Concerns about first-year students’ retention rates and schools’ programming for first-year college students are growing in higher education circles. In the United States, only about 59% of full-time, first-time bachelor’s degree-seeking students graduate within six years (National Center for Education Statistics, 2012). Debates focused on tactics to reduce attrition rates and recognize exemplary practices of first-year student retention have increased in recent years, and the search to advance graduation rates fuels these deliberations—comparable discussions of which have also moved to this study’s host institution.
Academic advisors use multiple tools to assist with retention management, including the College Student Inventory (CSI). Advisors use the CSI reports to improve communication with first-year students by stimulating discussions with individual students about their strengths and challenges. CSI reports also help advisors to explore areas of student needs that might require referrals to various campus resources.
The purpose of this case study was to describe, from a student’s perspective, the quality of academic advising in helping students to persist in earning a bachelor’s degree. The main research question asked the following: What are first-year students’ perceptions of their academic advising experience? Multiple types of data were collected to explore the case, including student demographic questionnaires, one-on-one interviews, and secondary sources of data. Twelve participants were involved in this case study. Through construct validity, external validity, and a reliability, data, and interpretational analysis, five themes were identified. The five emergent themes from the analysis are outside influence, well-adjusted advising, expectations, associations, and advising aspects.
The results of this study revealed that students want their academic advising experiences to go beyond being given pin numbers or having someone tell them what classes to take; students also want their advisors to focus on their general well-being and their needs for future and current academic, professional, and social development. This is particularly true for those students who do not have anyone else who could give them informal academic advisement, such as first-generation students.
|Commitee:||Guyden, Janet, Wanjohi, Rubenson, Payne, Pamela|
|School:||Grambling State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/8(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Educational administration, Higher education, School counseling|
|Keywords:||Academic advising, Developmental studies, Student retention, United States, Public colleges, First-year college students, Bachelor degree|
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