course and persist past the first year of college compared to those who do not participate in the course. For the purposes of this study, the researcher focused on a small, private, urban university in the Northeastern United States. In today’s higher education landscape, universities and colleges are being asked to provide more substantive evidence of their efficacy as they are held accountable for learning outcomes (Liu, 2011). In particular, there is a heightened focus on student success and retention as the number of high school seniors is decreasing and freshman enrollments are following this trend. As a result, higher education leaders are faced with the challenge of retaining the students they currently have at the highest rate possible while seeking to increase enrollments wherever possible to sustain fiscal stability. Higher education scholars point to first-year seminars as means of increasing retention or persistence from first to second year (Jaijairam, 2016). It is also salient to note that African American students are retained at a lower rate than their White counterparts (Johnson, 2013). These factors present a unique opportunity to explore approaches to retention past the first year of college that may positively affect African American students. This quantitative study sought to uncover the impact of a first-year seminar course on the retention of African American students past their first year at one urban university. Because there was no statistical difference in their retention versus their peers who opted not to participate in a freshman seminar, there are implications for future research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Corbo, Angela M.
Commitee: O'Halloran, Kim C., Thorpe, Stephen W.
School: Widener University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 82/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher education, Educational leadership, African American Studies
Keywords: College student success, Diversity, First-year seminar, Persistence, Student success, Undergraduate retention
Publication Number: 28086199
ISBN: 9798664734201
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